Thursday, October 1, 2009

You have the right to your opinion as long as you agree with us

Two recent articles in the Guardian, this one and this one, confirm what we always knew about censorship in the Land Of The Free.

I find the following quote striking: "Almost 4,000 attempts to ban books have been recorded over the past eight years, though the ALA [American Library Association] believes the figure is a gross understatement. All cases are voluntarily reported, and many more are likely to go unrecorded, sometimes because librarians have been threatened with dismissal if they sound the alarm. Most would-be censors are parents concerned about their children's reading or members of religious groups."

On the other hand, the would-be censors don't tend to have much success in bringing about an official ban. That means the US at least ranks better than Gujarat in this domain.

1 comment:

Rahul Basu said...

The ban on Jaswant Singh's book in Gujarat has been lifted by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately several (better?) books continue to be banned in India -- Satanic Verses and James Laine's book on Shivaji.

The fact that most demands for banning do not succeed in the Land of the Free shows that all is not lost in that Land. And now there is a new President.