Banning and unbanning pornographic sites, Modi is as unstable as his decisions

Published: August 5, 2015

The porn sites are not available on most of the ISPs since Saturday night.

Indian people are under siege by the government which was elected by them. Today, the popularly chosen regime decides what the masses should watch, what they should hear, what they should eat, how they should exercise, and how they should behave as citizens of the nation. Any deviation or questioning is termed as anti-national activity. Governance has now given way to policing.

How will the government justify the blocking of more than 800 porn sites on the internet? In a country which boasts of the traditions of Kamasutra and where people throng in large number to see the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, banning erotic or sexually explicit sites is not only blatant moral policing, but also a direct interference with people’s personal lives and choices. Though the Hindu right-wing government, under the leadership of Narendra Modi withdrew its order on blocking pornographic sites after huge public outrage, the questions this decision gave way to cannot be brushed aside lightly.

The argument put forth by the regime was the easy availability of such sites spurs rape in society and increasing levels of violence against women can be controlled by making porn websites unavailable for the masses. For this ‘great’ cause, the government wants to snatch personal liberty and freedom of expression from its citizens.

Is violence against women a post internet phenomenon? There can be other ways of controlling children’s exposure to porn as well. So why such an extreme measure? No wonder some of the celebrities term this ban an “idiocy”.

It is nothing but moral policing, an attempt to turn the country into a den of conservatism and religious obscurantism. Such thought processes reflect an extremist mind-set.

This pattern became clear in the first months of the new regime. The campaign of ‘ghar wapsi (returning home) was aimed at converting Muslims into Hindus, thereby, attacking religious freedom and attempting to turn the country into a majoritarian state. Led by the fringe elements of the Hindu right-wing, the campaign has a clear divisive agenda and wants to polarise society in the name of religion. It’s the majoritarian agenda they want to promote.

The message is clear, if you want to survive in India, you have to be Hindu or behave like a Hindu.

The ‘love jihad’ campaign was also aimed at curbing personal liberty and freedom of expression. The Hindu right-wing launched a virulent campaign against interfaith marriages. They attempted to segregate Hindus from Muslims. At some places, they also issued a strict warning to Hindu girls not to mingle with Hindu boys. As a result the atmosphere in small cities and towns is getting vitiated. Muslims naturally feel cornered.

The government also wants to control your food habits. Three states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have already banned beef eating, thereby, interfering with the lives of not only Muslim minorities, but also lower caste Hindus who are beef eaters. This is only Modi’s second year in power and it is doing everything that was not on the agenda of the party and its patron.

What the Hindu right-wing party has been doing is advancing the agenda of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS), its ideological godfather, who want to make India a Hindu state, discarding the tag of secular and liberal democracy. The situation is such that if you are caught holding beef in your hand in Maharashtra, you could be jailed. Doesn’t it remind you of the Taliban period in Afghanistan where playing music was a punishable offence because it was anti-Islam? The BJP government in Maharashtra and Haryana would jail you if you eat beef because it is anti-Hindu.

A similar mind-set influences the education sector as well. Today, the government is rewriting history textbooks which will be an overdose of Hindu mythology and tradition. The whole aim is to Hindu-ise history textbooks and undermine the multicultural and Muslim history of India.

The same attempt is being made in some of the prominent cultural organisations such as the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), India’s premier film institute. By appointing a small time actor, Gajendra Chauhan, who is a hard-core BJP supporter, as the chief of the organisation, the government wants to control liberal institutions. This in turn will promote a way of life which promotes conservative Hinduism. Those opposing the appointment of Chauhan are termed anti-national.

India gave Modi a historic mandate to lead the country on to the path of economic progress. He also promised to bring India at par with the developed countries of the world. But unfortunately, the kind of agenda his party and the radical Hindu groups have been promoting radically deviate from his promised progressive agenda. Instead, what we are witnessing is the promotion of some kind of Hindu wahabiism.

Modi’s silence on these issues is a clear indication that our prime minister is very much a part of this project. With each passing day, the liberal space in our country is shrinking. There is no progressive agenda which informs the regime.

