The Railway board’s passenger service committee ordered to shun off a prominent writer Padma Vibhushan awardee Khushwant Singh’s book ‘ Women,sex, love and lust from the shelves of Bhopal railway station book stalls.
This happened after when Ramesh Chandar Ratan chairman of the Railway Board’s Passenger service committee (PSC) said that such obscene literature may spoil the future generation.
Here it is essential to mention that Ram Chandar Ratan happens to be a Supreme Court lawyer besides being a BJP leader. This incident reminded me the history when a prominent story teller Saddat Hassan Manto faced charges of obscenity by the then Pakistan government when he wrote ’Thanda Gosht’ a story of a women who got killed during partition riots of 1947 and hero of the story raped her dead body.
Saddat Hassan Manto said that if you find my stories dirty then it means that you are living in a dirty society because my stories are mirror reflections of the society.
Khushwant Singh in his book ‘women sex , love and lust’ wrote that even Leo Tolstoy and William Shakespeare had a low opinion of women. Singh wrote very sarcastically in the last that, “Men have many faults, women only have two- everything they say and everything they do”.
He further wrote about Indian Women using the term ‘Shrimati India’- in work an ayah (maid), in kitchen a cook, in business a bania (business man), in bed a courtesan(mistress or a prostitute). If you have them all in one person, you don’t have to be polygamous (a person who keeps many wives) -- you have one woman harem.
But Ram Chandar Ratan ji said, “it is offending to our sisters and daughters. There is a system in families.”
Two months ago, during an inspection at the New Delhi station, the official had reportedly also objected to Chetan Bhagat’s novel ‘Half a Girlfriend’ being kept for sale at a stall in the premises on similar ground.
In our constitution in article 19 there is a right to freedom of speech and expression and every person can enjoy that. Railway board’s this decision is a clear infringement of this right.
If we start questioning the writings of big writers posthumously thar too of that ,whose writings are well acclaimed worldwide, then this is a matter of serious concern and worry for each Indian writer.
This is a clear manifestation of communal ideology who wants to see Indian woman again behind big ‘ghoonghat’ and shakes her head in ‘yes’ on each and every restriction imposed on her.
There is nothing in this book which promotes obscenity and which is against our moral values. If writer’s works will be restricted like this and books will also be filtered like news in the present scenario, then this is the beginning of a ‘dark age’ in Indian literature.
Literature is always a mirror of society and the system and this becomes very important for law and justice to protect that. Our apex court should take this on a serious note.
This restriction on the book should be eliminated immediately and railway department should feel sorry for that and should be very careful in the future. This is needful to ensure that every writer should feel free to express and write without any fear.
Let people and our sisters and daughters and of course our wives to decide what they want to do or not. Today’s woman is quite educated and mature to decide about what is wrong and what is right. Morality of our Indian women is more intact than our politicians and it is incorruptible, we should not get panicked about that.
If our system is this much serious about women then old rituals like ‘Sati Pratha’ which are widely criticised and abolished decades ago should not be screened in the movies like what was done in the movie ‘Padmavati’. These things also can educate women in a wrong way and can drive them toward suicide.
Hence this feudal decision of ban on the book ‘Women, sex , love and lust should be aborted immediately. But if this is a publicity stunt for the book then there are no comments!
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