Why is it that Lady Chatterly’s Lover is still banned in India because of the obscenity act but Fifty Shades of Grey gets sold by weight. Books with political agendas are not on my radar here. Some of my friends have pointed out that it may not be banned as it is available in some libraries. My point of reference is this article in The Hindu published in March 2012 which says Lady Chatterly’s is still on that list. And even if it is now available openly, the motif behind banning it in the first place remains the same.

I found a 70s edition of the Lawrence book at my favorite Tom Miller’s store. Germany may have a lot of book stores with English sections, if you want English books in Stuttgart, he is the one you go to. This 70s edition is a discarded copy from the library of Fellbach, a suburb of Stuttgart, that I bought for just one euro.

The copy has a lot of pencil work, underlines and marks of having been used. And I like it that way. Definition of obscenity is very different in Germany than the rest of the world. But that’s not what I wish to talk about.

The subject here is, even the Britishers who banned the book in the first place, lifted the ban in the 60s, then why exactly is it still banned in India in the 21st century.

India is a country of suppressed sexuality. Every woman gets stared at anywhere she goes. And it is not only highly uncomfortable, it is one of the reasons behind our social mess. There is no escaping perverts, online or offline. And it kind of feels right on some level that Lawrence’s book is banned here. I wonder what would a regressive pervert psyche take out of it.

Lady Chatterly’s is a dangerous book that questions ideas and mind and what drives people. Lawrence had such a grasp of human mind, male or female, his books are more of studies of human mind than plain titillating stories.

The fact that it is still banned means openly deconstructing suppressed sexuality is a taboo. But then I wonder even if it was available to people, what difference will it make? Isn’t reading all about owning the books these days?

“Never was an age more sentimental, more devoid of real feeling, more exaggerated in false feeling, than our own,” says Lawrence in the book almost a hundred years back. May be he was talking about present age in India.

** Ironically, I wrote this post on 12th December, 2012 and since 16th December, 2012 perverted chauvinism in India has been making headlines. There is no easy way of it this time for anyone.