An Indian-American author of a new novel inspired by 9/11 wants Indian writers returning their literary awards to protest intolerance to instead change the national mood by telling great stories aimed at challenging divisive forces that want the country to be “mired in the hatreds of the past”.
“Writers are agents of positive social change in societies,” says India-born Surinder Deol, author of “Endless Life” portraying an Indian woman’s search for love and meaning in a world left shattered by the traumatic terrorist attacks of Sep 11, 2001.
“But they should look upon this role as a deep personal commitment and not indulge in acts that are primarily aimed at gaining instant fame,” Deol told IANS in an interview. “Writers can change the national mood by telling great stories or writing great poetry with the objective of challenging and eradicating divisive forces,” he said.
Excerpt from Review of Endless Life in The Times of India. Read more
It is said that the real tragedy is not when one man has the courage to be truly evil, but when millions lack the courage to be good. We all deal with tragedy in ways that make sense to us. Anger and a bitter disappointment at what man is capable of doing to man is always at the forefront. But we fail even as we profess to be better representatives of humanity. We fail when we allow tragedies to define us as a mob of angry and bitterly disappointed people. We fail when our own disenchantment reduces that tragedy to just oil that keeps the anger burning and the hatred spreading. Out of tragedy then should rise a better version of us. Out of tragedy there should be an even fiercer raging of hope. Out of tragedy should rise a world those lost to us would have welcomed and rejoiced in.
Excerpt from Maham Hasan’s article in The Daily Cardinal- read more.
I ran competitively when I was in high school. I enjoyed training and the camaraderie of my teammates and even my competitors at the track meets. I liked running as fast as I possibly could, and I liked how strong my body became, and how long I could run without getting tired. But I found the finish line a strangely confusing destination. Getting across it first seemed to mean more while I was crouched at the starting line than after I’d leaned through the tape. Win or lose, the race was over, and whatever consequences I attributed to my place at the end of it always felt more or less invented, like a story I would tell about Bill the Winner or Bill the Loser.
Excerpt from William Kenower’s blog in the Huffington Post