RAKSHANDA JALIL, 54
Writer, Critic and Literary Historian. Upcoming title: An Uncivil Woman-Writings on Ismat Chughtai
I grew up in a home filled with books. I believe reading can be your only inspiration for writing, otherwise you are just running before you have learnt to walk.
My work draws inspiration from the progressive writers’ movement—a powerful literary group that included the best and brightest writers of the time. The progressives believed that in an essentially unfair and unequal world, some are more deprived than the others and that it is not okay for the big fish to swallow the small fish. They believed writers could not just be mute spectators of oppression and injustice.
Freedom means. Having the right to think and do as one deems fit. At the same time, I don't believe in taking freedom of speech, thought and action to extreme lengths. After all, my right to freedom can’t be my right to offend.
If I had complete freedom to do something, I would stop people from spitting, littering and peeing in public. The most important thing I will change about my fellow Indians would be their lack of hygiene and civic sense.