Censorship is defined as a suppression or prohibition of any part of a book, film, news, idea, speech, content etc. that is considered obscene, politically & ideologically unacceptable, a threat to security, or is offensive towards a group of people. It is generally performed upon an establishment consisting of ideas, visuals, rhetoric etc. that is based upon a specific view of life. The mass burning of books, the banning of books in countries, removal of chapters etc. from course books, are some prime examples of censorship of books.
The idea of censorship on books is not a new concept. A person at the helm of power decides on a whim as to what part and content of a book should be read and what part should be censored. In recent times, it has been applied on books to avoid the adult base content being read by children, and in general to avoid political contradictions.
The argument that children if exposed to a book not suitable for their age group, would yield hampering results does not persist. In my view, if anyone wants to know about suitability of books for children, generally the synopsis and reviews provide plenty of clues. As far as a child is concerned, he might have difficulty interpreting the heavy content of a book which is beyond his comprehensive ability. In fact, if he is able to comprehend, then age is merely a number for the child. The only factor separating the child from the objectionable content is good guidance and mentoring. After all, he may not be able to absorb the content as deep as he might while watching a visual.
The above analogy can be rebutted on psychological aspect. It is an established fact that what is read is more difficult to visualise than what is seen. In Spinozian sense, you cannot visualise or imagine anything that is not present in nature and is not seen before. (natura naturata). We respond and learn faster from visuals rather than from reading. Hence this justifies why there is a censor board for visuals or movies.
I would rather clarify that I am talking about censoring of books/ novels/ scriptures etc. (written material) in layman term. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion that includes the censoring authorities in their political mindset.
Coming back to why books and/or scriptures should not be censored? The censor board is for visuals which are telecasted all over a state; at the very least, novels are not televised. Unless they are books with visuals, such as a manga or comic books, people will remain benevolent towards the aspect of reading and will not imagine absurd graphics. Since they would not know how it came to be! However, this idea is again questionable, since humans cannot escape their nature and their natural tendencies.
I say that after a certain point humans are bound to learn certain things. Censoring the same in the name of absurdities such as sin would result in the collapse of a society. While visuals show it, books portray it. Reading brings maturity and clarity of thought. This is because we need to read enough to augment rational thoughts. Irrespective of the genre, reading helps us develop logical reasoning. Reading a book and censoring the politically explicit part would be a resultant breach of one’s personal right.
I am of a profound opinion that there should not be any censorship or limitation on books. After all, a person sitting on a chair cannot determine as to what one should and should not read. Information is power; to allow those already in power to censor the opinions of those who disagree with their views is unhealthy and potentially dangerous. We cannot judge and censor an opinion on the mere connotation that it is contrary to our belief.
Boringbug is a blogger, a sketch artist by hobby and a lawyer. His website is a part reflection of his ideas, experiences, dialogues, thoughts and opinions. It can be reached here at boringbug.wordpress.com.