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State Censorship: For The Greater Good?

By on Dec 3, 2008 in Food For Thought | 4 comments

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The real thing that makes the United States of America a super power is the ideologically, culturally and intellectually free society it possesses. So what difference does this freedom make? Well it makes all the difference the fact is that it ensures that the populous, even if it’s just a small part, are in an atmosphere that ensures innovation and it also attracts intellectuals from other countries to stay there. Why do you think that Einstein choose the USA as his home after the clampdown by the Nazis? According to Joseph Nye there are 3 ways in which power can be exerted by any nation state, they can threaten and beat people up with sticks, they could bribe them or one could attract them and work in cooperation with them.

You see the last one has to be the most effective one, as it doesn’t cost much in terms of lives and money plus you please the home grown intellectuals in the nation, ensuring that as I have said innovation on their behalf. Now do you think that any of this is possible if there is censorship?

Sadly in India their view is that it is possible to do so, but they are, as usual, deluded. Recently a lot of channels have been clamped down upon for “indecency” although I never used to see them anyway and thus I don’t care but a new bill is in the works to tighten the noose on even the news channels!

I think that this is the sheet height of stupidity, after all if you believe the propaganda that they are churning out India shining, the 2020 vision etc. It seems quite a draconian and a retarded move, better suited to the old British Empire. Tell me who has the right to decide what the population should see or shouldn’t see?

India is supposed to be a democracy in which the citizens have the right to choose on their own, what they want, when they want it with the freedom of speech and expression. However the policy makers seem to be asking the question; till what limit should this be exercised? Ideally nobody should decide what people should view as this is often the first step on the road towards autocracy. I think that they shouldn’t even put limits on age related content (except for showing it late in the night); the people should decide what they want to see and should be the true masters of their own morals and remote.

Moreover, censorship results in intellectual retardation because what might be a new view on a topic of great national importance, say nuclear arms, and the media projects a story that is embarrassing for the government and might change the public view about the topic causing revolt in terms of acceptance, should they air it? Should the government risk being made a fool of in the public eye, further diminishing any microscopic chance they have for re-election? Well, the politicians understandably would be the first ones to ban it. This, let us assume, leads to public ignorance about the topic and the policy is created triggering another arms race with some even more moronic nation. All in all the politician dies and later generations repent the hasty decision their ancestors made, thinking this itself would be a leap for certain politicians.

Thus, I ask again, who has the right to decide what should we watch? Humans certainly are flawed and will fall prey to the smell of newly printed dollar bills. Maybe, a machine should, you know somewhere in the near future( 100 years give or take) program a supercomputer with Isaac Asimov’s eloquent three laws that keep the welfare of humanity in mind and let it decide. If you think that this suggestion is nuts then you won’t believe the Indian supreme court, after embarrassment of corruption charges in lower courts, said that the channels had no right to broadcast the sting operation that was the proof of this. Why because it doesn’t show the judicial system in a good light, hence removing the peoples trust from it, yada, yada. Thus, effectively covering up the mess of a system that exists and this effectively puts any hope of an effective recovery in the ditch. Yet another case of reductio ad ridiculo on yet another day in a surreal world, we have to break the loop sooner or later, for we are suffering the consequences.

In this debate the most important thing is that we will be inculcating a revolution in our way of thinking. There has been observed a direct relation between intellectual freedom and the right to exert curiosity to intelligence, enforcing of ideological doctrines through questionable methods is not the way, sure there would be a few hiccups along the way but that will be for the greater good.

I have noticed that children are so inquisitive and genuinely interested in the world around them the social and the scientific aspect of the world they live in is something of great importance to them. They try to understand what the adults are doing while bustling around amidst their pitiful daily lives. These adults often don’t treat these questions kindly and often tell the child to back down and teach him/her to shut up. Sure enough they do and by the time they reach the eleventh grade you have a bunch of dullards who are worse than cadavers, they have lost the ability to appreciate the beauty of the world and inquire to unravel it further, in short often they lose their creativity or channel it in some other conflicting direction, there are however exceptions but they’re few and far between.

Most of the children in higher classes learn nay rote with one goal in mind securing numbers on papers, sure it may be important but sadly it has been inculcated into them that those numbers are the world and all they have to achieve for success. Something very precious is lost in this, they lose the ability to think different and when they come across something that wasn’t taught to them in high school or college they tend to shy away from it. How will we progress if this retardation continues? Children are a gift to the world; they have to be utilized carefully and judiciously to ensure that they aren’t lost to the drudgeries of the pseudo-reality we have created around us. Like Carl Sagan said “there should be less discouragement and more scientists”; I would like to add something more to this there should be more artists, musicians, poets, writers, dancers, dreamers and the list goes on.

Science shouldn’t be restricted to a book of facts that they have to memorize a few hours before an exam but rather the very method for discovering and interacting with the world. The scientific method can be applied to anything and everything, it’s the most elegant tool we have, be it society, literature, art, music or any other field, it enables the person, who’s a child at heart, to correct himself/herself, thus making blunders few and far between. Sure errors and mistakes happen but it would prevent the blunders we see when we open the newspaper everyday. For this we need to throw away the mold that we have bound ourselves, throw away the box and you will automatically think outside it. Throw away censorship, throw away this pseudo morality for do these misogynistic bus burners ever come in defense of the truly helpless? The downtrodden poor, the abused children, the butchered fetus or the assaulted female, where is their morality for these matters, a meter down from their brains? So end this nonsense, let the individual be the authority of her/his morals, for this may be the only chance we have for redeeming ourselves.

In the end, it will be us who benefits from all possible viewpoints being present on the table and the justification of why certain ideas has been accepted, as for the public it is a major plus point as there will be more involvement according to the principles of a democracy further “strengthening” the nation, far better than any propaganda that they churn out. Also, I am quite sure the idiots who go about destroying paintings in the name of “decency” have rather questionable personal lives if you know what I mean.

Note: If you disagree with me at any point then think it over and tell me the result, all criticisms are welcome i.e. no censorship is enforced on this blog.



4 Comments

  1. Akshat Agarwal

    December 3, 2008

    Post a Reply

    yeah right Ankur perfectly said by you!

    its greatly written and I must say that before reading this I had a doubt on this topic of agreeing with you but after reading yours this, you have greatly changed my mind
    thanks.

    Any comments for me also welcomed!

  2. Anuj

    December 4, 2008

    Post a Reply

    I am. Thank you.

    It really isn’t that good, I mean, my logic is flawed and it doesn’t take into account several things that are uniquely human. Further it’s probably riddled with grammatical errors, typos and what not. I seldom read what I write, it’s a compulsive sort of thing.

  3. Akshat Agagrwal

    December 6, 2008

    Post a Reply

    hey u cant say about typing errors those happen frequently!!! and grammatical errors too!

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