Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, has made his first public comments on his government’s decision to ban India’s Daughter, Leslee Udwin’s explosive documentary about the 2012 gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus. The crime triggered national and worldwide outrage. Modi explained the reasoning behind the move to censor the film and prevent it from airing on NDTV and the removal of the film from YouTube insisting that it wasn’t even a free speech issue. He said it was a three-pronged issue. “One aspect is that the identity of the rape victim should not be revealed which would’ve happened in this interview was allowed to be telecast,” Modi told TIME in an exclusive interview. “Two, the case is the sub judice and the telecast which features the interview of the person who is alleged to have committed the crime could have impacted the judicial process,” he continued. “Three, it is also our responsibility to ensure protection of the victim. If we had allowed such a thing to happen, in effect, we would have violated the dignity of the victim.” Leslee Udwin discussed the film and its impact at the Women in the World Summit last month.
Read the full interview with Modi at TIME.