The Burning Abomination: Censorship


I remember the time when a small group of pro-government, rightists marched down the street of an embassy of a foreign country. I remember smiling at the sight of their pompous faces, burning with zeal, almost Taliban-like fanaticism, chanting their opposition to the publication of a book. This book made fun of their leader, putting the figure into an unfavorable light and position. It was amusing though I do respect their right to peaceful assembly. With the chanting, sore throats and all, three men of the group dumped a dozen unidentified books on to the tar road. Within seconds, to my outrage, they ceremoniously turned the books into a small flame, with the help of matches and a bottle of kerosene.

Burning books or other written material is wrong. It’s so fucking wrong. There is no reason why we should resort to uncivilized practices, as it does nothing to change people’s perception. Book burning is a violation of the rights of human, simply as it is an atrocious act of censorship.

It is interesting that people in this day and age, are still resorting to barbarism. I am against the idea of censorship of any kind. Book burning is one of them. It reminds me on what Nazi Germany did. Perhaps the group wanted to burn the authors instead, or perhaps symbolically burn the readers as much as the literature. This shit is similar to preventing or restricting access on the internet. If the information offends a reader, the reader can simply stop reading. What is the morality behind censorship anyway? Or should there be a fucking “morality” to reading and obtaining information in the first place?

Pressure groups claim to act upon the wishes of the majority, thus the rationale of burning the books. I’m waiting… I still don’t understand their demented logic. What logical reason would anyone have to such dramatic show of censorship, especially when fire is involved? Or is this in veil reference to burning the Joan of Arc, which incidentally was a way for an institution to censor what they had felt to be heresy and the words of some demonic patron? Or is it that there is a desire for placing the yoke of submission onto the weakened necks of society? Is society being led to the fucking slaughterhouse, like a tortured buffalo?


An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at and @bedlamfury

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