SOAPBOX: Writing of Old Hegemony and Young Intellect

[Editor’s Note: In an effort to provide space for all Jamia students to express themselves on any topic of their liking without being edited, we have created a section called the Soapbox. Articles under this section will be presented as is. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of The author bears full responsibility for its content and format.]


Writing of Old Hegemony and Young Intellect

By Syed Adfar Rashid Shah

Adfar Shah

They say that in today’s modern world, consumer is the king and it equally applies to mass media also. Both readers and writers are consumers as both utilize this service, one for information and development of horizon and another for its excellence or an urge of the dissemination of information with them.

Undoubtedly it is the consumer which has a considerable control on services and goods today but why have newspapers and magazines, journals maintained a hegemony of their own be it selection of writers, topics, issues and are hardly giving space to new writers. So many craving for identity of writing, yearning to see themselves on some platform, A Plethora of them with even intellectual bent of mind but struggling pathetically. What they lack, they don’t know.

Usually all scholars tend to write and some write which is anchored to reality. Some perceiving a mode of transcendence to the present moment, some with spiritual continuity and some with the fundamental quality of new critical hermeneutics, some with a new reinterpretation of philosophic and now mostly political discourses and so on.

A major section among them so obsessed to see their name printed at the end of their jottings not for they don’t believe in, ‘what is in the name’ but equally believe that even he who wrote such a quote, still mentioned his name under it. A major chunk now deliberately exaggerates the happenings around, adds what is called masala in vernacular to vest grandeur and magnificence to the written stuff.

Some write because they are to write, some write as others expect of them for so, some are prompted by context , some write as they are said to write, some write because of achieved tranquility and for they cannot remember it later (illiterate Sufi poets), some write to live forever(philosophers like that of Gadamer, Kant, Marx), some write just because others write and last but not the least writers are the products of either literary ethos or of different upsurges, turmoils and conflicts like an alarming increase in the emergence of new writers on Kashmir conflict, Palestine, etc,. They see writing as a form of opportunity to come to the forefront, most of them see it as their resilience, resentment and protest; they see it as their contributing bit for mass awareness and awakening. Some write out of achieved identity (eminent columnists and academic authors), some out of status be it social, cultural, capital, etc,.

But the ugliest part of this whole exercise is crushing of the small young budding writers versus policy of platforms available vis-a-vis number of writers. Seeing the space available and space to be granted to budding or student writers is totally dismal, ignoring, insufficient and not at all satisfying and egalitarian in structure for printing bodies and judging institutions run after sheer personal policies which they feel Godly and non-amendable and so, here the hierarchy of writing actually starts, here the rating begins, here the face value becomes a significant element, here actually the influential ones who have carved a niche in some field prove a set back to the junior ones because of no space available, the dilemmas of language, issues of volatility of young writers, highlighting of their lack of expertise and finally the brutal rejection of their creative pieces without even letting them know what was wrong with it and how to write, which could have made the fourth pillar of democracy the very democratic, transparent and just.

Students don’t have influential contacts, some don’t have even access to Internet, a majority of them don’t know editors (a class of judges who decide the fate of your intellect, whether to spoil it or to let it come but not either yours or theirs, simply a hybrid of nothing), and in this way much real, much natural, much creative does not come in the printed form from the younger chunk. As some where it is a fixed group writing everyday or we say boring with writings on all everyday issues. Some where it is fixed, what to include and what not. You write one thing, they need some thing else. Some where the editor class proves fatal, they edit well and defeat the actual goal of the author, they edit for the sake of editing sometimes just to reveal their professional grin and authority. They play with words and hence prove a good obstacle in discouraging a major chunk of writers in struggling hierarchy.

The queer fishes (editors) who reserve the right to reject your words and leave no stone unturned in destroying your existence lying in your words, Roland Barthes — the French critic had talked of the death of the author and birth of the reader but they(editors) make it different, it is both the death of the author and reader and the eventual rebirth of editor who applies his own ideas and assume as if he is writing it in totality and here much of the creativity is put in the cold storage and hence put a spoke in the wheel of creativity and originality, not letting it to come to front under the crisis of hollow and old hat intellectualism, genuineness, bossism, favoritism, etc,.

