Sex crimes have become a norm in India. Committed with impunity, even the most heinous crimes have ceased to shock due to their recurrence. Therefore, it’s strange that a documentary that exposes the mindset of remorseless rape convicts has found all the stakeholders of law and justice up in arms against the film.
Leslee Udwin interviewed Mukesh Singh, the convict on death row for the Nirbhaya rape case, and other rape convicts lodged in Tihar jail for her documentary
“India’s Daughters.” The convicts and the defense lawyers have blamed the victim for inciting the crime in the film.
Their statements have shocked the sensibility of a ‘woman-worshipping’ nation. To sidetrack the issue of laxity and delay in our law and justice delivery system, which is the real culprit behind rising crimes against women, ethical issues are being raised about interviewing a criminal on death row!
The shocking mindset of rapists has been endorsed several times in public by our respected politicians, khap leaders and even judges, repeatedly in the past. If punishing a criminal is essential, is it not equally important to understand the mind of a criminal to scrutinize the sociological aspects of the crime?
In the high-profile Nirbhaya case, that had triggered changes in the law and was put on a fast track, the parents of the victim are still waiting for justice. Such delays embolden criminals. While the judicial system comes into force only after the crime has been committed, it is important to probe the society that produces not only rapists but also such protectors of the law as the defense lawyer who claimed in the film, without a trace of qualm, that he would burn his daughter alive if found crossing the line. Should we treat sex crimes in a crime-and-punishment manner, or is it time we probed society for breeding gender inequality which allows such unbridled power play by the males that turns fatal victims of rape out of its women.