Write to emancipate

Rakshanda Ali

pencil power

Remember last time you felt disgusted to be an ‘occupied?’ You wanted everything to be blown into pieces. You wanted to tear yourself apart. Blow yourself or the ‘other’. Your heart was pouncing; and your fists were sweating. Your jaws were feeling the pressure. And, you wanted to rip ‘someone’—just like, the beast!

You did not want to give a damn to any principle, any moral obligation or any rule. But somehow, you have survived. You are alive. And, that moment of anguish is over. Nothing was blown off.

If you really feel calm: if you have let that moment to just pass. And, if you have submitted to the mighty nature of the ‘other’—that you are weak, powerless and could do nothing. Then, you should realise that you truly are wretched of the earth!

What make nations worth nothing? This question has been haunting me since I began to think. Think. I don’t know. Why every time, I come across this word. I just can’t pass it by. And every time I ponder over ‘thinking,’ my retina is covered by an image of someone holding 9mm barrel on my head. That image is just not a .jpg picture. I can zoom into it and see every detail of that person vividly.

I am not good at adjectives. Or, I could tell you: what I see. In the Orwell’s words, it is the ‘thought-crime’. And beware; there are super-magnifying telescope and binoculars watching you. But that has not stopped me from ‘thinking’.

The power of thought is explosive. Books can be bombs. Pen can be sniper. Pages can be the graveyard of empires.

Alija Izzat Begovich, erstwhile president of Bosnia was caged for writing a manifesto entitled the Islamic Declaration. It was a grenade. But then, his ‘notes from prison’ were a drone attack! He smuggled it out with the help of a thief. How ‘poisonous’ is this thought of him: “I will die when I will lose the reason to live.”

In the treatise that took him behind the bars, he wrote: “from the Islamic point of view; in Muslim world, we have two types of people in respect of education. One, who are uneducated. And second, the wrongly educated.” Leave aside the Islamic point of view; people are allergic to this terminological usage. But still, the thought process in the ‘otherwise governed places of earth’ has always been corrupted.

Remember, why England wanted to educate Indians—when they, ruled India?

Sayyid Qutb—’the Egyptian prophet of terror,’ as they call him, was hanged to death. For, he did the blasphemy by writing ‘Milestones’—the masterpiece on Islamic ideology. The bible of fundamentalist, they call it.

His body was never handed over. His mentor, Hassan al-Banna, was once asked: “why don’t you write books?” He replied: “I create men.” Among his men, was Qutb. He wrote. He dared to ‘think’. Think the otherwise.

‘Thought-crime,’ Orwell called it in his prophetic novel ‘1984’. (Sometimes, I think: what if Orwell was a Muslim? He would have been called Wali of his times.)  He said in the same novel: “the consequences of every act are included in the act itself.” The ‘consequences,’ you fear. What next, you fear. You lost that moment of nirvana that knocked once at the doors of your conscious mind.

You lost it: when nations fail to accept the language of free thinking. When, thoughts are pumped into every mind—to create, a human clones of sorts. Who don’t understand: how important is that moment of rage that touches every human soul under ‘non-consensual state of power’.

Nations, that seize that moment, are mortals. No one can subdue them. No dirty bomb is as much powerful as the free man’s act of defiance.  Those who do not, maybe the gods of small things, but they are not the masters of their own lives.

Frantz Fanon once said: “the beginning of the unorganized crime in an occupied land is the beginning of the organized rebellion.”

I heard. There are people who have committed to write. They think in the creative manner. They write novels, stories and poems. Is this the unorganized crime that has begun to creep in? And, will it create any manifesto—that will be, the bible of thought criminals.

Next time you feel you are not free. Write.

(An avid reader, Rakshanda Ali has done Bachelors in Business Administration. She hails from Srinagar.)


  1. Wonderfully written. We are born to be free, in free land, with free flowing thoughts, free to think and write. All this is still applicable however when every a free Muslim like Sayyid Qutb writes his free mind he/she is labeled as blasphemy or terrorist etc.

    No matter what our thoughts need to be free what I mean free is free from just this material world.



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