The Kerala Literature Festival 2019 witnessed one of the most intense discussions between renowned Malayalam writer, M.Mukundan and Konkani writer, Damodar Mauzo. Mauzo who was threatened several times after the assassination of Journalist, Gauri Lankesh was given a tight security for the event. Mauzo mentioned the Freedom of Expression, he once had and how modern writers have lost the courage to express their thoughts more openly. Mauzo explained how he believes in rational thinking and liberal way of approaching the society.
Mauzo further declared that a writer emerges out of fear which Mukundan strictly contradicted by saying that writers are fragile beings and quoted, 'We all fear losing our lives; we are born weak and fragile. Creativity arises from weakness.'
Talking about Freedom of Expression, Mukundan was vociferous about the freedom that writers once experienced, quoting an example of Basheer's famous work, 'Bhagavad Gita and Breasts' stressing that no writer could be this bold these days. Damodar Mauzo on the contrary supported fearlessness of writers to bring up a courageous society. He opined that writers are more realistic and more likely to speak up for a cause. Although he hails from a state where exemplary harmony exists their means of reaching out to the society is much lower. He was adamant about translating works into regional languages than to English. He also talked about how society brand writers as anti-nationalists if they talk in favour of another country.
The session concluded with a vibrant participation of the crowd raising questions and expressing their disagreements.