"Today, we live in a country in which, when the thugs and apparatchiks of the New Order talk of “illegal slaughter”, they mean the imaginary cow that was killed — not the real man who was murdered. When they talk of taking “evidence for forensic examination” from the scene of the crime, they mean the food in the fridge, not the body of the lynched man. We say we have “progressed”, but when Dalits are butchered and their children burned alive, which writer today can freely say, like Babasaheb Ambedkar once did, that “to the untouchables, Hinduism is a veritable chamber of horrors”, without getting attacked, lynched, shot or jailed? Which writer can write what Saadat Hasan Manto wrote in his “Letters to Uncle Sam”? It doesn’t matter whether we agree or disagree with what is being said. If we do not have the right to speak freely, we will turn into a society that suffers from intellectual malnutrition, a nation of fools. Across the subcontinent it has become a race to the bottom — one that the New India has enthusiastically joined. Here too now, censorship has been outsourced to the mob."
Friday, November 06, 2015
Thursday, November 05, 2015
Monday, November 02, 2015
"Ever since writers began returning their Sahitya Akademi awards in protest against the Narendra Modi government for promoting ‘an atmosphere of hatred’, Bhagat has, at times deploying reasonable wit, scoffed at them for being melodramatic, and inconsequential to most Indians. In the process he has expressed the view of the Modi government. But, if Modi indeed is dismissive of the protest of the scholars he might be making a blunder.
Writers do not need access to the nuclear arsenal to light a fire. What follows the lighting is not in the ambit of prose but in the nature of fire."