After watching the now-controversial BBC short-film India’s Daughter, if there are people viewers hate equally as the rapist – perhaps even more – it’s the two lawyers who defended the heinous crime by blaming the woman for the sexual assault.
ML Sharma and AK Singh are the defense lawyers for the four of the six men on death row for brutally gang raping and fatally injuring a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus in Delhi on Dec. 16, 2012.
In the documentary, the two legal representatives make derogatory comments about women and even blame the deceased victim for the rape.
"In our culture, there is no place for women," says Sharma at one point in the film after implying if a girl leaves her home at night, she is in fact asking to be raped.
AK Singh reiterates Sharma’s opinion, going as far as saying that he would pour petrol over his own daughter and burn her at his farmhouse if she were to behave "improperly."
After listening to the lawyers’ offensive comments in India’s Daughter, viewers have expressed their outrage, many even asking for their immediate termination.
More than the rapist criminal, I am appalled at the lawyers defending his case.Need to expose this sick mentality #NirbhayaFilmBlocked— Preeti Mishra (@ppm4) March 6, 2015
@bhupendrachaube totally. I found the lawyers scarier than the rapist.— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) March 6, 2015
We shd hang d rapist's lawyers along with d rapists!— Sunil Alagh (@sunilalagh) March 3, 2015
Following the backlash against the two lawyers, Senior Supreme Court advocate KTS Tulsi demanded that their licenses be suspended, according to NDTV.
"[It] shows complete absence of any concern for society. There can't be any justification. A person with this kind of mindset is still a lawyer. It is much more than a crime. The bar council must take cognizance," he said.
They may face action from the Delhi Bar Council and the Bar Council of India.
India’s Daughter, made by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, sparked fierce debate in India because it features an interview with Mukesh Singh, one of the six rapists.
Singh blamed the victim for the brutal attack, saying, "A decent girl won't roam around at nine o'clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy." He said the victim should have silently accepted being raped.
Soon after his interview was released on March 3 as part of an advance publicity campaign by BBC, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh banned the documentary in the country, arguing the Indian government would “not allow any organization to leverage such an incident and use it for commercial purpose.”
Although the restraining order issued by Singh also prohibits websites from uploading or posting, the documentary was uploaded on YouTube as well as aired on March 4 on BBC Four in the U.K. instead of March 8.
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Despite massive outrage over the ban on India’s Daughter, the Indian government remained obstinate as it served a legal notice on BBC and also asked video sharing website YouTube to remove the documentary from its pages.