Freedom of expression is essential. Freedom is essential and expression, likewise, too. Freedom gives birth to expression. Expression strengthens freedom. Freedom magnifies expression. In literature, too, freedom is essential. Without a free mind, no literary artists can draw his or her art with letters! Often, these modern days, we come to know various news how a particular country is suppressing a particular literature. We also get to know about the authors and poets being silenced and censored for writing some particular piece or offering a particular view on a particular idea or thing. Why does it happen? Is literature of particular kind frightening? Does literature of any particular kind pose threat to our society?
Recently, Kuwait (government) has introduced a forced regulation on publications of books and it has resulted in many banned books there. In India, we have had a history of banned books and in fact, you can know about the most popular cases of banned books by studying a book which tells the readers about 120 banned books:
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Why are the books generally banned?
Sometimes for no reason at all! Sometimes because of religious issues – Satanic Verses. Sometimes because of the political fear – The Red Saree. Sometimes because the book is thought to be propagating ‘otherwise’ obscenity – The Da Vini Code. So, we cannot know when do the authors are considered blasphemous, obscene, politically incorrect or something else. Neither do the authors know this – they just write and we just read. In between, there are the people in authority who have to decide when to ban what and why and how.
What does banning a book mean today?
In today’s world, banning a book (or any leisure content for that matter) simply means nothing! It just gives the book more and more popularity because the author gets free media attention and solidarity by fellow author and also the readers. A book banned in the USA can be read by simply finding it on the internet and so, ‘banned’ means new popular!
Is banning a book valid?
I never think that we should ban something unless it’s that ‘bad’. For example, we HAVE TO BAN the ISIS LITERATURE! We have to ban the NAZI LITERATURE. We have to ban SOMETHING WHICH PROMOTES HATRED AND VIOLENCE. Otherwise, everything is just fair and readers are smart these days. They fully understand what should be read and what should be let alone on the table.
Resource – Literature News dot in