On a special episode of the NDTV Dialogues, we look at the film ‘India’s Daughter’, based on an event which shook India, and changed laws. But how much has it actually changed? Has it changed mindsets? Leslee Udwin, the filmmaker who made this documentary, is very keen that this be shown in India first. She said that this is a film that must be seen by all Indians. We are joined by Leslee Udwin, former IPS officer and BJP leader Kiran Bedi, Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Member of the Censor Board and Spokesperson of BJP, Pinky Anand, India’s Additional Solicitor General, Dushyant Dave, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and Nirbhaya’s parents.
Here is the full transcript:
NDTV: Hello and thank you for joining us on this special episode of NDTV Dialogues. An episode where we look at the film ‘India’s Daughter’, based on a event which shook India, changed the law. But how much has it actually changed? What has it changed of mindsets? Leslee Udwin, the filmmaker who made this documentary is very keen that this be shown in India first. She said that this is a film that must be seen by all Indians. Why does she think that? Why did she interview the man who is seen by many as the face of evil, a convicted rapist, Mukesh? Let’s just look at an excerpt of that.
The face of evil, this is the first time that this man has been seen. Joining me on this episode is Leslee Udwin, the filmmaker of ‘India’s Daughter’. She has devoted two years of her life to make this documentary. I’m also joined by Kiran Bedi, former IPS Officer, former Delhi Chief Ministerial candidate and somebody who has devoted her life now to working on women’s issues; also with me, Pinky Anand, she’s Additional Solicitor General of India, again somebody who has worked extensively in the field of women’s issues; Vani Tripathi Tikoo, she’s a member of the Censor Board and also again a theater activist who has dealt extensively with women who have been victims of sexual assault.
Leslee Udwin, it’s difficult to actually watch that. It must have been extremely difficult for you to interview this man. Why did you think this was important for the documentary because many people have written in to us, saying that is this a bid to get TRPs, are you sensationalising it by giving the rapist’s point of view, that there are no two sides to the story.
Leslee Udwin: First let me tell you that my integrity and objectives are absolutely honest and inclusive only of one thing, putting an end to gender inequality. That is all I care about. Now what brought me to India was respect, admiration and being inspired by those extraordinary protesters, the ordinary men and women of India, who went out on the streets, who led the world by example, because I, I myself have been raped. And I say this, it’s very important that I say this because there is no shame that should adhere to me as a result of that, the shame is the rapists. What I’ve discovered on my journey, and if I hadn’t met with these rapists, I wouldn’t have come to the answer I’ve come to, the deep insight I’ve gained, which is that the disease is not the rapist, the disease is the society and we, as a part of that society, must take responsibility for encouraging men to see women as of no value. You asked me why did I have to meet with the rapists? Because I knew to get a meaningful answer to my question, why do men rape; why does violent rape happen, I had to go to the source. I had to hear it from them. I had to sit and ask them a hundred questions about who the significant women in their lives were, what they think of women, how should a good woman behave, what makes a bad woman. I needed to understand the mentality otherwise I would have made a superficial documentary.
NDTV: I’m sorry. I had absolutely no idea that you had also been a victim of rape. But when he describes it, when you are to listen to that man going through it and that again what many people have asked and written in saying, how insensitive for the parents. Why should anyone have to listen to this and we’ve actually said that children shouldn’t watch this, this shouldn’t be shown to anyone below 18. But you’re planning that this film will actually launch a whole ‘India’s Daughter’ initiative, you’re going to have it’s worldwide release where you want people to face up to this.