The interaction between the people and the government is missing. Modi addresses the nation every fortnight through his radio programme Mann ki Baat”, in which he talks of different issues. But ever since he has become the prime minister, he has not answered a direct question put forth by the media in an open press conference. Therefore, it is obvious that questioning is not encouraged or promoted.

We are living under this kind of regime. Young India is being subjected to a crash obscurantism and Talibanism by the government, who unfortunately was chosen by the youth of India.


Sanjay Kumar

The author is a New Delhi based journalist covering South Asian and international politics.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Gratgy

    Click Bait articleRecommend

  • Headstrong

    There he goes again….. here’s the recipe to a 2 minute meal guaranteed to foster debate, civilised or otherwise – pick a hot issue (ANY issue), blame the government, put Modi in the heading, publish in a pakistani newspaper, sit back and watch the show. Recommend

  • Critical

    Linking Porn ban with gharwapsi,love jihad,beef ban,completely incoherent….Recommend

  • Hyderabadi

    “At some places, they also issued a strict warning to Hindu girls not to mingle with Hindu boys. As a result the atmosphere in small cities and towns is getting vitiated. Muslims naturally feel cornered.”

    ROFL!! Man, that made my day.. Thanks for the laugh!Recommend

  • MadMax

    Beginner’s checklist for writing a blog –

    Pick up any latest controversy in India – Check!
    Ghar Wapasi – Check!
    Love Jihad – Check!
    Beef Ban – Check!
    RSS – Check!
    More importantly, blame Modi for everything under the sun – Check!!!

    ET – Should you decide not to publish my comment!Recommend

  • Milind A

    Modi’s not going away soon. In fact he has taken quite a few robust decisions – the accord in Nagaland, resolution of border issues with Bangladesh… Give him some time and he’ll sort out Pakistan as well.Recommend

  • indi

    waste of space ..Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    I do not know why does ET give more priority to Indian issues like pornography…seriously !! O well , it is also banned in Pakistan , I assume. But you are not worried about that ….Maybe you need someone from India to titillate you to make you feel that the “Two Nation Theory was Right” & say “Oh!! Qaid-e-Azam saved us from the evil Hindus ” , as if the a Pakistani (Punjabi , Sindhi & Kashmiri ) Muslim himself is not a Communal guy & does not exploit/discriminate against the Pakistani non-Muslims .


  • Ques

    Modi modi modi. I sneezed…it must be because of modi. Recommend

  • Parvez

    As an observer what puzzles me is that if what you say about steps being taken to turn India into a Hindu state ( you call it a type of Hindu wahabiism ) is actually happening, then why have people not gone to the Court and demanded that the Constitution be followed ( I believe it upholds the concept of a secular state )Recommend

  • Samina Q

    It reminds me Gen Zia period in Pakistan.Recommend

  • someone

    I guess you are becoming Modi obsessed. Do you think Modi has time to discuss ban on pornography? Recommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    So much for the shining India. Recommend

  • anil

    Hmm..Modi was highly unstable before election also .Recommend

  • forced2

    He sure has time to gloat over his musculature (from numerous reports) !Recommend

  • forced2

    He sure has time to gloat over his musculature (from numerous reports) !Recommend

  • RFD

    Jashodaben Chimenlal still married to Sri Narendra Modi – Check
    Indians Invented plastic surgery 6 thousand years ago – Check
    Grafted elephant head on human – Check
    Indians flew to Malaysia Thailand Andaman Islands Fiji Penang – Check
    [4,000 years ago] – Check
    68% of Indians do not have a toilet in their homes – Check
    Ban on cow/buffalo meat, means no skins, means no shoes – Check
    Majority of Indians now wearing plastic/rubber.cardboard shoes – Check

    ET modertaors, do not get overwhelmed by your love for Hindustan,
    and censure this. This is just sarcastic humor. Poking fun. That’s all.

