“Ban Ban! My country shot me down!”
It's not about the song from the 60's by Nancy Sinatra, but rather the series of unprecedented bans that our country faces in the wake of recent events.
I dread to wake up one fine morning and face a ban for having snored too loud. Going by what is happening in the last few weeks, it seems possible!
Pardon this sudden emotional outpour, as I feel nauseated and quivering with rage. Something I never knew I had the capability of experiencing ever in my life.
40 minutes into the controversial documentary `India's daughter` has left me revolting from hurt, disgust at the rapists, at what the defence lawyers said, our society and the government.
At the same time, to watch the decisions of our leaders, who are on a ban spree, is pretty amusing. They have banned the documentary and are ashamed of it. Banning rape and being ashamed of men's mindset and rapists is just too mainstream for them. It's too much of an investment, I assume. Otherwise, wasting time on useless debates about mindset of a rapist and who is responsible for filming the documentary wouldn't have occurred.
The law and order of our country is a pure mockery of victims. I didn't want to discuss or write about it, but the current state of silly actions on the part of our leaders has instilled in me an urgency of fear. I have never felt so helpless to the extent that it has filled me with deepest hatred.
But, of course I raise a toast to our leaders for taking an important step - ban. Our country has managed to achieve what others failed - ban beef, ban AIB roast, ban 'Fifty Shades Of Grey', ban BBC documentary – ban anything that offends a handful of men. They feel that shoving anything and everything under the carpet will make us a holier-than-any nation.
'Absurd' is the least that can be said of the situation.
We are supposedly the largest democracy and one with a diverse population. Everyone can get offended by something or the other, and in that context when there is a ban on everything, I wonder where our freedom to think or speak is?
Take for example - `Fifty Shades Of Grey`, which was an adaptation of a novel by E.L James, that was recently banned in India by the censor board. I'm sure that banning `50 Shades...` in a country which gave Kamasutra would uphold the image of our country. And also make sure that we tell the world centuries later that 'sex' is a taboo and it cannot be shown on-screen.
Why bother seeing a fictitious drama on sex on-screen when rapists in our society do it of their own free will and in ways more brutal than any man can think of? Rods, iron rods, hanging young children on trees, burning them alive after molesting them - name it and you have it.
Should we be proud of it? Will banning a movie succeed in decontaminating our minds of 'obscenity' that is leading to rape? Plenty have read `50 shades..` and its sequels. Has that led to the so called contamination? Let's get one thing straight - we are adults, we can decide for ourselves what is apt for our eyes to see.
Banning erotica will not deter the minds of thousands of men who take great pride in tormenting women and subjugating them to the lows of society.
And those blindly saying `Mera Bharat Mahaan` are somehow trying to portray that India is free of all its problems including unemployment, poverty and social evils. That is why the decision to just overlook other 'petty' things and focus on banning important issues.
In between banning AIB, beef, and the use of cuss words in films, banning the 'loaded' word 'Bombay' and 'lesbian' from a recent film was highly noble - I'm sure they posed a much bigger threat to our culture. The censor board has acted no differently than a possessive control freak partner who chokes the happiness out of a relationship.
Ban rape, banish the men of high ranks who defile women; not our freedom and our right to live. Why have people in the Parliament not taken offence to the statement by Haryana's Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar when he said, “If they (women) want freedom, they can roam around naked”?
We only blame a foreign filmmaker who tried to throw light at our present situation and for daring to put truth in the forefront. So much for her effort!
I guess, the result of our country's lack of empathy for rape victims was what we saw in the form of an angry mob lynching an accused rapist by dragging him out of a jail in Dimapur. He paid the price of the suppressed anger of thousands of citizens and hurt souls who have suffered the crime. If there aren't laws to bring these criminals to their knees soon, we should be ready for a violent revolution. Soon women who are in no mood to tolerate will be out in the streets – just like in Dimapur.
I don't think watching the film will do any good because we all know how the patriarchal laws and system works in India. The outrage, the media rhetoric, political inertia, and frenzy that revolved around the documentary and to all the bans that we have witnessed was a waste. It seems foolish to have had faith that something concrete would ever happen in that regard.
As a daughter, who lives and works far away from home, I feel the sheer fear that my father feels every night for me when he goes to bed. I know my mother sits patiently every night for my call after my work hours.
Ban eve-stalking, ban racial discrimination, ban gender violence, ban barbaric crimes - but here we are banning movies, rape documentaries, comedy shows and cuss words.
I can only hope that the country's leaders wake up before it is too late and before rape culture is what India is left of. Because that is what India is in the eyes of the rest of the world.
On a lighter note, India should consider banning Kamaal R Khan (KRK) as this man is nothing but a nuisance. If one may recall, he recently said that `rapes don't happen in Germany because girls don't refuse sex`.
Maybe he could go there to try his luck. Maybe the women there would knock some sense into him – making the world a little safer after getting rid of at least one parasite.