Leslee Udwin: One hundred percent. Because here’s the thing, I’ve interviewed rapists, not just the Nirbhaya rapists but others in Tihar Jail. I interviewed a man who raped a five year old girl and I have a daughter. Okay. And why we must face this is because during these thirty-one hours, the attitude that I understood and perceived in these men is, what’s the big deal? Everyone’s doing it. Why are they looking at us? Isn’t that important for the public to know? Isn’t it important for the public to know that these men have zero remorse? Why do they feel it’s acceptable, because our society makes it acceptable; because when a girl is born, sweets aren’t distributed at her birth; they are distributed at the birth of a boy. A boy is given a full glass of milk. A girl is given half a glass of milk. This is where the problem lies. You tell men that women are of no value. Of course they are going to do what they want with her. Why not?
NDTV: Kiran Bedi, as somebody of course who headed Tihar Jail, some of the most chilling bits of what Mukesh actually said, the lack of remorse, he looks absolutely like he’s just describing just a normal day when he talks about the incident. He talks about the fact that ‘ek haath se tali nehi baajti hein’, he asks why the girl was out. These are things that we hear not just from rapists but I think Leslee is right, you hear it from politicians, you hear it from men in situations of power, you hear it from women also who are in positions of power. You hear it all the time around you. It’s a mindset. Do you think this rapist should have been interviewed? What did you feel when you watched him just now?
Kiran Bedi: I would like to see every rapist, once convicted, to be interviewed. I would like to endorse this completely. Do you remember as a Chief Ministerial candidate I used to say we need a hub and we need to know the cause of the crime, do you remember that? That was the reason. Unless you know the cause of the crime, how will you correct it? How will you prevent it? How will you address it? How will you re-educate it? How will you change the mindset? I used to say that. At that time you were not picking up on what I was saying. Having been a police officer and a strong believer in prevention, how do you prevent if you don’t know the real reason for the disease? And this is just not available. We have no records. We have no documentation. We’ve not enough research and we don’t make it public. Why is a particular person committing repeated crime? And why is he committing a rape in this case? This should be the norm, where this should be taught. And this should be known at least to educationists; to teachers, to parents; parents, teachers, pradhans of villages, the leadership. Why is this continuing to happen? How will you correct a mindset if you do not know what is causing that mindset? The WHO studies are repeatedly showing forty percent of every one third woman is a victim of domestic violence. Why is she a victim of domestic violence? And these are under reported, so I would say I would totally endorse it. I used to say it. You people never understood what I was saying. We need to analyse every rape case sociologically; sociologically before you handle it criminalogically and then by justice. So I think we do not have these answers. We must encourage this kind of research and this documentation if we want mindsets to change. Otherwise, this is the mindset of forty percent of our men, that’s what research is saying, not me. They think a woman is a harmless domestic animal. Harmless domestic animal, public space is not hers, they believe they have rights and privileges, which, if the woman comes in public space is questioning the privilege, is questioning their space.
NDTV: Pinky the same question in the sense, but also just to add because again when you talk about mindset, what he said, the most shocking bit perhaps, is when he talks about death penalty. When he says that this death penalty, of course he is fighting his conviction of where he is facing death penalty, he fights it and he says, don’t give the death penalty because you are going to encourage more murders actually. Because earlier we used to rape and leave it because the girl would never tell. Now we’ll murder because we don’t want to leave any witnesses. It’s chilling what he says. But one thing is absolutely true, that we see the reporting of rape cases gone up so much, the reporting of violent rapes. You saw the recent incident in Haryana where that young Nepalese woman was again brutally gang raped. Why do you think the change is happening? Why do you think the law may not have helped in the way it was meant to?
Pinky Anand: Well you know law is only one of the means to an end. That is at the tail end of the situation. The crime has happened. You are actually punishing somebody for what they have done. You ultimately have to go to change the mindset. As you know we’ve been talking and Leslee has been trying to address this issue, Kiran was talking about the sociological impacts. This is a disease, which is prevalent in the society. This is going on, this is not a normal crime. This crime actually is a world apart. It outrages the modesty of the nation. It outrages the modesty of an entire gender situation where in fact I’m so happy
NDTV: I’m sure modesty, because the word modesty itself….
