The Tamil Nadu government's decision to ban the screening of the film Dam 999 (“Indefensible ban,” editorial, Nov. 26) can be described as disappointing. The response has been rather clichéd. It is a bit hard to believe that a film can create discord and disrupt the close ties between the people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan,
People are intelligent and well understand what the film is about. After all, it is this same judgment that the political class appeals to at the time of elections. The government must do a rethink.
Though the ban violates the fundamental rights — of speech and expression — it is pertinent to note that these freedoms must come with reasonable restrictions. Anything that would plant the seeds of disharmony between brethren states and citizens must be restricted. It must also be noted that an important pilgrim season involving the States is about to begin and there cannot be any attempt to create problems.
As regards old dams, as per the Central Water Commission's website, India ranks after China, the U.S. and Russia in terms of the number of dams. There are many large dams in India which are more than 100 years old. The safety and maintenance of, and the threat from old dams are a major issue in many countries.
Since the days of the first banned film, Neel Akasher Neechey, in 1959, we have banned 14 films on flimsy, narrow and political grounds. This is tantamount to the violation of the right to freedom of expression.
M. Somasekhar Prasad,