From beef to porn, the Indian government has a history of imposing unnecessary bans on some remarkably strange things. And the list of the things banned is endless. Surprisingly, what we are unable to collectively understand is the government’s failure to take note of the real issues that are in dire need of attention and affect people in their daily lives. While India remains on the forefront of unusual and sometimes unnecessary bans, the government may as well concentrate on the problems that actually matter instead of the ones that rather add to the problem.
On that note, here is a list of things we think that actually should be banned in India:
Having zero civic sense is a socially acceptable norm in India. Dump garbage on the streets or in the river and nobody will bat an eyelid. In reality, lack of proper waste disposal is one of the biggest issues affecting the country. While people across the globe have taken note of this problem, which is actually the biggest issue of urbanisation, Indian authorities are quick to play the blame game while dodging responsibilities.
2. Public urination
It is not unusual in India to spot people peeing on the walls, trees and by the side of the road. Despite the government pushing campaigns like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the habit of urinating wherever convenient refuses to die in the country. Lack of public toilets and limited civic sense are one of the major reasons why public urination is rampant in the country. Though drafting stricter laws that punish those found urinating in public could really help.
3. Moral Policing
Stress your vocal chords to spat out vulgar curses and no one will care. Hug or kiss someone in public and the guardians of “Indian culture” will smite you. The incidents of moral policing are on a rise across the country. The self-styled upholders of ‘Indian culture’ should use their voice to fight real issues in the society including rape, domestic violence and eve-teasing instead of lecturing women what to wear, who to talk to and when to step out of the house.
We Indians are always in a hurry. I fail to understand what purpose does inconsiderate honking serve in a massive traffic jam when the cars ahead of you are lined up bumper to bumper with no space to let you pass. We might as well take cues from California and Beijing where car honking is actually considered disrespectful and illegal. Or may even look at our state of Sikkim, where honking is actually banned.
5. Animal Cruelty
Believe it or not, the penalty for killing or torturing an animal in India is less than the price of a movie ticket. Don’t be shocked! As per The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, a person who tortures an animal can get away by merely paying a fine between Rs 10 and Rs 50. And if you repeat the offence within three years, you may just have to shed somewhere between Rs 25 and Rs 100. It’s high time we put a ban on animal cruelty and give the voiceless the respect they deserve.
6. Regressive TV shows
While India had managed to produce some of the most progressive TV shows in the 90s, including Astitva and Hasratein, the quality of the shows being aired today is disappointing to the core. Feeding audiences regressive content that stereotype women as the weaker sex and glorify an outdated culture is neither welcoming nor entertaining. Things like an 18-year-old girl getting married to a 10-year-old boy, a woman turning into a fly and the done to death Saas-Bahu saga have to disappear from our TV screens ASAP.
7. Donation in schools and colleges
According to Section 13(2) of the Right to Education Act, no school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee and subject the child or his or her parents or guardian to any screening procedure. Even though admitting your child with the help of donations is a punishable offence, it has become difficult to get your child admitted without paying under the table. How is it fair to get a seat in a reputed school or college just on the basis of money muscle? Bribes in the form of donations need to be banned.
8. Section 377
India criminalises acts of homosexuality through Section 377 of Indian Penal Code. Even though the population is divided on this particular matter, Section 377 has managed to unite religious heads and several politicians in its support. The regressive and colonial law takes away the basic human right to freedom and privacy in the country. It is high time the government stops deciding what people are supposed to do in their own bedrooms and do away with this law for the betterment of the modern India.
It is both public and political support that makes a self-styled godman popular in this country. However, not many have managed to understand the reason behind India’s enduring obsession with godmen and godwomen. With notorious examples of self-proclaimed godmen like Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and Asaram Bapu in mind, India needs to take cognisance of the situation and ban them who do nothing but manipulate people’s faith. We are not that gullible and stupid, are we?
10. Tendency to ban stuff at the drop of a hat
Last, but not the least, stop imposing a ban like it is no big deal. For the last few years, India has banned some of the most irrelevant things and has also invited backlash for the same. The ban-friendly government should focus on the real evils of the society rather than going on a banning spree on things that need not be banned.
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