  • Rana Eddy

    I am no supporter of BJP . But let me tell , Hindutvadis are doing in India or aiming to do is exactly what your country’s first PM did & that thing has never been undone. So if gone by the logic of these chaps , Pakistan was Talibanised (or Wahabised) way back in 1949.Recommend

  • Bibloo

    Nagaland is not nuclear armed. Bodoland is not nuclear armed.
    Manipur is not nuclear armed, Bangladesh is not nuclear armed,
    [just a province in Indian East Bengal]. Imphal is not nuclear armed.
    Shillong is not nuclear armed. Pakistanis ARE nuclear armed
    Here is a suggestion….DO NOT repeat DO NOT attempt to sort out
    the Pakistanis. Very very dangerous policyRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Pakistan protects its nukes more than nukes protects PakistanisRecommend

  • Sane

    Before sorting out Pakistan, you Indians must sort out issues related to your (accused at least) criminal Prime Minister. As your officer of Indian Police Service says that. See below links. and sh….sh….sh…… someone is listening.

  • Rajiv

    the disease which most sickulars caught in May 2014Recommend

  • anil

    Well, this article could not even see the day light. Because Now I am watching a porn site . We love to term these people “sickluar” or “5-star activist” . Hail Mother India Recommend

  • Ali

    Why the hell I am reading this problem which is related to Indians???? I mean do ET wants protest in Pakistan too to lift porn ban?Recommend

  • Parvez

    I appreciate your point of view although the circumstances were entirely different in ’47……….today it’s about India the BJP / Modi and the Indian Constitution and my query was why have the courts not been activated ?

  • abhi

    I enjoy reading your blogs. They are full of hatred and biased reporting Recommend

  • nishantsirohi123

    14 years since last census – check

    Literacy rate down to 50% – check

    No go zones based on ethnicity in commercial capital – check

    No power supply, no new Dams for decades – check

    Visa rating gone down compared to last 5 years – check

    Cavity checkup at all major airports – check

    Tax Return rates (who cares) – Check

    Need to declare a certain sect as heretics to apply for passport – check

    Destroyed native culture for foreign culture – check

    A punjabi denied to speak punjabi in lahore – check

    Travel ban for two ppl on motorbikes in cities (not that it is an issue for the pajero crowd) – Check

    Economy in shackles due to load shedding – check

    No water management, so either dry or floods (of course blame India, like the heat wave) – check

    Hateful and biased school curriculum poisoning young minds – check

    Anti democratic content in school books causing confusion – check

    Prime minister taking charge of multiple offices – check

    Almost all government departments either sold off – check

    Among the only 3 countries with polio, also killing polio workers – check

    Still no official apology for Bangladesh genocide, while lying to their children about it – check

    Refused entry to war refugees or stranded Pakistanis of 1971 war, yet allowed thousands of Afghan taliban supporters (all that good taliban bad taliban) – Check

    Marginalized local artists by clerics regularly declaring music and dance as haraam – check

    Lawyers showering rose petals on a murder – check

    Almost all major leaders (civilian or military) dying in “mysterious circumstances” – check

    One province engaged in vanity projects while the rest struggling with basics – check

    Mainstream tv programs passing offensive remarks against Hindus on a regular basis (Hindus exist in Pakistan, so what u never met one) – Check

    Cursing bollywood, still got nothing better to turn to – check

    Dancing on tunes of whoever throws money be it USA, Saudi Arabia or recently China – check

    Fighting for Kashmir, could not hold on East Pakistan – check

    Fabricating history by Romanticism of mass murderers like Qasim, gauri, taimoor & abdali – check


  • KB

    Hindustan,…er..Hate- istan? – Check.
    British Queen and her family are ashamed that her
    forefathers ruled Bharat. They say it is a nation of banyas.
    Only good that came out is England got some recipes for
    idlis and dosas and spicy curries. That is the only redeeming
    factor. – CheckRecommend

  • nishantsirohi123

    And from where London bombings came? Recommend

  • Vegetable Man

    Well, GOP banned Adult Content Websites in Pakistan and has maintained the ban for a number of years, it doesn’t mean that they are Stable in any way….Recommend

  • gp65

    Actually 17 year since last census which was in 1998

    Also only country where investor demands and gets 10000 soldiers to protect road construction work

    No major cricketing side willing to visit

    Civil courts have never convicted any terrorist and now country has military courts which can try civilians

    One of only 2 countries remaining that have a polio problem.

