Saturday, August 22, 2009

Banning books

Do governments have a right to proscribe books? This has become a matter of topical interest after the Gujarat state government banned Mr.Jaswant Singh's book on Mr.Jinnah. There obviously are ulterior motives in this instant case. Nevertheless, it is appropriate to study the legitimacy of such bans.
Freedom of expression is a sacred right. At the same time, nobody has the right to indulge in defamation. What is libellous is a matter of fact and sometimes difficult to judge. It ill behoves any government to take advantage of this judgemental dilemma and sinisterly silence an inconvenient view-point. In the present case, the Gujarat government has not covered itself with glory.

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