NEW DELHI: ‘India’s Daughter’, a documentary made by Leslie Udwin, an Israeli filmmaker, has stirred a hornet’s nest even before it could be released officially.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued an advisory notice against the telecast of the documentary since it carries a highly controversial interview with one of the men who had raped and murdered the young girl on a moving bus, in a crime that had led to widespread protests in Delhi and across the country. The rapist in his remarks, showed no remorse and justified the crime.

"The ministry has issued an advisory preventing the documentary from being aired keeping in mind the implications of the programme," the media quoted government sources as saying.

The opposition parties raised the issue in Parliament, asking the government to explain how the foreign filmmaker had been given access to the rapist. Who had cleared the interview, and given the permission, the opposition wanted to know in the Rajya Sabha.

Union Home Affairs Minister, Rajnath Singh said that an inquiry has been ordered on how the filmmaker was given access to the rapist.

"When I heard about the documentary I was hurt. Under no circumstances should this be telecast. So we got a restraining order from the court,” Singh said.

Women activists took the media to task, condemning the interview as giving the rapist a platform to justify his heinous crime.

"This is totally unacceptable. We have to draw an ethical boundary. I do not understand why they are doing it (airing the interview)." Ranjana Kumari, a women rights activist told reporters.

Former Additional Solicitor General of India, Indira Jaisingh, wrote a letter to one of the channels which was scheduled to air the movie. She wrote, “During the trial, police and prosecution had sought a trial in camera, so that the press could not report in proceedings in court.

The court passed an order restraining the electronic media from entering the courtroom to report. The print media were responsible in their reporting, the prosecution and the police refused to address the press during and after the trial.

It is in this context that the media is expected to play a responsible role, aiding the delivery of justice and not frustrating it.

"It also reveals how foreign journalists and filmmakers are given permission to interrogate criminals in jails which is also illegal and encourages foreigners apart from Indians to voyeurism of this kind."

In the Rajya Sabha though there were a few voices which were against the ‘cease and desist order’ on the telecast of the film carrying the interview.

Anu Aga, a nominated member of parliament said, "I concede that there is an issue on who gave the permission and all that, but the reality is what the man spoke reflects the view of many men in India and why are we shying away from that? In glorifying India and (saying) we are perfect we are not confronting the issues that need to be confronted.”

"We have to confront the issue that men in India do not respect women and anytime there is a rape, blame is put on the woman that she was indecently dressed, she provoked the men," she added.

Mukesh Singh, one of the rapists, who was 26 at the time of the incident, said in the interview given to Udwin that, “a girl is far more responsible than a boy for rape.”

He said what aggravated him was the constant fighting back of the girl during the rape.

“The girl shouldn’t have fought back; we would’ve let her go after doing her,” he said.

Udwin has defended her interviewing the inmate since then, saying that she had taken required permissions from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

NDTV 24X7, one of the channels which were scheduled to air the interview on March 8, had posted a clarification on the issue of legality of the permission given for the interview. It said, “The director has obtained all legal clearances needed from the authorities (please scroll below for copies of clearances that were granted).”

The Citizen could not find any documents with the website of the news channel carrying a “document deleted by owner” sign instead.