On censorship

“Ideally censorship must go. But I firmly believe the time hasn’t come yet for India”
Sharmila Tagore , chairman Indian Film Censor Board.

The word censor comes from the times of ancient Rome that described a magistrate who’s duty was to supervise public morality. That probably took care of the insecurities of society at that point of time. Though the post of the censor was abolished after 421 years of its inception (from 443BC to 22 BC).

In the past few centuries, the institutions of governance have transformed and matured. There’s more political stability. Probably this is because a lot of people spent their time thinking about political systems.

The presence of censor boards in our times reflect the insecurities of present day society. What is surprising though, the nature of the insecurities have remained largely the same. Sex, its depiction and its practice, still continue to be the main issue of contention.

So, when Sharmila Tagore says that India is not yet ready for a society sans censorship, she may be right. Though I’m still struggling to find a coherent response to why she is right. Is it because we are yet to devise a method to introduce youngsters to the concept of sex with a proper context?

More on that later.

[tags]censorship, taboo, sex education, society[/tags]