Banned Books Week started yesterday; the 24th of September, and goes on, obviously, till October 1. (So, I do realize, this post is a day late.) For this celebration, I have decided to read just two books (e-book format) that have been banned here in India, so as not to add too big a load to my already busy schedule and my already toppling to-be-read pile.
Banned Books Week is a time to celebrate the freedom to read, and that is certainly a freedom I wouldn’t give up easy. I’m not fighting for the freedom of expression here. When it comes to movies that show violence or anti-feminism or anti-religious views, or those that offend specific groups of people, the censorship, though not correct theoretically, seems like something I can live with. In particular instances of, say, animals abused for art, I am not that generous. But books – why do you need to ban books? When you take your kid to a museum, you have no choice but to let him watch that poor dog tied up on display! When you put on the television, you cannot help watching that scene where the man hits the woman. But you have the choice to not read a book. I mean, really, I can’t see how the Catcher in the Rye can hurt anyone? Bore them to death, may be, but hurt? I don’t think so.
There can be like a notice, at the back of the book, you know after the blurb – P.S: May hurt the sentiments of/bother ‘some people‘. Read at your own risk.” Or a parental advisory, say – “Warning! Explicit content, don’t read unless first read/reviewed by a parent.”
Now, I am not the biggest fan of Indian literature, and I haven’t decided which books to read. The first one that came to mind was Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, but let’s see. I’ll put up reviews once the week is done, of course! Happy Reading!