From banning books to blocking movies, where will this culture of blinkers take us?
[dropcap]A[/dropcap] few years ago a state transport commissioner sent a letter to the Censor Board asking for scenes of bike racing to be deleted from movies.
Hearing about his bold and courageous banning move many organizations throughout the country I imagined also decided to approach the censor board.
A very angry women’s activist who it is rumored was one of the first to support the burn the bra movement in the sixties growled ferociously as she woke the censor chief around midnight. “Ban all love scenes in movies!” she growled.
“Madam, all Indian movies are only about love,” he said.
“Love scenes encourage rape and assault!” she cried and the censor board chief shuddered as he imagined her burning his image the next day somewhere in New Delhi. “If you don’t ban love scenes I will burn….”
“I know, I know madam,” he said and heard the phone being banged down.
He quickly rang other members who decided it was better to ban all love scenes than have their images burnt. “I hate fire!” said a former film actress as she went back to sleep.
The police chief who read what the state commissioner had done roared with delight. A constable who was passing by rushed in, “Are you okay sir. I think you need a break!”
“Constable, soon we will all have breaks! I assure you India will become a crime-free country!”
“That means we police will be unemployed sir!” cried the constable.
“That means you will be able to sleep at home and not in the police station!” beamed the police chief, “Give me the phone I will tell the censor chief to ban thriller movies in this country! No bad men, no robbers, no villains! Crime will drop faster than you can say Shyam Narain Kapoor!”
“Shyam Narain Kapoor sir?”
“India’s new hero! The commissioner who’s asked the censors to snip bike racing!”
“If there be no thriller, what we will watch sir?”
“Love stories!” roared the police chief.
“No love stories!” growled the woman activist.
“No bike racing!” shouted the transport commissioner.
A few weeks later a little boy seeing all the theaters and cinema houses closed asked his father, “What did they show in there dad?”
“Love scenes, bike racing and thrillers!”
“Why did they close them dad?”
“To stop people imitating reel life!”
“Yes my son?”
“There’s no less crime on the streets, more rapes and bike accidents today than before dad?”
“Yes, my son! Reel life imitates real life, my son, and not the other way round like the good commissioner thought. Banning never works..!”
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