Mixed reactions to BBC move to air gang-rape convict interview
The decision by BBC to broadcast the controversial interview of one of the December 16, 2012, gang-rape convicts despite the restraining order against its screening has evoked mixed reactions among political parties.
New Delhi: The decision by BBC to broadcast the controversial interview of one of the December 16, 2012, gang-rape convicts despite the restraining order against its screening has evoked mixed reactions among political parties.
While BJP has been critical of the UK national broadcaster's decision to go ahead with the telecast of the interview shot inside Tihar jail here, Congress said it supported BBC's move and was shocked by the ban imposed on it by the government in the country.
"I think BBC, by choosing to advance telecast this film, has lost its moral (standing) and credibility in the country. The government has already decided to initiate legal action against people who have violated the rules and norms.
"Appropriate legal action will follow. The government will take all necessary measures to ensure that this film doesn't get telecast further," said BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao.
Further, criticising the broadcast of the banned interview, which was shot by filmmaker Leslee Udwin and BBC, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said, "Somewhere this is an attempt to dent the image of India."
However, senior Congress leader Priya Dutt supported the broadcast of the interview, saying the documentary did not defend, but exposed the mindset of the rapist.
"I am very shocked at the decision to ban the video. Rapes happen every single day and this has to be exposed. The documentary didn't defend the rape, it in fact showed the mindset of the rapist. The rapist has not been given a platform.
"I feel terrible for the parents (of the gangrape victim) who are going through trial once again. Justice delayed is justice denied. This is the story which needs to be told," Dutt said.
Demanding that the convicts in the Dec. 16 gangrape case
be hanged, Janta Dal (United) leader Ali Anwar, said, "The important thing is why the government is not hanging him. Many people were given out of turn punishment. I asked (Home Minister) Rajnath Singh, why convicts of this case were not hanged quickly, but he has not replied."
The entire controversy involving the telecast of the interview by BBC has also raised an online debate on the social media where, too, there were mixed reactions to the ban.
After the interview was uploaded on to the internet #IndiasDaughter and #NirbhayaInsulted started trending on the micro-blogging website twitter.Com.
Many users and celebrities came out in support of the video being aired, including actor Ranvir Shorey, who demanded that the ban on broadcast be lifted.
"Dear @HMOIndia, don't make the same mistakes as the UPA govt. Repeal the ban on #IndiasDaughter and implement the Verma committee report," he tweeted.
Similarly, writer Chetan Bhagat spoke in favour of the documentary and asked everybody to watch it.
"Forget ban, #IndiasDaughter is must watch. Anyone who watches will understand devastation caused by regressive attitudes. Face it. Fix it," Bhagat wrote on twitter.
But a large number of people also condemned BBC's decision to film and air the video.
"Those justifying the Nirbhaya documentary should be asked whether their stand would be the same if they were the victim? #NirbhayaInsulted," wrote a twitter user.
Another user tweeted, "What is more disgusting than interviewing a rapist for a documentary is d marketing of that interview which is being done #NirbhayaInsulted.".