Tuesday, 29 September 2015

TALIBAN BANS………DEMOCRACIES DON’T!


Why are we in a hurry to ban things at the slightest pretext? Has banning alcohol done any good to any part of our country? Bootlegging and illicit liquor industry gets a boost, black market for alcoholic beverages proliferate, cough syrups with high alcohol contents fly off the shelf and hooch tragedies occur one after the other! Instead of earning excise revenue from healthy sales practices from licensed and well located stores with a quality control in place and keeping minors off limit……..we go ahead and ban alcohol! Why? We do so because that is the easier option. It is harder to govern, it is easier to ban.

We as a society have a very short fuse for anything that irritates our sensibilities. Then whether it is a book like Satanic Verses, Understanding Islam through Hadis, The true Furqan, or a film like Andhi, Garam Hawa, Kissa Kursi Ka, Fire, Black Friday, Fifty Shades of Grey or a theatre, a painting, beef, smoking and obscene words in films or even a porn site, at the drop of a hat we go ahead and ban it. Leslee Udwin's documentary "India's Daughter" which features the mindset of the Delhi gang rape accused Mukesh Singh has been banned. Central Board of Film Certification beeped out the word “Bombay” from the lyrics of Mihir Joshi’s song from the album ‘Mumbai Blues’! What is going on?

We may, by doing so, appease a handful of extra-sensitive people, but if we are under the impression that such bans would uplift the morality of the younger generation then I am sorry to say that we are not only insulting the intelligence of the next generation but residing in an illusion world of our dreams. Stupendous success of banned books and films are a testimony to the fact that bans increase curiosity for the banned object and it has done so since the days of apple ban for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden!

By banning 900 off porn sites if the government felt that those who are sick and distorted in their mind would start respecting women and children and incidence of rape and brutality against them will nose dive and plummet down to minuscule proportions, they were residing in fool’s paradise. Better senses prevailed and they lifted the ban. Instead of bans we should make the justice delivery system swift and efficient with absolute zero tolerance towards these goons. Banning is a function of the regressive mind set of the Taliban. Democracies take pride in their freedom of speech, expression and actions.

The Germans have not banned the ultra-Nazi sites, the Americans have not banned the Klu-Klux Klan sites, instead they have encouraged thousands of sites viciously attacking the doctrines propagated by these evil sites. The moderates in their society have understood their responsibility and taken up the challenge to annihilate and dismember these wicked propaganda and doctrines piece by piece. It is for the moderates of our society to take up the propaganda challenge of the Osamas, Mulla Omars and ISIS and give a befitting reply. Why ban their sites………take the battle to their turf. We have the numbers, we will surely win. Let the Taliban ban us but let it be known to them that we are the hunters on the prowl and we will eventually have our kill.