Even as the government was pressing it not to show the controversial documentary on the December 16 gangrape, BBC decided to go ahead with its telecast, saying that the film had handled the issue “responsibly”.
Originally, BBC had decided to show it on March 8, coinciding with International Women’s Day. It, however, suddenly decided to advance it following the outrage in India, saying it will enable viewers to see this “incredibly powerful documentary at the earliest opportunity”.
In a statement in London, BBC said the documentary ‘Storyville-India’s Daughter’, will be telecast in the United Kingdom on BBC Four at 10 pm (GMT) on Wednesday.
“This harrowing documentary, made with the full support and cooperation of the victim’s parents, provides a revealing insight into a horrific crime that sent shock waves around the world and led to protests across India demanding changes in attitudes towards women,” it said.
The statement said the film handles the issue “responsibly” and fully complied with BBC’s editorial guidelines.
“The film handles the issue responsibly and we are confident the programme fully complies with our editorial guidelines.”
“The BBC will broadcast ‘Storyville–India’s Daughter’, in the UK on BBC Four. The documentary has the backing of a number of other public service broadcasters. However, the BBC is only responsible for transmission of the film in the UK,” the broadcaster said.
The BBC statement came on a day the Parliament witnessed outrage over the interview of gangrape convict, prompting the Modi government to promise an indepth inquiry and disallowing its telecast.
“Under no circumstances, this documentary will be allowed to be broadcast… Government has taken necessary action and secured an order restraining the telecast of the film,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament.
The documentary included an interview conducted by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin and BBC, of Mukesh Singh, the driver of the bus in which the 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally gangraped by six men on December 16, 2012. Mukesh has made derogatory statements against women, Delhi police said.
A Delhi court has restrained media from publishing, broadcasting, telecasting or uploading the interview on the internet.
On her part, Udwin appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to view the documentary, which, she said, was a “gift to India”, before any action was taken on it.
She said India has shown the lead globally in the wake of the horrific crime which had led to protests across the country. Rape was an issue of global concern which she has highlighted in the documentary, she said.