Leslee Udwin seeks Modi's intervention

Leslee Udwin seeks Modi's intervention

Saddened by the ban on her documentary film being aired by television channels in India, British filmmaker Leslee Udwin urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and stop the “unceremonious silencing” of her film titled, “India's Daughter.”

“I urge Modi to deal with this unceremonious silencing of the film,” she stated in a write up posted on NDTV, which was set to air the documentary film, featuring a Delhi gang-rape convict, along with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on March 8, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Seeking to reach out to those opposing her documentary, she also urged them to first watch the film and then make a judgement.

“Just watch the film, then discuss,” she told NDTV, in an effort to calm those leading a “rabid campaign” against her documentary film.

The film features an interview with Tihar jail convict, Mukesh Singh, the driver of the bus in which a 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally gang-raped by six men on December 16, 2012 in Delhi. The convict has made derogatory statements against women and shows no remorse for committing the crime, according to Delhi police, who have secured a court order against airing of the documentary or uploading it on the Internet.

The BBC has decided to air the film despite Indian government banning it in the wake of a massive protest by various sections of the society, including parliamentarians cutting across party lines.

“I am deeply saddened by today's attempts to silence the film 'India's Daughter' and to derail an impassioned plea for gender equality. This is a documentary I left my young children and the comfort of my home for, to spend two years dedicated to a crucial cause in the public interest of women, not just in India but worldwide,” Udwin said.

India should be embracing the film, not blocking it with a “knee jerk hysteria”, without even seeing it, she said.

“This was an opportunity for India to continue to show the world how much has changed since this heinous crime; sadly, the FIR and the banning of the film will see India isolated in the eyes of the world. It's a counter productive move. Whoever is behind this - please see the film and then come to a conclusion,” she said.

She also took exception to the lodging of an FIR by police, describing it flouting of a basic right to freedom of speech in India, which is a democracy with “civilised law”.

“I came here out of love for India, and because India had led the world by example in the unprecedented protests of its courageous men and women who came out on the streets to fight for my rights as a woman,” she said, seeking to dispel the notion that she produced the documentary with any malafide intention.

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