Practicality Of The Government Ban

The word ‘ Ban ’ seems to be a new buzzword for the government of India. After the formation of a new government in India with a landslide victory, the public had expected massive changes in our country toward serious problems like poverty, unemployment, child Labor, black money, etc. But due to a couple of hidden forces, the whole scenario has changed, and started working on useless topics of banning everything.  

From beef to documentaries, the government is leaving no stone unturned to uphold ‘the dignity of India’. Banning is not the solution to any problem. The government should try to find solutions to resolve defects instead of banning them.  It’s also true that not all but some of the banning is reasonable due to violation of regulations. The list of banning is very long but I have shortlisted some of the important bannings in India.

Movies and BBC Documentary

It appears several porn sites are not accessible in India through various Internet Service Provider. Earlier Chief Justice of India HL Dattu had observed that banning the watching of porn at home would be “a violation of Article 21”, the right to personal liberty. After all India is to lift ban on online pornography after huge criticism over the government’s decision to block more than 800 pornographic websites.

These things have no means to ban because our country is a democratic country. Such order could not be passed from court also. One who is adult and how can government stop him from watching it within the four walls of his room? It is a violation of Article 21 (right to personal liberty) of the Constitution.

The Government of India initially argued that the BBC documentary showed India in poor light and then claimed that the filmmaker had not obtained the required permissions. BBC went on to air the documentary. The ban has just added to the curiosity and the documentary has gone viral on the Internet. Basically Mukesh Singh, one of the accused in the brutal gangrape and murder of Nirbhaya, was interviewed inside Tihar jail by the documentary.  

His lack of remorse over Nirbhaya’s eventual death and comments on women have caused outrage and led to its eventual ban by the government. BBC agreed to not air the documentary in India but released it internationally. I don’t think so that that documentary contains any wrong thing which gives any kind of bad message to the country. That documentary gives a reflection of the mindset of a particular society where the government has to work. Putting such documentary in Public Domain is not bad because public will be also trying to find the solutions of such issues. So we should make them aware about those things.

Beef ban and Maggie

As everyone know that India is a country of diversity where people of different religions and castes are living. All people speak different languages. They have diverse lifestyle and culture. In a democratic country no one has rights to intervene into their personal matter that what they should wear and what should they eat.  The Maharashtra government banned the slaughter of bulls as well as bullocks earlier this year as it reintroduced the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Amendment Bill after many years.

Anyone found guilty in possession of beef can be sent to jail for five years or fined Rs 10,000. One more interesting fact is that India stands on the first position in exporting meat to different countries. There are paradoxes in the government decision that they are appealing for Animal protection and have been standing first on the Beef export. How both come true together?

Thing is that governments want to reduce the consumption within the country and they are motivating other to get into Export process. There is also one perception in the public mind that Mostly Muslim people do such type of jobs like opening Beef Industries. For example  Al-Kabeer Exports Pvt. Ltd. and its owner name is Mr. Shatish & Mr. Atul Sabharwal who belongs from Hindu religion. Similarly there are some more companies whose owner pertains with Hindu family.

There is one more thing that all companies take care of sensitivity while removing meat according to the rules and regulation of APEDA(Agriculture & Processed food products Export Development Authority). One more baseless reason is being given related to decreasing of Milk Production which is completely false statements which needs to be counter. According to Agriculture Department, in 2007-2008 the Milk production is 10.7 crore ton in India which is increased in 2011-2012 up to 12.8 crore ton. 

Banning of Maggie was not a bad action which has been taken by the governments of different states based on the finding of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). State governments across the country have banned Maggi instant noodles, a Nestle India product, after finding that lead and MSG were beyond the permissible limit. Nestle recalled its product from the markets and destroyed all its stock.

As we all know that it’s a duty of government to take care about the health status of the people of the country. All of us should welcome such decisions where the governments of different states think uniformly over and above of their economic benefits. Preventing people from unhygienic food is the responsibility of the government that’s why this action is reasonable.

