Don’t ex­pose the evil

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - WAJIHA MASUD

‘Lib­erty is the right to do’, said Ber­trand Russell. If Pak­istani cit­i­zenry want to watch Aashir Azeem’s new pro­duc­tion ‘Maa­lik’, they are ex­er­cis­ing lib­erty; but if the movie, im­me­di­ately af­ter its re­lease, comes to a screech­ing halt by the Cen­sor­ship Board, then the lib­erty of the gen­eral pop­u­lace is be­ing mu­tated by the is­suance of the re­strain­ing or­der by the gov­ern­ment. The PML-N gov­ern­ment prob­a­bly for­gets that with­hold­ing in­for­ma­tion is the essence of tyranny and the con­trol of flow of in­for­ma­tion is the tool of the dic­ta­tor­ship. To cen­sor a movie merely on the pre­text that it hurts some politi­cians is not a rational step. Rather, it is Panama rev­e­la­tions about May­fair flats and off­shore ac­counts that are de­fam­ing our dem­a­gogues.

We are fac­ing the tribu­la­tions of Pak­istani democ­racy in which the ex­cess of hubris and diminu­tion of sagac­ity en­able our so-called demo­cratic rulers to com­mit such gi­gan­tic bloop­ers. Democ­racy is the name of free speech. It pooh-poohs cen­sor­ship. The sup­pres­sion of truth by means of cen­sor­ship is the vilest one. By this silli­ness noth­ing but chaos emerges and pre­vails. It is chaos that aptly in­vites in­ter­ven­tion and at end ‘demo­cratic’ cam­ou­flage is torn apart by despo­tism. — Karachi

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