Return of the Satanic Verses: A Literary Ghost

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Satan, the protagonist in John Milton's epic Paradise Lost has been taken by the critics as the first democrat. Biblical way of saying is that it was Satan's disobedience that germinated in his mind and he bowed to corrupt the mankind. The first moral down fall of the mankind is the work of Satan.  So is the purpose of desperation, confusion and loss of belongingness in terms of morality and the befallen humanity.

This great work of Milton was written over a very significant and politically sensitive time, the Restoration Period, when England was passing through a political and social uncertainty. The role of Satan in the epic appears as both: a hero and a villain. Nevertheless, this literary debate is endless but up to the readers' mind set and perception whether they treat Satan either way.

Any work of literature that invites chaos and commotion is the index of author's sick and filthy imagination. Thus, Satan does his work; the way he likes to corrupt the humanity. The ongoing storming debate under the guise of freedom of expression is not an exception. The subject matter has again taken an entry. This stale chapatti is now a hot cake for the media which stings the minds of millions under the shadow of freedom of expression vis-à-vis rhetoric of literary discussions through incredibly hyped Rushdie and his work The Satanic Verses.
One fine question: Was it a preset work of literature or something else which in nature is incredibly chaotic and contagious even to a layman thought? What is the plot behind Rushdie's visit? Be it sensible or insensible it has again shaken the dignity of thoughtful and responsible literary world. Jaipur literary fest unveils several questions that need to be addressed especially at a point of time where assembly elections (in UP particular) are to be held. The political linkage as a catalyst can't be ignored or overruled.

Freedom of expression is questionable. History proves that civilization of man is not that fragile. At every point of time over the history of mankind, no rhetoric allowed any random entry of poisonous literary germs or any fragmenting and ill thoughts into a civilized society.  

Phony and mesmeric description in a work of literature affects adversely and pollutes the innocent minds of millions morally and ethically. The never ending war between morally good and evil is a never ending war in the name of freedom of expression but with a testimony of moral strength. The act of blasphemy is a moral crime against humanity. The perjury case of the former US president Bill Clinton followed an impeachment is a testimony of a civilized society. The US and the people have shown an example to the international community that the law of the land tends to punish whosoever regardless of any race, class or religion.

The most painful and tragic part of the ongoing literary war across the world is that absurd or obscene elements in a literary form has now become a literary terrorism well sponsored by a few internationally recognized  publishers. This is literally a dangerous and highly threatening form of micro terrorism. It needs a canonical dissection as to find out what lies in the mind of a literary demon like Rushdie (rush not to die).

Earning name, fame or money, by a pseudo writing is a literary materialism even after a huge sum as reward. It sounds too phony to a common civilian like me.

My youngest son, a class VI student, asked me a question:
'Why do we trim our nails?'

I answered his question in about five sentences. He accepted none.

'What is the correct answer?' I asked.

'Because animals don't trim their nails.'

I remained silent.

Madani Mohiuddin Ahmad, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Phone: 00966-542514538 (KSA), 0091- 9873503721 (New Delhi, India).


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