Fatwas, Bans & Censorship #AtoZChallenge


The Hindus: An Alternative History
The Hindus: An Alternative History

I hated when I came to Know about the fate of The Hindus: An Alternative History in India. Penguin India withdrew the copies of Wendy Doniger‘s book off the shelves and also destroyed the remaining copies of the book. The action were taken because of the lawsuit flied against the book by a group which says that the book was ” written with a Christian missionary zeal and hidden agenda to denigrate Hindus and show their religion in poor light.”

I agree sometimes a book can harm the feelings of a group of people but India is a country which is advocating free speech and tolerance and such actions can only be seen as an ironic weeds in the nucleus of the society

When M.F Hussian, India’s most gifted artist, died on the foreign soil, many poured in their tributes and also regrets that he could not live his last days in India. Due to the dismissive intolerance of few had made him to leave the country. When I saw the number of tributes, I said to myself, “if so many people cared for him, then why did he had to leave the country?”

On the same note, nobody cares that the same has happened to Salman Rushdie. The Satanic Versus was controversial and won him Fatwa, but that was not end of it. His next book, The Moor’s Last Sigh was also temporarily banned in India, one of the reasons being the dog in the book was name Jawahar (The courts in India later over-ruled the ban)

It doesn’t end here. Along with art and books, cinema also faces the same hypocrisy of freedom of expression. (You must read the hilarious and jaw-aching interview of the CEO of Censor board, Mr Rakesh Kumar )

I believe that the book-burning, drawing insecurity from literature, or controlling the art/cinema are the signs of weak society. What are your views on the Fatwas, bans and censorship of books/art/cinema/media ?

My theme for #AtoZChallenge is Indian books and related topics . To know more about #AtoZChallenge, please visit the link 

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Namrata Kumari says:

    This is am example of pseudo-tolerance and monopoly of the handful. I don’t know when would we truly become a democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Namrata. We need a society that respects the freedom of expression. Thank you for your thoughtful comment


  2. aobeamber says:

    I like the comment of Namrata! But such pseudo-tolerance is present everywhere, in every part of the world. India is not an exception. And I doubt that such attitude would ever can be changed. Even true democracy countries face same problems.

    People judge, but dislike being judged. And they become pretty intoletant to those, who speak the truth about them. Such thing happens everywhere.


    1. I can’t agree less with you. I think so the true democracy or complete freedom will only exist in hypothesis. Pseudo-tolerance seems to be a global epidemic


  3. mpreeti says:

    Avinash, would have liked your opinion of the book as well..


    1. Thank you. 🙂


  4. Well written.. I always fail to understand why their tolerance is so fragile….actually most people are afraid of criticism…


    1. Thank you for your comment and appreciation.
      We tend to think that things are rational around us, turns out, we are wrong. I agree with your view that most people, specially in our sub-continent, are afraid of criticism


  5. Very enlightening post. I’m totally against any kind of censorship on books, movies, music, etc. There are even groups who want to rewrite certain classics, works from Mark Twain for example, which would be a huge mistake. Free speech, and expression of that in all media forms, is vitally important on so many levels.


    1. Thank you Tina for your views. Thankfully on the blogsphere, most of us believe in freedom of expression.
      It will be shame if Mark Twain’s work is re-written for the sake of sensitivity of few groups of people.


  6. indrani says:

    If those who object take to physical violence then supporters are forced to silence. No amount of virtual on line support can help. This will continue. Fatwas and other kinds of ban too will continue.
    Public should have the maturity to debate over the issue and solve it and I don’t see this happening anywhere in the recent future.


    1. Talk, debate, argue and work it out, that is how mature society should handle conflict, but like you said, the insecurity of these groups take form of violence. I agree with you, i dont see it happening in recent future too.


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