ARNAB CHATTERJEE apnawritings at yahoo.co.in
Wed Aug 22 12:23:19 IST 2007

  Dear Shuddha,Mahmood farooqui,SARAI readers and
        Though--as I see it---Shuddha has engaged with
one of my questions and has bypassed too many,
particularly those that were in my second mail
previous to Shuddha's first response. I've decided to
wait for some time and allow Shuddha to come back for
the third time and by this perhaps the debate will
become more encompassing and not limited to only
exploring the liasion between editing and censorship.
This is necessitated also by Shuddha's first post on
the attack on Taslima which did involve a broad range
of topics and the subsequent reaction formation it
gave rise to. Among them Mahmood farooqui's one and
that which shows serious engagement merits an answer
which ought to be equally serious and I shall include
his inquiry when I respond to what Shuddhabrata has
said in his answer.
         Now, it would be stylisticlly mean ( batao
bhai keya soch rahe ho!) if I do not anticipate my
predictions and perforations that would work upon
Shuddha's textual will--so to say, so here it is:what
he proposes --I'll say ---is a consent theory of
censorhip --( consent: Shuddha is very fond of this
word)and he is into--with this----a mafia don's den.
        Whether he lives or dies there or wins a
miraculous escape  is a matter to wait and see.

with love and regards

--- Shuddhabrata Sengupta <shuddha at sarai.net> wrote:

> Dear Arnab (and all on the list)
> Apologies, first for the delay in writing this reply
> to Arnab's
> questions. I had promised in my last posting on this
> matter that I would
> respond to the points raised by Arnab, after I had
> responded to the
> other issues that have marked this correspondence.
> I would like to thank Arnab for the very substantive
> question he has
> raised about the relationship between what occurs in
> the process of
> editing, and censorship.
> Do good ideas, provocative but necessary thoughts,
> concepts, testimonies
> and stories get left out, or tamed, or distorted
> beyond recognition in
> the ordinary process of editing, especially as it
> occurs in the media
> (print and electronic)? Of course it does.
> Ask any journalist in any mainstream publication who
> covers sensitive
> issues and you will know how stories get mangled
> before they get to
> print. Watch a story unfold as it moves from its
> first 'live' report to
> how it gets spun in the prime time news show on
> television and you will
> also see how things change as the editorial desk
> begins to breathe heavy
> on a story.
> And as for literary content, of course, editors pre
> select and weed out
> content that they consider unsuitable under pressure
> from propreitors or
> other powerful interests. The converse also happens,
> some people are
> given more than ample publishing space - the making
> of literary and
> jouranalistic celebrity is sometimes a carefully
> choreographed affair,
> and we have to begin to ask why some writers (and
> stories, or topics or
> themes or styles) get a lot of space just as much as
> we have to ask why
> some get so little or none at all.
> Finally, there is a kind of informal pre-censorship,
> along with
> information managemnt, that operates discreetly
> within the media. It is
> well known that some people in the senior echelons
> of the media
> profession are informal members of what
> euphmestically gets called the
> 'intelligence community'. Some others, lower down
> the ladder, are the
> footsoldiers of the intelligence community. These
> gentlemen (and ladies)
> perform essential functions, planting stories,
> circulating fabrications,
>   and occasioanally, influencing editorial decisions
> and policy. A phone
> call from certain unlisted numbers in New Delhi will
> often do the job of
> removing a story that may be considered too
> discomfiting.
> All of this occurs, and personally, I do not think
> we have an adequate
> handle on how this can be addressed. The most
> important thing that needs
> to be done right now, I think is a kind of everyday
> but rigorous
> critical reading of media and cultural material -
> looking for patterns
> and consistencies of content and form - such that
> instances of
> manipulation can be sought and speculated upon.
> We probably also need 'whistleblowers' from within
> the ranks of media
> professionals, but the current insecurity of work
> conditions within the
> journalistic profession may make this expectation
> unrealistic. For media
> to be free, media practitioners have to work in an
> environment that
> sustains a high ethical standard, and also protects
> the security of
> employment. None of these conditions obtain at
> present. The patterns of
> ownership of media also lead to unhealthy
> consolidations, which render
> the whole profession vulnerable. Many young and not
> so young journalists
> and writers are professionals who would like to work
> according to far
> more exacting ethical and formal standards than
> their employers and
> publishers would allow for.
