The ban on Akshay Kumar’s movie ‘Padman’ sparked outrage in the country with many including celebrities showing support to the movie, but the recent ban on Anushka Sharma’s ‘Pari’ has further deepened the enragement on Pakistan’s censorship board. The ban surpasses the on surface impact but goes in to questions our priorities. The entertainment authorities and IT Minister of Pakistan claims to be technologically advanced and keeping up with the international pace. However, these unjustified bans tell a different story; contrary to the progressive image that these authorities put forward. Cinema is one of the major genres of arts. Ever since the creation of mankind, art has served various purposes; it has not only been responsible for entertainment but education, awareness and social builder as well. Today we claim to live in a modernised and globalised world, where we have conquered deadly disease, invented parallel to miracle machinery but unfortunately, we have failed to understand art in its true form. We as a nation can claim various accomplishments and acknowledgements in intellectual competition of the world, but sadly we still need art for art purpose. Art for art purpose implies that art is merely produced for its beauty, appreciation and entertainment. It has nothing to do with reforms, education, awareness and progressive approach. The movies or cinema thus becomes a source of spicy item songs and hopeless plots that serve us well for two and a half hours. Censorship is not an option, and has never been This is not only true for us, as a nation, but generally majority needs entertainment but once in a blue moon when the artistic creativity of a producer overcomes his capitalistic motives; we have movies like Paris Is Burning, Bol, Boy In Stripped Pajamas etc. knowledge amalgamated with entertainment is one of the best ways for mass education and awareness. Not everybody has access to other platforms and sources. Cinema, however, appeals to greater audience, both in number as well as in impact. Silencing is not an option and it never has been. Pakistan has recently witnessed heart breaking incidents of child abuse. The Zainab murder case shook the nation and various counter strategies were suggested to avoid such inhumane incident to reoccur. One of the counter strategies was sex education for children. This suggestion started a debate based on religious objections. These objections prove similar to such bans: the mentality that believes that if we avoid projection, we can evade the issue. Unfortunately, reality is different. Ignorance only makes such social evils stronger. We must become vocal, or visual for that matter, to kill the evil. The movies Padman, as we all know, addresses a taboo topic of menstruation and ban on this film by Pakistan Censor Board is a proof that we are still living in medieval times where a biological process cannot be addressed or talked about. The movie talked about the lack of awareness regarding self hygiene during menstruation. Sadly, the situation of Pakistan does not differ from India. Menstruation has always been a taboo topic for us. In Pakistan, a lot of women use unhygienic remedies instead of sanitary napkins either due to lack of awareness of means to afford sanitary napkins. Our media, without any hesitation advertises sanitary napkins and glorify the company for capitalist motives. But when it comes to real education or awareness, we are served with bans. Similarly, ban of Anushka Sharma’s Pari reflects the intolerant nature of our authorities; very quick to pass judgements on issues that concern religion. The upper hierarchy acts as the moral police, dictating the moral duties and obligation. They believe that they are single handedly responsible for the righteousness of the whole nation that is apparently threatened by such movies and productions. They act as protectors of our faith, protecting us from moral contamination through censoring. This ban shows that we do not need art that addresses our social issues or gaps in the history. The institutes rather than focusing on the actual harmful content of media are more focused on banning of productive and progressive movies. PEMRA instead should put a ban on hate speeches that discouraged harmony within the nation. The evils of cinema lie far away from such movies, addressing the social issue for good. Various local movies with violent or vulgar elements never get banned by authorities. However, if a movie dares to challenge the harmful social constructs that have nothing to with Islam, it gets banned. We have had certain alarm bells and it is right time that we set our priorities. Our extremist nature has never served us well. It has done harm to our international image. The ban only reflects our extremist mindsets and intolerant nature. Apart from this major impact, such censorship promotes the proxy business within Pakistan. It compels the views to defy the ban and use unethical and unsafe means to access it. It is about time we moved past these bans and embraced new ideas. The writer is a staff member Published in Daily Times, March 13th 2018.