Wednesday, 17 May 2006

One up for the talibans

The headlines, "De Vinci code banned" depresed me. Even though there were some protests when "Sins" was released, in the end, the film was released without people burning down theatres or cars. Reading the news was slightly better. It does not say that the film is banned, it only says that a group of persons will watch the film and decide. I hope that they decide to show it.

We need sane persons in India. Very badly. It seems we are running out of them.

Every group of religious louts is just waiting to pounce on the slightest provocation.

Now Aamir Khan is warned, how dare he speak about Narmada Bachao or against Narendra Modi? They will not let his Fanaa to be released in Gujarat, they say. Show him the Hindu might?

The Sikhs have done it too. Jo Bole so Nihaal is a caricature. The child in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is a caricature. How dare they?

The Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, everyone is ready with the petrol cans. They define themselves as saviours of their religions. Dissent is equal to blasphemy they feel. Armed with hockey sticks or worse, they come out with their torches. And the soveriegn Government representing the people bows its head and presents its butt so that it can be kicked by any thug, ready for banning any thing so that "it does not disturb public order" (except when you dare to protest against the Government, then the police is ready for the lathi-charge).

So we are going for a taliban rule in India. Only insecure louts will decide what we can read, see or think? I am not saying that we have to be agree with everyone but you can disagree on something and still be civil? Amartaya Sen talks about the ancient traditions of dissent and criticism inherent in Hinduism and in Indian culture in his book "The Argumentative Indian". Yet, those traditions are being corrupted everyday and we are prisoners of fire-wielding hardliners, who have decided that we Indians are not mature enough, we need censorship, and that they will decide for us.

If a country (Italy) that hosts the Vatican itself, can show De Vinci code, it seems strange that India has to worry about the feelings of few sensitive Christians who do not like it!
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