Sedition Circular and NGOs

The decision of the Maharashtra government over the issue of sedition in which their circular states that if words or signs or representations by someone cause hatred, enmity, contempt or disloyalty against the government and can also be an incitement to violence or are intended to cause public disorder, then charges of sedition under Section 124A IPC can be invoked against that person. Maharashtra government circular, despite its clarification, is clearly unconstitutional as it is violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution.

Opposing wrong things and appreciating right things is one of the ethical duty of the citizen which brings transparency in governance. But banning the voices of the people who chose them is completely autocratic. Instead of banning them, the government should make them a part to resolve issues. I think Maharashtra government should look at issue of massive levels of poverty, unemployment, malnourishment, and price rise, a lack of health care, farmers’ suicides, and discrimination against the minorities instead of looking at baseless topic.

If we look at the case of banning NGOs is reasonable because they violated code of conduct. We can’t say that action as banning but we can say as a kind punishment for their violation. We all know about the achievement of NGOs in a country but thing is that they should work within the constitutional framework. If anyone violates the regulation, the action will be taken as per rules and regulation.

It’s a perception that they have been punished only due to foreign funding. In April 2015, Greenpeace was charged with several cases of financial violations under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) by the Indian government. The Indian government had blocked all bank accounts on allegations of illegal opening and non-disclosure of bank accounts to income tax authorities and financial mishandling of foreign donations.

Violations also include spending more than 60% of funds for management expenses and tax evasion. According to FCRA, NGOs cannot use more than 50% of foreign funds for administrative expenses. Greenpeace India admitted to anchoring local protests against coal mines and participating in seminars where foreign funding is sought for protests but clarified that the source of funding does not lessen the seriousness of harm to the environment.

Books and rationalist writers

There are hundreds of books which have been banned by the government of our government at national as well as regional level. In such cases it depends on the situation which is right or wrong. Since many people misinterpreted the original thing while writing. Their statements over couple of topic needs to be countered. If their statement is wrong that must be banned. It is necessary because wrong books create confusion in public mind.

For example Last year, American scholar Wendy Doniger’s book, The Hindus: An Alternative History, was withdrawn from the shelves by her publisher Penguin House after a Delhi High Court order. A few academics petitioned the court on the grounds that few parts of the book contained factual errors on Hindu history and misrepresented the religion’s mythology.

Penguin reached a settlement with the petitioners, agreeing to recall and destroy all copies of Wendy’s book within six months. These types of things create perception about religion which is a very sensitive issue for a country. If government bans right things forcefully that is the wrong action.

One of the serious problems has been running for months of murdering rationalist writers. If the statement is wrong, then they have to be countered with facts in court. If their thoughts and analysis are different from the same statement then we should welcome their thoughts and analysis also. It’s a different thing that we are believing in their thoughts or not. Instead of killing writers, people should counter their thoughts if they were wrong. Convincing them with strong words might be a kind of solution to solve these issues but killing is not the solution.

A couple of people belonging to a particular group killed 77-year-old Kannada writer scholar and rationalist Dr MM Kalburgi in August. Then those people killed  CPI leader Govind Pansare whose biography of Shivaji titled ‘Shivaji Kon Hota’ riled a handful of groups in Maharashtra in the month of February. After that Narendra Dabholkar, the founder-president of Maharashtra-based Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, an organization set up to eradicate superstition, was killed in August. The series of lynching rationalist is not a good sign for the country itself. It attracts autocracy in the country. The government should come to the fore and act accordingly instead of being quite. Government quietness over such sensitive issues enhances the confidence of the Killers.

After analyzing the couples of issues which government bans is not a healthy thought. The word ‘Ban’ is also one of the negative words which are rarely found in the dictionary of the democratic countries. Banning anything is not a solution of anything. If there are some defects then governments should tried to find the solution of those issues instead of banning anything.

Suppose if the train gets accident at once it does not mean that people should not travel by train. The government should assess the whole scenario and tried to find a solution. Silence says a lot of things so they should not be silence on sensitive issues. They should come to the fore and address the real thing otherwise these problems always resist India to do better in the future.

See also  Abrogation of Article 370 and politics on false consciousness in Kashmir

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