International Women's Day and Leslee Udwin's Documentary, 'India's Daughter'
by Elizabeth Menon

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International Women's Day and Leslee Udwin's Documentary, 'India's Daughter'

I wish a 'Very Happy International Women's Day' to all the Women and Girls out there, and a better tomorrow!

As we celebrate 'International Women's Day', women are still fighting for Justice and Equality! I just watched 'India's Daughter' and I thought Leslee Udwin has done a very good job! The comments by the rapist or the lawyers are their own words and do not reflect the views of others! But the pitiful words of the defence lawyer about women make you wonder whether this is truly the 21st century! I wish everyone would see Leslee Udwin's documentary, 'India's Daughter', as it allows the viewers to be faced with the situation! Banning it from public viewing is utterly undemocratic and it's beyond me to understand why it is banned in India! What they don't realise is that they let the Nation be in bad light in front of the whole world by banning the documentary -- they don't want to be faced with the real truth and the vulgar mindset of some of the rotten ones in our society that includes all classes of people! It is about time that the men in India change their attitude towards women -- of course the rotten ones spoil it for the rest!

I urge everyone to watch the documentary before ridiculing it! The interview with the rapist just shows his lack of remorse and his attitude towards women and his views on how the women in India should behave -- perhaps reflecting the views of at least some of the men in our society, who should have a rethink about their appalling attitude! I hope and pray that the ban is lifted and the documentary is released to the Nation on 8 March, which is the International Women's Day, failing which would bring shame over India's democracy, as this beautiful documentary was intended to show the world how India and the mindset of its people were changing to fight the gender inequality to bring on 'Gender equality and Justice'!

A situation where women and children needing protection from men should not happen in any part of the world, and least of all in India, where female deities, ‘Parvathy, Lakshmy and Saraswathy’ are worshipped as goddesses! It just shows lack of morality and self-respect, and people forget their civic sense -- civic sense also includes respect towards fellow being, irrespective of their colour, gender or creed, and the willingness to help those in need. Sadly, moral decline is rampant in our country, and it's about time that we woke up to this fact and acted on it, instead of being laid back and reacting only when tragedy strikes! In an ideal world, women should feel free to travel anywhere, any time of day or night. But we are not living in an ideal world and therefore, I feel that women and children should take more care, if at all that’s possible, especially now, when the morality is at its lowest, with the mobile phones and internet at their disposal! This is the twenty first century and women are at the forefront, holding jobs at the top levels in all walks of life, having to travel day and night and it is about time that men accept this fact and learn to treat women with respect – I am not saying this, forgetting those who do!

Women and children have to be protected by the authorities till such time when the civic sense of our people improves to respect women and children and to stop looking at women of all ages as sex objects! Children should be taught this at home and at school so that when they grow into adults they know how to respect women and children and protect them when the need arises. On this prestigious day, when we celebrate the 103rd International Women’s Day, we should be spending our time and effort to bring this change of attitude in our society, hoping for a world where Women and Children are treated with respect, and look forward to mainstreaming a gender perspective so that men and women benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated, reaching the ultimate goal of gender equality -- till then, the guilty must be punished severely, irrespective of their status in society! But there are important issues to be addressed, domestic violence, lack of sharing domestic responsibilities, Political representation for women, etc, and these have to be dealt with individually and collectively!

Leslee Udwin's Documentary:

© E Menon



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