The fateful night of 16th December, 2012, a horrific event conspired on the streets of Munirka, in the South District of the national capital of India; an event that sent shock waves, breaking the stupor of a nation that was until then, more or less oblivious to the ghastly truth and the sad state of affairs of the nation with respect to women’s safety. More than that, it brought to fore a sickeningly regressive state of mind, both of a vast majority of the general public, and even some of our venerated leaders and policy makers, one that screams of archaic patriarchal mindsets in blaming the victim, partially or completely for the unspeakable act of rape and violation. The case that I am talking about, of course, is the Nirbhaya case, the bare mention of which sends shudders across my body. The event received widespread media coverage, both from Indian and International media outlets and led to widespread public outrage for the betterment of women’s rights and laws against rape in the country.
Infamously so, my city is labelled, and not completely incorrectly either, the rape capital of the world. Not India, but the world; not just the implementation of the act, but the heinous extent of it, the sheer inhumanity, is what cemented that title. Netflix’s new original, ‘Delhi Crime’, is an account of the horrific true account of that night, the public’s reaction to it, and the police procedural that accompanied it that led to the capturing of all the accused. I must admit that it was a rather harrowing watch, but the series admirably steered away from a lot that has already been documented about this widely reported about case. Saving my final verdict for the end of the article, we would now like to detail what the series is about, the ghastly true story behind it, and how or whether it succeeds in doing what it set out to do. Read on.
What is it About?
As described in the introductory paragraph, ‘Delhi Crime’, ironic enough with its two titular words being rather synonymous with each other, is partially an account of the real life rape case of a 23-year-old resident of Delhi city, and simultaneously a police procedural, one that details out what the Delhi Police went through in nabbing the criminals and bringing them to justice. Owing to the rather inherent nature of the latter, the series also takes a look at the role of the media in wrongfully sensationalizing the news, or the lack of it, that ultimately could have hindered the investigation, the public outrage, and the role of the government, both the chief minister’s office and the central government with respect to the stakes involved. While the documentation of the case itself is limited only to the first episode, the majority of the series looks at the investigation of the crime and the relentless chase of the accused over a period just short of one week from the act committed, panning out across seven episodes, each about an hour long.