Pinky Anand: You are right. I meant myself there and you are absolutely right because this is what leads to a conclusion, as if something has happened to a woman for which she should be ashamed. And I’m so happy to hear Leslee say the fact that she wants to come out in the open with her situation because she’s done nothing. Somebody else has committed a crime. You don’t even know whether you should call somebody a victim, somebody who has suffered the complete molestation aspect by a person who’s obviously so depraved and the amazing part is, I don’t know, this shows what a sick mind lies behind people. They want to do something simply to demean, to malign, to make somebody sick of themselves. I don’t know what kind of depravity.
NDTV: No, he says if you hadn’t fought back this would not have happened.
Leslee Udwin: But he also said, we did this to teach her a lesson because she was out on the streets after 6 at night.
Pinky Anand: Leslee don’t do that. This is an amazing statement to make.
NDTV: These are the excuses you’re saying? He’s just coming up with excuses
Pinky Anand: This is just trying to defend himself because you know you want to portray as if women should be inside the house, they should be not seen, they should be not heard, they should just stay as domestic chattels of kinds and public spaces, as Kiran was rightly saying, is ours and if you come out there, but this is no defence, he also knows it obviously.
Leslee Udwin: No but it is not a defence. The chilling thing is that’s what makes people think in the society
Kiran Bedi: Sonia can I add something?
Kiran Bedi: If you closely watch animals, I’m a bird-watcher. I’ve seen a male bird exactly doing to a female bird what this man did. I’ve seen this happen. It’s an animal instinct. I feed pigeons outside my home. I’ve seen every time a male pigeon following a female pigeon only for biological reason and he edges around. I analysed it. It’s an animal instinct. What is being altered today is an animal instinct mindset. That is by civilised behaviour, by education, by better nurturance. Nature is one thing nurturance is the other thing. You leave this man to nature, I guess this guy, so here is a segment of the society, which is still continuing with this nature. There is a conflict of nature and nurturance. This man never went through nurturance.
NDTV: I want to bring in Dushyant Dave who also joins us from Ahmedabad. Dushyant of course noted lawyer and head of the Supreme Court Bar Association, because this is not something that should be discussed by only women. It’s a problem, which faces India, which faces humanity. So Dushyant Dave, what you heard and also of course the whole controversy has now acquired immense proportion saying that the rapist is remorseless, he’s trying to blame the girl. The fact that I pointed out just a little bit earlier is that this mindset is not only by the rapists but it’s a mindset which we hear endorsed by the people in positions of authority, people who actually make laws. Where do you think the key problem lies? With this rapist actually speaking out like this, this film is going to be used to educate the people, lawmakers, enforcers, even the young people on what must change? What do you think it actually illustrates?
Dushyant Dave: Every criminal will try to find some excuse, some justification to his crime. We are dealing with crimes against women and they need to be handled with tremendous amount of sensitivity. I do not think that this theory of motive or for that matter grave and sudden provocation which is really been talked about in an indirect sense has any place, in so far as crimes against women are concerned. Rape is a very serious offence and I don’t think any amount of explanation or justification by an accused should really be taken into account. I mean I am not suggesting for a moment that media doesn’t have liberty to do what it wants to do. But I strongly believe that it would be really unfortunate if this debate were to be carried forward so as to bring about some amount of justification in the minds of all these kind of people who are constantly assaulting women. I think this debate must be killed in the bud and we must be very clear about the fact that a rapist, irrespective of what really led him into the rape, whether factors outside his control or not, he must be held to be guilty and there is not justification for this kind of a debate to my mind
NDTV: No, I agree. And I think Mr Dave that it actually is completely opposite of what we’re trying to say. There is no attempt at justification at all but perhaps Leslee should answer that. Because that is the view many are echoing. Go ahead Leslee.
