Censoring Udta Punjab is an Act of Tyranny

Apoorva Pathak

The Modi Government doesn’t seem to be backing down from its much condemned effort to censor Udta Punjab, a movie about Punjab’s drug problem. The one of his kind censor board chief Nihlani has escalated the controversy by alleging that the reputed director made the movie to benefit AAP in a case of quid pro quo. He has also proudly boosted that he is “Modi’s Chamchas”, thereby accepting that his act of censuring Udta Punjab was a political act done on his masters direction.

Apart from the various other troubling aspects, censoring Udta Punjab is disturbing because it brings out Modi as a dictator. Below are three reasons why censoring Udta Punjab is an act of tyranny-

Democracies don’t suppress truth

Democracy is founded on the premise of the right of people to be informed. People’s right to know the truth is necessary for the voters to make an informed choice in elections and select a government that truly works for them. By censoring Udta Punjab, Modi is attempting to hide the reality of drug problem in Punjab which is ruled by his alliance. This attempt to forcefully keep people in the dark is what despots like Kim Jong Un do, by imitating them Modi is doing a disservice to our democracy.

Politically inconvenient movies are banned by tyrants not democrats

Allowing space for different kind of political expression ensure that people have a variety of options to choose from and hence is intrinsic to democracies. But The Censor Board seems to be be ignorant of this. It chief has defended the act of censoring the movie by alleging that he did the right thing as the movie could have helped BJP’s political rival AAP who he insinuated has paid Anurag Kashyap for the movie.

So basically he is conceding that the movie was censored because it was politically inconvenient for his government. Even if one accepts his charge that the movie was intended to help AAP, BJP’s rival, how does that qualify the movie to be censored? Now has the government become so brazen in preventing any voice of opposition? It Jailed Kanhaiya, has cancelled NGO’s license which didn’t tow its line and now in an act characteristic of tyrants the government is preventing Political inconvenient movies.

Why is the pradhan sevak deciding what the malik junta watches?

Modi termed himself as the Prdhan Sevak and the citizenry as his master, so since when have servants started deciding what master watch or don’t watch? In a democracy people are not subjects that Government can decide what they do with their time. If any Indian citizen wants to watch a movie, who are Modi or his chamchas to stop us from watching it? Isn’t he satisfied with deciding what we eat( no beef), who we marry (RSS Love Jihad caimpaign dictating hindu girls to not marry Muslims), which god we follow (RSS forcing a religion down people’s throat through Ghar wapsi) or what we say (making it compulsory to say Bharat Mata Ki Jai whenever some crazy good for nothing BJP leaders terrorises you to say it) that now he also wants to decide what we see?

By encroaching upon this basic freedom of people to live their life according to their choice, depriving people of the truth and making presence of different shades of political expression difficult, Modi government is joining the ranks of despotic regimes and is endangering Indian democracy and liberties and rights of Indians.