Who are you people kidding?
Nope, we don't have it. We don't have true freedom when it comes to writing. You think I can write whatever the heck I want to here? You think You can start a blog and write what you want? Ideally, you can. Ideally, I can. I should be able to, right? This is my space. I can write what I like.
Wrong. I can't. No one can, anymore. There are lines we can't cross, as writers, people, human beings. Racist lines. Objectionable lines. Factual Lines. Offensive Lines. Abusive Lines.
Maybe its different for a Blog, because Its not mass produced. Its that way for written works that are published anyway.
For instance, If you've ever read this book
Then you probably know the volume of controversy surrounding it. I've only recently started reading it, and I'll admit..this book, in a word- interesting. Sure, a lot of it is extremely debatable, but most people have failed to see the bottom line-Its The author's OPINION. That does not necessarily translate into fact. That does not, put down any religion or faith. A religion that millions follow, and they're worried about the opinion of one writer? Doesn't that seem like they themselves don't have enough faith? Isn't the general public belief, then, subject to doubt? Are followers of Islam so worried about one published work? Or two, or three. In my humble opinion (And I would like to stress on the fact that I mean no offense) Islam has a long, long history. It runs long and deep, and considering the number of followers it has, No one has the right to question it or comment on others' faith. I respect those who follow it, for it is their belief, their right to their religion. No one can question that. This respect, for that matter, goes for any religion, just the same.
I can't even stress further, considering, for all you know, I'd be the next target. But it seems to me that People should stop worrying about individual opinions regarding religion and just move on with their lives. Religion, in any case, is a personal choice, in my opinion. You offer it to someone, they either take it, or leave it. If they do choose to leave it, that does not by any means make the religion any different, it does not render it less pure. It only means that someone had a different opinion. Its sad to see that writers don't even possess the right to express their opinions anymore. Writers who write literary works, possibly of fiction, mind you. Not journalists who report events.
There are so many stories like these...consider Author Taslima Nasreen, (and if you haven't, click here). Claims of her written work being incorrect with respect to detail regarding people and events can be resolved by a disclaimer or retraction, but the Anti-Islamic nature of her writing rendered her no place in the world. Is that the price to pay for writing what you genuinely want to- Death threats and an escapist life? What motivation do writers have to really put themselves out there then? What ever happened to writers just penning down their thoughts? What happened to poetic license? What happened to it all? If these fundamentalists had their way, then every book would be fact. Raw, politically correct, carefully written fact. And no civilization grows just on fact. Culture spins on a lot more than that. Culture spins on opinions, imagination, ideas, thought, feeling. Suppressing it all means suppressing the very spirit of people who just want to express themselves. I thought we, as a race, had overcome these basic issues. But we haven't. There's a long long way to go before we do.
There are lots more stories that way, that were told, and the authors paid heavily for it. But we need our freedom of speech back, before our poetic license gives way to petty arguments about preserving religious beliefs that can't be shattered by a few books. People who do have that faith, need to seem like they really do have it. Ignorance is bliss, and ignoring these opinions if you don't like them, would probably leave everyone a lot happier. Otherwise, we'd only have stories that would never be told.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Who are you people kidding?