April 13, 2008

Ban on the run

In the City of Joy for a few days last week, I noticed a news item somewhere that I wish I had had the presence of mind to clip and keep. It told me that the lustrous West Bengal government -- yes, the same one whose resume is already graced with Nandigram -- has decided to "ban" protests in that state by Tibetans around April 17, when the Olympic torch comes through India.

Right. That's the way to drum up support for Olympics in Beijing: ban the protests. I'm sure Tibetans are all over the world are now just longing to attend the Games.

But even more important, I'm sure the idea of free speech is bolstered by this step. After all, wasn't it Voltaire who said, very pithily: "I detest what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, unless it's a protest against my ideological chums, in which case I will ban it till the cows come home ... and pigs fly ... and death to the running dog imperialists ... and long live the glorious rotation sorry revolution of the protozoan sorry proto-lariat sorry proletariat!"

Apparently the country's government is unable to see the wisdom in this splendid initiative by the West Bengal government. They have told China that there will be no ban on "anti-China" protests.

Still, that small niggle aside, it's time we all applauded the WB Government. Clap clap, tali bajao and all that.

Sorry, what's that? Applause is banned too? You mean ... tali-ban?

5 comments:

Sidhusaaheb said...

The West Bengal government should realise that just because China has a communist government, it does not mean that whatever the Chinese government does is right.

Protests, as long as these are peaceful, should definitely be allowed.

Ajeya said...

Buddhadeb brownnosing Hu

Krishna Aradhi said...

Ironical, isn't it? Peaceful protests are now being banned in the world's largest democracy.

Jai_Choorakkot said...

Dilip,

Good post. But in all fairness, with or without an explicit ban, the tight controls at Delhi may not have amounted to anything very different on the ground?

It was possible to disagree with or condemn the WB govt action without bringing in rotations of protozoa.

In choosing to do so, you seem to have more than worked in more than disapproval of leftism/communism.

Which makes your side-note on B.Raman in just the previous post more of a mystery.

regards,
Jai

Sridhar said...

too much pun --- oops, I mean fun --- if you know what I mean !

But pray why protest against the Chinese government only during the Olympics ? and why only the Tibetans ?