ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Voices of Dissent

Words Matter: Writings against Silence edited and introduced by K Satchidanandan, Gurgaon: Penguin Books India, 2016; pp 260, ₹399.

The book under review starts with an apt quote from Czeslaw Milosz: “Do not feel safe. The poet remembers. You may kill him—a new one is born/Deeds and talks will be recorded.”

Every government usually goes through a honeymoon with its citizens. It starts out tolerant, amiable and concerned about justice and equality. The rightness of a government rests in how long it continues this way. Sometimes it is an external threat that forces it to change and the downward spiral starts but most often it is the internal contradictions that make governments change. They become less tolerant, more rigid in application of the law, and ideas of justice and equality lose out to the desire to move “ahead,” usually an economic imperative.

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