Censorship in South Asia

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Censorship in South Asia can apply to books, movies, the Internet and other media. Censorship occurs on religious, moral and political grounds, which is controversial in itself as the latter especially is seen as contrary to the tenets of democracy, in terms of freedom of speech and the right to freely criticise the government.

Quotes[edit]

  • Many of my books are banned in Bangladesh. My book was banned in West Bengal too. Its government not only banned my book, it forced me to leave the state too. The new government ban­ned the release of my book Nir­basan in 2012 and a few months ago forced a TV channel called Akash Ath to stop telecast of a mega serial I wrote. The serial was about women’s struggle and how three sisters living in Calcutta fight aga­inst patriarchal oppression to live their lives with dignity and honour. She (Mamata Banerjee) ban­ned me to app­ease some misogynist mullahs.
    • Taslima Nasrin, quoted in Outlook India, [1]

In Bangladesh[edit]

  • With its extreme dependence on foreign aid, Bangladesh is understandably concerned about not offending Western sensibilities too much., Its government did not insist on implementing the prison sentence pronounced by a court against feminist author Taslima Nasrin for her 1994 book Shame, much less the death sentence pronounced by individual Muftis. Instead it preferred to send her into exile and be rid of the whole controversy. Her latest book, Wild Wind, is the object of yet another ban by the Islamist-leaning government of Khaleda Zia, the reason given being that it “destroys the socio-political amity of the country” and “contains anti-Islamic statements.”
    • Koenraad Elst: Afterword: The Rushdie Affair's Legacy, in Pipes, D., & Elst, K. (2004). The Rushdie affair: The novel, the Ayatollah, and the West. New Brunswick [u.a.: Transaction Publ.

In Pakistan[edit]

  • For example in Pakistan, as recently as October 31, 1991, all the five judges of the Highest Islamic Court ruled that the punishment for defiling the Rasul was death and not life imprisonment as the prevailing penal law provided. But in countries like India where the Shariat law no longer prevails, but where Muslim opinion counts, any critical discussion of the Prophet and Islam is regarded as lacking in good taste. It is unsecular, a great lapse from accepted ideological morality. Critical writings are as a rule edited out and even often banned.
    • Ram Swarup, Swords to sell a god, ( 16 June 1992 in The Telegraph) quoted from Goel, Sita Ram (editor) (1998). Freedom of expression: Secular theocracy versus liberal democracy. [2]

External links[edit]

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