Censorship comes in many forms. Some of the books mentioned were not banned wholesale by governments, but there are Little Napoleons out there trying to show their power. It took someone with an axe to grind to initiate such an intellectual calamity. ... Books are supposed to represent the best of the nation's intellectual tradition. But, sadly, books are banned and burnt for challenging prevailing assumptions or deemed detrimental to the ruling elite. Worse, they are suppressed for being politically or religiously incorrect. Or for being different. Books are supposed to nourish the mind. Books help to inculcate good values in society, encourage healthy debate and enlarge the realm of learning. Banning books is not an acceptable method to suppress freedom of expression.Johan Jaafar dedicates his column in today's New Straits Times to the topic of banned books - a timely topic - though one wishes he had had gone a stage further and point a finger at Malaysia's Little Napoleans.
Something I didn't know and am frankly quite shocked by (especially as I've been unhappy about Pak Pram's work being banned in his home country) :
Closer to home, the late Pramoedya Ananta Toer, one of the best writers Indonesia has ever produced, was involved in the Lembaga Kebudayaan Rakyat, better known as Lekra. It was controlled by Partai Komunis Indonesia and denounced works that were anti-rakyat or "irrelevant to the struggle". ... Writers were labelled, condemned and their books became bonfires. Sadly, Pramoedya's chequered past in his involvement with Lekra caught up with him. Prominent Indonesian writers protested when he was conferred the Magsaysay Award for Literature. Their argument: he stifled creativity and suppressed literary works.Anyone know any more about this?