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Millennium Post

For free expression

For free expression

Throughout epochs, literature has been a reflection of humanity, portraying the real complexities of human conflict, values, customs and traditions. In the modern era, chronicles have become an integral part of history. It has not only helped us understand our past but has also widened the scope of study of human existence and its connection with our day-to-day life. In perspective, exalted human values and the contradictions within have helped us learn life lessons. Any text or a piece of history can meet both rapturous praise and protracted criticism at the same time. It is thus, important to make conscious decisions about one's work, keeping sustainable standards of quality and perception. The rigours of chronicling history are actually many. From authenticity, expression, understanding, manifestation, and individual preferences and connotations juxtaposed with popular beliefs and ideologies along with administrative acceptance the task can be pretty challenging. More so, if it is in the backdrop of a political event. But as we know, both history and literature are inseparable. As is politics. And, it is important for the writer not only to write but to write well. Indian writers have lately been bestowed upon with a new responsibility. It is not only about their writings and opinions anymore but they are now being subjected to preserve what many call "the climate of free expression" in India. The global writers' body recently came up with its annual report where it mentions how "the climate of fear" has extended itself to "some campuses too, where student activism is curbed, professors are not being invited, textbooks are withdrawn, and academic freedom is under threat…Silencing the media through violent means signals the breakdown of a functioning democracy," it reads. "The report illustrates the varied ways in which critical voices are targeted and silenced. It highlights directed attacks online and offline; the systematic stifling of academic research and freedom; and the continued marginalisation of and hostility towards women's voices." Several of these 'urban Naxals' are prominent thinkers, writers, journalists and social activists who are fighting for human rights and world peace. Such names include doctor and social activist Narendra Dabholkar, Left politician Govind Pansare, academician M M Kalburgi and renowned journalist Gauri Lankesh. Several authors have returned literary honours awarded to them by the Sahitya Akademi to express sympathy for all dissenters who live in constant fear and uncertainty. In the upcoming elections, it will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi's real test for his vaunted ability to shape public narratives in the context of his impregnable administration.

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