For artistic licence

For artistic licence

* This refers to 'Master of antipathies' (IE, November 9). While one may not agree with Naipaul's worldview, his writing is thought-provoking and he deserves to be honoured for it. The fact that he was awarded a lifetime award at a literature festival does not mean that its organisers endorse his political views. The intolerance of the liberals, in this case, is no different from the intolerance shown by the extreme right in banning The Satanic Verses. The right to disagree ought never to lead to the right to block, prevent or prevent others from honouring, reading or viewing something. One has the right to not read, not see, or state one's disagreement with a point of view, work of art or piece of writing. An environment that allows us to put our views forward acknowledges that we live in a diverse society. Literature or art cannot be measured by whether its content is agreeable or offensive. "Poetic licence" is a term that was invented to endorse this right of artists. The measure of literature and art is the quality of the piece. Often, disturbing images and messages are the raison de etre of the art. The trend of judging a human being in totality will only result in saints, priests, apostles and messiahs being honoured, while mere mortals will never be recognised.

Naheed Carrimjee


No smoking

* THIS refers to 'India ranked 123 in tobacco fight' (IE, November 16). In a country where there is an array of diseases related to tobacco consumption, India's ranking 123rd among 198 countries reflects the inadequacy of government efforts to fight the menace of tobacco. Although many states recently passed legislation to prohibit the sale of items containing tobacco, a lot of work is still to be done. Mass awareness campaigns, the promotion of tobacco free items, and TV infomercials can be immensely helpful in reducing tobacco consumption.

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