Leslee Udwin: First of all let me say that as soon as you see this film, you will understand that there is no justification whatsoever of the rapists. The opposite is true. You’ve just heard me talk, you’ve heard me, you’ve heard the reason why I made this film, the campaign that is going to follow this film and I tell you when you watch the film Sir, you will be more shocked, and your attention will go to what the defence lawyers have said in this documentary, much more than the lack of remorse and the pathetic self justification of the rapists. Nobody takes seriously the justification of rape and I am talking to you as a woman who has been raped. Nobody takes seriously the self-justification of a rapist based on the most pathetic reason that a woman shouldn’t go and see Life of Pi, in a mall, with her friend. So please, don’t get exercised about it Sir. Nobody hears that justification and thinks, oh my God, maybe rape is just a fight. Please see the film Sir, I urge you. You will be amazed at the results this film is going to get in terms of change in society it has already begun an education initiative across Maharashtra to use this film as a tool for change, to educate young minds about gender respect and gender sensitivity and I’m sure Sir you will applaud the film when you see it.
NDTV: Vani I want to bring you in on that one, in your new role, you are now a member of the Film Certification Board. Is this something, because Leslee just pointed out, it’s going to be used as a part pf education mission, is this something that the new avatar Censor Board, which doesn’t allow words which are used by politicians even, or to go into the movie, I know that list has been taken back, but this new kind of puritan Censor Board which actually goes against the very point that filmmakers like Leslee are trying to make, that sometimes you need to put it out there for people to actually learn how to do the, to educate themselves in what needs to change?
Vani Tripathi Tikoo: Sonia, to begin with, I’d say that, you know, me being a part of the Censor Board, of course I speak for everybody sitting here, but its got nothing to do with the sense of definition which is sought of being attributed to the new Censor Board. You will be surprised at what we will be doing very soon. But of course policy making is a sort of a evolutionary process, as languages evolved, so has cinema. We will need to put in that context. Coming to what we are talking about here, let me say that the vertex of the problem is sociological, but it’s also a failure on the part of us, and us means all of us, means the men and women of the country. The vertex of the problem is that basically we have not ascribed ourselves to leveraging positions of women socially, and that is what is playing out as a story today. Each time you talk about a mindset you also talk about certain, you know, the whole journey which has been taken, you know, in terms of society, and in terms of a country, what our attitude towards women is, as far as advocacy is concerned. I think the context is very important before we start shunning, you know, ideas of doing awareness campaigns. As you say India’s Daughter will be the campaign preceding this film, and Leslee, congratulations to you for that. We must also look into the context in which the film is being shot, and what it actually attempts to say. Does it attempt to say that there is no remorse on part of the rapist? Or does it look at the very psychology of the man who’s committed that crime? And I think that would be the basic paradigm for creating awareness as far as crime against women in this country is concerned. And I think advocacy has to go further than just taking a film, for example, across countries to schools. It also has to have an interactive approach. What women, young girls feel, when they see or hear about an act of crime against them. And rape is you know just not a phenomena which is prevalent in one part of the country, the condition of the whole subcontinent, you will feel, each day women are coerced, they are abused, and we only you know, stop short of criticising it, one step forward. So I am absolutely for it. If this, the advocacy campaign, it should go to every nook and corner of the country, also there has to be a debate a dialogue, with the men, because at the end, policy making is so much about them, as much as it is about the women of the country.
NDTV: You are a theater activist Vani. You’ve worked with people who have been sexually assaulted. When you see the normalcy, which with the man talked. What was your reaction, as a young woman, when you watched him? Some have described him as the face of evil. When you watched him how he described it so normally, the way he justifies himself, how do you find that people who have been sexually assaulted have to face men people in court, they have to hear them describe it, they have to hear themself being blamed. In this case Nirbhaya wasn’t lucky enough to survive, but her parents had to hear this. How do you think that actually plays out, when you hear them going about life as normal, in a sense of course Mukesh is in jail, but talking about it so normally?
