“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”
―Martin Luther King Jr.
Freedom means everything. It is actually next to staying alive. The need to be free is completely non -negotiable. Freedom means having an inner voice and the liberty to voice it too. Perhaps it is the first step to being called as free in the literal sense.
In the last few weeks the thought around freedom and its expression has intensely bothered me. Dadri lynching case, beef ban, the dramatic paint smear before the book launch have all happened in the financial capital of our country. Really? Where are we heading?
Book Bond – A Meet and Greet!
One such discussion on freedom of expression and the way it is being threatened in today’s democracy happened last week at Cafe Zoe. It was an informal bloggers meet to flag off the most awaited international literary festival of Mumbai – Tata Literature Live 2015 ! This discussion, not only brought some solace to my anxious mind, but it also helped me to form a point of view as to how creative freedom should be exercised.
The event saw three eminent personalities on stage – Ravi Subramanian (Best selling author) , Deepa Gehlot (cultural curator & film critic) , Anil Dharkar (Festival director, a prominent voice in press media) and an energetic audience of the ever growing community of bloggers. The authors told us below stories from their personal experiences. They have been targeted but they have learnt their way to handle it.
Talking about controversial subject in a public forum is never easy, and will never be. One is likely to undergo mental trauma & even threat to physical assault. Something that Mr. Anil Dharkar pointed out and claimed to have faced himself , while writing for newspapers.
Deepa Ghelot spoke about the protests faced by beauty pageants in India & how women have fought for their space & identity in the society.
Ravi Subramanian – a very popular fiction author recalled one of the first feed backs for his book “You write even worse than Chetan Bhagat”! he also went on to tell us, how he deals with all such negative comments and the way he uses the power of online media to voice his opinion, to promote his books and at the same time simply reports spam when things become uncontrollable & meaningless. He supports complete freedom of expression in every form – be it political, religious or sexual.
He also said that there will be trolls, a special police controlling our thoughts, our actions & even our life will still exist. But our job is to continue the good work, accept healthy criticism and use the online medium for our good and advantage.
What I really admired about Ravi Subramanian’s point of view is that it oozed confidence, self-assurance and showed a lot of pride in the work that he does. In my view this is the most essential quality for any creative professional and perhaps the best way to stay afloat against the face of opposition & criticism.
This superb discussion was attended by our team –Writersmelon. Looking forward to many such thought provoking discussions in the 4 days of the lit fest.
We have bookmarked this special event for the coming weekend, Have you?
We must tell you that we are supporting it wholeheartedly.
How to attend the event?
The festival doesn’t require tickets or passes. The performances will need passes which one can procure at the venue’s registration desk on the day of the event.
Check the SCHEDULE here
Pictures courtesy: TATA LIT LIVE 2015