There’s a reason why we learn to read before we learn to write. As a writer, we’re expected to read other writings. We can choose not to, and that still doesn’t make anyone a lesser writer.
As a reader, we can disagree with the content – but surely we can’t criticize a writing or the writer. So, it’s either agree, disagree or ignore.
Can’t stop anyone from writing. That’s taking away the basic ‘freedom of expression’, which is everyone’s favorite three words, in India these days.
But how about writing lines that pry open the basic fabric of our constitution? Instead of burning papers, perhaps we should just criticize like mad. But remember, that not everyone criticizes by writing. Neither can writers take the moral high ground of being better people because they criticize on paper. All kind of people, at every level, are allowed to criticize in whatever way they find suitable.
So I take deep offense when some journalist, like Barkha Dutt or the very articulate Congress man, Shashi Tharoor – ridicule those who may not be educated enough to do it in a certain way and use a different language or process of criticism. Do they really think only the English -speaking people (with the correct accent) have the copyright of ethical protests. I have seen more lies coming out of the intellectual class than many others!
And yes, I am talking of criticism, not threats.