Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Is Pen still mightier than Sword?

“Pen is mightier than sword”. It is an age-old maxim. The significance of the maxim is immense and undeniable. Pen is a symbol of creation, while sword symbolizes destruction. Pen is a source of creative activities whereas sword is a means of destructivity. Sword proves to be as mighty as pen when it is used for a good cause. Sword can be used in a rebellion against autocracy and a movement against iniquity. The purpose of using sword may be humanitarian, but it causes violence and bloodshed.       

Mahatma Gandhi who is regarded as the father of nation in India had taken up pen to write in protest against the exploitation of Black Africans during the Apartheid era. He started writing articles for newspapers and journals to mobilize public opinion in support of his crusade against social injustices as well as political iniquities. Thus, pen is a powerful tool of journalism.   

One’s literary activity finds a concrete expression in words through pen. Mahasweta Devi, an eminent writer and activist of Bengal, penned down her voice in protest against the rape of women in “Choli ke Peeche” one of her powerful short stories. Italo Spinelli, a film and documentary maker from Italy, adapted the story into a sensitive movie “Gangor”. The movie was shown at the recent 17th Kolkata Film Festival.

Pen is a multi-functional tool. It creates, innovates and inspires. Pen can create controversies and bring about an upheaval. Using this powerful tool, writers, activists and journalists can mobilize the mass and bring about a change in the current social-political state of the nation. For example, Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses had infuriated the whole Islamic world.

Swords leave nothing but wounds and painful memories behind. Sword stands for war, a bloody game. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are among the worst victims of warfare. Sword also stands for violence which is on the go in the Middle-East countries, at present. If sword is taken as a symbol of action, pen symbolizes the thought behind the action. To say precisely, a leader in Libya had posted a tweet announcing his move against the tyrant Gaddafi, and the tweet inspired the mass of Libya to pick up swords against tyranny.

No doubt, pen is still mightier than sword.  


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