Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Taslima Nasrin, beheadings and censorship

Over on FtB, Taslima Nasrin has posted a gruesome photo (NSFW) of the severed head of a 20 year old Indian lady who had been beheaded by her father, because he disagreed with her lifestyle.

I have some experience of posting similar material myself. One of my earliest posts included a picture of a female actually going through the process of being beheaded. The picture was not directly related to the story I was writing about, and said as much, but it caused quite a stir and is still the most read post here by some considerable margin.

Google Adsense took exception to this image, and promptly suspended my account. At the time I didn't wish to be censored, so the post remained, but as the costs have risen in producing my various blogs, I am forced now to pull the offending photo in order to highlight Taslima's post.

I suspect FtB have a better relationship with their advertisers than I do, so she may well evade censor. I trust she does. Stories like the one presented below deserve our critical appraisal and attention, for ignoring the terror that underpins such actions, we tacitly support it.

The following story was posted on Yahoo News. There is no photo to concern the emotionally fragile.
Jaipur, June 17 (IANS) In a brutal honour killing, a man beheaded his 20-year-old daughter with a sword in Rajasthan's Rajsamand district Sunday, police said.
According to the police, the incident took place in Charbhuja area of the district, some 400 km from Jaipur.
"The man, Omkar Singh, was spotted roaming in the village with a severed head. The villagers brought him to the nearby police outpost with the head and a blood-stained sword," a police officer told IANS.
Omkar Singh was allegedly outraged over his daughter's alleged relations with several men."Omkar Singh told the police that his daughter Manju had relations with several men. He had asked her to mend her ways several times in the past. However, she did not pay heed. Out of pure rage, he chopped off her head with the sword," said the officer.
A police team found the girl's body at his house. "We have arrested Singh," said the officer.
That such events happen, and in the numbers that they do, is so much more disturbing than a solitary image of the effects.

What are your thoughts about beheadings? Do you think advertisers should be able to censor a bloggers content? Have you been censored in any way, and how?


  1. I cannot stomach such things (literally 'get sick') and images like that haunt me at length in depression and persistent nightmares. In a consensus-based model, a very healthy approach, a warning could be made, or images of real violence could be on a click-to screen for those that chose to view.

    When presented with images of violence or sex acts without warning, and in an unexpected place (not in a documentary, not in pornography) is violating.

    1. Indeed. I was certainly a little naive when I first started this blog - I didn't so much as know what NSFW meant - but there is certainly something to be said for giving people a 'heads up' on what to expect if a post contains material that is likely to offend or upset.

      Thanks for your thoughts, Em.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I believe that one should have to right to post such images but I would have preferred to know to expect something gruesome before I came across the post you mentioned.
    I would voice my opinion to the author but I fear that others would attack me for being oversensitive or not getting the point or... whatever.
    It's not that I want to avoid knowing that such things happen. I am aware that they do. I just prefer not to see such images when I'm not prepared to see them.

    1. Sorry I deleted my earlier comment. I accidentally replied to the previous comment instead of posting my own separately.


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