India's Daughter: BBC Four documentary provokes outrage on Twitter

The documentary was banned in India

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The Independent Culture

A controversial documentary telling the harrowing story of the gang rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus in 2012, has been shown earlier than planned on BBC Four tonight.

The programme was scheduled to air on Sunday to coincide with International Women's Day, but was brought forward after shocking excerpts from an interview with the bus driver - among those convicted of the woman's rape and murder - sparked outrage.

Storyville: India's Daughter documents the gang rape and murder of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh, and the subsequent unprecedented riots and protests.

The documentary also includes interviews with the two lawyers who defended the men convicted of Jyoti's rape and murder.

However, it will not be released in India, where authorities objected to the film-makers releasing it without their approval.

Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu, an Indian politician from Pradesh who called for the film to be banned.

Twitter users following the programme were quick to warn that the programme is extremely distressing, but an important piece of television which should not have been banned.

Indian news anchor Dibang, who goes by one name, worked as an executive producer on the film and said it was a tragedy that it would not be shown in India, and suggested the ban was at odds with the nation's democracy.

“It's really unfortunate that it has been banned in India. They have stopped a film that none of them have seen. That's the tragedy here - at least you should see it first, that's the sad part.”

He said: “India is a democracy, it's not a dictatorship. But it'll take some time for this to be lifted.

Others highlighted the programme's underlying theme of feminism and the treatment of women worldwide, as well as quoting Jyoti herself whose parents said she declared that "a girl can do anything".

Calling Joyti her "Indian sister", Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto has spoken of her support for the film.

Speaking as an ambassador for Plan International, who are charity partners of India's Daughter, Pinto said: "The shocking brutality of the gang-rape and murder of my Indian sister Jyoti Singh is an extreme example of the violence women and girls face globally every day. It has to stop.

"And it will stop. Through my work with Plan, I've met young girls the world over with the most amazing strength and courage. I've seen that with the right support girls can stand up to violence, assert their rights as equal human beings - in India and beyond - and bring about the change we need.

"And more importantly, I have met boys and men who will also join us in our fight for equal rights. We are only stronger when we come together as one.

"So I'm calling on girls and women, boys and men everywhere to watch this incredible film and then take action. Where you see abuse - report it. Where you witness discrimination - speak out.

"Let's make sure that Jyoti Singh's ultimate legacy is a world free from violence against women and girls."

Additional reporting by PA

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