When The Pen is More Dangerous Than The Sword

Throughout the years it has been said- ‘The Pen is Mightier than Sword.’ In that effect you have essays stating quotes like “great warriors have fought but have been forgotten, while great writers are remembered forever.”

But one thing to consider: What happens when the might of the pen exceeds a lot? When it becomes as, or even more dangerous than the sword?

Over the years the power of the written word has gained a lot of strength, probably even more than muscle power. It has brought people together for protests like in the Charlie Hebdo attacks. It has even caused rifts.

In some ways both- the pen and sword are similar. Both have a pointed end. Without this end both are ineffective. Both can leave a permanent mark in the form of ink marks and scars. (Incase a pen is used to physically attack a person, it can also leave physical scars.) Both can kill- The sword can kill a person’s life while a pen can kill a person’s reputation.

In other ways they can be different. If you see a picture of a person holding a weapon, it will most likely look threatening. If you see a person holding a pen, it will most likely be a sign of ’empowerment'(education) or ‘respect.’

The Perception on Seeing a Person Holding a Pen or Sword Has Different Meanings
The Perception on Seeing a Person Holding a Pen or Sword Has Different Meanings

Sometimes the written word can be manipulative. Sometimes even false. The period of Yellow Journalism is such an example. It was a period when journalists held sensationalism higher than true facts.

Also, the pen has been held by warriors as writers. Adolf Hitler wrote his autobiography ‘Mein Kampf’ (My Struggle) which is also known as his political manifesto. Pierre- Alexis Muenier a soldier who fought in World War 1 wrote ‘L’angoisse de Verdun’ (The Anguish of Verdun). J. R. R. Tolkien wrote books like ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings.’

One thing we cannot forget: It was a pen which the drafters of our constitution used to put down the law of post- independent India. It was also a pen that gave us great authors like Rabindranath Tagore, Arundhati Roy, R. K. Narayan and Salman Rushdie among others.

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