Dear “Democratic” Government of India,
For a democracy, it is always the people who matter. For the powers that be, of course, that may not necessarily be the case. India does have a constitution, which has chosen democracy as its model. These are not my lines, these are lines which I read somewhere and digested. These lines are significant as, while I was reading about the swachh internet abhiyaan which is likely being taken up by the government concerns me a lot. Not because I am an admirer of pornography, but I can see contradictions in your everyday statements and stands. Starting from getting clear majority, moving towards Make in India, as an Indian I appreciated this vision. I could see the movement that was being organized by the government across nations and NRIs across the globe. I was listening very keenly when Mr. Modi was speaking in Australia and he shared that the BJP government has done away with a number of redundant laws. One example he gave was that of the police verification as a part of the process of getting one’s passport done. He said that we are done away with this police verification, as this law was coming from British era when citizens were not trusted and there was a need for police verification. Now we are in a different era where we trust our citizens, so what is the need of police verification. When your passport is ready, just present all your original and necessary documents, which will make this process hassle-free and will boost the morale of the people.
Now when I see the government saying, Lets ban porn sites, it needs to be viewed in the context of Indian culture and moral obligation towards society or calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a patriot or trying to change the history curriculum. This worries me as a citizen who is a strong believer in democracy, because on one side, trust on the citizen is being shown and on the other side moral policing on the name of Swachh Internet. The focus of the government should be to work on an education system which can empower people make rational and informed choices. We have such a framework, the National Curriculum Framework 2005 which if implemented to its efficacy can do wonders for the future generations, as critical literacy is the key towards such a change which is being envisioned through banning porn sites and not moral policing, through the discourse which the government is running behind. Not only this, the government has to understand this very clearly that in a democracy it is the people’s choice that matters and not whatever the representatives think- what people want. If we talk about Indian culture and obligations towards it, I will be repeating what millions of people are aware of, that we had created the great temples of Khajuraho and it was our culture in which a scripture as open minded as Kamasutra was written. No person who is well educated can call Khajuraho or Kamasutra as epicenter of pornography in Indian culture. Now seeing through the same lens of moral policing Khajuraho should be demolished or public access should be banned and Kamasutrashould be burnt or kept away from public reach at all costs. Also I was surprised when I read the Indian government looking at China as an example in this regards. There are various reasons for this, China is not a democracy while India is, media is a mere puppet there while Indian media is constitutionally empowered, people in India can stand against the government for not passing RTI Act while in China, citizens speaking against the government are gone without anyone knowing their whereabouts and above all Maoists are a huge issue in terms of internal security of India. Is it still not clear why the government should stop moral policing and do better things for its citizens? Also I sense this as a strategy of subtle way of giving new dimensions to moral policing when everyone is busy picturing the colorful scenery of development in India and present BJP government as its pioneer. This rosy picture, if it does or does not turn out to be real should not be allowed to act as a veil for subtle moral policing on the name of Indian culture and obligations towards the society. Because this is sheer hypocrisy and nothing more, but this hypocrisy if not silenced through raising voice can do humongous harm to the future generations in terms of lack of a culture of choice.
I will assert again, moral issues should not be solved or judged upon by the government, rather should be left to the choices of the educated masses and making sure that people deprived of education (and not literacy) can avail best education. This is the form of education, which the government should work towards, and not on what should be banned and what should be allowed to keep the citizens’ utopian moral values intact.
A Citizen of India.