> But does this amount to censorship? I don't think
> so. We have to be
> careful in distinguishing between a repressive
> culture (which actively
> discourages certain things from being said, or
> certains styles of
> expression from being used) from instances of actual
> censorship. Actual
> censorship, in my view, occurs when a text, image,
> idea, concept, sound,
> recording, film or any other artefact is prevented
> from reaching its
> intended audience in the way that its author saw
> fit, without the
> consent of the author. So, a film that is played
> with scenes cut out of
> it is a censored film. A film that is banned is a
> censored film. A film
> that disappears and does not reach its audience
> becasue some powerful
> people made sure that this would happen is a
> censored film. But if for
> instance, a filmmaker made some changes in his film
> at the suggestion of
> his producers or funders, and then went on to show
> his film, that would
> not, to my mind, be a censored film. No matter how
> much the filmmaker
> complained about the 'control' exercised on him in
> private, if, he or
> she has agreed to make changes (often as per
> conditions laid down in the
> contract) then his/her film is not a censored film.
> Every artist has the
> choice not to make or finish a work of art. If the
> conditions are
> unfavourable to the realization of his/her vision,
> an artist can always
> cease his/her labour. His/her silence, can at times
> be more eloquent
> than compromised speech.
> The kind of control that we see most of all in our
> cultural sphere and
> in our media milieu is not actually censorial. It
> works with, rather
> than against the author. It doesn't act on finished
> work, rather, it
> shapes and co authors work as it progresses. It is
> repressive, (and I
> think there could be more precise words than
> 'repression' for what I am
> attempting to describe, but since I dont have one at
> the moment,
> repression is what I will continue to use, perhaps
> someone else can
> suggest a better and less 'heavy' word). But it is
> the kind of
> repression that cannot work and be functional
> without the active
> cooperation of those it seeks to control most of all
> - the producers of
> literary, artistic and media content.
> More important than all of this is the control
> mechanism that sits
> inside peoples heads, something we could call
> 'self-censorship' - and
> self-censorship, motivated by nationalism, or
> concerns for national
> security, or an over zealous attitude to 'moral'
> questions, or plain and
> simple prejudice, or calculations about the
> advancement of ones'
> professional career has as much a role to play than
> anything else. In
> fact, I think that this kind of auto-censorship is
> far more active
> inhibitior in our milieu than any overt external
> censorship. It makes
> the task of the censors much easier. We are all our
> own little censors.
> The only way out of this situation is for the
> decentering of culture.
> For the production and proliferation of as many
> channels of meaning
> making and information as are possible. For people
> to express themselves
> in more than one way, in more than one medium, in
> more than one
> language, in more than one form. This way, you might
> escape the
> repression you face in one area in the work that you
> do in another. The
> repressed journalist might become the emancipated
> writer of literary non
> fiction. The repressed poet might become the free
> thinking philosopher,
> and the repressed philosopher might become the
> liberated poet, and so
> on. It might also need new forms of anonymous and
> collaborative
> authorship, which allow people to write and create
> in ways that they may
> feel inhibited by under their own names and
> identities.
> It also probably needs many platforms of
> publication, on the web, but
> also in print. The rise of desktop, do-it-yourself
> and samizdat
> publishing forms, and cheaper forms of recording and
> disseminating
> digital video and sound through cds, dvds and on the
> web means that
> things can loosen up a lot more. If someone faces a
> persistent problem
> of not having their work published or kept away from
> an intended public,
> then they can also undertake initiatives to
> self-publish their
> work,(including blogs and zines) and release their
> work under a commons
> system so that it can be reproduced and disseminated
> by others to even
> wider audiences and readerships.
> I totally understand your sympathy for the marginal
> poet and the writer
> who shuns and is shunned by the mainstream - but
> that writer can also
> help create the conditions that lead to the
> formation of an alternative
> public that effectively reduces the mainstream to a
> dull and pedantic
> space where nothing really interesting happens.
