Pen stands for expression, for literature, for what comes out of a writer’s pen. And it is true that literature or writing wields far more power than arms can ever wield. Battles are fought over a certain period time and within a particular area. They certainly affect and influence events but in a limited way. The effect of the pen or literature is wide. Sometimes it is universal. The messages of Buddha, Christ, Confucius, Gandhi and Marx are universal in their appeal. They are valid for all times and for all climes. The sword has a physical effect, it hardly affects times and for all climes. The sword has a physical effect, it hardly affects the mind and the spirit, while the pen affects the mind, intellect and spirit. The latter can shape the minds, hearts and spirit of people in a desired way if only the wielder has the mastery of its use in the required measure.
The pen is a source of power and inspiration for all times and for people in all walks of life. The fact of superiorty of the pen over the sword should not lead us to believe that the sword has no value. Arms have changed history. Sometimes only force brings about results. When everything fails, when persuasion negotiations etc., fail, the use force to teach Ravan a lesson. Arms were used to ensure the victory of the forces of good over the forces of evil. If the great war of Mahabharat had not been fought, the forces of evil which the Kauravas represented would have continued to plague the kingdom and the rule of justice and righteousness could never have been established. Lord Krishna, therefore, induced Arjuna to fight a violent war to destroy the forces of evil and rehabilitate the rule of the right.
There is might in the sword, nobody can gain say this, but there is more might in the pen. The American Revolution of 1776 was the product of the writings of a host of political philosophers and statesmen. The very slogan of liberty, equality and pursuit of happiness raised in their writings by the American revolutionaries and almost the identical slogan liberty, equality and fraternity raised in the writings of French revolutionaries not only did much to change the history of these two countries, but also revolutionized the very thought and outlook of the people about the role of the state. It is a matter of common knowledge for a student of History that, what Benjamin Franklin, Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson in America and Rousseau, Voltaire and Motesquieu in France, could do by their writings could never have been achieved by was an outburst of the centuries old people’s grievances, but the background for it had been prepared by the writings of a host of creative writers as well as statesmen like Trotsky and Lenin.
Erroneous view is held by some people that the sword is mightier than the pen. They actually do not understand the meaning of pen. When comparing with the sword they have in mind only some object six inches long with which one can write. This object of six inches in length and about one inch in thickness compares ridiculously in power with the one or two feet long sword with sharp edges, the very sight of which sends shudders of fear down the spine.
What Gandhi could achieve by the use of his pen could never be achieved by thousand of strong emperors ruling by the force of their arms. The writings of a host of patriotic writers and men of literature contributed very significantly to burning of the fire of patriotic zeal in the hearts of the multitudes of people and inspiring them to sacrifice their lives for the sake of freedom. V.D. Savarkar’s ‘Indian war of Independence’, Lala Lajpatrai’s ‘Unhappy India’, the fiery messages of Swami Vivekanand exercised much greater power than the actual thought which issued from the minds of a host of individuals and liberal writers has done more in democratizing and socializing our attitudes.
An important role in preserving human civilization from the onslaught of barbarism can be played by the strength of a pen only. A writer can make the whole world see things in their true light and facts of life. They can really make the world aware of the tragic horrors of wars, racial wars and ideological wars of all types. It is only false propaganda that cause of spread of violence. Only a writer can conquer such a lie. Writers can move the soul and touch the hearts of the affected people in great depth. The writings can serve a powerful and swift force waging a relentless struggle for the dignity and glory of human soul.
It is the strength of the pen only, which can stress the similarity rather than the differences between people living at distant places. A writer can create a better understanding of each other’s problems and thus lessen strife and conflicts. All types of wars and battles emerge from misunderstandings which can be resolved by a powerful instrument of the writer’s pen. The concept of ‘One world’ becomes real and effective only through the words of a writer.