Suhail Khan

Pen, Gun and Resistance

Pen, Gun and Resistance
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To resist is to sustain. It is to become conscious of the forces around you, to fight them with all your inner and outer strength and to conquer the fear. Resistance is intrinsic to every living creature. As the requisition for resistance may arise due to different forces, natural or created, subsequently the nature of resistance varies. Like an ant had to resist the force of the material it carries, humans too have to resist a plethora of forces and one such force being the oppression of man on man. This oppression of man on a man can take different forms. Sometimes a man is oppressed individually by another man, a community by another community and even worse a state by another state. The similarity among all the oppression is the exertion of force to its extreme to suppress the oppressed to the pulp.

In the oppression of state on another state, the oppressor is armed heavily if not to the teeth. He has the power, military might, draconian laws, territory and his insane wish to suppress. He acquires the power to such an extent that it not only blinds him but forces him to lose his rationale. He thinks within a set framework of torture and can’t get beyond it. His egocentric attitude subdues his ability to think freely and he takes everything as an attack on his pride. On the other hand, the oppressed resist the oppressor with demonstrations, art, boycotts, pen, and gun. To do all this they require courage, determination, patience, persistent and tough character. Their dreams are obscure, their fate undecided, their desires illusion, their happiness contemptuous, their efforts fruitless, their breathes numbered until they end the oppression. At every instant, they keep reminding themselves that with minimum options they have to create a big impact.

Apart from demonstrations, pen and gun play an important role to free the oppressed from the oppression.
The pen has done wonders in the resistance movements, as history bears testimony to it. When the oppressed hold it, its ink urges the people to fight for their freedom, honour, valour and land. It justifies the resistance movement and rattles the oppressive regime. It defames the oppressor and presents him naked before the world. It sends a message to the oppressor that his regime is authoritative, his administration corrupt and his policies defunct and very lately gives him a notion that every such regime is bound to end. It counters his illicit claims and shatters his vision. It questions his ideas which he is bound to answer but he can’t. It hystericizes and unnerves him by the ideas and philosophies it propagates. The oppressor, in his capability, does all to counter the ideas and philosophies the pen prophesies but in vain. It brings forth the pain, agony, distress and untold stories of the oppressed. It helps them to eulogize their martyrs and design their future plans. In nutshell, the pen acts as a silent weapon and wounds the oppressor to the deep.

When the oppressor, during resistance movements, picks the pen, he uses it to write down the new draconian laws to contain the basic freedoms of the oppressed. He lays down the rules that ought to be followed by the oppressed. The pen gives him the power to hang anyone by virtue of a signature. The oppressor wishes to empower the oppressed with the pen not so that they will freely express themselves but for his own sake. He wants them to become part of his corrupt rule and advocate for his policies and doctrines. Thus, he creates puppets not only politically but in administration too. Quite often these administrative puppets try to come to the rescue of their Majesty (oppressor) and justify his oppression. The oppressor, with the pen, gives a detailed outline of his power to create fear in the hearts of the oppressed. He glorifies his might, carries out his propaganda and tries his best to disillusion the oppressed so that they can’t taste freedom. Thus the oppressor uses it any way possible to disillude his oppressed and pushes them to the world of dismay.

Gun has a decisive role to play in the modern resistance movements. The oppressor uses the gun to torture, terrorize, kill, maim, plunder, ransack and thrash the oppressed. He holds it close to himself and keeps looking for moments to penetrate his oppressed with the bullet. When he has the gun his only aim is to kill regardless of gender, age, and crime. He yearns to showcase his power and crush the oppressed under his heal. Be it peaceful demonstrations or not, he always triggers the gun and it amuses him. He frightens and sends cold shivers down the spines of the oppressed by placing its barrel on them and thus advocates the philosophy that power flows through the barrel of the gun. He wipes out the intelligentsia of the oppressed systematically. During all this, the oppressor fails to understand that every blood stain of the oppressed blots his legacy but still whatever the way possible he never hesitates to use the power to perpetrate atrocities upon the oppressed.

The oppression forces the oppressed to take up the gun. They arm themselves to give a befitting reply to the oppressor. They shake his establishment and he finds himself helpless. They counter his bullet with bullet. They give him a scare for a scare, a wound for a wound and look staright into his eyes. With minimum arms and numbered men, they unsettle him, keep him on his toes and give him worst nightmares.They destroy his pride and fictitious legacy. Their message is clear that the oppressor can’t go on with his oppression. They fight a tough battle with him and he realizes that he is not fighting some mere force. The oppressor knows however the small their number is (oppressed with arms) but they can defeat him as they are righteous and it becomes a win win situation for them. He is quite aware of the fact that the bullet which is fired from their gun is worthless because it is fired for the cause of freedom and he becomes serious of such bullets. Although the oppressed picks gun over pen not to take revenge but to safeguard themselves from the military might of the oppressor.

Thus both pen and gun prove their essentiality during resistance moments. However, pacifist may argue that gun is not the solution and it is better to shun violence but when the occupier is knocking at your door and fully equipped with arms you can’t fight him with pen. Force must be met with force. Furthermore, resistance movements have an element of both voilence and nonviolence. Resistance movements are incomplete without pen or gun, which of these play more vital role, is a contentious issue.

Author is a student at Sayyid Hamid Senior Secondary School AMU, Aligarh. He can be reached at

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.

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