Recently I gave a paper presentation on the theme of censorship. I enjoyed the competition a lot and got to meet various new people and their views on the topic were enlightening. Here is an abstract of my opinion-
I wish to go for a movie, I get to know-it is redacted,
I desire to buy a book, get to know, it suffers censoring,
I want to listen to a song, get to know, it faces controversy in the hollow of censorship.
Before I continue with the never ending bucket list, I think my image is at stake. You all must be wondering, what kind of a person I am, come on, I want to watch, read, and listen to everything which is on the verge of expurgation. Jokes apart. On a serious note, this topic is highly debatable, from WilliamWestmoreland saying-“Without censorship things can get terribly confused in the public mind.” to Allan Jenkins asserting that -“Censorship in any form is the enemy of creativity, since it cuts off the life blood of creativity: ideas”.
I would like to start with a very basic question-Why is censorship required? In a broader sense it is basically because we feel the naivety of children essential and we don’t want to outdistance that. Be it any art, a television show, popularly the so-called ostentatious raps, obnoxious internet websites etc. etc. etc. In literature, movies, art forms,various impedimenta are bowdlerised or even banned mostly because of the sexual connotations. But isn’t this an instance of hypocrisy? Something which is profoundly present in our society, thrives in it day by day, is not integrated in our lifestyle. I understand the need of omitting certain things from the mind of a young child but the answer to that is not censorship. Protecting your child from erroneous information can be undertaken through different procedures like anti-virus with parental control that restricts the usage of internet which is the most exploitive as to say. On the other hand after a certain age there is a requisition for the parents to understand the importance of certain knowledge to be sown in the minds of their children. Hence, blue-pencilling is not going to help as in the future,kids have to encounter such thoughts andaspects of life. Furthermore what about the teenagers and the young adults? They have partial knowledge which could only make them more flummoxed and urge them to look into absolutely wrong places for information.As Mark Twain says –“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it.”
Also for a solution I read somewhere-“Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it. If parents and kids can converse together, we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear”
Now if we examine media censorship, apart from the hindrance in the issue of development of young children, that pertains in media as well, there is also the subject of ‘modified truth’. Redacting the information may lead to a wrong image perceived by the public. Maybe that is because of some ‘external pressure’ or anything else. Hiding the complete picture doesn’t erase its presence, merely gives a fall perception.
Let us talk about creativity. Censorship definitely hampers imagination, our vision and innovation. There is a huge list of various art forms being banned around the world.
If there is censorship; there is no freedom, right? But do we require complete freedom of speech? We all certainly know the answer, immense freedom will definitely lead to chaos which then will be difficult to control. For instance, what if our country is invaded because of some military information been leaked? Certainly, we need censoring in some areas without even debating about it. Also certain times violent speeches and derogatory remarks are given by people towards a particular race and religion, don’t mistake me that I don’t want this to be showcased but there is no need of repeated air-time given to the incident. This can only incite the masses and agitate them against that particular person and the race he/she belongs to. I know I have contradicted my earlier statements but this is because in this topic it is hard to choose any side.
Yet I would like to conclude by what I have already said but the fact is worth restating creation will never flourish under censorship. We all should try and understand the difference between disapproval and censorship, then we surely will get the solution. Lest, “I am not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance!”
(The recent example is that Fifty Shades Of Grey was banned in various countries which I feel absolutely irrelevant cause it’s up to us to go and watch the movie or anything else that’s is going to be censored. The choice is ours, always!)
image courtesy: Google images