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Should Books Be Censored Or Burned?

Posted: February 12, 2020

“Vulgarity, corruption and social flaws are always part of the society. You cannot hide it under a veil as it is the basis of human existence. Social flaws are an inevitable part of life whether one accepts it or not. However, too much emphasis on the same must be avoided as it does not come out as a profitable deal for the society when seen in the long run.”

Literature/books have always been a representation of the society. It reflects the evils, the challenges, the problems and wrong thought patterns and actions of the human society. Also, at the same time literature/ books celebrates the hopes, innovation, right judgement and efforts of the human society.

Books from different ages of time represent the society of that time. It reflects both the negative and positive aspects of the society. Thus, books should not be burned/ banned no matter how negative the book might be. One can learn from negative books as well. There is no point running from reality.

“Literature/ books that might showcase vulgarity or wrong thoughts and opinions can be of great help provided you have the correct mindset. This book/literature can be used for educating yourself.”

Being a literature lover, I have read novels that are not at all a beautiful representation of the society. It reflects the ugly aspects of human existence: mental illness, vulgarity, murders, pointlessness in life and morally weak human characters.

Characters like Hamlet who suffered from one characteristic flaw, which was his revenge taking mindset, lead to his doom.

Plays like Romeo and Juliet shows the pain that the main characters have to suffer because of the social opinions of their society at that point of time. Novel such as Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte shows the human cruelty, unfulfilled love, psychotic disorders, and loneliness which were a reflection of the social difficulties prevailing at that point of time.

Time has changed things a little. But, the change is only on surface. I agree that, the set up of Wuthering Heights is very different from the current era that we live in.

But, these problems are still relevant in the society when we look closely.

You will feel the shock especially when you are going for inter-caste marriages, love marriages or want to live a life that might not harm anyone. But, is posing challenge to the normal perceptions of the society. Even cases of mental illness and psychotic disorders are increasing.

This shows that we haven’t progressed much when it comes to tackle our mental blocks in accepting the ugly aspects of our society.

The benefits of reading thought provoking books are:

Open Room for Debates

Reading tragic/ thought provoking novels could be a painful affair. Such plays, novels or books that showcase the not so welcoming aspect of the society should not be burnt. They can open room for debates and better decision making which can further fuel up the economic and social progress of the country.

Educate yourself with not-so-positive books

These books that should be burnt/ censored can be a library in its own self. From such books, you can adopt a positive paradigm towards life. You learn why the society is failing. Also, have a close look at the flaws of your society, the challenges and thought patterns that the society is facing. This will definitely lay down foundation for social, economical and psychological changes.

Gaining confidence to build your own opinion

When I talk about a book that represents the society, certain religion, profession or a person in a negative light? In that case as well, the book should not be banned/ burnt.

My personal belief is that book of any genre must be accepted with an open arms provided you have the ability to question the different opinion contained in the book.

Benefit of reading such books will give you the confidence to have your own opinions giving clarity to your mind.

Reading something negative about a subject/ concept that you truly believe in can bring a little anger/ an emotion of disagreement. But, reading opinions opposite to yours heart belief frees a person from the common problem of blind faith in any concept, religion/ person. With time, you will out rightly reject the opinions that do not resonate with your heart and mind.

Thus, as per me books should not be censored. However, there could be an exception to it. In general, books/ write-ups with different thoughts/ opinions should not be banned/ burnt. Either do not read them or be flexible enough to question the thought and opinions of the author to form your own.

Image via Pixabay

I have done B.Com from SOL, Delhi University. I am currently pursuing my Masters

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