Vani Tripathi Tikoo: Sonia, its so heinous. I remember 10 years ago while I still used to work with National School of Drama, gone and done a whole story you know, a dramatic story on what molestation is, and I remember a father walking up to me who had raped his 14-year-old daughter saying, mera hi toh lagaya hua ped hai, iske phal mai nahi chakhunga toh kaun chakhega. So of course I am all revolted in my head when I see this man talk with such immense normalcy, as to what he’s done. But the point is are we are just looking at the remorse quotient here or do we have to go further and each time a trial happens, should we look deeper into that mindset? Also the whole question of the Juvenile Act system, are you dealing with an under-18 juvenile or are you dealing with an adult who created you know such a heinous crime, which has led to something like this?
NDTV: For me in fact the most shocking thing is that these men didn’t look like monsters. They looked so normal. They behaved so normal. We try to make them about the society, but it’s about the people who are part of us. I am going to take a short break now after that Nirbhaya’s parents will join us. I spoke to Nirbhaya’s mother and asked her not to be a part of this programme if she didn’t want to come. I said it maybe too traumatic for you. She told me I have faced the trauma, I want to speak up, I want to speak up for my daughter and I will be on this show. She joins us after this very short break.
Nirbhaya’s Mother: The last thing she said to me, she took my hands in hers and kissed them and said, ”Sorry Mummy. I gave you so much trouble. I am sorry”. The sound of her breathing stopped. And the lines on the monitor flattened. This incident was a storm, which came and went. And what was there before it and what will come after, this is what we need to see.
NDTV: You are watching the NDTV Dialogues. We are doing a special episode on ‘India’s Daughter’, a documentary film made by Leslee Udwin, which we premiere on NDTV on the 8th of March; the focus, because the film has explored various aspects of what happened that fateful night when Nirbhaya was raped. Sadly she died a few days later. Joining us now are Nirbhaya’s parents; we asked them not to come on the show, they said they wanted to. Ashaji when I talked to you I asked that you might not want to come on the show because there are lot of aspects related to Nirbhaya’s case, but you said I want to come. Why did you say this?
Asha: See what has happened with our daughter and our daughter has lost her life in front of us. After that if anyone even use abusing language for us it doesn’t affect us anymore. If anyone says anything after watching this documentary it don’t have any effect on me. I want to go everywhere and want to raise my voice. We want justice for our daughter and the culprits should be hanged and I also want justice for thousands of parents who are feeling heat like us.
NDTV: When you see and hear news about such kinds of incidents that are happening today as well, recently it happened in Haryana and also with a woman from Nepal who came to Dellhi and is happening in every city of India, what according to you has changed after the agitation and after the new law and what hasn’t changed?
Nirbhaya’s Father: See whether the law has changed or not is only on papers.
Our judicial system is totally useless, our case is pending in the court for more than 2 years, it’s third year now. It’s around one year in the Supreme Court. Not even a single hearing is done till date and we have no idea when it will happen. If our high-flying case is dealt so lightly by the court, can we think what happens to the other cases? Once I was travelling in the bus and I heard 6 -7 people talking regarding our case and saying if such types of cases are handled so lightly one can have an idea about our judicial system. Even if the police are working fine we can’t have a solution to our problem because our judicial system is useless.
NDTV: As you said on judiciary and what is more shocking and we heard the chilling account in the first half of this programme, what is more shocking and
what I want to show you now, this is when Leslee spoke to the defence lawyer.
(EXCERPT OF LAWYERS’ BITES FROM DOCUMENTARY)
ML SHARMA: A female is just like a flower. It gives a good-looking, very softness performance, pleasant. But on the other hand, a man is just like a thorn. Strong, tough enough. That flower always needs protection. If you put that flower in a gutter, it is spoilt. If you put that flower in a temple, it will be worshipped. She should not be put on the streets just like food. The ‘lady’, on the other hand, you can say the ‘girl’ or ‘woman’, are more precious than a gem, than a diamond. It is up to you how you want to keep that diamond in your hand.
