Friday, October 22, 2010

Practice what you preach!!

Profundity attached to the act of banning a book is incomprehensible. I have never been a supporter of this. Once a book is published and released in public domain it stays in circulation. What purpose does this ban serve? The current issue is of removal of a book from syllabus, the Cabal is out in full force remonstrating loss of Freedom of Expression. More often than not they are guilty of transgressions on this account. We have been at the receiving end, when our comments have either been deleted, or have stayed unpublished, not because we said something outrageous or offensive, we simply did not match their pitch.


In the present case the debate is not why the book was withdrawn? The initiator is unacceptable to select few in our society. I have stated my two bits worth and leave it to each and every reader to reach their own conclusions.

“Sab ko ek annkh se dekhna” is an idiom in Hindi for the benefit of those who may not be conversant with this language; it roughly translates to equal treatment. Those who thrive on Black humor would be tempted to treat this as a call to remove an eye of all human beings. More so of liberal secular fanatics, on account of public bawling by them, on withdrawal of the book; “Such a Long Journey” by Rohinton Mistry from Mumbai University syllabus by its VC Mr. Rajan Welukar.

“This is what India’s greatest city has come to. A gawky 20-year-old history student looking for an event to accompany his impending break into politics asks the vice-chancellor (VC) of one of India’s greatest universities to withdraw an award-winning novel that’s been on the syllabus since 2007. Within 24 hours, the VC cravenly complies with the absurd demand. The young man is Aditya Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and student of Mumbai’s famed St Xavier’s College.” So begins Mr. Samar Halarnkar in Hindustan Times his article Who’s your daddy?

Mr. Vir Sanghvi has also published a blog in Hindustan time today on the same subject.Freedom of expression isn’t something we value Who Mr. Sanghvi goes on to say “without the right to offend, the right to free speech would be useless. If everybody approved of everything you said, then why would you need a constitutional guarantee of free speech? If nobody was offended, then nobody would complain.” Well would that not be just great for all of us in this world.

We are not dependent on the printed versions anymore; we have been liberated from this limiting factor. So does it really make sense to be going to town about a ban on a book? Which we can, and will access via the net, should we desperately desire to read the same.

In order to reach the crux of the matter we would have to understand, what are these people objecting about, is it that the book was withdrawn? Is it that a 20year old Thackeray is involved? Is it that the book has not been banned, so that they could throw vigorous, and prolonged tantrums in full public view?

Televisions channels have also been seized of this and have debated on this subject, results achieved are not along expected lines; Chief Minister of Maharashtra has thrown his weight on the side of the young man.

This brigade; of liberal secular fanatics who are vociferously protesting the lack of Freedom of expression are prone to selective amnesia of incidents, and individuals involved. They are guilty of employing deplorable language towards democratically elected head of a state in India. They practice most intensive censorship; anything that does not match their line of thought is summarily discarded by them. Those who are brave enough to take them on by way of Blogging or through Twitter are referred to in derogatory terms to the extent of being labeled as “Internet Hindus” without bothering to verifying if person follows Hinduism or any other religion.

Some of these votaries have exceeded all civil limits and have even threatened legal action against Blogger from other countries, who dared to criticize them. While one of their breed tweeted in the most disgusting and abhorrent manner about Lord Ram being a divine encroacher before the Ayodhaya verdict. Not a peep was heard from anyone of these self styled Knights in Shining Armour of Freedom of Expression against this dispicable act, guess it is time that one eye of theirs is closed so that, they are not accused of selectivity of the kind that they practice.

Their angst is not towards the book being dropped from the University Curriculum, it is the person who is being credited with the deed. The political outfit is not of their choice emergence of another young gun from a different stable is seen as a threat to their favourite son from their favourite political setup.

These worthies will gladly supplicate before one son. The new son on the horizon gives them the hebbie jebbies!

List of books banned in India is long, there are also instances when the Government of the day has passed laws to overturn judgments of Supreme Court of India e.g. Shah Bano, so this seems an extremely motivated and suspect exercise of shedding copious tears. Others right to Freedom of Expressions should be respected by this gang before they demand it for themselves. Let us convert into one eyed beings, if we do not have the capacity for accommodating differing views.