Censorship in media is suppression of speech and expression. It is also the government’s propaganda to subtly engrave in our minds their viewpoint. Or is it now?
We as citizens go on raving about the article 19(1)(a) of the Indian constitution, which gives us freedom of speech and expression but we often forget about article 19(2) which restricts it for very reasonable reasons. While everyone talks about how censorship in songs & movies must be removed and films that are banned must not be banned, I beg to differ.
We may be discerning as individuals but we have little or no control over how media affects us subconsciously. While the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim was being cremated, simultaneously a discussion over Honey Singh’s first song, “Ch**” was creating a buzz. The song revolves around the singer’s version of satisfying a woman’s lust, followed by beating her with a shoe and then moving on.
Article 292 of IPC deals with obscenity. Obscenity under the Indian Law is defined as: “Any work that appeal predominantly to “prurient” interest.” ”Any work that depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way.” Legally, the term ‘obscenity’ is referred to as indecent expressions, such as words, images and actions. Despite the definition, what is obscene to me, may not be obscene to you, thus the notion remains subjective.
As Indians we all have the ‘Chalta Hai” mindset. “Chalta hai, its just a song.” Sorry Honey Singh fans, par nahi, yeh nahi chalta hai. Nobody in his or her right mind would consider beating up a woman with a shoe after assaulting her as morally, ethically or legally correct. And for those who say it’s just a song, the well-defined science of psychology proves that lyrics that are heard repetitively have a subliminal impact. Then how can we be so sure that children hearing songs like these on an everyday basis will not propagate domestic violence. Such is a case wherein prevention is better than cure!
Freedom of art is a fine concept, but there is a thin line between being crass and being artistic. Being obscene can clearly be demarcated from being arty! “Pallu ke neeche daba ke rakha hai, utha loon toh hungama ho.” Imagine the horror that goes through a parent who hears their 10 year old humming this song. Censoring content may not always be a solution to stop advocacy of vulgarity, however it’s a highly probable solution.
Censorship of news, like in the case of 26/11 and in sensitive issues like rape is seriously the need of the hour. National security and sentiments of people are at stake!
There is nothing that is absolute. Not freedom of speech, not even government’s control over Media! We don’t need to pull off “A China” or “A Cuba” but how can we expect no regulation at all? Yes we have the right to question why certain things maybe banned but it is also our duty to obey a reasonable law!
Censorship of media in its own nature is a government’s responsibility and a citizen’s guard!