Is The Banning Of Books Justified?

Posted on October 29, 2010 in Society

By Abhilasha Singh:

For me a book is always a large green pasture or forest of words that can feed us, swallow us up and transform us — not merely a physical object: full of words, sometimes images written or printed.

Mankind always thrives on the wisdom that passes from one generation to the next. Books exist because we want and need them. Books are among the most powerful means we have for transmitting non-genetic heredity. Both the above forms are not sufficient on their own.

Banning of such a medium places the limits on free expression and it completely goes against the very idea of democracy. Banning books by government in lieu of public safety or under pressure of religious bigots will eventually leads to the barren literary fields where the weeds like crappy romantic sizzlers will throng our minds. Those who ban books actually fail to recognize the difference between recording history and holding anti-social views.

Banning books make our minds feeble, doubtful and insensitive to an issue and results to a more unstable society. Controversial ideas induce patience and willful acceptance to cultural or natural differences. One could possibly discuss why the author has used such language and content in their books. Why ban a book because it has a few opposing, different ideas or situations?

There are always some books banned sometime somewhere throughout the history. Controversies usually enjoy the attention of all, no matter how short-lived. In today’s’ world where everything sells, people are ready to pay any price. There is no reason other than convenience or maybe lack of imagination why trashy books appear. But sometimes books are banned or censored for unusual and often ridiculous reasons. Fear and power are always used to enforce certain laws and rules in society. Writers dare to present the actual face of such a system; they write what needs to be written not what should be. Ignoring or burying such facts is not the answer to problems like prejudice and injustice, just the opposite is true. It is hard to see the truth, if you are wearing the blinkers. But on the writer’s part, I must say freedom comes with responsibility and he /she should be fully convinced of using his freedom in a prudent way.

If we really want people not to read a book, banning it will have the exact opposite effect. One may think that banning books controls the free mind but it can not. Banning books only serves to make them more appealing to those who are looking for interesting reading. It most times brings publicity to those books, makes them more desirable and results in more people reading them. Books have a way of being passed around mightily and gaining a totally different range of readership which they would not otherwise have had. So, I wonder if a little reverse psychology would do the trick.