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Literature and Democracy by blogiwank

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· @blogiwank ·
Literature and Democracy
<center><img src=""><br><sub>_Source: Pixabay_</sub></center>

I am a newbie in Hive. This is my second post in this platform. I hope this community loves it.

Now I want to discuss about literature and democracy. This is an old issue but always interesting. Why? Because people sometimes asked me how can literature contribute to democracy. Can poetry speak about election? Can a novel discuss about power and state? They are just fictions.

My answer is yes.

Literature does not fall from the sky. Like other works of art, it is the result of the author's continuous interaction with the world around him/her. Freedom to speak is the basis for their job. That's why poets and novelists need a democratic space to grow and live.

True authors always stand against any kind of fascist and authoritarian states, against imperialism and colonialism.

Authoritarian rulers build a huge prison to oppress expression and political opinion. They persecute authors, writers, intellectuals, and any thinkers and put them behind the bar. They forget that there is one way or another their works will surive and get their readers.

_Acehnese War Poetry_ or _Hikayat Prang Sabil_ (1834) is one example of this kind of literature. The Poetry became the source of spirit for Acehnese lead by Tjoet Nja Dhien to fights against Dutch colonialism.

<center><img src=""><br><sub>_Source: By Geschilderd naar Jules Garnier (Collectie Koninklijk Huisarchief in bruikleen aan museum Bronbeek) - Internet, Public Domain, [Wikipedia](</sub></center>

_Noli Me Tangere_ by Jose Rizal (1861-1896) had mobilized the resistance of the Filipinos. The authoritarian regime of Soeharto is heavily noted in Leila S. Chudori's _Pulang_ and _Laut Bercerita_ or short stories by Seno Gumira Ajidarma.

Lee Kuan Yew, then Singapore Prime Minister, was wrong when he said that [“Poetry is a luxury we cannot afford. What is important for pupils is not literature, but a philosophy of life"]( Literature actually is a bridge for people to find a philosophy of life.

The greedy ruler would fear the poet, burns his books, and throws them in prison. But words never die. They keep looking for an opening to break through the darkness and shouted. When journalism is silenced, literature speaks up, said Seno. In this sense, literature is the last hope in the democratic struggle.


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@curie ·
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