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Ban on BBC documentary India’s Daughter: Why is it not surprising at all

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By Harshmeet Singh

The Government seems to be developing a special liking for the word ‘ban’. The latest in the series of absurd bans is the one on BBC’s documentary India’s Daughter, based on the Nirbhaya gang rape case.

Government’s argument on ban

What government has to say– Since one of the accused in the case said in an interview (which is a part of the documentary), “a girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy” and “A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. … Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes”, it would tarnish the image of India worldwide.

Banning a documentary in India to save India’s image outside India is a funny thought in itself. It reminds us when Slumdog Millionaire invited outrage from a number of patriotic Indians because they thought that the movie is showing India in the bad light by highlighting its slums, the very slums which really and home to over 50 million people!

Keeping aside the debate on what Mukesh Singh or his lawyers said or the quality of documentary itself, the decision to ban it from airing certainly doesn’t augur well for a supposedly liberal society, if we are one.

Did the Government’s decision help?

As with most cases, the ban on the documentary only enhanced the urge of masses to watch it. Notwithstanding government’s stern stand against the documentary, BBC went ahead to pre-pone the release and uploaded it online.

Considering that the filmmaker would have needed a string of official permissions to conduct the interviews at the first place, Government’s sudden decision to ban the film, after giving the required permissions, looks all the more surprising and hurried.

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Something bad happened? Ban it!

If Government’s reactions to ‘tough situations’ are seen collectively, the decision to ban ‘India’s daughter’ wouldn’t seem surprising at all. In December 2014, a 27 year old woman was raped by a cab driver in Delhi while she was returning home. Government’s action?  Ban the company’s operations!  Surprisingly, this decision came after the company showed all the authority-signed character certificates it had collected from the driver while hiring him. With theever deteriorating law and order situation, one wonders what would be the Government’s stance if it happens in a train? Ban the entire railways? We hope not!

Censor this, Censor that, Censor it all!

The list of recent farcical bans doesn’t limit itself to the Central Government only. The ban on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ despite removal of all the scenes containing nudity is another example of the authorities imposing their wisdom upon the entire society.

The independent.co.uk termed India as an ‘ultra conservative country’ following the ban on the movie. Considering that the censor board asked the makers of ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ to remove the word ‘lesbian’ from the movie, ban on Fifty Shades of Grey doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Such retrospective steps and doubts on the wisdom of society certainly don’t fall in line with the plans of making India a world force.

The recent beef ban in Maharashtra which drew some sharp reactions from all sections of the society also makes it to the list. From ‘trying to breach people’s freedom of choice’ to ‘trying to press the Hindutava agenda’, several allegations were thrown at the state Government. While some reactions could be termed as coming out of an emotional burst, the short sightedness of the bill can’t be overlooked. It highlights one of the several instances where the Government has levied its opinion over millions of people who may have held a contrasting point of view.

The Government’s decision to ban the documentary gave rise to International headlines such as ‘India bans film in which rapist blames the victim’ – Al Jazeera. It is for the Government to decide what actually brought a ‘bad name’ to the country.

  • First of all who the hell is BBC to tell us what we should ban or not. Europeans always have a superiority.
    Secondly i give you reasons y it was banned.
    Violation 1- permission was to make a documentary and show it on a social service platform and it was premiered on “BBC”.
    Violation 2- the original footage was not submitted to Indian government which is an rule BTW.
    Violation 3- India demanded a stay on the release of documentary and they disrespected Indian sentiments by still going on an releasing the documentary.
    Violation 4- Name of the Victim was released worldwide.

    moral violations.
    Rape is an global curse the why India was only covered.
    i don’t think you are aware abt the bad effects of this Rape thinking. i belong to family who earn their livelihood through tourism. Not even a single tour passes when my father or uncle don’t have to answer this rape question by Europeans.
    latest German professor statement is an true example.

    As far as bans are concerned we are still living in an environment jaha ek prisioner aisa statement de sakta hai n claim Freedom of speech. Toh pls Some bans are important in dis diversity.

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  • First of all who the hell is BBC to tell us what we should ban or not. Europeans always have a superiority.
    Secondly i give you reasons y it was banned.
    Violation 1- permission was to make a documentary and show it on a social service platform and it was premiered on “BBC”.
    Violation 2- the original footage was not submitted to Indian government which is an rule BTW.
    Violation 3- India demanded a stay on the release of documentary and they disrespected Indian sentiments by still going on an releasing the documentary.
    Violation 4- Name of the Victim was released worldwide.

    moral violations.
    Rape is an global curse the why India was only covered.
    i don’t think you are aware abt the bad effects of this Rape thinking. i belong to family who earn their livelihood through tourism. Not even a single tour passes when my father or uncle don’t have to answer this rape question by Europeans.
    latest German professor statement is an true example.

    As far as bans are concerned we are still living in an environment jaha ek prisioner aisa statement de sakta hai n claim Freedom of speech. Toh pls Some bans are important in dis diversity.

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India to Issue Chip-based e-passports, Says PM Narendra Modi

Organised by the External Affairs Ministry and the Uttar Pradesh government, the Indian diaspora conclave this year has over 5,000 delegates registered

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India n Passport
The government's endeavour was to see to it that Indians were happy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said work is on to issue chip-based e-passports to Indian citizens under a centralized passport system.

“Our embassies and consulates are being connected to the Passport Seva Project worldwide,” he said addressing the inaugural ceremony of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2019 here.

“This will prepare a centralized system connected to the passport service for all of you,” he added. “Going one step ahead, work is on for issuing of the chip-based e-passport.”

Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

He also said that work was on to simplify the process of issuing visas to PIO (Person of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards.

The government’s endeavour was to see to it that Indians were happy and safe wherever they live abroad, he said.

“In the last four-and-a-half years, more than two lakh Indians stranded in crisis situations abroad have been helped by the government and its efforts,” he said.

census

Modi’s Mauritius counterpart Pravind Jugnauth, the chief guest at the event, commended India’s efforts in reaching out to the diaspora.

Also Read- Decimated by Xiaomi-led Tsunami, Indian Smartphone Makers Toil to Survive

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomed the gathering.

Organised by the External Affairs Ministry and the Uttar Pradesh government, the Indian diaspora conclave this year has over 5,000 delegates registered. (IANS)