Viacom18 to air documentary on aftermath of Nirbhaya incident

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) Indian entertainment network Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd, which has backed powerful female protagonists across its films and TV shows, is now lending its platform to National Award-winning documentary “Daughters of Mother India” that explores the aftermath of the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape incident.

The announcement comes on the eve of the third anniversary of the gruesome incident.

The documentary will be aired across the Viacom 18 network on December 27 to mark the death anniversary of Nirbhaya, an alias used for the 23-year-old girl, who was beaten and gang raped in a private bus in which she was travelling with a male friend. She later died in a Singapore hospital where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.

The incident brought the masses across the country together to raise their voice against such crimes. It is this spirit of the nation that director Vibha Bakshi has encapsulated in her 45-minute documentary, which shows how the incident affected the collective psyche of India.

The idea to showcase the documentary on television — one of the most far-reaching mass media in the country — was driven by the desire of recognising media as a powerful tool for propagating social behavioural change, said Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18.

“If you look at ‘Daughters Of Mother India’, it’s an objective and thought provoking rendition on Nirbhaya. And as media companies, I feel that it is our responsibility to convey these messages in a contemporary fashion to the audience,” Vats told IANS.

Vats pointed out at how Viacom18 has in the past been associated with “content, films specifically, which are women-oriented, or which have spoken of women empowerment”.

“Whether it was ‘Kahaani’, ‘Mary Kom’, ‘Queen’ or ‘Margarita With A Straw’… Therefore, being able to give voice to the contemporary Indian woman, her expression, her empowerment, it’s partly in our DNA, and it’s also something that we are proud of. Subjects that are relevant to the society need to be brought out by networks,” he said.

“Daughters of Mother India”, which has been showcased at national and international galas, as well as in schools, will be shown in seven languages on the Viacom18 network.

Bakshi couldn’t be happier.

She believes that the media plays an important role in shaping minds and mindsets, and so such platforms must be used in bringing mass awareness for critical issues pertaining to women empowerment, gender violence and actions needed.

“It’s a bold step to adopt a documentary and dedicate air time for such an important issue of awareness. It is truly commendable and indeed a benchmark for the industry to follow,” Bakshi said.

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