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The bane of the ban!
The current central government has been one up on the older one. The ability to "Ban" almost anything that they feel is wrong with Indian culture. India's various governments have claimed "proudly" that it is the largest democracy in the world. However, does a democracy ban things merely because a certain section does not like it?

What about the other sections that like it or don't mind it? It is here that democracy becomes the farce that it has in India. Government officials whether state or central or local body all seem eager to show their illusory power that they have been given even if temporary. And they do this without thinking of the consequences and therefore the reversal of many a "ban".

Bans do nothing. Debate might put right certain things. But 'bans' do nothing except arouse curiosity in people who have never even thought of these matters and suddenly find themselves expressing opinions that they never knew they needed. And suddenly it is these people who are now arrayed against each other. You would find them at bars and restaurants and trains and buses and taxis pressing opposite sides of the case of a particular ban.

And if a ban brings together a certain community and we'll go by the example of the current ban on meat for a few days to 'respect' the sentiment of the Jain community in India. Already the newspapers are writing about the damage that the BJP will find hard to contain for appeasing this minority during the next elections. This ban in a matter of days has already divided society even more than it is already divided on community lines. As if that was a need in this country.

The various governments in the state along with the Centre would do well to bring in a rational and comprehensive ban on 'Bans'. That would set the course of governance and give citizens a right to the expression of an opinion without fear of repercussions. An opinion expressed however extreme is not equal to picking up a weapon and assaulting someone. An opinion remains an opinion. That is it.

It is a way of sometimes blowing off steam and once blown things begin to cool down. People want their opinions to be heard even if to a small minority of friends and relatives. People don't want others to decide for them as to what to eat, drink or pray to.

If an opinion flares into physical violence then and only then can the authorities come into play to regain control of a situation. It would be wise of the government to look at the authoritarian regimes across the world and note the increasing sense of disruption because of restrictions placed on the freedom of the individual. The individual, however helpless he may seem, still is able to think and at some point will begin to rebel against his rulers.

In India a quiet revolution is happening across the land. It is too quiet but perhaps it is for the best as a noisy one could be a violent one. This quiet one will take time for the country to change and for its citizens to be enlightened. However, it will happen. India is no longer the same India that it was before 2011 when a countrywide anti-corruption campaign unseated one of the largest political parties with huge amounts of money and muscle. That is the power of the individuals. And every government should ponder this simple fact.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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