Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Power of Pen and Words Should be Used Wisely: Shourie

The power of pen and words whether used for appreciation or criticism should be used wisely, according to renowned journalist and author Arun Shourie.

"There is nothing wrong in criticising any book or anybody's viewpoint, but we should adopt a route of healthy criticism which reflects the other side of the argument," Shourie said at the launch of new editions of his bestsellers.

After the success of Shourie's book 'Does He Know a Mother's Heart' last year, Harper Collins launched the new editions of three of his bestsellers including World of Fatwas, Falling over Backwards and Worshipping false Gods - Ambedkar and the Facts Which Have Been Erased.

"If somebody has an argument to counter the viewpoint presented in any book, he or she should write the book reflecting the other side rather than banning books or burning books," Shourie, whose books have been celebrated, criticised and debated, said.

He added that the present era requires lengthy books that present more facts than short books which may interest the readers but provide half-knowledge. Advising the young authors, he said one should take up a subject, do rigorous research and present an avalanche of facts to the readers.

"I had read 18,000 fatwas while I was writing World of Fatwas and had written about 200 judgments of the Supreme Court in Falling over Backwards," he said.

He added that, "If I would have quoted only one verse it would have been out of context. Once I have done thorough research and garnered the facts then I feel satisfied that my job is done."

Expressing his view on Shourie's' book about fatwas, former Union Minister Arif Mohammed Khan said, "World of Fatwas has been criticised, attacked and perceived as an attack on Muslim community, whereas according to me it is an attack on the deviation which took place in Islamic history."

In his book 'World of Fatwas', Shourie has shown Shariah in action, with a mountain of fatwas as his text. He has unravelled the history of fatwas, and the implications that a faithful, rigid adherence to these Islamic judgments holds for the 'believer'. And hence for the non-believers.

His book 'Worshipping False Gods- Ambedkar and the Facts that Have Been Erased' whose decade-old cartoon of Ambedkar rocked the Parliament for days recently casts a critical look at the legend of Ambedkar who has has come to be idolised as no other political leader over the last couple of decades.

In Falling Over Backwards, Arun Shourie has pointed to the truth about reservations and has highlighted the fact that they are a sleight of hand on the part of politicians. He has also taken apart pro-reservation judgments of the Supreme Court.

Quoting Worshipping False Gods as most disturbing one among the three books, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, President, Centre for Policy Research, said, "It is the most disturbing one because other books don't entirely surprise the readers as some facts about it (the subject) are already in public domain."
FILED ON: Jul 25, 2012 15:13 IST

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