What do we write for? This was one among a bevy of questions that came to my mind last night. Many of you would like to believe that writing is a hallowed profession to inform people, but I have many reasons to believe that most people write about a particular issue only to manipulate thinking process of the readers.
Take the case of the controversial Zubin Mehta concert held last month at Shalimar Garden on the banks of world famous Dal Lake in Srinagar, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Every day we had newspapers and online web portals full of reports and columns about the event with the writers expressing completely antagonistic views.
Everyone heard the same chords but still all these writers framed different opinions of the event. Many would say that the readers were being informed in different ways, but I fail to decipher how a reader can frame an independent opinion of the event amid such bombardment of opinions. And when a common man read the newspaper on the following day, he got confused and therefore couldn’t sift the truth from fallacies and manipulations. He simply couldn’t figure out which newspaper wrote the truth about the incident, and which didn’t or couldn’t.
Now, let’s go back to basics. A simple question we are asking here is: can a young writer get a clear idea about a situation he is going to write about when his education has obfuscated or suppressed his mind. Of course, not. And all he or she is left with is a deluge of thoughts betwixt logical and illogical, rational and irrational.
If you can see through a writer’s mind, you will find prohibitions, do’s and don’ts, an unnatural and nearly neurotic obsession with style, arguments and transitions. And you will never find any traces of rudiments like where do sentences actually come from?
This question can be philosophical as well as practical and demands an answer; a holistic view of where sentences come from, do we really think logical or use someone else’s logic and pretend it as our own.
When we give certain observations of our pain and pleasure, they confuse it with an ideal observation, not a rational one. With their convoluted logic, they make an observation about a thing or event, and we call it logical – in order to justify our means and ends by supporting their views as biblical truths.
A writer’s intention is to communicate the exact figure(s) of the data he has collected through research in his field. But how can we explain the difference (s) in opinions among two researchers who worked on the same subject, met the same people and even used the identical methodology?
Human beings tend to think differently and everyone reserves the right to write what he/she thinks about a particular situation, but there should be a universal context where people will not digress from the main point of any topic, and don’t create unnecessary problems for any community.
Altaf Bashir is a South Asia Research Fellow who has recently completed his International Relations [Peace and Conflict Studies] at Islamic University of Science and Technology in Kashmir