1989 – A writer was threatened for writing a novel. He spent major part of his life hiding from these religious fanatics but kept writing.
2011 – A magazine office in France was bombed for publishing a cartoon. It picked itself up, drew again, got attacked again in 2015; continues to draw.
2014 – An author was threatened by religious groups. He withdrew all his work and vowed never to write.
I don’t know which one of these is braver. The one who protects himself by hiding but keeps writing? The one who continues drawing with head held high? Or the one who kills the author in him? For me a writer who gives up writing is as brave as the one who continues doing it despite death lurking over his head. It takes strong will to let go off that very thing which has been a part of your being. It needs courage to just shrug. I can never imagine the turmoil of that writer who will never write again.
My next question is, who are these people who’re stealing our freedom of expression, our speech. Terrorists? Religious fanatics? Or those trolls who choose to abuse you instead of disagreeing politely?
As the world gets more opinionated our tolerance level for these opinions seems to be decreasing. I felt the brunt of it a few months ago when I reviewed a book here on the blog. My book and movie reviews have always been subjective while the restaurant reviews are more objective. While the review wasn’t completely negative i did talk about those things too which I didn’t like. I wasn’t spared. A bunch of ‘anonymous’ readers ganged up against me and abused me. Of-course, you can do a lot when you’re hiding behind that garb.
It did disturb me for a while and lowered my will to write more. But do I have the courage to stop writing? No. So yes, I admire Perumal Murugan for taking that step but wish that he hadn’t. For the rest of the world who want to shut the writers/artists up, all I can say is that, keep trying.