If you put your diamond on the street, certainly the dog will take it out. You can’t stop it.
You are talking about man and woman as friends. Sorry, that doesn’t have any place in our society.
A woman means I immediately put the sex in his eyes.
We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman.
That girl was with some unknown boy who took her on a date.
In our society, we never allow our girls to come out from the house after 6:30 or 7:30 or 8:30 in the evening with any unknown person.
AP SINGH: If very important, if very necessary, she should go outside. But she should go with the family members, like uncle, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, etc, etc. She should not go in night hours with her boyfriend. If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight. This is my stand. I still today stand on that reply.
NDTV: Asha ji you have seen this whole documentary what do you want to say on this?
Asha: See this is not a big thing for these people, but for us, and our society, it is a big thing, because these people want publicity. If they did not speak like this they would not get publicity. One is saying there is no place for women in our country, The other is saying if my daughter is in their place we would have burned them. These people are here because of a woman and if they don’t even respect their mother. What justice they can bring for others? They are speaking like this to get publicity, it is because of these people no one gets justice and everyday our girls are getting hurt. I support the government’s campaign “beti padhao beti bachao” and I thank the government for this campaign. At least government has taken certain steps in this direction. But the reason for this is
till the time we do not provide good environment and do not improve our judicial system, then how we will teach and save our girls? The point is if a girl goes out at 9, the same will happen repeatedly. But those who are going by cab and going to school the same is also happening with them, they are raped and it is happening with girls of small age as well. So I request our government and our judicial system to change, and our society also needs to be changed. Only then we can save our girls and act strictly against such type cases. But this is not happening. When such type of cases happen, people said law is changed but nothing is happening on the ground, even today when such cases happen nothing is done we are hearing same. People are only giving statements from their chairs. But something needs to be done, and urgent, some strict actions should be taken now to stop this.
NDTV: This is what I am saying. Rapist will get death when convicted, but these lawyers can get away by saying something. Why is it that those who publicly make statements like this are not disbarred? How is it acceptable for an officer of court to actually say that I will set my daughter on fire if she goes out at night? What is the message they are sending? Other people who have seemed influential, other people who have powers like lawyers, politicians, senior police officials how is this acceptable and what can the Bar Association do against lawyers like this?
Dushyant Dave: Well let me tell you one thing that the Bar comprises of all kind of people. There are people who are responsible and there are a large number of irresponsible people. Unfortunately it is the Bar Council of India, which alone has power to disbar them, the Bar Associations can’t really do much. We can only stop them from becoming our members, but that doesn’t stop him from practicing. Now what is really important is what Nirbhaya’s mother is saying and I think everyone of us must share the responsibility. Those who are involved in the Judicial system, my good friend Pinky Anand is also here, I must tell you and I must confess that the judicial system is similarly a failure in dealing with crimes likes this. I think the number of delays, which are taking place, is absolutely shocking and disgusting. The father rightly said nothing is happening in the Supreme Court. Now the Supreme Court has time to take cases of politicians like Jayalalithaa but doesn’t have time to take cases like this. This is what I am making a serious frontal attack on the judges, you need to change your mindset you need to change your approach; you need to change your methods, you need to change the entire legal system. When you have DNA testing available, the case shouldn’t take more than 1-2 months in a trial court, and why should it take more than 2-4 weeks in an appeal court or in the Supreme Court? So I am completely horrified that the judicial system is neither prepared nor willing to prepare to tackle such cases. See its one thing for us to say that the society has to change, the mindset has to change, that will take millions of years, but the legal system can be changed overnight. That’s where I feel the system is just not willing to do anything. I would request you to really put pressure on the judges, the Chief Justices of the High Court, the Chief Justice of India to really look into it, introspect, to find out how we will have a better system to deal with situation like this. This is really absolutely horrific and I shouldn’t be saying so, but I really hope some day that a judge would understand this pain, when he personally suffers, you know, a pain like this. Otherwise you know no one is willing to suffer, we just hear these cases and we just take it casually
NDTV: No , I think that is something, that anyone in this panel can endorse, that anyone should go through that pain ,
Vani Tripathi Tikoo: This one thing that Mr. Dave speaks about is again the insignia of the mindset we are dealing with. When you have, for example, you have these lawyers talking about this on camera, Leslee, on the film, and he’s saying that there are responsible people and there are irresponsible people, each time we spoke about police reforms we spoke about how police deal with women rakshak hi bhakshak ban jaate hain, it is the protector, you know, who is perpetrating the crime. The legal fraternity if you will you know just adjudicate responsibility with these kind of reactions, saying this is irresponsibility, this is responsible, who will take the responsibility? Who is running these courts? Who is running the legal system? At the end of the day if we not have a public outcry to this kind of, after all you are sitting in this responsible position as a protector of law, whether you are in the police or whether you are sitting in the court of the country, and if you are not having that kind of responsibility towards where you are, who will take the responsibility?