    Literacy rate went down by 2%Recommend

  • gp65

    Queen is ashamed that she looted India. When UK came to India, it had 1% of world GDP and India had 17% and when they left it was reversed. They were responsible for major famines where millions died. Oh and by the way the India she referred to includes Pakistan.Recommend

  • gp65

    Actually India has a no first use policy and never brags about its nukes. It is Pakistan who talks about being willing to use tactical nukes even in a conventional war and THAT is a dangerous policy Recommend

  • gp65

    Your question is reasonable and valid. The answer is in the question though. The reason no one has gone to court is because there has been no discriminatory policy by Modi. Are there some crazy cuckoos like Yogi Aadityanath in BJP, absolutely. But they are not in charge of policymaking and you cannot sue someone for silly statements as long as they are not inciting violence.Recommend

  • gp65

    The term India Shining was used in 2004 by BJP and rejected by Indian population. It has never since been used.

    Having said that being responsive to vox populi and reversing a silly and unpopular policy is the essence of democracy as opposed to dictatorship where decisions do not have to be reversed. Recommend

  • gp65

    1. Ban on porn is not against any religion, nor is reversing that policy
    2. Ghar wapasi is basically conversion of former Hindus to Hinduism. It is not illegal any more than conversion of Hindus to Christianity and Islam. In fact, it is Hindus that have been demanding a law against mass conversion based on economic incentives and no one paid attention to their demand in the past saying that changing religion is an individual’s prerogative. Even when a lot of noise started in response to ghar wapasi, BJP said, if parties found ghar wapasi so reprehensible, it was willing to draft and pass a law against mass conversion. Since then the noise on ghar wapasi has died down because todate more people are being converted to Islam and Christianity thanto Hinduism.
    3. Protecting cow is in the constitution. What is implemented is simply what was in the constitution. That is not the same as banning beef. India todate remains the largest exporter of beef in the world -buffalo beef and it is also available for sale in India.
    4. Love jihad was a silly poll slogan in a local byelection by Yogi Adityanath where he was calling attention to some cases where Muslim boys had courted Hindu girls without disclosing their religion and once the girl was in a committed relationship, converted her. This strategy did not work and by no means was a discriminatory policy against which anyone could go to the courts.certainly no one from Modi’s cabinet ever talked about love jihad.
    Hope that helpsRecommend

  • Waron Dafe

    In the land of IITs, IIMs XLRIs…Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Lol, Banyas are 2,5% of the population, But Pakistanis seem to fear them so muchRecommend

  • RFD

    With a 2 million man Hindustani army!! Pakistanis, only have about 250,000 to 300,000 in the Armed forces. So they will
    be overrun by a human tsunami wearing khaki uniforms and
    turbans. [Only Sikhs are in the Bharati Army, who are goaded
    and prodded forward by Gurkhas]. Gurkhas make sure no deserters are running away. Hindus, are cooks, orderlies,
    drivers, cleaning staff, digging field latrines and such, basically
    they do menial tasks and pen pushing….not known for
    battlefield prowess.Recommend

  • RFD

    Done gone go get a copy of Mahabharata. And read it from
    front to back. Wait ! Is it Bhagvaat Geeta? Shimoli? Anaarkali? Lakshmi’s and Parvati’s diaries? Well whatever the holy books
    are called, done gone go and try to understand a religion only
    the sadhus the swamis and yogis understand. Common man
    on the street has no idea. He just does his Pooja and darshan,
    and is declared a certified bonafide believer in the pantheon
    of 9,453 goddesses/gods/avatars….is it 11,453?….15,453?Recommend