‘But, then why was my voice silenced! If you don’t like it, don’t watch it’, echoes the many voices as they were suppressed by the so called protectors of society, culture, morals and ethics. Repression or progression, I’m not sure. Let me begin by saying that the entire concept of ‘banning’ to a large extent is draconian and makes a mockery out of the image of a democracy having a rich cultural and ethnical diversity flourishing harmoniously that our country has had for a very long time. ‘Don’t like it, ban it’ has been the trend of the recent times. From banning movies, to books, to channels, to even food items, we have done it all.
But really, our glorious motherland, that boasts to be one of the fastest growing nations, with ‘freedom of speech and expression’ as one of the most pivotal of rights that its citizens enjoy, or at least that’s what our social science text books said!, we seem to be slowly turning into a highly intolerant and sensitive society. Every other expression of creativity from paintings, to movies, to comic sketches to TV shows are provocative and a ‘little too much’ to please our delicate sensibilities. Such instances certainly do not speak of a society that is open to change, discuss varying ideas, opinions or for that matter anything. Moreover when we slap a ‘ban’ over something we knock off all possibilities. These developments in the recent times make us look like a community that is dictated by the whims of a bunch of intolerant fanatics who will go out on the street, burn posters, books, magazines cinema halls and issue ridiculous ‘diktats’ in an attempt to hammer away their opinion on others. More often than not the reasons for appealing for a ban are ignorant and the rationale behind such decisions is ‘laughable’.
‘It is against our culture’, I can hear a roaring voice seeking a ban on something. Yes, those protectors of ‘our culture’. Excuse me, ‘who are you dictating us, what India’s culture is and isn't about. Further, in my opinion, our value system, culture and morals are stronger and mightier, to be so easily offended with what’s written in a book or said in movie or expressed through a painting. There are much larger issues that we must be working towards. Also, aspects of culture, morals and value system are ever- evolving. So, what was unacceptable a few years back isn't anymore. And, the ultimate aim should be to become more evolved, aware and informed as a generation. A nation where the idea of ‘banning’ has become a banality is what is upsetting and ironical to some extent for a country that wants to strengthen the creative endeavors of its people . Anything and everything that is ‘off-beat, unconventional, potentially debatable or that questions the norms is unacceptable’, that is the message we are giving out.
The fundamental question is, at a time where everything is available on the internet; does imposing a ban still remain as effective a tool? People access it anyway, and the eagerness for accessing otherwise inaccessible matter is greater. Come on! What is that we’re are trying to conceal and protect. Most importantly, are the grounds for justification of a ban, always justifiable? Majority opinion is not always the fair and correct outlook, or is it?