Wednesday 17 April 2024

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Culture | Literature

Beware! Fascism is entering through backdoor: Mehta


In the technologically advanced era, beware, fascism is coming silently through the backdoor, not openly from the front door.

This was the message of caution Shailendra Mehta, a Mumbai-based Goan writer, gave to the young writers while inaugurating the 17th Konkani Yuva Sahitya Sammelan in Sankhli today.

Bringing to the notice of the young audience the ongoing attempts to strangulate the voices of thinking minds, the poet-cum-consultant appealed to the young writers to speak out fearlessly.

Speaking as a chief guest at the Sammelan held in the Government College of Sankhli, Mehta appealed to the students and youth to utilise their vigour as well the digital tools to reach out to the masses.

“Make Konkani the language of knowledge and advanced thinking to take ahead democratic values of humanity and equality, not the same traditional thoughts based on inequality and exploitation”, Mehta appealed.

He also told them that the one who does not voice out fearlessly the ongoing injustice in the society cannot be termed as a writer.

Stating that human being is becoming wired with the mediums of social media, he said it is also necessary to think independently by getting disconnected for a while rather than living in a digitally connected life.

“What I witness today is the ‘Forward’ culture, where we keep forwarding any post without applying our mind as though there is  TRP race going on the social media. We need to take a break from this and start thinking what we are forwarding is right or wrong”, said the tech-savvy writer.


He also came down heavily on the increasing culture of humiliating the writers and thinkers when they voice out their concerns against the increasing trend of majoritarainism.

“We even term them anti-nationals and feel proud in making fun of them while such rationalist and progressive thinkers are being shot down by the fundamentalist forces”, said Mehta.

He also recalled how Ravindranath Tagore had returned Knighthood award to the British, the Nobel prizes returned by Vietnam’s Lu Duck Tho and Henry Kissinger and also Khushwant Singh in protest of the Blue Star Operation of the Congress government.

“No writer belongs to and should belong to any particular religion, race or caste. But unfortunately, in India, we find today the writers and artists are divided into groups based on religions and political thoughts. The young writers should stay away from such groupisms”, he said.

He also appealed to the young writers to build a new path rather than following the same old path which is followed by their predecessors.

He also cautioned them to recognise the enemies sitting next to you, disguised as your friends.

“They are more dangerous than the real enemies”, he said.


Mukesh Thali, who chaired the 17th Yuva Konkani Sammelan, appealed to the young writers to become a free bird and fly as high and wide as possible, by crossing all the traditional boundaries laid down around us.

“No bird flies to get an award. He simply flies to get the feel of it. Fly like a bird, get the feel of freedom and create your literature”, said the linguistic scholar and writer.

Thali also said young writers should make the best possible usage of the digital world and its tools like Internet, computers and mobiles to gain maximum knowledge possible.

Knowledge is the key of raising standard of your literature, not mere writing without knowledge, he said.

“Everyone tells you to read, and yes, it is important. Why? It is like how we recharge our mobile. It’s important to keep our battery of creativity charged, otherwise our literature will get discharged”, said Thali. 

The secret of best literature, he said, is simplicity, clarity and brevity, while also telling the young writers that writing simple is very difficult.

The simplicity in writing, clarity of thought in what you want to say and the conciseness in your writing can reach out to the hearts of the readers.

Good literature is the one  which is spontaneous and intense, but written also by studying the technics of writing and not merely producing black on white, he said. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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