The poor chunk is crushed under silent literal violence and vocal-subjugation, as I came across a number of small unidentified writers with heaps of articles written but not a word published. So my words may seem very awkward to the majority of readers and editors but realizing the pain of those all writers who remain uncelebrated, who contribute but are not let a via media.

I know, much growing literature on violence in writing may exist in future but now there is a dire need to look into the nature of this violent behavior meted to small writers and pin point the cause of many of its manifestations between war and politics of writing where few rule even the minds of others, words written with high degree of so called intelligence, pages filled with the difficult synonym forms of simple language, words of self understood clarities, self set conciseness and diplomatic sense often rule words of innocence, blooming spirit, words from with in and words of brute truth in the name of hallow intellectualism and pseudo-professionalism.

Also such a silent violence is inflicted upon new writers in the name of so called less skilled and more skilled writings question is it that apart from those ten or fifteen columnists who appear in papers on daily or weekly basis, all are those who write are morons and idiots.

Let every writer grow, let every writer be guided and encouraged, let the papers or other such institutions, who receive numberless e-mails from such small writers every day, bother to reply and deliver their reasons for not including but with guidance, motivation sympathy and truth. Let media not prove to be a mere economic organization and a tool of dominance, hegemony and iron rod on small writers. Let intellectual environment be created by print media whole heartedly.

I wish, if some day the poor new writers can assume the control on their own literal destiny and the drudgery of writing may turn to the magnificence and writing of identity. It calls for a big debate on this writing and publishing issue, the injustice and violence of selection and deletion of writings except some known faces. The day is not too far when youth will overthrow this self created system of unjust selections, self interested policies of including and excluding, imposed boredom to readers due to age old columnists and masala writings only.

About Adfar Shah

Syed Adfar Rashid Shah is a contributing writer and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology. He can be reached via email at: [email protected]

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  1. kashif hasan khan

    It is true that the beginning of a good journal article is good science with rigorous methods, the science will not be conveyed to the research community or the general public without clear writing this is one thing that generally students lack but what about those who are well versed with it but still not seeing their names in journals. reasons for this is quite obvious as above scholar syed Adfar Rashid Shah highlighted with his great intellect. i simply appreciate the efforts taken by the learned scholar who make us think on the disgusting part of editing. because earlier to this we were putting blame on ourselves.

  2. absolutely is really is purely a language war these days and wrath of editors upon young small writers.we need space for excellence and experience but it is not given to us.the writer has done a commendable job by bringing such a hard reality to limelightmoreover,the writer has also given the real definition of editors.KEEP IT UP.good writings.
    saleem ahmad
    West Asian Studies

  3. hatts of.infact the first brave writeup to highlight the silent violence faced by small helpless writers.the editors need to rethink of their treatment to youth and young budding writers by guidance and deserves applause to bring to the limelight such a worth issue,which needs a serious debate.after all this violence has to end some day and thanks to Syed Adfar,who has made the begining.

  4. wonderful article and thanks to Jamia journal for providing space to such brave writings which reveal the actual nature of media toward struggling and small writers.yes it has to go one day as it is so oppressive.
    sana tasleem
    Ph.D scholar,JMI

  5. good piece of writing.yes it is all true.
    Ph.D Scholar,

  6. the editors no doubt need to check the content and publish the good material but the author is right when he says are all those idiots except few people who appear in journals,newspapers needs a serious examinaton,why are not young writers let space while as seniour ones though writing anything appear of and on.budding writers can be encouraged only by print media so they need to shun their hegemony and favouritis and blind selections of all those senior and old writers.
    mir aijaz
    m.phil.universty of kashmir

  7. Brilliant write up, dear actually you have raised all important issue, which not young intellect face in contemporary times but intellects like Galib had experienced. It needs serious look. I think editors even dont write what has been written when they see a name unknown to them

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