Thinking of India’s Daughter

“You can’t clap with one hand. It takes two hands to clap.”

Just think about that sentence for a second. Then think about it after I tell you these were some of the first words uttered by Mukesh, a 28 year old Indian Driver.

Okay…

Confused?

Well here are a few other quotes he expressed in a documentary called India’s Daughter…

“Boy and Girl are not equal.”

“A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.”

“About 20% of girls are good.”

I think you get the idea, right?

Also let me tell you that the interview was carried out by the documentary makers at Tihar Jail in Delhi after Mukesh had been convicted of horrific acts against a woman as well as murder, and was sentenced to death by hanging.

The documentary, India’s Daughter, focused on Jyoti, a twenty three year old medical student who made the fatal mistake of going to the pictures to see ‘Life of Pi’ early evening with a platonic male friend. Here’s another Mukeshism…

“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night.”

The previous quote was perhaps his justification for what transpired in Delhi in December 2012. The tragedy the documentary is talking of is the brutal assault of Jyoti when she unwittingly boarded a bus to get home after having a well deserved break by watching a film. Little did they know the people on this private bus were drink fuelled, and at least one allegedly took something like steroids.

Instead of being taken home Jyoti and her friend were badly beaten, after which Jyoti was subjected to gang rape. She fought, but she didn’t stand a chance. Because she put up a fight she was again horrifically beaten before the two friends were both thrown off the bus without clothes, discarded like rubbish.

“When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after doing her, & only hit the boy.”

His warped justification for brutality against a woman perhaps? As if he is reasoning with the viewer. As if a brightly lit light bulb will appear over our heads and we will all exclaim “Oh! I see! You were quite right to behave as you all did then! You should have said sooner!!”

Wrong. What I would love to say to Mukesh is that if Jyoti had walked down Delhi High Street unclothed at midnight and alone he and his friends still had no right to touch her.

Somehow, Jyoti and her friend were still alive as they lay on the side of the road and a kind gentleman got them a blanket, then the help they needed. Jyoti’s injuries were so severe that doctors looking after her didn’t know how she was still alive, and that untimately she would only survive a few days.

This gang of males decided they were ‘judge, jury, and executioner’ in the life of Jyoti. She needed to be ‘taught a lesson’ and ‘shamed’ because she went out to the pictures with a friend. They expected her to submit and allow them to do what they wanted, and then never speak of it again because she felt shame. The only people that should have felt shame is the gang. Women, please know this. A woman is raped in India every twenty minutes. That’s if you look at the recorded figures. Most are unreported.

‘India’s Daughter’, which was blocked from being shown in India by a Delhi court, aired around the time of ‘International Women’s Day’. What the documentary showed me is that women have virtually no rights in India.
One of the defence lawyers (ML Sharma) for the rapists said on film…

“We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman.”

Jyoti’s parents, Asha and Badhri Singh are modern parents. They believe women have a lot to contribute and have shown this in bring up Jyoti. When they celebrated her birth twenty odd years ago they handed sweets out to the community, people in the community were puzzled.
“You are celebrating as if you had a boy?!”
“We are happy with a boy or girl!” The parents replied.

After Jyoti attack there were massive protests as women (and modern thinking men) took to the streets to stand up for women in India. Let’s hope that they continue to push until some sense is made of majority male thinking. It breaks my heart that people can think like this. In an episode of Masterchef India, which I watch (with difficulty, because the subtitles aren’t great), a woman at the audition stage told the judges her reason for entering ‘was to prove to her parents that it was good that they had a girl’.

As a country we give aid to India. They are sending rockets to the moon, while millions live in poverty and women are often treated as less than nothing. There’s more than one thing wrong about this.

I haven’t gone into minute detail about what the documentary covered. But you can watch it on Youtube if you want to see for yourself, though it is uncomfortable viewing.

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Thinking of India’s Daughter

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