Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Putting Thoughts on Paper - Aghatoli N. Chophi, Asst. Prof. English

In Nagaland today, the power of writing is growing rapidly. We already have our own renowned writers such as Easterine Iralu, Temsula Ao and more. Thanks to print media and online platforms, one now has easier access to writing opinions, voicing concerns, protests and more. This has increased the need to become a more proficient and prolific writer, if one is to become an effective writer of change. Writing is a form of expression that can fire passions, educate masses and even entertain. Through letters, anecdotes, poetry, prose and more, writing is one form that can stand the test of time. The literature of the ages is proof of just how far and wide good writing can travel.

Putting Thoughts on Paper

Literature, a narrative of human events, reflects all the hopes, emotions, feelings, sorrows and frustrations that men have had in the course of their long struggle for survival in this beautiful world. Its appeal is therefore universal.
There is no machine in this universe that can count the number of words we speak each day. In our daily lives we discuss about the events or the things that we encounter with our friends, we also talk about the latest gadgets (cell phones, i phones, i pad etc.) or automobiles, but such conversations are quickly forgotten. Some of the words which are spoken and written each day are worth keeping because they have value for the beautiful way in which they are used and for what they say. 


Research tells us that written language was invented by Sumer, an ancient civilisation of southern Mesopotamia, which is believed to be the place where written language was invented around 3200 B.C. Since then man started to keep a record of worth -while sayings and writings.

Early man hacked out in stone the teachings of the teachers. In the middle ages, monks spent their lives copying manuscripts. Today, thanks to the print publication, there are books, newspapers, magazines and the best of all that has been written, which we call literature.

The works of great writers such as Aristotle, Homer and Shakespeare are classics, which have indeed earned universal appreciation. Great writing is timeless in context. The works of Shakespeare, which are brilliant portrayals of human relations and emotions through tragedy, romance, comedy, are as popular today as they were when he wrote them 350 years ago. Parts of the Bible are more than 3000 years old, but the Bible is still the world’s best seller because it has all species of literary forms like history, parables, dream-allegory, legend, biography, fables and proverbs. Its supremacy was instantaneous and unchallenged, quickly colouring speech and literature. The bible has not only been considered a work of high literary quality in its own right, but also in its original language and translation. One can best appreciate the vastness and complexity of the bible. It is an entire literature because it was the outcome of a process of evolution.
To take a very simple example, an Indian has the same problem of obtaining food or for providing for his family as a neighbouring country has. Both laugh at and cry for the same things. The recognition of these facts has increased the feeling of oneness among the people of the world. Similarly, when a good idea is expressed by a writer of our country, it is absorbed by people in many other lands.

According to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, literature, as its name in Sanskrit implies, makes for fellowship, togetherness, reconciliation of people. A great work of literature generally negates frontiers and in these days of wide communication we have no doubt that the great works will be read not only in our country but in other countries as well , just as we read the great works of other countries here. A literary artist is not limited merely to mirroring of one aspect of social life .Its duty is to break down bad social forms and practices and raise human quality. Mere mirroring of issues as they are may be a kind of realism, describing Utopias, or escaping to a dreamland, which may be a form of romanticism, but great writers possess the ability to affect a balance between what things are and what is aimed at.

During times like now, when we are divided among ourselves and the world is threatened with distinction. What is needed is to establish some kind of solidarity, a communion of minds. That is what all literary artists, if they are true to themselves, should aim at it. A true piece of literature is not merely a track for the times, but it is a work of all times. Only true pieces of literature by writers who have the intensity of experience, and ability to express ideas in clear and shining words that can penetrate expression are those that will endure for long.

An effective way of achieving national integration and international solidarity are by means of these literary productions. Literary artists have a great function in our society and in our country. Writing is also the medium through which we can reckon with evils in our society, educate the human mind, remove such evils and establish a more decent society. Applicable to every society of every age, there is much truth in the statement, “Literature belongs not to one age but to all ages “.
 
“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. Tetso College is a Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email: admin@tetsocollege.org”

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