The Birdcage Archives

Thursday 25 September 2014

Maldives – Promoting Censorship

Maldives – Promoting Censorship

Hello Gentle Reader

This week is called “The Banned and Challenged Book Week.” This is where books known for their controversial view points and social criticism are often brought out from behind the barred – “restricted section,” of the library and are openly celebrated. These books are once again thrust into the spotlight, and the people who found decided to challenge them, are once again mocked as their testimony, are that of a patronizing parent who insists that they know more about what is right; not just for their children, but your children as well. Countries like China, and other totalitarian regimes, are also thrust into the spotlight for their attempts at smothering and destroying the written word, which works against the ‘party approved, ideological standards.’ The most recent country to join the list of countries that wish to stall literary progress and sharing of information and idea’s through the written word is Maldives. The Maldives Islands are a archipelago in the Asian continent, and are located in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The country’s governments do not want novels or poetry published, that will: cause adverse affects on society; or offend the Islamic principles of the country; but also ensure that social etiquettes are abided by. The government went on to retract the statement they had made, by ensuring that they will: “respect the constitutional right to freedom of expression and allow novel and constructive ideas.” However this has all be met with suspicions of criticism that this is to revert the country back into censorship. The move has also been called draconian. Protests have already gone underway through social media to combat this. Poetry (which has not been approved) has found an outpouring through social media. Since the end of a three decade long dictatorship, and the eventual democratic process finally taking hold in the country, it all feels like it is falling apart. The former president was forced to resign – allegedly by gun point. The new president is the brother of the former dictator. There is fears that a new autocratic government is come back into power; and demonstrations to that the Maldives a ‘Islamic State,’ have been taking place through the capital.

I am a firm believer, that when one takes over a country as a dictator or a authorities leader, it is not the army one fears; it is not the political or judicial process – it is the libraries and the schools that one fears. Educated people will not act like brow beaten dogs. They have a voice; they have intellect; they are well read, and articulate in their arguments. Once these are taken away, the slow ‘brain drain,’ begins and everything falls into place of complacent sheep. The right to speak. The right to write. The right to recite verse. These are rights, that encompass more than just ‘freedom of speech,’ they engulf new worlds of perspectives, and once those perspectives are taken away – nothing remains. It is logical to suggest that the works of many great writers, will most likely not reach the shores of the Maldives, or receive the blue stamp of approval.

Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read
*And Remember: Downloading Books Illegally is Thievery and Wrong.*

M. Mary

The Guardian Article

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