Friday, September 16, 2005

A Ban on Bans!

It is really high time the state and Central Government(s) realise that banning anything is futile. It just isn't compatible with human nature. Ban something and you can be assured that everybody wants to find some means to get around it and everybody becomes curious about it. After all the experience we have with banning one thing or the another, it should be really clear that enforcing a ban is next to impossible.

We seem to be in the midst of a spate of bans all across India. They are banning dance bars and plastic bags in Maharashtra. Students are being banned from wearing certain kinds of dress and playing certain kinds of music in Tamil Nadu. And in Karnataka they are restricting the timings of pubs, dance bars and the like. To me none of them make sense. All these bans do is transfer our focus from the essentials to the non-essentials.

Why don't the goverments focus on fostering better governance, improving the quality of their service, enforcing law and order and the other endless list of things they should be doing? I believe this culture of banning one thing or the other doesn't help in creating a truly free and open society. What we urgently need is a ban on bans!

The Hindu has an editorial on the dress code in Tamil Nadu. You can find an interesting piece on the ban on plastic bags in Maharashtra here .

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