PROTESTnation, and not BANistan


By Ridham Gambhir

With a series of bans and Sonakshi Sinha’s tweet regarding the same, the word ‘BANistan’  has picked much momentum in the virtual world.

In order to defy the decision of the decision making bodies, the people in our democracy have organized various rallies and protests to vent out their anger and to mark their dissent.

bee-kKrH--621x414@LiveMintThe enforcement of a 153-year-old ban on beef in J&K was met with huge protests. Reacting to the ban, Hurriyat Chairman, Syed Ali Geelani called for protests and a day-long strike in the Valley . “The High Court’s decision is an interference in the matters of Muslims,” he was quoted as saying.

Government’s decision to ban India’s Daughter,  a documentary on the December 16 rape case was the cause of much annoyance to the public.  NDTV, a famed television network, ran a blank screen – featuring only a candle and the title of the documentary  for an hour as a sign of protest.

Yet another ban that incited the masses to rally against, came with a ban on meat in Mumbai and other states. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai’s (MCGM) decision to prohibit the sale of meat during Jain fasting period ‘Paryushan’ , was opposed by  Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), through sale of meat in stalls set up on the street to mark their defiance.

Moreover, after the rigid porn ban, even if one tries to search anything on Google which contains the word ‘porn’, it will not show any result! So our attempt to look for protests regarding this ban,were futile.

Keeping the bans aside, proclamation about the criminalization of  same-sex union or the denial  of reservation to one section of society in Gujrat has also faced public outcry.  And it ought to, after all we live in a democratic rather than a totalitarian set-up.

Offence is the best defence and no doubt, it comes easily to Indians. When somebody doesn’t stand up for the national anthem, we are offended. When a movie shows poverty in our nation, we get offended.  Probably, India is made up of a sensitive population. But amid all this, the issue that we would like to surface is that, surely India is on a banning spree or to say curbing freedom in various ways, but these bans aren’t being received like langar (free food), they are met with raised fists and rising voices.

India is not BANistan, it is indeed PROTESTnation!