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Why DUSU Wants To Ban Our Dramatics Society For A “Fake Drama On Hinduism”

By Guneet Singh Nanda:

Our play ‘Welcome to the Machine’ produced by Ankur, the theater society of SGTB Khalsa College, has been issued a letter seeking its “immediate ban”. The play investigates how religious forces assert their dominance over ‘others’ by means of culture, education and institutional structures.

It principally articulates manipulation of religion for vested interests to polarise and gain political power, furthermore giving it a false garb of a ‘spontaneous communal riot‘ which in reality is a pogrom sponsored by the state. Controlling the state machinery, colouring the institutes in their own colour, this is the nefarious design of the fascist to destroy the plurality and multiculturality which is the strength of the Indian society.

DUSU notice demandin ban on Ankur playI believe that what troubles the issuers of this notice the most is that our play is very direct, it names the names. It says that there is no difference between the 2002 and the 1984 pogroms, to see them in the binaries of Congress and BJP is to be a part of the process of polarization. It names our leaders who propagated action-reaction theories. It names the foot-soldiers of the machinery of hate who coax women to become baby-making factories, who instigate people to rape dead Muslim women, who are hell bent on coloring history with their own agenda, who shout love-jihad and stifle our freedoms to express.

We have been constantly probing the nuances of communalism since 2012, and this year’s annual production has been performed at the National School of Drama, Connaught Place, and various other colleges of DU, 37 times since February 8th.

We are responsible students who understand how sensitive the issue of religion is in our country. To wrench out certain words from wider political contexts without any understanding of the same is a sign of ignorance. This threat to ban is a threat to the entire artist community who engage with their work politically, and it also highlights the ban-culture doing the rounds in our country.

This regressive idea to ban our theatre society is a threat to the democratic culture of Delhi University and points out to the shrinking spaces of creativity and access to public spaces to express the same.

I thoroughly condemn this Letter issued to us and call for solidarity from one and all. I also invite all of you to come see the play whenever we perform next.

Guneet Singh Nanda is the President of Ankur – The Dramatics Society, SGTB Khalsa College.

You must be to comment.
  1. ABC

    Very good just ban them

  2. ABs

    The ban is welcome. Why should anyone’s religious feelings be hurt? If Charlie Hebdo magazines cannot be printed in the country, and distributed, If Salman Rushdie’s Novel, “The Satanic Verses”, cannot be printed, and if a criticism of Christian Missionaries is taboo, why shouldn’t this play, which sounds like an affront to Hinduism be banned as well?

    1. MP

      You just hurt my religious sentiments by your comment. My religion is theatre. It finds its roots in story telling and dramatisation; which goes back to when we were apes. So technically older than any other religion. Should I ask for a ban on you?

    2. ABs

      There is no “Religion” of theatre, get your facts straight. Your Analogy is poor. It is as poor as claiming that “Evolution” is a religion.

    3. Kalpana

      So that we can wipe out the epidemic of intolerance, of which you are a victim of.

    4. Amish

      You’re an idiot. The incidents you mention are deplorable stains on our democracys promise of freedom of speech and expression. Your logic that since in the name of other religions such disgraceful acts have been committed, why shouldn’t Hinduism is extremely stupid. Things cannot just be banned on the whims of somebody who feels their sentiments are hurt. Grow the Fuck up. If you have such a problem with it approach the courts.

    5. ABs

      See, if you have such a problem with respecting other people’s opinions, go to some Islamic Nation like Saudi where opinions are not welcome. The incidents which I speak of, like the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and its ban in India, are examples of “Respecting” other people’s Religious Views. Although, I think that is a failed idea, tellin people like you about Respect, because it is so clearly a foreign concept to you. Religion is very close to people’s hearts and it is a topic to which we must be sensitive, regardless of whether you follow it or not.

    6. Nariman

      You have completely missed the point. It
      shouldn’t be banned BECAUSE OF what you mention. Because we will continue let to let these bans happen. Because one section will always feel polarized and these bans will fuel that polarization. Because one section will always feel its OK to say something as long as the other person is told to shut up. Its not about you agreeing with their point of view. It’s not about Hinduism or any other religion. Its about letting every party have a point of view. We let criminals in power get away with spewing hatred about every community whether Hindu or muslim, and we are suddenly up in arms over a theater group trying to show the impact of this hatred on society. I’m allowed to eat what I want to, wear what I want, and express myself without fear of oppression

    7. Prakash Sharma

      What u eat , wear , affects you.. bt wht u say or do if it affects others. dont compare eating , wearing with freedom of speech !! They cannot be equal.

    8. Dhruwat

      So two wrongs make a right?