NDTV: But let me just ask you because it is just a coincidence, that all three of you are here from BJP, I chose all of you for your record as activists for women causes. But let me ask you, because we had huge controversy when you had a Haryana Chief Minister say women who wear jeans they will get raped. You had controversies when you had the senior police officers or you had the RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat make comments on the role of women. In many ways these can be talked on the mindset when you see people in power say things like that. You had Shiela Dikshit within controversy as well when she made a remark about the murder of a Headlines Today journalist. We have seen Digvijaya Singh making comments that are not acceptable about a women politician. Why is it that we don’t see that these people don’t continue in that position?
Pinky Anand: Sonia, one thing is to take an action and I am all for it, we should take action against people who hold responsible positions but act irresponsibly or act horrifically. But the bottom line is the way lawyers have talked is totally condemnable, but I am afraid in a system of society which is a democratic governance you have, for example, in this case, the lawyers, rightly or wrongly, are private individuals. They cannot be condemned for their right of speech, bad though it is. Believe me the only way we can condemn this is by societal outcry rather than by legal disciplinary step. You cannot really expect that when people say wrong things action should be taken against people who are in government position, is one part of it.
NDTV: But why the women in all parties are silent. Now Leslee go ahead you wanted to respond
Leslee Udwin: Well a number of points I want to make, I mean the first important thing I want to say is here we are debating it, we have brought the issue out in the open and we must continue debating it. I have known Asha ji and Badri ji now for an year and a half and maybe two years, and the pain I have seen, how dare they be left waiting for justice. How many years? This is the case that was the fast track case, Fast track, its three years, isn’t it? I mean this is a disgrace that they should have been left with a pain they have to live with on a daily basis. We come together on a panel discussion, we look at the issue, you know, I have spent two years with it. But for Asha and Badri this is nothing that will bring this back, so at least show them the respect, at least show them the dignity of having the case dealt with on a fast track basis, that is what you promise them. That is irresponsible.
Vani Tripathi Tikoo: Leslee, it’s not only that you have promised them, we need to deliver this for God’s sake, even such a high profile case such as Nirbhaya, we cannot have the case disposed off within a short duration, which we have promised we should be doing. In fact that is one of the major grievances, you have, the crime has happened that is one part of it, sociological reasons and other actions to be taken. But once it has happened, the whole system which demands reparation, the fact that these people actually said to the, or whatever the law so decides, but the fact that happens with a certainty with a time bound manner, efficiently is something which does act as a deterrent, that is what we really need to push up.
Leslee Udwin: But it doesn’t act as a deterrent if it takes years, so that is the point
Pinky Anand: But Leslee we are discussing it, this discourse is all about the conversations, which have happened, you know, in and around it and that is why this discourse is very important.
