he great poet Ghalib was a resolute non-conformist. He did not relish the prospect of writing panegyrics for the king. He was a rebel in his own way. Today, we know Ghalib as one of the greatest poets of all time. Coming to the Kashmiri writers of contemporary times, with a few honorable exceptions here and there, all are busy in playing to the gallery. The very fact that most of the writers, poets, intellectuals and columnists we have produced have been government employees all their lives making playing to the gallery a Hobson’s choice for them.
The rat race to win literary awards has further deteriorated the situation. Everyone just wants to write panegyrics to be in the merit list of doles and awards. There are ubiquitous scribes, typists, lyricist but not a single intellectual writer. Even if there are scores of writers but their primary focus are content, number of books and not the quality of work. The height of the hunger for publicity is that the writers themselves walk into the offices of bureaucrats, politicians, and newsrooms with copies of their latest book. These books are often later found in dustbins of some remotely accessible corner of bookshelves.
Where is the integrity? And most importantly, where is the quality? The writers have all along been questioning about the lack of recognition. It is high time we ask them,”Where is the quality?” The writers must go deep into the recesses of their minds and find out an intellectual answer to the chaos and confusion we are faced up with. It is not the time to write about the rosy-cheeked women, roses, sparrows and bulbuls. The nation is faced up with a challenge. There are macabre forces out there to enforce their writ.
A writer must utilize his energy to provide an intellectual answer and solution to our chaotic, rudderless minds and souls. Things have come to such a pass that we have to awaken the writers to rise up to the occasion when it must have been the other way round. We hope writers take their pen to write about solutions that help us break our fetters