The True Power of the Pen
Words cannot be compared with the glistening swords or the mighty guns. A writer can only hope that the words that he writes has meaning, that can inspire human souls to dream for a better world. From the time immemorial, freedom of expression of all forms, in written, in artistic paintings, satirical cartoons, poetry or prose, metered or un-metered, came under incessant attacks from the fringe quarters, sometime from the highly pompous and mighty, and sometime from the alienated and disenfranchised rebels that in many times get exploited and stringed like the meagre pawns on a strategical chessboard.
Violence, the killings of innocents, writer, the cartoonists, the editors, in the name of any religion does not do any good service for that religion or any belief system. Humanity has gone through many cross roads in its restive history, for which only a few thousand years of provable recorded documents exist, many more perhaps could have existed if our ancestors were not involved in the violent wars and pillaging of the vanquished treasures and documents. The slow but the unmistakable troublesome symptoms that are gaining its momentum, creating the unwanted intolerance, giving the justification of revenge and more wars and terrorism in the name of pursuing the proverbial (hypocritical) peace or justice (injustice), have the striking similarities with the painful past of the forgotten oppressions and massacres of countless many in the name of so called "peace" (hypocritical) of the violent bygone eras.
How to counter this growing menace? How would the humanity that indeed has made the proud progress in the realm of basic human rights and protecting the innocents from the vile predators after many generations of travails and trials? It's not an easy task but the theoretical concept is not a difficult one either. In the days of instant news, lightning speed social media gossips, and the evolutionary technological marvels, melting the hardening mindsets of intolerance, bigotry and vengeance filled arrogance must be faced head on.
This world has full of good people who go to work daily, earn their livelihoods after hard work to feed their family, building or keeping the roof intact of their beloved home, share laughter and agonies with the loved ones, cringe hearing the senseless bloodshed occurring near and far. Like the overused cliché "a few bad apples", of course a few totally rotten souls are engaged in the acts of violence and terrorism, clueless and deranged thinking the shedding of blood of the innocents would bring any honour to their severely misinterpreted creed or belief system, utterly failing to comprehend that these sorts of heinous acts only embolden the bigots (other few bad apples) in their pursuit of establishing the absolute bigotry, shrouded by whatever masking elements available in a given time or era.
Words and other artistic expressions are powerful, not in the sense of sharpened swords, knives, guns or the killer drones, but just like the slow burn of a heated water pad that can heal and soothe a bruised muscle, words can, at least the hope is, that words and the art/cartoons can change a few hardened mind at a time, even in the time of mind shaping instant news and muse.
Mahatma Gandhi said it the best,
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
The ocean does not become dirty from a few drops of dirty water, Gandhi was right stating this basic fact so many years ago, but the world has changed dramatically since his time, mostly because of the technological/scientific progress. Now a "few drops of dirty water", like the "few bad apples" can not only spoil its minuscule local vicinity, technology has enabled the spoilage to reach further if not checked earlier. Good words, the freedom of expressions can certainly play a good role stopping this rotten spoilage spreading further.