ban the ban

I had a discussion the other day with mum about how Mizoram is neglecting the need for parks and places for the youth to unwind and release the rush of teenage-adrenaline, the lack of which has driven them to drugs, alcohol and lethargy. The few fields are strictly monitored and policed by the Local Authorites, the Children’s Park is banned for children (Ironic!) and the ever-populating city is congested and polluted. The hills and empty spaces we used to explore as kids are replaced by buildings and roadways, which are quickly filled with parked-vehicles, if not moving ones.

skate-park-nov07I suggested building a Skate Park somewhere outside the vicinity of Aizawl city. It is my dream to build one somewhere, because the Government would never invest in one. Financially, it would not make much of a profit, but it would just be a one-time investment as maintenance won’t be a big problem (As long as no spurious materials are used for the construction. I figured I would ensure that, being the contractor and all!) The best part would be that it will cater to everyone and anyone, no boundaries, no rules. Anyone with a pair of skates (Or rollerblades, as they call ’em nowadays!) can knock him/herself out on these mounds, get a good exercise, learn a few tricks and socialise with like-minded others. My dream!

Well, we live in the real world and nothing comes out as expected, not even the cake you just baked following every little step from the cookbook with a precise measurement of each ingredient, it never looks as beautiful as the one in the picture (Unless, of course, if you’re cooking Maggi which pretty much looks and tastes the same as always). Just when you think you had everything planned out, neglecting the little voice inside your head that warns you to expect the unexpected, it explodes right back in your face.

Mum said that it was a good idea, but it had one small little catch. If the park was indeed a success, and kids and adults from all over throng the place for amusement, there would always be someone or somebody criticizing it, finding a reason to condemn it. It happened with the pool parlours, which until then, was such a relief for the youths needing a place to unwind and relax. It happened with the bursting of crackers in New years (Which is simply just a futile attempt to ban anyways. I watched as Aizawl city erupted in sparks of radiance at the strike of midnight on 31st Dec ’08 ). And also the early morning jogs, which was banned because some people used it for taking a “Chance”. Recently with the local “Grape wine” industry booming, and small shops springing up in almost every corner of the city, not that I haven’t discovered the best use of it, I’m kinda amused that it hasn’t been banned as yet.

My point is this: Are we going to ban anything and everything under the sun because it can be used for an evil purpose? Are we so underdeveloped and uncivilised that we cannot control ourselves or others from doing the same? How are we or who is to decide what’s to be banned and whats not? If it makes others happy, why can’t we join in the fun instead of trying to find faults with it? Banning has never been the solution and will continue to never be. Proper education and information is as good a tool, if not better, as imposing a ban. Everyone, even children, hates to be told what or what not to do, but wants to hear why not to do it, the consequences and the outcome.

We have banned enough at the cost of our culture, our traditions and our values, just so that we may be politically and religiously correct. Isn’t it about time we banned all the bans and LET IT BE!?


5 Responses to “ban the ban”

  1. 1 ruolngulworld
    March 6, 2009 at 9:47 am

    You mean early morning jogs are banned in Aizawl? OMG! Does this mean that a health-conscious, early morning person who might want to go for that early morning jog has to literally cool his/her heels at home? This, to me, is so sad, so pathetic, that it makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time. Who enforces such a ban – some moralistic police persons who get up before dawn for ‘patrolling’? 🙂 Anyway, anyone getting up so early only to get some ‘chance’ would surely be able to find some other ‘chance’ at a more godly hour, neh? Frankly, I find this type of ban an insult to a normal, intelligent, civilised person.
    Such silly bans only serve to highlight our own ignorance and peculiar talent of missing the woods for the trees. You certainly have my vote to BAN THE BAN.

  2. 2 gkhiangte
    March 7, 2009 at 12:33 am

    i have always wanted to have parks in our town. i totally agree that the young generation need a place to relax and be themselves apart from one’s home. what u wrote reminds me of last december when i was in Azl for the holidays. it was Christmas eve and my locality’s KTP went to Hermon Childrens’ Home to spend time with the kids. i also tagged along.
    as we were driving on our way to Durtlang, we saw young people strolling in the cold streets. now i dont know what they were doing there in the first place. i mean who would want to freeze one’s ass off in the cold weather? anyways, i got to thinking that the young do need a place to hang out and chill with their friends other than out on the streets. seriously, these kids actually hung out in the police traffic duty points!!! i mean these points were like their ‘lounging’ area..can you imagine the scenario?

    anyways, i strongly recommend that we need the following recreational public spaces:
    1. a kickass cinema theatre
    2. theme parks
    3. non-alcoholic pubs (go figure)
    4. hookah bar
    5. karoake bar
    the lists go on……………

    these places will be filled with young energetic mizo people and old alike cos lets face it we all need to have clean fun…or else we will rot and indulge in useless gossiping forever..

  3. 3 NotGood
    March 7, 2009 at 3:20 am

    The morning jogs had been banned sometime back, not sure what the situation is right now, and as for the “..moralistic police persons who get up before dawn for ‘patrolling’..” you have no idea what lengths people would go.. 😛 It is indeed an insult to normal civilised people, but if the ban is vehemently backed-up by the Church, then no one would speak out against it. Maybe the normal civlised person is a minority in Mizoram.

    I’ve seen the traffic point you’ve described, and that happens to be a popular “hangout” joint. Great suggestions by the way, and even having just one of them would attract the youth in hundreds. We can’t just say “Oh, the place will be packed with seedy looking guys whom we don’t want our kids to hang-out with”, that’s just lame. Just put reliable Security and the problem is solved.
    BTW, another idea I have is a Shooting Gallery (Saw this on American Choppers and How I met ur mother!) with real guns and real bullets, its supposedly a good way to let off steam.

  4. 4 aduhi
    March 7, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I’m sure this subject has been discussed a million times by young people who are living outside Mizoram and who knows the pitiful and pathetic life the youth back home are forced to live.There is absolutely nothing to entertain yourself with out there. How many times can you go to the same restaurants or visit your friends’ house? Numerous resorts and picnic spots have sprung up but they are all outside the city. What we need is something right in the heart of the city, someplace that is accessible and affordable. I know whatever new thing comes up the moral police will find a way to condemn it but seriously something needs to be done. What gkhiangte listed out will be great, in fact the youth will flock by the hundreds if one was ever opened.

  5. 5 NotGood
    March 10, 2009 at 4:52 am

    @Aduhi: I think that although people know that it would be good business as well to implement anyone of these ideas, they are put off by the fact that they would have to face Societal criticism which would probably force them to close shutters. I see no way out of this dilemma, we are just too smug and caught up in our pretence of a perfect society and we would try to suppress anything that suggests otherwise.

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