Post jointly authored by ADITYA NIGAM AND NIVEDITA MENON
This image celebrating the power of dissent and creativity over forces of tyranny, circulated widely after the murderous attack on the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo and the shooting of cartoonists Charbonnier, Wolinski, ‘Tignous’ and Cabut, among others. The cartoonists of the ‘equal opportunity offender’ journal were called out by name and coldly slaughtered in the name of Islam.
It seems appropriate now to remember Faiz’s words on censorship and the violent closing of minds:
Mataa-e- lauh-o-qalam chhin gayi to kya ghum hai
Ke khun-e-dil men dubo li hain ungliyan maine
Zuban pe muhar lagi hai to kya,
ke rakh di hai har ek halqa-e-zanjeer mein, zubaan maine.
Snatch away my ink and pen, I remain defiant,
For I have dipped my fingers in the blood of my heart.
Chain shut my lips, I don’t give a damn,
For in every link of the chain I have placed a tongue ready to speak.