Recently, the Supreme Court of India has given a very strange verdict – words might lead to tragedies. Is it so? It might be. However, it is against the ethos of the judiciary to ascribe crimes to words rather than the criminals. However, let us see what the judges think when a review petition is heard in the same court. The question that I want to raise is beyond judiciary and judgements. Are certain works of literature beyond criticism? If so, what is the category of such works of literature? Is such a category valid across the spectrum? Or only certain works in a certain category are beyond criticism? We have to raise these questions today so that critics are alert before they try to apply their minds and express their thoughts.
A certain religious book of a certain religion asks for many things not allowed within legal and moral frameworks. Another book of another certain religion asks for redemption only through a single tunnel. That is also not true, not legal and not even moral. However, one book of one certain religion tells the world that you can come by any path and meet any mindset, you will be given the same redemption as a person coming through the suggested path. However, the third book is said to be the book of intolerants and the first two books are books of the peaceful, mindful and thoughtful. Strange.
Can literature exist if it is beyond criticism? I say no! Any literature should be welcomed when criticised and those who believe in that piece of literature should look for chances to understand the reason behind criticism, opinion or suggestions. In a certain religion, there are Vedas, and then, there are Upanishads – so-called Vedanta, challenging Vedas. You can argue, as long as you want. You can criticise with facts; you can look f0r contradictions and similarities – and you are welcome. In another certain religion, there is a certain book that you cannot challenge; you cannot criticise; you cannot contradict or compare; you cannot analyse. You can just read. Appreciate. Stay safe.
Though one certain religion that reinforced itself on the pillars of crusade allows certain criticism, you cannot challenge those who ‘uphold’ the religious values by remaining celibate and playing children’s sports. You can observe; you can criticise; you cannot ‘convert’ their opinions. They admit they had changes in their scriptures, so-called, but with approvals by the authorities who deny any opinions by others, defy and suggestions by others. In short, there is no space for conjecture or debates; you have to admit what the authorities say. Even the courts of law.
My point, still, is that we cannot accept certain literature (even if they are based on facts) without space for criticism. We need that space so that the virtues and values remain intact age after age and do not render themselves redundant after a certain time. I believe challenges help a person stay strong and in accordance with one’s wit and intellect.
Someone following a certain religion