It has been observed throughout the course of history that books, cinemas and many other avenues of creative manifestation faces the wrath of censor boards. Some of them never see the light of the day, while others are censored to such an extent that the content becomes insipid. Also, routine censor of such things are common worldwide and creators have to oblige by the insane, archaic laws of regulators.
Now, it is quite natural that the question regarding censoring of publications will arise and debates will take place over such an issue which is highly subjective. Regulators and censor authorities are often accused of exaggerating the potential harmful effects that publications might kick-start, if allowed to hit the market uncensored. They believe that the creativity of millions of authors, artists and movie-makers should be controlled for the greater good of the society.
Often, it is seen that censored boards are dominated by people who has the least understanding of the psyche of the audience for whom the publication is meant for. Like in many other social issues that highlights the problem of generation gaps and shifting paradigms, censoring also reflects the helplessness of the creative personalities before those who are probably past their best days in their respective professions.
The million dollar question that must be answered at this point is that who gets affected if the practice of censorship is scrapped? For whose benefit is this still practiced globally? Who are deprived of the benefits that such publications would have created, if they were allowed to be tasted by the society? Most importantly, who are these people and what are their rights to judge the effect of an uncensored publication? Who are they working for? Is it for the society at large or someone else?
Any argumentative attempt to answer these questions will receive a scornful look from many. However, in the best interest of humanity, we must discuss and debate these issues openly, without any fear or favor.
First of all, the argument that censor boards work to save the society from vulgarity, obscenity and many similar adjectives is a complete nonsense. Society is composed of all types of people; some of them may oppose the publication while others may support it. It has been observed that censor boards act as pawns of the politicians who, in order to save their vote banks and appease fundamentalist groups in the name of maintaining peace and order, doesn’t hesitate to crush the voice of the weak sections for whom the publication might have meant many things. If a country is lead by a monarch or an autocrat, then there is little that can be done. But we can at least expect a far more unbiased approach from the leaders of democratic countries.
To drive home the point, let us take an example. Billions of dollars have been spent on debating over the merits and demerits of alternative energy sources. Many powerful nations, lead by the industrialists’ forums, actively argues against the use of alternative energy. They camouflage their own selfish interests under the canopy of national economic interests and spend millions of dollars for the campaigns of the legislatures who support their causes. Since money can buy many things and influence the rest, it is quite natural that censor board authorities will have to bow down and nod their heads as per the instructions of these legislatures. Now, if any alternative energy magazine in such a country dares to publish anything that might reveal the scientific truths, they are doomed for the worse. Quite naturally, no magazine even dreams of attempting such suicidal feats and subverts to the financial muscles of such authorities and the story goes on!