Independent Lens: India's Daughter

About This Episode


From the earliest age, Jyoti wanted to become a doctor, but her father had no hope of affording her education. She persuaded him to put what little money he had managed to save for her marriage to cover the cost of admission to medical school. To support herself, Jyoti worked night shifts at a call center, sleeping just three hours a night over the course of four years.

On an early December evening in 2012, Jyoti joined a male friend for an evening out at the movies. After the show, they caught a bus to make the trip home. On board, six men beat Jyoti’s friend and, for almost an hour as the bus circled the Delhi streets, raped and tortured Jyoti mercilessly, then dumped her on the roadside. Jyoti clung to life for two weeks, but succumbed to her extensive injuries after seven surgeries.

The details of Jyoti’s horrific rape and murder captured India’s attention, and demonstrations erupted throughout the country as women and men alike took to the streets in outrage. Through interviews with Jyoti’s family and friends, victims’ rights advocates, as well as from the assailants, their lawyers, and their families, India’s Daughter paints a complicated picture of a country struggling to embrace modernity while wrestling with the rampant effects of extreme poverty and patriarchal attitudes towards women.