Monday 21 September 2015

Ban The Bans

-Naba Raj Chetri.
It’s the 13th of September and by the time I end typing this, something surely has been banned. The government seems to have taken the herculean task to transport India a century back in time to maintain the so called “cultural dignity of india”, which has allowed the countries around the world to forget their differences and sit together and have a good laugh upon India.
A list of the bans imposed in India are -:

1) Documentary INDIA’s Daughter
In March this year the government of India banned the documentary “India’s daughter by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin based on the horrifying rape followed by death of the brave heart (Nirbhaya). The statement of one of the accused (Mukesh Singh)was recorded, his lack of remorse, created an outrage and eventually led to the documentary being banned.
Reasons given- The government reasoned that the required permissions were not given for screening the film, the I&B minister further went on to say that “there is contempt of court in the context of the interview as the matter was subjudice”. BBC went on as scheduled to host the show worlwide except in India, due to the controversy surrounding the ban, the documentary which was available on Youtube went viral

2) Maggi ban
In June this year Nestle’s Maggi was banned in several states across India as the Food safety and standard authority of India(FSSAI) found it unfit for consumption after an increased lead and MSG were found in its sample. Nestle had to recall all its samples in bulk, amounting to losses in hundreds of crores, the 1st time the company incurred loss in over 17 years
Recent developments-: In August 2015, the Bombay High Court lifted the nationwide ban on Maggi and ordered fresh tests on Maggi sample in 3 centers accredited to “ National Accredition Board”, the court noted that “the law of natural justice was not followed”
Surprisingly while the ban was imposed in India, the USA, Canada gave a clean chit to Maggi manufactured in India.

3) Beef Ban
This ban brought an atmosphere of sorrow, to the beef lover across Maharastra and losses to a lot of traders and restaurant owners whose permanent source of income was selling n preparing beef.
The final nail to the coffin was put when the President gave his assent to “Maharashtra  Animal preservation Bill, 1995” . Anyone found in possesion of beef could be fined Rs 10,000 as well as can be sent to jail for 5 years.
On one hand as the shiv sainikis- bjp workers celebrated with the CM’s tweet “our dream on ban of cow slaughter become a reality” , on the other side a fraction of beef loving Maharashtrian doomed over the fact that they would have to live without their favorite meat

4) NGO’s
The government of India has supposedly taken a ire against NGO’s receiving foreign fundings. Thousands of license of NGO’s has already been cancelled, the most significant one being Greenpeace.
Reason- The Home ministry reported that the NGO had published a paper “Trouble Brewing on Indian Tea”, the Ministry alleged that Greenpeace was hurting the 35lakh worker strong tea industry. Besides it was leading a campaign against industrial projects, to destabilize the economy
Recent development- The Government of India had barred an activist “Priya Pillai” from travelling aboard, however the Delhi High Court revoked the government’s decision to ban Pillai  

5) Porn
A ban that had to be removed as surprisingly as it was placed. In what was seen as a government measure to regulate the contents of the internet, porn ban came as a shocker. The ban was imposed after a petition was filed by a lawyer “Kamlesh vaswani” in the supreme court of India who argued that watching porn incites sexual violence
The supreme court directed the central government to take action, as a result 857 sites were blocked, as directed by the telecom ministry
As the news spread unity of the people to revoke porn ban reached its zenith with #pornban and #nextbanidea trending on the social media. Tweets like “Divided by religion, united by porn ban” stated emerging on social media. A united outrage broke out across the nation. People were shocked that the land of kamasutra was banning the private seeing of porn.
Aftermath- The government had to revoke the ban partially within a week adding to the confusion of the people,  the porn ban now applies ony to those sites which host child pornography

6) Films
Bollywood the film industry of india, famed globally for producing the highest amount of film annually is also famed for keeping a fraction of films out of reach from the audience. The ban on a movie is imposed by the state or central government, and also when the Central Board of film certification(CBFC) refuses a rating
The ban on films is an unwanted legacy we have carried from the British era, when films like “Bhakta Vidur” were banned for political reasons. The ban on films continued to occur at regular interval with films like “Bandit Queen”, “Fire” , “Unfreedom”, “Fifty shades of Grey” being banned.
Recent developments- The CBFC has banned 28 swear words, besides any double meaning words. Now no one is going to hear words like gandu, haramzada on screen again. The boards motive really stays questionable.

It’s in each one our nature to ban things; all of us do believe that there are things around us which needs immediate ban. Banning things has always been part of human culture dating back to 2100BC when alcohol was banned in China. However having said that in the present scenario of ever changing socioeconomic and democratic political circle, banning things only make unwelcome situations more complicated. In the present scenario the youth cannot be cowed down by moral policing. Banning leads to increase in the number of organized crime, as well as create a black market for products, bringing a burden to the legal system. As Abraham Lincoln quoted   “Prohibition goes beyond the ground of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes crime out of things that are not crimes”.

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