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New documentary reveals rapist mindset

March 3, 2015

An Indo-British documentary about the rape of a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi in December 2012 is being aired on International Women's Day. One of the convicted rapists has revealed his mindset in the film.

Indian women protesting against sexual violence
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

The film, "India's Daughter," will be screened on television channels in India, Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Canada on March 8. The film has been produced by Britain's Leslee Udwin and Indian television journalist Dibang - who uses just one name - and directed by Udwin.

The producers released the transcripts of the film on Tuesday, the interviews having been made in 2013.

Mukesh Singh, the driver of the bus and under a death sentence as one of the rapists, is quoted in the film as saying: "A decent girl won't roam around at night. A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy...."

The incident, which took place in a Delhi bus on December 16, 2012, shocked India as well as the world, but it also managed to put attacks on women and sexual violence squarely in the focus of public attention. In India, it forced the government to introduce tougher punishments for sexual assault. The government also promised better policing and public safety for women.

The raped woman died of her internal injuries two weeks after the attack, in a Singapore hospital. She had been brutally tortured with an iron rod aswell as being gang raped. Her male companion had also been beaten before both were thrown out of the bus.

Four men, including Mukesh Singh, the driver of the bus, received the death sentence for their part in the crime, while the fifth was given three years in a correctional institute, having been a juvenile at the time of the crime. A sixth accused hanged himself in his jail cell while the trial was going on. Appeals against the death sentences are pending before the Supreme Court.

Of monsters and men

Leslee Udwin had interviewed the rapists over a period of seven days in Delhi's Tihar Jail. He would be meeting "monsters," he had thought, but what he found were "ordinary, apparently normal and certainly unremarkable men who shared a rigid and 'learnt' set of attitudes towards women," Udwin reported.

"What I learned from these encounters is the degree to which society itself is responsible for these men and their actions," Udwin said. "These rapists are not the disease, they are the symptoms. Gender inequality is the disease."

In the film, Mukesh Singh says that women should not go to discos and bars, nor should they wear "wrong clothes" or be out late at night.

The rape victim should not fight against the attackers, as the woman in the bus had done, according to Mukesh Singh.

And in case he and the other rapists are executed, it would only mean that rapists would make sure to kill their victims in the future, Singh prophesied.

Meanwhile, Indian authorities, including a spokesman for Tihar Jail, have objected to the documentary being released without their approval.

ac/rg (dpa, AP, AFP)

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