The Sanguinarian

The Sanguinarian

Thursday, 2 April 2015

B for...Ban-ophilia

Ban-ophilia. The latest fetish of the Indian political class.
Basically, the mantra seems to be: If anything doesn't go according to the status quo, LET'S BAN IT.

Because a documentary on the sloppy way sexual violence in India is dealt with threatens to expose the political and administrative apathy towards survivors of sex crimes, let's ban it. Excuse? It threatens to 'tarnish' India's image in the world. Who will question us? Not the Indian public anyway. Leslie is white, let's trouble her and accuse her of racism. Who cares if women continue to face sex crimes...or if Jyoti Singh's rapists continue to live when they were supposed to die, or if India's image is already tarnished...not just abroad but also in its own eyes?

Beef. A bone of contention between religions for years. Which is ironic, because Hindus, Muslims and Christians in India eat beef. But they gotta make a religious statement and assert their dominance over the religious 'minorities'. Because at the Center is a government who came into power because of religion and caste dominance. And now is becoming 'majoritarian'. Who cares if citizens' right to eat what they like is being impinged upon? Who cares if thousands of beef sellers in Maharashtra go hungry and die of starvation because of loss of livelihood? Who cares if they snatch a major source of protein from a majority of the population? They have to make a political statement. Since they can't do anything substantial...something as asinine as banning beef is bound to be solid.

And books. What to say of books, eh? Wendy Doniger's book about Hindu history is politically incorrect, so let's ban it. The person who lobbied for banning the book is the same who gave the public gems of wisdom  like: stem cells were preserved in 'ghee' in pre-historic times. Stem cells in ghee, really? Stem cell technology is of the last few decades, and we're still studying and making progress in this field. This same man is the one who's writing such inanities in school textbooks mandated for school kids in Gujarat- in 42,000 schools. So kids in these 42,000 schools will learn pseudo-science paraded as ancient knowledge and grow up to shudders when one thinks of the implications.

Ban Perumal Murugan's One Part Woman just because it tackles a lesser know facet of Tamil culture- an ancient practice where infertile couples could go to this festival worshiping a half man-half woman deity, and the woman could copulate with a strange man to possibly conceive. This writer, who's been chronicling the history of his city for years, wrote this novel to highlight the issue of how infertile women are treated in Indian society. But because it didn't go with the version of Hinduism that politico-religious outfits want to impose on citizens, Murugan was threatened with death, copies of his books were burnt, he even offered to modify offending sections of the book but was not even given a chance to reach a compromise with those outfits. He was so humiliated that he quit writing, and he had to move out of his native city with his wife for safety reasons. Even his extended family was threatened.

Many more things have been banned in the last two by the illustrious politicians too, much I can't seem to remember what. There is now talk by a fringe religious outfit to ban 'western clothes' and 'mobile phones' for women as it leads to rape...there is talk of banning jeans and phones for women in Haryana by the khap panchayats, which seem to be more powerful than the real politicians in that state. Of course this won't happen, but the moronic attitudes are here to stay.

Tomorrow they will want to ban living, breathing and eating because it interferes with their political agenda.

That is what 'banning'  has become for the Indian political class.

This post is part of the A-Z blogging challenge:  A-Z challenge


  1. I'm sorry to hear it's this way. It's one of the many reasons I don't like governments with too much power.

    2015 A to Z Blogger
    Visions of Other Worlds

    1. Jessica, this government was elected by democracy but acts as an autocracy. It's really bad.

  2. I've read about India's issue with sexual violence; it's ridiculous. Such a great country with such a bad (deserved) rap in this area.

    Glad to see you're doing the A-to-Z Challenge - looking forward to your posts.


  3. Yeah we live and breath Ban Prachi. First Ban a documentary on sexual violence and apathy, then ban beef because its against our religion...Silsila Yeh Ban Ka...

  4. Love this snarky post too. There was talk of banning Facebook in Sri Lanka some time ago, and I nearly got a heart attack. *lol* Might as well ban people themselves...