Thursday, January 27, 2005

Writings and Struggles

Writings and Struggles

By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)

January 27, 2005

I.

Writing is powerful. From the history immemorial writings of various kinds by writers of prominence and now forgotten names had and have influenced major and minor policy decisions around the globe, especially so in nations where freedom of speech is considered as the cornerstone of their progress and pride. In places where dictatorship, monarchies and also the theatrical “democracy” remained unshakable, writers with unblemished pens are more often considered threat to the interests of the rulers and powerful, and hence most often than not they are put into the darken corners of prisons; sometimes even harsher treatments befallen them, in the form of facing the deadly firing squads or other gruesome life ending scenario, like being stabbed or beaten up by hired thugs and hooligans.

It is not to say that all the writers take up the pens to fight against injustices. It is also not to deny the facts that writers and scribes were and are being employed by the governments, corporate, business and other special interests promoting their ideas, even in the face of mounting evidences pointing toward the facts that may be contradictory to a nation’s pursued interests. Iraq’s now thoroughly discredited WMD claim by the U.S. government and promulgated by “in-bedded” media comes to mind as a contemporary reference.

Writing is powerful. Poets, novelists and journalists have that tremendous power shaping the minds of people through their diligently crafted arts. Each words and sentences are placed in synchronized concerto to maximize the effects of expressing the ideas, of justice and fairness, liberalism and conservatism, or simply the pure observations of nature or the human innuendoes in possible minutest details.

The readers read with intensity, believing the words, neatly placed in sentence after sentence, their faces contort reading the oppressions in Darfur, never-ending wars and violence in Iraq and Middle-East, the stories of deaths and survivals from the devastating tsunami in South Asia sink and lift their hearts, they cry with the words, they smile with the words.

From the thousands of years old religious scriptures to modern slim to voluminous books, articles in newspapers and magazines and now the increasingly immense power of Internet, provide a staggering choice for readers, and shuffling through all these choices, it has become increasingly difficult differentiating between writings that may be melancholic but truthful and writings that may be uplifting but based on deceits.

One has always the option setting aside the pen. Alas! Truthful writings may bring harm, even violent death tiptoes the writers, succeeding prior threats in not so disguised speeches. Writing against the popular sentiments of the day may bring shame and one may even be labeled as a traitor to his community or a nation. Unlike other distinguished professions, earning the livelihood from writings alone is quite difficult unless one crosses that overreaching barrier of popularity, or being employed by a news media, or by government or corporate entity, lying low or high in secret or jovial atmosphere.

Our world is going through a peculiar stage. The battle between the true democratic force and the fascists are being waged in various forms around the world. The world of writings is no different from this unbroken saga.

[To Be Continued in Part 2]

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