And therefore should be locked away.
Four Corners on Monday night showed the documentary “India’s Daughter”.
A film made by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin about the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey, in Delhi.
The document provides a poignant portrayal of Jyoh Singh Pandey, through her parents’ eyes. It also shows us a clear picture of her gang rape and murder and the public outcry and response in India.
We are shown through interviews with her parents their grief.
We witness the massive demonstrations by the public, particularly students over her rape and murder.
We witness the confronting statements by one of the perpetrators of her rape and murder, and the lawyers who defended him.
It also includes experts commentating on Indian society and the patriarchal attitudes to women.
Jyoh was a young woman, 23 years old, who had, against the odds, and at some sacrifice by her parents, just completed her medical training and was about to start her internship as a doctor.
“She had dreams”.
But she had the temerity to go to the movies with a male friend. And this is the excuse the perpetrators used for raping and murdering her.
“A girl is far more responsible for rape than a man” said one of her murderers.
Comments from the defence lawyers included:
“Women are flowers, men are thorns.”
“A woman is a diamond” …if she goes out where she’s not meant to be, then…”a dog would take it out.”
“There is no place for a woman.”
It was therefore her fault because she was a woman in a place, with a man she was not related to, where she should not have been.
This is reminiscent of the police, following rape and murder of a young woman in Australia, warning women not to go to the park.
Jyoh’s case received world-wide attention. Not because rape and murder of women is rare or unique. But because of the response to this incident.
Thousands of Indians, mostly students, took to the streets. As one of the expert observers in the film commented it was evidence of:
“Women’s generalised anger…accumulated anger…gut-wrenching pain.”
But their public demonstrations we met aggressively by the Indian authorities – with tear gas, batons and water
Such aggression was met with shock by some of the demonstrators. “As an educated, outspoken person” to be met by such aggression was shocking.
But what they were challenging was a “historic tradition of patriarchy” which was “highly threatening” to the patriarchal establishment.
And now this film has been banned in India.
Vidyut in Women Under Seige has written about this response.
All of this did lead to an inquiry by a judicial committee of senior judges which apparently made important recommendations for changes to criminal law.
It was interesting when Kerry O’Brien introduced this documentary on Four Corners. He described India’s culture as
It was almost as if he was divorcing Western culture from that of India.
But we know that the same goes on here in Australia.
31 women killed in Australia in 2015 as counted by Real for Women
Murder of indigenous women in Canada.
“A groundbreaking report released by the RCMP in early 2014, says that 1,181 aboriginal women have gone missing or been murdered in Canada in the last 30 years. While aboriginal women comprise only 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, they are three times more likely to experience violence than non-Aboriginal women. Aboriginal women also comprise 11.3 per cent of missing women and 16 per cent of female homicides in Canada.”
Karen Ingala Smith has also been counting murdered women in Britain.
She has also written a recent post when police described the murder of a woman as an “isolated incident”.
“People need to understand this is an isolated incident.”
” We need to be angry about yet another murder of one of our community. If members of any other ‘community’ than women, were being killed by members of another ‘community’, other than men, we would not be talking about isolated incidents.”
Patriarchal violence is everywhere.
Can we really expect that educating men will change these ingrained misogynistic behaviour and attitudes towards women – perhaps.
But the tragic realit for women is that as long as power and control remains in the hands of patriarchal rule – then women will continue to be oppressed – to be subjected to murder, rape, abuse, harassment and discrimination.
This is a powerful film which highlights the personal tragedy inflicted on Jyoti Singh Pandey and her family – and the horror of patriarchy misogyny embedded within all cultures, including our own.