> Artistic innovation does
> not consist solely in the experimentation with new
> forms, it consists
> equally in new forms of publicness.
> It is my belief that a general increase and
> diversity in forms of public
> rendition of literary, journalistic and artistic
> work can lead to an
> atmosphere that eventually makes even the mainstream
> sit up and take
> notice, so that what might be called the 'commanding
> heights' of the
> media too have to buckle and become less repressive.
> But all of this
> requires a lot of work.
> Now let me come to an even more substantive
> question. Is editing itself
> censorship?
> Let me spell out the reasons why I dont think it has
> to be.
> An edited book, or magazine, or publication, or
> programme, or a curated
> exhibition, is also a work - just as each essay,
> story, poem, film, art
> work that contributes to an edited or curated entity
> is also a work.
> As in any work, different kinds of authorial
> entities entail different
> degrees of control. An open ended and participatory
> work or process,
> (such as this list) can be open to any contributors
> by those who are
> either invited to participate or by those who
> self-select themselves for
> participation. An unmoderated list is a continuing
> work of which we are
> all authors. The only condition of authorship here
> is subscription.
> However, nothing prevents a list or a blog from
> declaring itself to be
> moderated. And I see nothing wrong (or censorious)
> in that. Often, the
> authorial intention is not to invite and be
> hospitable to any
> contribution, but to focus on, or emphasize some
> kinds of content. This
> is perfectly understandable, if the authors feel
> that this is the best,
> or only way for them to communicate. It does not
> prevent others from
> communication, it just creates an exclusive zone for
> certain kinds of
> communication. After all, every moderated blog,
> presumes the existence
> of other moderated blogs - which can even link to
> it, in criticism,
> antagonism and opposition. This is why, it is false
> and erroneous to say
> that if someone moderates or culls messages from a
> moderated blog, one
> is being censorious. One is preserving the integrity
> of one's intended
> practice of communication, nothing that the
> moderator of a moderated
> blog does can prevent someone (say someone who is
> moderated away) from
> starting their own blog. Work, begets work, even in
> criticism.
> I see no contradiction at all in writing in an
> unmoderated mailing list,
> participating in a moderated blog or e-forum, and
> writing for several
> rigorously edited journals, and being part of the
> editorial collective
> of a rigourously edited publications. Each of these
> different modes of
> making things public has their own norms, protocols
> and ettiquette which
> stem from the different purposes that they seek to
> address.
> As someone who works in an editorial capacity (as
> part of the editorial
> collective of the Sarai Readers) I am well aware of
> the fact that we
> have to intervene quite heavily on certain
> occasions, working closely
> with writers, suggesting changes in language and the
> order of
> information, and of course, making decisions about
> what to keep and what
> to drop in terms of what makes it finally to print.
> In fact selections
> of contributions to the reader happen at two stages,
> first when we
> receive abstracts in response to the general call
> for the Reader, and
> secondly, when we are receive final articles. If the
> author of a
> promising abstract delivers a less than promising
> article, sometimes,
> with a heavy heart, we have to let the article go. A
> book is a finite
> thing, it cannot have an endless number of pages,
> and so, for reasons of
> editorial consistency, brevity, taste and our own
> ideological
> predelictions, we cull, and on occasion, we cull
> with severity. But we
> do not hide the fact that we cull. The call for
> contributions says quite
> categorically that the decision as to what to
> include rests with the
> editors. If the editors did not cut something out,
> they would not be
> editors, but would be say, additive compilers.
> Anyone who sends in
> contributions to such a publication does so with the
> full understanding
> that their contribution stands to be rejected just
> as much as it stands
> to be accepted.
> It is possible, that someone whose writing we may
> have rejected, will be
> motivated enough to start a journal or a book series
> of their own, with
> the express purpose of including and publishing the
> kind of material
> that would have been excluded from the Sarai Reader
> Series, and maybe
> even of rejecting the kind of stuff that we publish.
> If that were to be
> the case, it would be wonderful.
