Saturday, February 11, 2012

Two bits about censorship, words, and speech

"Words don’t die of cold
they die from a lack of courage
Words often perish
because of humid weather

I once met
a word
that was like a bright red bird
in the swamp along the riverbank in my village
I brought it home
but as soon as we reached the wooden door-frame
it gave me
a strangely terrified look
and breathed its last

After that I started fearing words
If I ran into them I beat a hasty retreat
if I saw a hairy word dressed in brilliant colours
advancing towards me
I often simply shut my eyes"

- Kedarnath Singh
[From the poem translated as 'Words'. Full text here]

"Like grown-ups who spell things out in front of kids, to protect them from reality ” because reality leads to moral degradation ” the subtitles too, have a word censorship and substitute stars or euphemisms for some words. Most intriguing of these are: ovaries, uterus, period, rape. It's as if everything connected to the female body will destroy our innocence. Let's not grow up! Let's pretend there's no ovaries, or rape.
Words are all we have. We can twist them, and with that, twist reality, twist people's lives. We can draw a thick line over reality. That's called censorship, but we can also subtitle it, bulls**t. For those who cross that line with truth there is rape, torture, banning. For everyone else there's Mastercard."

- Paromita Vohra

1 comment:

Jai_Choorakkot said...

lovely poem.

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