Leslee Udwin, director of under fire documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ has retaliated against, what she calls, Times NOW’s “hate campaign” opposing the documentary. In response to emailed queries by Times Now’s News Editor Hector Kenneth, asking, among other things, if the convicted rapist interviewed in the documentary, had been paid for appearing in it, Udwin wrote a strongly worded response expressing her views. She also alleged that no Times Now journalist, prior to Kenneth, had gotten in touch with her for her views.
A part of the letter, a copy of which is available with us, has been reproduced below.
I am glad you have reached out to me for comment, this is what professional journalists should always do as you know and sadly that professionalism has been sorely lacking from Times Now to-date. I have been particularly dismayed to see the hate campaign waged by the channel against a public interest documentary without even having seen it. I have struggled long and hard to understand where this regrettable impulse is coming from and I can only assume that it must be born of professional rivalry with NDTV and perhaps jealousy. I would venture to suggest to the Times Group that they should be emulating NDTV and its upstanding and outstanding journalistic excellence and heroic values which care more about improving society and conditions of the world's women, than some petty expression of competitive rivalry.
Please feel free to quote any of the above.
Now, to answer your questions. And I repeat, I DO genuinely appreciate you being the FIRST EVER Times Now journalist who has taken the trouble to ask me for comment. In fact I recommend you take over the leadership of the Channel!”
The letter then continues addressing the various queries with Udwin categorically denying that any payments were made to the convict for appearing in the documentary. On March 3, Times Now started a debate on whether TV channels airing the documentary were allowing the rapist to justify his crime. The channel also started hash tag #NirbhayInsulted.