India's Daughter maker Leslee Udwin says govt is bluffing: 'MHA knew exactly what I was trying to do'
'I made it very clear what I was trying to do. I got permission from MHA on certain conditions, all of which I adhered to. There was no subterfuge. They knew exactly what I was trying to do.
Director of the controversial documentary India's Daughter Leslee Udwin has said that any shame that has been brought on India in the aftermath of her film has been because of misguided critics of the film, and not by her.
"I am disturbed by all this. Because I set out with the best intentions and with a huge love of India to have made the documentary. It was born of my sense of gratitude to the ordinary men and women of Indian who went out on those streets day after day for a month, to fight for my rights as a woman", she said.
Udwin said that her intention had been to hold India up as an admirable example to the world. "My rights as a woman are attacked in every country of the world. So when a nation as it appeared, goes out on a limb to fight for what is right, that moved me to come and make this documentary, to hold India up as a shining example", she said."A cynic would have even called it a PR opportunity".
Udwin admitted that she had written an appeal against the banning of the film to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but admitted that she wasn't sure if he had even received it.
"I don't even know if he has got the letter. I gave a letter to a BJP leader who promised to give him the letter. I have mailed her twice after that to acknowledge that she did what she said what she would do. I haven't received a reply. Maybe she didn't mean what she said", Udwin said, without naming the BJP leader involved.
She also summarily dismissed all the threats that had been made against the film by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
"They have no legal or reasonable leg to stand on. It will be found that the prison permissions I got were and are, cast iron. All the conditions in those commissions were adhered to. Attempts to show or try to prove that permissions were unstable will come to nothing", she said.
"The very first letter I wrote to the DG of Tihar was an impassioned plea to make a documentary in the public interest that would change mind sets. If you need to know why men rape, you need to understand the mindset that does this horrendous hate filled act. You can't just go to books. I made it very clear what I was trying to do. I got permission from MHA on certain conditions, all of which I adhered to. There was no subterfuge. They knew exactly what I was trying to do."
Udwin also laughed off threats that the MHA would threaten action against BBC. "One country cannot interfere in the democratic freedom of expression of another country. Unless you can carry through on a threat, don't make it at all", she said.
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