Censors and constitution
People interested in arts and literature are nowadays roaring with complaints about very strict control over books displayed at this year’s book fair. What I read about this includes things that call for bitter regrets about how strict the so-called censorship’s control is getting over ideas and authors’ creations, and what people are allowed to read.
This kind of custody is more like embodied dictatorship and unjustified tyranny because people are free to write and read whatever they wish. The state and all its apparatuses have no right in controlling people’s minds, impeding the development of their talents, deciding what they should read or put barriers or limits to their culture.
I wonder if this was really what the state is after. Does the state really wish to limit people’s culture and stop it from expanding? The most important question is: Is this really the state’s policy and wish or is it the mere judgment of minor or even senior public servants? My worst fear is that the state, or let us say the government, is completely free about what is going on, which is already dangerous enough and involves violating people’s dignity, rights as well as detestable control of their cognitive achievement limits.
Such ‘book massacre’ is not new to us. It happens every year with the advent of the book fair, but it seems that this year, things have too far, driving people to roar with anger and hold seminars in protest for putting so many cultural and cognitive barriers as well as trying to derail the Kuwait International Book Fair, which was one of the first that I know of in the Arab countries. It used to be the most open and diverse one.
I recall back in the 1980s, over 30 years back, when friends from neighboring countries used to come to the Kuwait Book Fair to procure books they could not have access to in their own countries. At that time, almost all publishing houses used to take part in the fair because Kuwait was open to all literature and culture and was not selective in choosing certain ideas.
This is the direct responsibility of the information minister who ought to be up to his vocational as well as patriotic duties. He must interfere to protect Kuwait’s cultural reputation as well as people’s right of access to knowledge, because the spread of ignorance kills off nations. Such an obvious fact is not new to the minister and all official related bodies. On the other hand, if things remain the way they are, we had better cancel the fair to protect the reputation of liberties in Kuwait, which was guaranteed by the constitution and annulled by censors. — Translated by Kuwait Times