Our neighbor has such important things to worry about. Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA), the final arbiter of what is not permissible, has asked mobile phone operators to ban any text containing 1795 objectionable words. The idea presumably is to reduce spam.
Not bad. But wait. Apart from the dirty ones, several innocuous ones also feature in the ‘banned’ list. I will not talk about the foul ones (51 terms with the suffix a**), however some innocuous ones like ‘deposit, idiot, tongue, excrement’ are also off limits.
Now a patient in Islamabad cannot tell his doctor that he is suffering from ‘flatulence’. ‘Flatulence’ is a banned word and so is ‘period’. No farting in Pak.
A gutsy girl tweeted immediately after the ban.
Nida Jahen wrote: "So they're going to ban the word flatulence. Big deal! I prefer more expressive terms "thuss" and phusses any way."
Jesus! This is so funny.
Oops, sorry … you can’t type ‘Jesus Christ’.
Come to think of it, it is not a bad move. I mean with all the dirty words doing the rounds in our country, more so after Delhi Belly made it fashionable to DK Bose people; we should give it a serious thought. But damn our telecom industry! Oops ‘damn’ is banned. But our telecom industry is weathering a different storm. The neta log are busy landing in Tihar, one after the other. The way things are going, after Sukhram’s entry, a ‘Tihar telecom wing’ will have to be inaugurated by Mr Sibal.
Coming back to our neighbor, what is most intriguing is the painstaking effort, which some ingenious souls took to select the 1700 words. Hats off to their creativity and doggedness! With so much patience and effort, they could have solved several intractable global issues.
As a result you cannot call anyone in our neighborhood, ‘padosi ki aulad’ (neighbours offspring) but you can call him /her ‘kafir’(infidel).
How idiotic? Sorry, ‘idiot’ is not allowed.
I am also wondering, now that ‘butt’ has been banned, what will people call Salman Butt? Any ideas? When their constitution guarantees freedom of speech, why ban the written word? Who will control the tongue? Oops! Sorry ‘tongue’ is banned.
On a serious note, many words and phrases which Pakistan has banned were really offensive. Young girls must be relieved by this ban on abuse and offensive content. On the premise of liberty, there is too much dirt flowing around. But I am not sure whether banning is the right way to go about it.
Education is perhaps.