The Ban-ana syndrome, our leaders’ latest addiction

The Ban-ana syndrome, our leaders’ latest addiction
What I write may be
blasphemy to some, and surely to our ill-learned leaders, but then as a citizen
of this country, I think I have as much right to convey my “Mann Ki Baat” as
much as our Premier can.

Are our Governments, be
it the one at the Centre or the ones in the various states that comprise our
great nation, addicted to churning out bans, be it what we eat to what we see.

The Supreme Court had
rightly observed that sites showing child porn should be blocked. Child porn is
surely sick and anyone indulging in it whether physically or visually should be
severely punished. But the Government going overboard with its assumed
enthusiasm and enforcing a blanket ban by sniffing off around 857 porn sites is
surely a case of over-reaction and an absolutely avoidable over-regulation.

The apex court had just
called for spiking child porn, but is this Government trying to play big-daddy
in the false claim of enforcing the Supreme Court’s observations. Is it not a
case of over-reaction, without even understanding fully that even the honourable
court had observed that an adult can watch porn in privacy?

These calls for bans tend
to get more active as the polls season looms. The bans do not make any economic
sense except that it generates enough fodder to feed the political expediency.

The recent ban on beef
in the states of Maharashtra and Haryana has gained nothing apart from gaining
some political mileage for the government in power. But then this little gain
at the cost of what? It is at the cost of depriving the poorer class of their
staple food, their livelihood, snatching away from them perhaps the only food
that they could ever afford.

As long as this
political expediency exists and fuels the vote banks, such demands for bans
would continue, be it books, films, food or even our thoughts.

With another two states
very shortly going into polls, political heavyweights there are lobbying and
dolling out promises of prohibition in their respective states if they are
voted into power. One of them, the leader of the opposition in Tamil Nadu is hoping
to get back into power on this promise though knowing very well that
prohibition, instead of being a solution to alcohol addiction has only resulted
in organised bootlegging and adulteration deaths, wherever it has been
implemented.

The other one, the ruling
head of the state of Bihar promises to impose prohibition, if he is able to
retain power after the coming elections. We, the voters are so stupid not to
ask him that if he thinks that a liquor ban is so desirable, why does he not
impose it immediately rather than wait to win another term in office.

Coming back to the
topic of porn ban, I am totally against child pornography, but a blanket ban in
general is absolutely ridiculous.

I am scared to think as
to what extent is this moral policing going to spread and extend. If such
arbitrary action of the Government is not challenged, let’s be prepared to be
slapped with any more rules based on Government’s own notion of morality.

As statistics has
proved that prohibition has only promoted bootlegging, such a ban will only
prompt consumption of porn going underground.

Whether it is
prohibition or porn, these are just a few aspects of the growing ban mentality
of our Governments, many more of such, we are going to see in the coming days.

It’s time we citizens
wake up and tell our leaders that what they are trying to offer us is just
bogus morality in the name of genuine security. What we need from our
Government is freedom to decide what and how we eat, drink, see, think and
live. We are not a ban-ana republic.

This is my “Mann
Ki Baat
“.
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