How BJP has become the Ban Janata Party

Here is a list of seven controversial bans in India in the recent past.

 |  3-minute read |   05-03-2015
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The BBC's controversial documentary India's Daughter on the Nirbhaya rape incident has proved that the BJP government is more concerned about India's "image" worldwide rather than the safety of its women. Barring probably only Arnab Goswami's Times Now, who slammed NDTV, without naming the channel for supporting the feature, almost every journalist has come out in support for the documentary.

Unsurprisingly, when the documentary's proposed broadcast caught widespread attention, the ministry of information and broadcasting issued an advisory to all TV channels to not air the documentary. If that wasn't enough, it even wrote to the BBC for stopping the telecast.

By banning the documentary and given its actions till now, it appears that BJP has become the Ban Janata Party and its first response to anything controversial is to well, ban it.

Here is a list of seven controversial bans in India in the recent past:

1. Foreign funding for NGOs: Amidst the hullaballoo of the Nirbhaya documentary, today the government banned 69 NGOs from receiving foreign funds after getting adverse reports about their activities from intelligence agencies. Last year, a report by the Intelligence Bureau claimed that many NGOs, including Greenpeace India, were working against the interests of the country at the behest of foreign powers and India lost two to three per cent of GDP due to their "anti-national activities".

2. Beef in Maharashtra: In a recent controversial move, the Maharashtra government banned processing, selling or eating red meat. Under the new law, anyone found to be selling beef or in possession of it can be jailed for five years and fined Rs 10,000. The bill was first passed in the state Assembly by the Shiv Sena-BJP government in 1995; it was approved by the Union government and president of India this month.

3. Dirty picture: Fifty Shades of Grey, an English movie with erotic content, faces a ban in India. Interestingly, The Independent, in an article, has mentioned India as an "ultra conservative country".

4. Greenpeace activist travel: Priya Pillai, a Greenpeace activist, was offloaded from her flight to London while she was on her way to address British parliamentarians about alleged human rights violations of tribals in Mahan, Madhya Pradesh.

5. No bad words: The Central Board of Film Certification banned a list of 28 cuss words and prohibited their use in films. Though the list was taken off later, it received immense criticism and outrage. It also prohibited the use of the word "Bombay". In the recent release Dumm laga ke Haisha, the word "lesbian" was muted and four other words - "ghanta", "haramipana", "haram ke pille" and "haramkhor" were deleted.

6. No go for app based taxi services: The rape of a young woman travelling in an Uber cab last year, attracted immense outrage in the country. The Uber cab case again raised the efficacy of the steps taken by the govenrment about women security in India. Instead of focusing on concrete measures, the BJP government, as a face-saving measure, banned all app based taxi services in Delhi. Though the taxi companies indeed flouted many laws, but the ban was seen as an extremely hasty step.

7. Lingerie mannequins in shop windows: The Maharashtra government banned lingerie display on mannequins as they believed that it can "incite men to rape". The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has provisionally cleared a plan banning display of lingerie clad mannequins outside shops in the city.

Writer

Devanik Saha Devanik Saha @devanikindia

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