“ True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself is nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it! ——— Edward Bulwer -Lytton
A powerful bomb rips apart an arcade bustling with hoi polloi in a city and hundreds of corpses produce a macabre scene. Amidst the upheaval, one notices the lifeless body of a student sulking in one corner even in his demise, his cold hands clutching on to a pen.Observing such a scene, a feeling of twinge grips one’s heart urging him to dive into introspection regarding the pen in his hands. Did the pen stand for his dreams? Dreams of a bright pragmatic future – where mankind will be able to fearlessly use his intelligence to put a halt to the regressive march towards the doom. Alas! His dreams now bite the cerise colored dust as the pen lies on the floor spattered with the blood of innocent lives. The repulsive fog of smoke and dust celebrate the turpitude of the existing murky maniacs and warmongers who revel in a bloodbath.
With passage of time, today’s generations are brought up on a cult of violence propagated by movies, video games and the list seems to be endless. With the blessings of the imbroglio of unlimited financial bliss and the big business, it all passes of in the name of legitimate entertainment, but it never fails to warp the impressionable minds of the young. It is no secret that all around the world there exist governments that covertly or otherwise themselves indulge in acts of terrorism and violence and it would be completely wrong and farcical to think of terrorists as people who live outside the pale of law and carry out destructive acts. This unpleasant fact further complicates the issue of violence, and makes its solution more elusive than ever. It also lends credence to the oft-repeated saying that “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Violence and strife cumber large parts of the world today. Man’s propensity to overuse violence as a means of achieving his ends is incremental in the present scenario. Innumerable people have been traumatized and tyrannized by the ubiquitous violence and who fear the claws of Thanatos (Greek god of Death). Mahatma Gandhi had once said , “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
Peace has fallen to pieces has men indulge in the grossest hypocrisy justifying war for the sake of peace. Despite solely possessing the intelligence of protecting the world, ironically man is bent on destroying it! So, where does the pen lie in the heinous world of bombs and rifles? While talking about the might of the pen or the sword, our analysis and perception indeed needs to be metaphorical .While the pen is emblematic of the human intellect that has made him the master of all creation, on the simulacrum the sword stands for man’s physical prowess – wild, instinctive always enthusiastic to push its way through nature. Truly, the Devil in George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman has proclaimed that in the arts of life, man invests nothing yet in the arts of death, man often outdoes nature herself.How many of us today are ready to be bogged down by cockeyed conventions of violence? How many are ready to accept established norms just for the sake of obeisance? Hardly a soul I believe; just those who proudly flaunt their cultivated masks of fake conformity, and those who sit and whine when things fall apart.It is to be in the distant future where the pen will reign over the human souls harmoniously, but in such a state of frenzy is it at all possible, or is it the fantasy of an incorrigible optimist?
The sword I believe can either refer to the power of protection or annihilation. Man undoubtedly has used the sword and his physical power vehemently for destruction. If the pen represents the world of ideas and the apoplexies of intelligence then it is to be remembered that man without his intellect would never have succeeded in creating the sword. It is quite a paradoxical statement that if one changes his perception then he changes his world. Thus the sword is merely an instrument; it is the world of ideas and thoughts represented by the pen that decides the usage of this instrument towards a fair felicitous or a foul detrimental end. Fear not the sword, but the hand that yields it.While some Laden shall celebrate the massacre of thousand of innocent lives, a Wordsworth somewhere else shall wonder why a gun doesn’t grow a flower! Both men use the pen of their distinctive ideas. Positive thoughts shall create a sword to improve the world whereas the negative ideas will have an opposite impact. It all depends whether we treat the fruit of knowledge as manna or as a mean of botulism.