    9. ABs

      Which two wrongs are you talking about? It is a shame that Islamic Beliefs cannot be questioned or criticized in this country, and neither can the integrity of Christian Missionaries be questioned. It is an even bigger shame that mocking Hindus, or Hindu beliefs is seen as something as “Freedom of Speech and Expression”, when, in fact, it is nothing more than taking pot-shots at an ancient culture solely because there is no violent retribution.

    10. Vikram Mistry

      You sound like a supporter of bans. What is it about the free and democratic exchange of ideas and opinions that threatens you? Do you have no shame, as an educated and, I’m guessing, intelligent individual about living in a country that takes so much glee in banning anything that even remotely threatens traditional beliefs? Are you living in the middle ages? India is not ready for true democracy. I hope you enjoy living in a fascist totalitarian Hindu theocracy, because that’s what India is.

    11. ABs

      Your bitterness is evident from your comment. India is a theocracy? It is a fascist? Well, clearly you haven’t understood the meaning of Democracy. India does not have laws based solely on any religion. The recent ban on Beef was the result of a democratic process, that of enacting Laws which have a basis on protecting the religious sentiments of a group of people, much like Banning Pork should be. There should be a ban on ideas which hurt the religious sentiment of people, much like not forcing Catholic Doctors to perform abortions, not having a pork shop outside a Mosque, etc. The argument is not about traditional beliefs, the problem here is taking care to not hurt people’s religious beliefs.

  3. Udita

    Please go ahead and mock Hinduism. And them mock Islam. After that, Christianity. Then Judaism. Then Sikhism. If you emerge from it all without getting beheaded, having a fatwa issued, being called an anti-Semite, being labeled a racist, then more power to you.

  4. kishor

    this is a sponsored blog. so do not pay much attension to the content. because you will never find full news. you will only read one sided view. for example these people do not have much guts to comment on the news “Youth arrested for ‘objectionable’ Facebook post against UP minister Azam Khan”

  5. Sid

    Extremely happy at this anti-Hindu fascist play being banned. Not only should the play be banned but the members of the society be prosecuted under various sections of IPC and CrPC. Such fascist propaganda against Hinduism must be crushed immediately and nipped in the bud lest it becomes epidemic. Since India is not a Hindu state, the organizers will have to criticize all religions in equal matter or criticize no religion at all. If they want to criticize Hinduism only, they must declare India a Hindu rashtra first and then go after the ‘State-Religious organization nexus’.

  6. A Proud Hindu

    Why always targeting Hindus and their religious sensitivities? is it not true that ur play makes insensitive comments on Hindu reverence towards
    cows and also on Lord Ram. U have no courage to make commentary on Charlie Hebdo attacks or taslima nasreen situation or Islamic terrorism or even
    Sikh fundamentalism in punjab in 1980’s which killed 100’s of hindus. But u want to trash hindus and their religiuos customs in the hopes of
    creating controversy. the play should be banned.. I support DU SU on this.

  7. Rajat

    The ban is well placed. Any drama, story or movie that wilfully shows Hindus in bad light must be banned. Here, I am only talking about Hindus, since no one ever makes similar dramas about Islam or Christianity for fear of being branded communal or for fear of retribution from the media, the state and the community!

  8. Sucheta

    So ABs and Kishor – you are of the opinion that multiple wrongs make a right? Is that it?

  9. navi

    Hmmmm …. sickulaism at its best…… u guys always try to find mistakes in hinduism. …. try to make drama on 4 marriages, burqa, taquia, conversion business, kashmiri pandits, uniform civil court, one country one law nd mny mre but no won’t raise this issues coz we all knw u r ADARSH LIBRALS ND SICULARIST….. nd let me tell u guys we r PROUD OF RSS

  10. Minakshi Pharswal

    Yes, they can ban the society, but how will they ban thoughts and ideas of these students. Being a student of DU, i know almost all of the drama societies focus on the reality of our culture and society, highlighting the problems, giving solutions for them. they are never in wrong! A student who can write a play about these problems, understands it very well. I would really appreciate the principal of SGTB if he or she just condemns this letter and allow their students complete freedom of expression.

    Let India be a free country where we are free to express ourselves and not worry about being hindu, muslim or related to any religious background while expressing our views.

  11. soutrik

    banning a film which criticizes any particular religion or politics is against the freedom of expression and should not be banned…’hurting religious sentiments’is a vague term…that does not mean we cant ban something…something which calls upon to take up violence against nation,mankind and anything which promotes wilful misinformation to hurt somebody needs to be banned(like wedny doneiger)…freedom of speech by principle should remain absolute even operating in a reality of restrictions(which i have talked about)…this film need not to be banned,though the content is very wrong (saying that there has been a recent ban cultre,saffronisation)but here the question is does the fundamental right of expression even holds same in the university ??i think no…university or college campus can have restrictions and this is not against the democratic setup…and the last question why not stand against other religions…??

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