Pen is to Fight

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“Freedom is not something one people can bestow on another as a gift. They claim it as their own and none can keep it from them”

-Kwame Nkrumah

In the process of reflecting life one of the major duties of literature and writers is to fight against injustice and give voice to the voiceless. Since time immemorial denial of justice and oppression on powerless by the mighty has been an inseparable ingredient of life. Time and time again writers, thinkers and activists have not failed in showing their greatest resistance against it.

All activists are not writers, but in my view all writers (literary) are activists-if they agree with it or not- in one or the other way. At least through their writing they constantly and directly or indirectly voice against an injustice or oppression.

One of the major such oppressions mushroomed these days especially in the new millennium is moral policing. It is nothing but a religious, political or social group assume themselves as morally superior and try to inflict their moral code upon others. Now in India these types of incidents are increasing and the major victims are women.

Attacking the younger generation especially women attending parties, attacking media, attacking and killing activists, belittling women by clipping their churidars and what not are the examples of some recently spreading moral policing menace. Why these are happening in a mass these days? Perhaps these are happening mainly because of fast economic and social changes. The powerless who have been suppressed traditionally are in the process of emancipation which is a grain of sand in the eyes of the powerful who have enjoyed suppressing them so far.

It is high time writers and generous thinkers fight against this unjustifiable moral policing. It can be done through enabling the people to think openly and generously and understand individual freedom. Positive and open social change is inevitable when an otherwise ignorant society learn to think. It can be of course stopped with a Thaliban like intervention for the worse. Do we need that in India?

5 COMMENTS

  1. I am ad idem with you – that all great writers (as I have judged them to be) are also activists who become motivated by their strong moral obligation to put right what they have perceived as being wrong. Witness, for example, the huge societal changes wrought by Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo (to name but two) in nineteenth century England and France, respectively. However, I am unqualified to comment upon your domestic scene as I am resident abroad. But here is one further thought: there are conventional book publishers who refuse, for commercial and/or political reasons, to give voice to many talented and deserving writers. So, “vive la internet” I say!

  2. Timely thought!! Well, writers need to gather, resist and better attack this unjustifiable moral cleansing policy. Our certain moral training elements are on the work for ages now to reform or at least terrorise the people. They initially differentiated the east and west culture, without knowing how to identify the good and bad first. They are the weeds we need to uproot. As writers…as social activists….we have the scope because we do not need power, thats what differentiate us from others and empower the downtrodden is our philosophy.
    This menace can be put to rest only through edifying the public and help them join hands against this shimmmering evil. The best we can do is to reflect and illuminate the pain and glory of the people who goes through the clutches of the injustice and inhumanity.

  3. We Indians have always lived and grown with a social identities under the banners of religion, castes,race, language etc., with individual identity taking a second place. Now with democracy, modern education and judiciary, freedom of expression etc and particularly globalization of inter personal communication, the individual identity is coming to the fore. We are exposed to the power of the individual in the west. This is bound to create distress with the vested interests of our society who are in control now. Where individuals asserts themselves, the so called leaders of groups lose their importance. Moral policing is basically an assault on the individual by a group. They declare that as a group upholding religious values, they have a right to punish individuals for the sake of the common good of the society. This is by no means different from the ways of Taliban. Yes, writers have a big role in exposing this conspiracy. But i would like to state that, more than a fight it is an effort to expose the hidden realities. we are not fighting but revealing truth. Revealing more and more information about their conspiracy. Such an attitude would help our cause better i feel ! Ours is not an era of fighting but of information revolution !

  4. Definitely interesting article, and so is ‘Bamboo’s statement. Dear Bamboo, for a writer attacking or fighting or revealing the truth or whatever we call….is just one thing,,,,Its through one machine…. thats the power of his pen, which is directly synchronized with his love for society, love for human beings…….. far pure from any of the high priests of politics. I endorse the view put in by the article.

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