> After all, the only way that culture can be vigorous
> is if there is
> enough criticism of everything. Including everything
> that each one of us
> is fond of and stands for.
> Thank you for your patience, and Arnab, I hope you
> now have a fair idea
> of where I stand on these matters. And sometimes, we
> may feel compelled
> to take a stand about someone who is being
> persecuted, a book that is
> being banned, or a film that is prevented from being
> screened,
> regardless of personal taste, or ideological
> convictions. I am not a fan
> of M.F.Husain's work as an artist, but I do feel
> that it is tragic that
> there are threats to his work. I have amivalent
> feelings about Taslima
> Nasrin's work, but I would stand by it's right to be
> published, and for
> her to be heard, even if I found it personally
> distasteful, and her a
> difficult person to deal with. I stand by Sanjak Kak
> and his film, not
> because he is a friend and a comrade, or because I
> agree with much of
> what is said in his film (all of which are true),
> but because I believe
> that every film has a right to its public, and that
> every public has a
> right to every film.
> with warm regards
> Shuddha
> > Dear Shuddhabrata,
> > 
> > I’m not ashamed to say that  I am an avid reader
> of 
> > your- i.e., Shuddhabrata Sengupta’s writings as
> the
> > works of Jeebesh Bagchi ( recently in the Journal
> of
> > the Moving Image) or that of Lawrence Liang ( the
> > little that I’ve read )and some works and words of
> > Inder Salim and Vedabati Jogi simply fascinate me.
> And
> > love at times compells to engage--more and more--
> like
> > this one.
> >  
> >                   I have a public question for
> > you--Shuddha. The remarkably clear instances of
> > persecution or censorship  no doubt merit
> discussion
> > and an activist anthropology of sorts may be
> strongly
> > required to comment on them but consider for
> instance
> > the paradigm called ‘editing’ compulsory in
> newspaper
> > circles and other  institutionalised  relatas.
> Besides
> > correcting linguistic and open stylistic errors (
> > which perhaps everybody will accept) there is
> first
> > the step of choosing articles and secondly if
> chosen
> > –the editing of content. Both events make edifying
> and
> > horrifying stories—but they are rarely available.
> > Could you comment on this archival- lack ? And its
> > logistics? Remember Taslima was twice awarded the
> > Ananda puraskar; does it signify anything? People
> > don’t discuss Malay Roy choudhury. And even Malay
> is a
> > bad example; Allen Gisnberg at a function
> celebrating
> > 25 years of Howl was asked his favourite author:
> he
> > named a punk novelist and said, “ but he doesn’t
> get
> > published.” 
> > 
> >                I don’t want to elaborate on this
> here
> > but cryptically summarise by asking that could
> editing
> > be seen as  also a technology of censorship and
> > persecution passed under the table? Isn’t tabloid
> > criticism based on the sacrifice of the best
> > arguments? How could it be made accountable? Or
> take
> > the ready example  and answer why SARAI needs to
> be an
> > open public forum rather than a closed one. Here
> is a
> > hint: if others are  closed ones, then what kind
> of
> > freedom do they express? (Let the readers not 
> mistake
> > this fact and reiterate the catechism that it is
> > technically not possible to accommodate all and
> > everything etc.)   --Because, then the agency
> where
> > the ‘Freedom of expression’ is articulated, would
> > itself be in doubt. That mediation itself is
> mediated
> > is poisonous knowledge.
> >            Now this apparently is a simple, known
> > statement, but –I’ll tell you after a while—how it
> is
> > not.
> >     Simply put, I want Shuddha and all to comment,
> > discuss and open the old force field of
> persecution
> > and the art of writing again to  debate it,- but
> with
> > a difference: we move away from visible forms of
> > coercion and explore apparently non-coercive,
> > non-violent ( nearly necessary) forms of mediation
> and
> > translation. (are they just impossible to
> handle?).
> >    A caution here:  In this I don’t want to down
> play
> > the Taslima event and Shuddha’s comments on it but
>  I
> > find myself attracted to Malay Roy Choudhury or
> > Subimal Mishra rather than Taslima. The latter
> pass
> > away as not being persecuted at all; why? how?
