India is no newbie when it comes to bans, however, we can all agree that the recent ones have sent the country into quite a frenzy. Due to the recent (absurd) bans that India’s population has seen, from Maggi Noodles to porn, and the close-call on alcohol, it may seem that the country really is trying to ban everything that gives pleasure within two minutes! Although the government lifted the porn ban (except for selective sites that contain child abuse), and returned our beloved 2 minute noodles with their stamp of approval, it was not before they earned themselves a new title amongst the youth, BJP – ‘Ban Janta Party’.
The government may justify their actions to ban porn on the basis of nobility and an attempt to lower trafficking and improve the culture of India, but they seem to have gotten it all wrong. Yet again, it seems that the Indian government has shown that they are more concerned about India’s “image” of culture worldwide, rather than what is actually going on within the country. They had faced the same harsh criticism when they banned the controversial documentary India’s Daughter and again they face mockery not only from the youth of the country, but renown celebrities as well (see post).
Here are some of the other absurd bans from our government.
1. Nirbhaya documentary / India’s Daughter
Our government turned a blind eye to one of the largest issues in the country, rape, by banning a documentary that was meant to spread awareness. Why? Because, it showed India in a bad light. What should have resulted in greater efforts to make the country safer for women, instead, resulted in a ban.
2. AIB Roast
Yet again, India was concerned about their “image”, and in the process completely stepped over the toes of “freedom,” by banning a comedy show.
3. Foreign funding of NGOs
Our government claimed that some NGOs, including Greenpeace India, were part of “anti-social activities” and were working against the interests of the country on the bidding of foreign powers, due to which India lost two to three per cent of GDP.
4. Beef ban in Maharashtra
What scientists have been trying to for centuries, India has done within minutes, time travel. This bill was first passed in the state Assembly by Shiv Sena-BJP in 1995 and has been approved in 2015. Well, India, congratulations on your reverse progress. If we keep this up, by 2025 we’ll surely be living in the 70’s.
5. 50 shades of grey
The country that gave the world Kama-Sutra and still sees chauvinism, has decided that two consenting (I mean, they had a written contract for Pete’s sakes) engaging in some SnM was going to pollute the country’s minds.
6. Bad Words
The Central Board of Film Certification banned a list of 28 cuss words and prohibited their use in films, although it was removed later when subjected to immense criticism.
7. Lingerie mannequins in shop windows
The Maharashtra government banned lingerie display on mannequins as they believe that it can “incite men to rape.”
We have always wondered why our government isn’t focusing on the real issues of the country, such as rape, marital rape, child marriage, dowry, oppression of women, the poverty, and so on and so forth. But these petty bans raise a much graver question. Despite the comical outcome and uplifts of the certain bans, one would pause and think, does our government know what the real issues are? If they still believe that lingerie on mannequins is a cause of rape and a ban on them will somehow help to solve the issue, where does that leave our future? If the mentality of some of the most powerful men and women in the country has not moved beyond “but was what she wearing?” and “she was asking for it”, how can we hope for a change in the mentality of the nation as whole?