It is Nirbhaya revisited and of an absolute bizarre kind. In an interview given to a British documentary maker, one of the convicts who raped and brutally murdered the hapless girl on the night of December 16, 2012, Mukesh Singh, instead of being remorseful for his barbaric act, says it was the girl's fault. She should not have resisted and fought back when she was being raped. That way, she would not have been killed.
And if this does not shock the civil society, the defense lawyers reasoning and justification surely would. In a chat with this paper, advocate ML Sharma, one of the defense lawyers, says, shockingly: "If you keep sweets on the street then dogs will come and eat them. Why did Nirbhaya's parents send her with anyone that late at night? He was not her boyfriend. Is it not the parents' responsibility to keep an eye on where she goes and with whom?" Wow!
And he didn't stop there, adding: "Yes, I said that Indian culture is the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman." He has also apparently been interviewed for the documentary and stands by all that he said in it.
While one may argue that it is good that this interview with the convicts and lawyers was done and that it shows the pervert mentality of rapists that despite being such a massive hue and cry and international outrage, the perpetrators are unfazed and also that ultimately, it only mirrors the society we live in, it is still difficult to justify the attempt the air this documentary with its bizarre claims.
Before I go ahead, let me share what someone shared with me on my Facebook page about the director of the controversial documentary, Leslee Udwin. The person writes: "I met Leslee Udwin few days back and have seen bits of her film India's Daughter too. I don't think her intention was to "glorify" the man or give him a platform to voice his opinion. She just gleaned some insights on in her own words "why men rape"? But I guess her whole point got dissolved by media's urge to come up with eyeball-grabbing headlines."
Perhaps, but one question still remains. Should the perpetrators be given a platform to justify and explain such obnoxious, brutal, heinous act? Whatever be the reason provided by the intellectuals, I don't think so. And mind you, this still does not take away from the reasoning that there is a mindset that exists and that is dangerous and until that changes, things won't get any better, law or not.
Another question that needs an answer is: How was the person even allowed to interview rape and murder convicts, those who were sentenced to death by a court, a sentence that was later upheld by the Delhi High Court? Who gave the permission? (According to Times Now and the letter they have accessed, the permission to interview Nirbhaya rape convicts was granted by the home ministry when Sushil Kumar Shinde was the home minister ) Rajnath Singh, the Union home minister has said that the permission given to the documentary maker was conditional and that the conditions were violated. Sure, but if such a permission was indeed granted, why wasn't there anyone around to ensure the conditions were not violated?
As the arguments in the case and whether the telecast of the interview should be allowed or not continue, what is clear is that there cannot be a single conclusive argument. While all feel the rape and murder were beyond shocking, there is a clear divide whether the interview should be allowed to be aired or not.
My personal view is that only a psychologist has the qualification to enter the mind of a rapist to understand why they do what they do, more so if the person accused is a psychopath, as this guy surely seems to be. Giving him a media forum is the worst one can do to a society. I would not give them a platform to propagate those views. Never!
If you too wish to have your say on the issue, please tweet with #NirbhayInsulted and tag @timesofindia or go to the The Times of India Facebook page here: https://www.facebook. com/TimesofIndia.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.