> >     This last example is a bit gross and bypasses
> the
> > finer arguments I was hinting at but nevertheless
> it
> > puts things in a straight light and offers a
> > beginner’s example. But no cause for remorse :
> there
> > are hundred narratives –some of them awesome—to be
> > recounted here. But at first I expect Shuddha to
> clear
> > the cloud here.
> > 
> > Thanks
> > Yrs in discourse and defeat
> > arnab
> > 
> > 
> > --- Shuddhabrata Sengupta <shuddha at sarai.net>
> wrote:
> > 
> > 
> >>Dear All (apologies for cross posting on
> Kafila.org
> >>and the Sarai Reader 
> >>List)
> >>
> >>The recent attack on Taslima Nasreen has again
> shown
> >>how fragile the 
> >>freedom of expression is in India today. It breaks
> >>whenever a 
> >>sentimental reader or viewer has their 'sentiments
> >>challenged'. Are all 
> >>these worthy gentlemen who go about obstructing
> >>screenings and readings 
> >>suffering from some early childhood trauma that
> >>makes it difficult for 
> >>them to countenance growing up and acquiring the
> >>ability to listen to 
> >>contrary point of view? How long are we to be held
> >>hostage to their 
> >>infantile suffering?
> >>
> >>What is worse is the fact that the people who
> >>attacked her, and have 
> >>made public threats to kill her - activists and
> >>elected representatives 
> >>belonging to MIM, a leftover of the Nizam's hated
> >>Razakars, were 
> >>arrested and then let off on bail. So, the message
> >>that the state sends 
> >>out to these goons is - "threaten to kill, be
> taken
> >>to a police station 
> >>to have a cup of tea, have your picture taken, be
> >>splashed in the media, 
> >>go home and make some more threats"
> >>
> >>see -
> >>
> > 
> >
> > 
> >>In fact, according to a report in the Indian
> Express
> >>today, it is Ms. 
> >>Nasreen who is now being booked under section 153
> -
> >>the same section of 
> >>the penal code that was earlier used to detain the
> >>unfortunate art 
> >>student in Baroda who had offended 'Hindu and
> >>Christian sentiments'. So 
> >>as far as the Police in the state of Andhra
> Pradesh
> >>is concerned, person 
> >>who makes a public threat to kill a writer - a
> >>prominent politician is 
> >>innocent, and the writer herself, who has never
> >>threatened to kill 
> >>anyone, nor has asked others to kill people is
> >>guilty of inciting 
> >>hatred. Both are to be treated equally. There can
> be
> >>no greater travesty 
> >>of justice than this incident, and it once again
> >>demonstrates how 
> >>willing state power in India is to dance in tandem
> >>with bigots. It 
> >>happens in BJP ruled Gujarat, it happens in
> Congress
> >>ruled Andhra 
> >>Pradesh. It happens (see below)in Left Front ruled
> >>West Bengal.
> >>
> >>Once again this demonstrates that bigotry and
> >>cussedness is not the 
> >>monopoly of the self appointed representatives of
> >>any one community or 
> >>political tendency. If the self appointed
> >>representatives of the 
> >>Kashmiri Pandit community and their allies pour
> >>venom on Sanjay Kak on 
> >>this list and elsewhere, they are matched in their
> >>ardour by the 
> >>viciousness of those who have appointed themselves
> >>the guardians of 
> >>Islam in Hyderabad, and the protectors of Hindu
> and
> >>Christian dignity in 
> >>Baroda. And lest we forget, (we do have short
> >>memories) let us remember 
> >>that the last time Tasleema Nasrin was vilified
> and
> >>hounded and her 
> >>publication banned in an Indian state, it just
> >>happenned to be in West 
> >>Bengal, where she has her largest readership, and
> >>this happenned because 
> >>the secular progressive left front regime, led by
> >>the Contractors Party 
> >>of India (Monopolist) deemed her a threat to the
> >>sanitized cultural 
> >>landscape that they so vigorously uphold and
> >>maintain in that state.
