Sunday, June 1, 2008

Big Events and Real Writers/ 1

Epochal events are always the great triggers of real writing. Whether it’s the old “Quite Flows the Don” or the recent “The inheritance of Loss’, you see a common link: both the novels had as their background the events that were convulsing their part of the world. While in Mikhail Sholokhov’s novel, it was the bloody Bolshevik struggle in Russia, Anita Desai’s book had in it India-Nepali insurgency in the mountains.

Sholokov had first-hand, and up-close experience of the Bolshevik war, and he watched the day-to-day happenings with passion and interest. He chronicled these things, and ended up writing a 4-volume classic. Anita felt the pleasure and pinch of the insurgency living through it, and converted her experience into a great novel – with great insight and wisdom.

The point of writing all this is that real writers involve themselves in big events instinctively. What better way to get their material from something that unfurl before them in an inexhaustible fashion!

Now, it’s the age of liberalization. Liberalization, the much-hyped do-gooder to the people, has already proved itself an evil thing across many parts of the world. Millions of people have become poorer and dislocated in its wake. The interesting development is that the victims in different regions have now stood up against the forces of liberalization – the local governments in most cases – in a unique way.

Two names come instantly to my mind: Singur and Nandigram in India. People of Singur provided the first spark. They vehemently protested the forced acquisition of land from the farmers, and refused to part with their land at whatever costs. The government, - a Marxist government at that – cracked down on the people, and grabbed their land without even settling their dues. A motor car company came up soon on the land thus acquired.

In Nandigram, it’s a different story. As if taking a cue from Singur, the people of Nandigram put up a stiff resistance against the government when it tried to grab land for a multinational company. The government’s police force and the goons of the ruling party together let loose an unprecedented terror in the region which culminated in a genocide. The rumble of protests from across the country and the world following the massacre put the government on back foot and forced it to quit its chemical hub plan in Nandigram.

In recent panchayet election, the people of Singur, Nandigram and those places where the government had grabbed land, have routed the Marxists in the first chance. It’s really a body blow to the forces of liberalization.

Is any real writer watching? Or is he already at work?

1 comment:

Hawk eye said...

Only name changes and faces change their places but history teaches us the inevitables that after the sunset darkness looms large and the dawn sets in after the darkest hour. So, be rest assured that these chronicles of events are being well taken care of as those were in the past.
Good introspection! Let's hope that very soon we can experience of having yet another epoch-making novel which may now be growing intrauterine of any intrepid writer's mind.


Subrata Chakraborty

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