Isn't it unfair to insist that stories should be cleansed to match the fanatic measure of moralism and righteousness. A story doesn't need to be a lecture or an essay in morality. I had recently shared an immensely beautiful, intricately ornate paragraph, picked out from "Lord Jim" by Joseph Conrad on a social media site. As a rare one for me, I received an almost immediate response, objecting to the fact that women, some women was blamed for some sorry state of affair. Why women? was the theme of comment.
I was totally lost. The context was not there, agreed. But it wasn't supposed to be. It was written with a broad notice that it was an excerpt, which I was sharing simply because how exquisitely words were woven into that paragraph by the master wordsmith. The near-poetic feel of the prose was mesmerizing. It wasn't a political statement, neither from me, not from the writer. I could not understand the indignation.
In my view, Every stories need both sides, as arrogant as stubborn as the other for one of them to prevail. Every writer takes a position initially when he writes a story. Story-writing is driven by two things, one- to propagate a position which is dear to the writer and Two- to tell an enchanting tale, purely out of a sense of sharing. Even when the case is former, still, the writer needs to have two sides. The two sides are represented by two characters, two forces in the story, who take diametrically opposite position and who have enough arguments on their respective sides to keep the story engrossing. The struggle, the drama arise from the two contradictory positions. If the two were to speak the same language, take same position, story becomes tame, rather it is no longer a story, it becomes an essay, a viewpoint.
The writer wears a mask of neutrality till the end, when he throws his weight behind the preferred point of view and lets the reader know where his sympathies lie. The insistence on the story not to have anything racial/communal/political/ gender- biased will kill a story. Any righteous fanaticism will kill the spirit of a story and kill its purpose. All kind of fanaticism kills free thought and thus kills literature and we must be watchful against it. We need to have characters speaking in different language through the story for the truth to emerge. All fanaticism rest on unyielding, unbending position. This can exist on either side of the divide. "All women are goddess and divine" is as ridiculous a position as is "All men as animals", thought the former carries the garb of neutrality and progressive thought. Life does not breath in absolutes. We are all children of gray. We live and prosper in our inherent contradictions. To insist to paint one class as absolutely divine is as much an insult to intellect as is to paint a class as criminal.
A writer can be a crusader of truth and justice, but truth and justice by the very nature of them are derived facts. You can not start a discussion with absolute fact and you can surely not write a story based on absolute fact. The story needs to tease you, guide and beckon you to the truth which itself can have many colors and hues. We all need to discover our own truths through the literature we peruse. The premise ought to evolve, the position ought to develop. The beauty lies in the contrasts. Through the contrasts, truth emerges- between Man and woman, Light and dark, ecstasy and gloom, dread and courage, confusion and clarity. A writer can not decide for you, he can merely be a light in which you may see.