> >>
> >>The CPI(M)'s party organ 'People's Democracy'
> found
> >>it necessary to 
> >>publish the official 'party line' on the ban in
> its
> >>issue dated November 
> >>7, 2003 (Vol XXVII, No 49). It said (apologies for
> >>this lengthy quotation)
> >>
> >>"THE Bengal Left Front government has decided to
> ban
> >>Bangladeshi author 
> >>Taslima Nasreen’s latest book, Dwikhandita
> >>(‘Split in Two’) because it 
> >>was feared that the book would incite communal
> >>violence.  At no point of 
> >>time has the book been proscribed on political or
> >>literary grounds.
> >>
> >>In a government notification issued on November
> 28,
> >>the state LF 
> >>government has formally invoked the ban under
> >>section 95 of the code of 
> >>Criminal Procedure, read with Act 153 of the
> Indian
> >>Penal Code (where it 
> >>is considered a criminal and punishable act to
> >>create enmity, rivalry, 
> >>and hatred amongst religious communities.
> >>
> >>State secretary of the CPI (M), Anil Biswas said
> >>that there was 
> >>apprehension expressed widely that the book would
> >>spark off communal 
> >>tension, and that very many experts in the field
> >>supported this view. 
> >>The LF government has banned the book for the sake
> >>of the upkeep of 
> >>democracy in Bengal. Several newspapers, too, have
> >>expressed similar 
> >>feelings. Biswas pointed out that “from the time
> >>the Left Front has been 
> >>office in Bengal not a single book or publication
> >>has been proscribed on 
> >>political grounds.” However, said Biswas, it was
> a
> >>different matter 
> >>altogether if a publication or a book incited
> >>terrorism and communalism.
> >>
> >>Chief minister of Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
> >>whose department 
> >>issued the notification banning the book, said
> that
> >>he had himself read 
> >>the book “several times over.” that he has
> >>“persuaded at least 25 noted 
> >>specialists to go through the book critically”
> and
> >>that they have 
> >>recommended the book to be not fit for circulation
> >>among the reading 
> >>public.  In particular, the pages 49-50 of the
> book
> >>contain very 
> >>derogatory and provocative references that go
> >>against the grain of the 
> >>tenets of Islam and of Islamic beliefs.
> >>
> >>  Several noted authors including the poet Sunil
> >>Gangopadhyay, the 
> >>novelists, Dibyendu Palit, Nabanita Deb Sen, and
> >>Syed Mustafa Siraj, the 
> >>Bangladeshi novelist, Sams-ul Huq, the singer
> Suman
> >>Chatterjee, as well 
> >>as the Trinamul Congress leader and Kolkata mayor,
> >>Subrata Mukherjee, 
> >>among others, have come openly out against the
> book
> >>and have supported 
> >>the decision by the state LF government to get the
> >>book banned.
> >>
> >>Pradesh Congress leader Somen Mitra who has called
> >>Taslima Nasreen a 
> >>blot on the world of women, has described the book
> >>as having no 
> >>difference with a piece of pornography and has
> said
> >>that nobody ought to 
> >>assume rights to hurt the sentiments of a
> religious
> >>community.
> >>
> >>The book which forms a part of Nasreen’s
> >>multi-volume autobiography has 
> >>been charged by the reading public of Kolkata and
> >>Bengal with obscenity 
> >>and has come under fire for its maligning and
> >>falsified personal 
> >>references to the lives of several noted scholars
> of
> >>Bengal and 
> >>Bangladesh as well.
> >>
> >>However, the book, as Anil Biswas made clear while
> >>speaking to the media 
> >>in Kolkata recently, was banned because of the
> fact
> >>that portions of the 
> >>book would cause religious disharmony to break
> out,
> >>with the religious 
> >>fundamentalists utilising the book to fan the
> flame
> >>of communal fire.
> >>
> >>True to form, the BJP chief Tathagata Roy has
> >>supported Taslima 
> >>Nasreen’s derogatory references to Islam and has
> >>opposed the 
> >>proscription of the book.  Mamata Banerjee has
> >>chosen to hold her 
> >>silence, as she is wont to do of late on very many
> >>other matters as well."
