Want to eat tenderloin in Maharashtra? Sorry, it's banned.
Never mind that beef is widely eaten by many Indian citizens, particularly those from the Northeast. Like to read Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses to see what the fuss is about? Sorry, it's banned. Living in Gujarat and want to read Great Soul by Joseph Lelyveld? Sorry, it's banned. Want to see the movie Fifty Shades of Grey? Sorry, it's banned. Wanted to see the film Fanaa in Ahmedabad? Sorry, that was also banned in Gujarat. Want to see the play Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy? Sorry, that was once banned too. Don't want Priya Pillai of Greenpeace to voice views in London? Ban her from travelling. And want to see a documentary on the Nirbhaya rape case that has become a turning point for gender justice in India – India's Daughter – sorry, that's banned from TV telecast.
We ban because we want to protect minorities, we ban because we want to protect women, we ban because we want to protect society from western culture, in fact we ban because we want to protect ourselves from ourselves.
Netas are always eager to ban, it gives them the delusion or illusion of strength. The film Kissa Kursi Ka was banned for making fun of the Emergency, certain periodicals were banned from public libraries by Trinamool Congress, CPM routinely banned material not sympathetic to the party line, Congress encouraged an 'informal' ban on Javier Moro's book The Red Sari, ABVP activists have forced a ban on A K Ramanujan's essay Three Hundred Ramayans, Rohinton Mistry's book has been banned by Shiv Sena, and of course in the list of those holding banners to banning, who can forget Dina Nath Batra and his attack on Wendy Doniger's The Hindus.
The list of cuss words to be banned by the film censor board has been withdrawn but apparently those words are being removed anyway. Anyone can call for a ban, be it a TV channel, a religious group, a feminist group, the ban band includes anyone who can shout loud enough. Ban all conversions! Ban Hindu Muslim marriages! Ban women from wearing jeans or using cellphones! Since the ban bank is growing larger every day we should rename the PM's slogan Make in India as Banned in India. Or maybe we need to tape our mouths with Ban-d-aid to stop forbidden messages from being ban-died about. When it comes to Indian democracy, it's safe to say, uska banned baj gaya.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.