Due to the protests of a Christian group, the Indian distributor of Slayer’s new album, Christ Illusion, has recalled all copies of the CD, rock news site Blabbermouth has reported. The company does not plan to re-release it in any form.
This is, officially, a private decision between the distributor and a non-governmental activist organization, the Catholic Secular Forum. However, a strong cloud of censorship hangs over the issue, as India has a “Censor Board” that forced distributors of The Da Vinci Code to include a warning with the text. CSF has, in the past, lobbied for the government to ban controversial works.
One can give India much credit for maintaining democracy in the face of poverty, but it is clear that fundamental free speech rights are far from realized there. Perhaps the best news is that the label found it worthwhile to release the album — a stupid, cartoonish attack on religion from a band way past its prime — in the first place. It’s the perfect example of speech that needs to be tolerated, and maybe in the future edge entertainers will see better results.
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.