> >>
> >>It appears that if there is one thing that
> religious
> >>fundamentalists, 
> >>communal, nationalist, secular and leftist
> >>politicians agree on is the 
> >>necessity to curb the freedom of expression in
> Inda.
> >>
> >>There is only one possible ethical response to
> this
> >>pathetic display of 
> >>arrogance by the self appointed representatives of
> >>Hindu, Muslim, 
> >>Christian and Communist sentiment, and that is to
> >>ensure the widest 
> >>possible circulation of these materials in the
> >>public domain. It is to 
> >>organize as many screenings as possible of a film
> >>like 'Jashn-e-Azaadi' 
> >>(or any other film that is attacked in a similar
> >>fashion) and to hold 
> >>public readings and distributions of the books of
> >>someone like Taslima 
> >>Nasreen.
> >>
> >>In 'Homeless Everywhere:Writing in Exile' an essay
> >>by Taslima Nasreen 
> >>that had been first published in English in Sarai
> >>Reader 04: Turbuluence
> >>
> >>
> > 
> >
> > 
> >>She wrote -
> >>
> >>"Just like in West Bengal today, my books have
> been
> >>banned earlier in 
> >>Bangladesh on the excuse that they may incite
> riots.
> >>The communal 
> >>tension raging through South Asia is not caused by
> >>my books but by other 
> >>reasons. The torture of Bangladesh’s minorities,
> >>the killing of Muslims 
> >>in Gujarat, the oppression of Biharis in Assam,
> the
> >>attacks against
> >>Christians, and the Shia-Sunni conflicts in
> Pakistan
> >>have all occurred 
> >>without any contribution from me. Even if I am an
> >>insignificant writer, 
> >>I write for humanity, I write with all my heart
> that
> >>every human being 
> >>is equal, and there must be no discrimination on
> the
> >>basis of gender, 
> >>colour, or religion. Everyone has the right to
> live.
> >>Riots don’t break 
> >>out because of what I write. But I am the one who
> is
> >>punished for what I 
> >>write. Fires rage in my home. I am the one who has
> >>to suffer exile. I am 
> >>the one who is homeless everywhere."
> >>
> >>
> >>If we want to ensure that writers, filmmakers and
> >>artists are not 
> >>'homeless everywhere' then we have to ensure that
> >>they receive the 
> >>hospitality that enables the conditions that allow
> >>their work, thought 
> >>and expression to continue to have a public life.
> >>This means making sure 
> >>that their work lives and continues to breathe in
> >>society, by any means 
> >>necessary.
> >>
> >>For those who are interested, and can read Bangla,
> >>some of Taslima 
> >>Nasrin's work is available in the form of
> >>downloadable pdfs from 
> >>www.talimanasrin.com. When the venerable Buddhadev
> >>Bhattacharya decided, 
> >>after consulting twenty five eminent intellectuals
> >>to ban her book, I 
> >>decided to download the said book, make twenty six
> >>photocopies of the 
> >>entire book bind them and distribute them free.
> >>
> >>That is one method to deal with censorship (formal
> >>or informal) I am 
> >>sure that there are other, more creative methods
> out
> >>there as well. I 
> >>would welcome practical suggestions from those in
> >>the community of the 
> >>people who are reading this post
> >>about how these attacks on the freedom of
> expression
> >>may be confronted 
> >>and made irrelevant. Let us try and make some time
> >>for peaceful film 
> >>watching and reading.
> >>
> >>best
> >>
> >>Shuddha
> >>
> >>
> >>_________________________________________
> >>reader-list: an open discussion list on media and
> >>the city.
> >>Critiques & Collaborations
> >>To subscribe: send an email to
> >>reader-list-request at sarai.net with subscribe in
> the
> >>subject header.
> >>To unsubscribe:
> >>List archive:
> > 
> > <https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/>
> > 
> > 
> > 
> >       Get the freedom to save as many mails as you
> wish. To know how, go to
> > 

      DELETE button is history. Unlimited mail storage is just a click away. Go to https://edit.india.yahoo.com/config/eval_register

More information about the reader-list mailing list