NDTV: I will bring in Kiran Bedi on this, the policing aspect, the political aspect, the mindset of lawyers, politicians etc. What would say ma’am, as somebody who came in as an IPS officer when women were very rare in the force, who has probably come in the ranks fighting discrimination and mindsets of the police officers when they have to deal with rape cases?
Kiran Bedi: Because they are also sitting, that’s why I will speak in Hindi. I believe three things are important, the way we are imparting the law training, how good are the law schools today, how much sensitivity are we imparting to our law students in the law training today. I usually see most of the lawyers want to go in to the corporate law so that they can get things done for themselves. They are getting prepared to ask out for what type of justice, for changing the society, are we creating law students as reformists or we are creating law business? Secondly the type of magistrate training we are giving, are we making magistrate sensitive to justice? These words won’t work here, “you talk about the proof don’t bring in your mindset”. The role of magistrate is very important. Similarly the third thing that is absent in our country is Judicial Accountability. Do we have audits of the court regarding the number of pending cases in a particular court and does it go onto public website? I have seen many judgments of the rape cases that are done in two months. One judge is delivering justice in two months and the other one in twenty years. Where is the accountability, why not retire the person responsible that you are not capable of work? So judicial accountability is needed. We have an immunity towards.. lets not talk about judicial process. If there is accountability for money, like audits, then there should be an accountability of money as well. Then the question arises who will check for the accountability of the courts? Why not introduce the Institute of Management Sciences, we are having IIMs, business schools, they can take on a project court-wise. We can allocate courts to a particular university every year for check. I tell you the day we start to audit the courts, the work will take place on a day-to-day basis, because they don’t want to fail. Let us declare, this court has failed, this court has passed, this court is number one, be it the Supreme Court, High Court or District court.
Asha ji: Some courts take ten years to deliver justice. The order of hang till death is declared, they take ten years to decide the punishment and deliver justice, but later what happens is since the culprit has been jailed for ten years so its death sentence is converted to life imprisonment. Who is responsible for this Court or victim? Why do we get punished, if you are taking ten years to deliver justice then you are responsible for it, not us. We want justice, if its a death sentence then be it. The convict is in a way challenging the society, the judiciary, one side he is saying the if I get a death sentence then that would be dangerous to women but I want to say why has he killed her. He calls the incident as an accident. He ate the intestine out of a girl and calls it an accident, he is saying if I get hanged then it will be dangerous to girls. But I can say if in this barbaric case if he is not hanged then it will burn the society, people will use the girls the plates and will throw them. I will still want to say this to our administration, government, judiciary this is it, you have said enough, it is now the time to take some solid action in the case and take it to a specific conclusion. If you say and want that there are intolerable rape cases of women, then stop it and take some specific action, everyone gives lectures nobody takes action but today a convict sitting in the jail is challenging everyone. He is challenging women that if you go out at nine then I will do the same, if he has been given the punishment within time then this would not have happened in our society and he shouldn’t have said this. There is no fear of judiciary in the heart of such people. There is no fear of law in the heart of anyone. In our country, thousands of girls are making everyday news is coming forth. The one who is making chappatis at home, everyday we are reading four cases, Can’t those sitting on chair, our government and our judiciary see that? Cases are taking place everyday but in these three years, I want to ask in which rape case even a single culprit is punished, even a single culprit is hanged.
NDTV: And Asha ji like you are saying Leslee ji has made this documentary on India’s Daughter, I want to say and I think everyone will agree, India’s father and India’s mother are both sitting here with us. We share your pain and we all want justice must be done speedily and as fairly as possible for a larger message to go. Badri ji and Asha ji thank you very much for coming for us. Leslee, Kiran Bedi, Pinky Anand and Vani Tripathi and Mr. Dushyant Dave, thank you all for joining us. Thank you.RelatedIndia’s Daughter: Required Clearances Were Taken by Documentary MakerDelhi Police Gets Restraining Order on Broadcast of Delhi Gang-Rape Convict’s InterviewIndia’s Daughter: Required Clearances Were Taken