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Aug 01, 2017 at 13:07

We as a country have recently witnessed a lot of controversy with regard to Udta Punjab and Tanmay Bhat’s Snapchat video. Censorship is defined as, “The suppression of opinions and views, with the claim, ‘It’s for your own good’”. Our reporters debate if censorship is necessary in our contemporary times.

To the Aye

I define censorship simply as the restriction, absolute or partial, by the proper political authorities, after contemplating accurate sources, in a word; the government.

Human nature being what it is, it is naive to think we can freely read and view things that promote or portray evil deeds without sometimes feeling encouraged to commit such deeds (ISIS, Dr. Zakir Naik, etc.). Ideas often lead to actions, and bad ideas lead to bad acts, bringing harm to individuals. Just as the state has the right to restrict a person’s actions when he is a physical threat to the community, in the matter of intellectual threats, the authorities must have duties to protect the community. If ideas expressed in written or spoken word do not lead men to act, then why are millions spent on commercial advertising?

Finally, living in a democracy and having such extensive rights is a privilege; they empowers us, and should not be abused. It’s about striking a balance; irrespective of the party and leader, the government works for the people: that is the reason India continues to grow stronger day by day. Lastly, we must remember, with great power comes great responsibility, and democracy is the greatest power any person can claim. We must exercise it responsibly; us, as well as the government!

Kunalika Gautam

Student Reporter

Censorship the Enemy

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression”. The proponents of censorship argue that it is for a good cause, “to protect people from offensive content”, but is the general public not mature enough to make such decisions for themselves?

One of the biggest problems with censorship is that it is always misused. Voltaire said, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you’re not allowed to criticise”. Censorship is powerful, it is what shapes public opinion. So, of course it is abused by those in power. In china, one cannot even acknowledge the Tiananmen Square massacre, let alone write about it!

Of course, some may still argue that, Censorship prevents the brainwashing and negative influence. If one does not see or hear radical propaganda, one won’t be influenced by it, right? Introducing, psychological reactance – If a person finds out that something is being kept from them, their motivation to access that something will only increase.

So to sum up, Censorship destroys creativity. It arbitrarily surpasses select views and opinions. It  can easily be misused by those in power and it even fails to accomplish its main objective. Censorship does more harm than good.

Shreyash Nigam
Student Reporter