SONOMA - I believe politics and pen are inseparable. That they influence each other is a truth that can’t be ignored.
Traversing history, we see how the famed novelist of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens, influenced England with his writings.
Through his pen, he described the dreadful working class conditions and the abject poverty, as he did so exposing the neglect of the country’s rulers.
Dickens’ writings were a blessing to the masses. He wrote fiction that closely mirrored reality and his books inspired the country to change for the better.
If a politician doubts the power of pen, he better think about Dickens and many other authors who managed to swing the pendulum of public opinion.
In the United States, ‘The Jungle’ by Upton Sinclair influenced President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration to improve working conditions in some of that country’s worst factories.
I am afraid for the future of Papua New Guinea if our national leaders ignore the power and importance of literature.
Very often, literature becomes a megaphone for people to tell their leaders about their difficulties and distress.
I want to encourage PNG’s writers to never give up because the pen and politics are never far from each other.
I believe the poorest country is a nation replete with illiterates. That is not us. We have enough literacy to make a difference. But do we have the mindset? I believe literature can play an important role to shape the mindset of the PNG people. Especially if we are reading not only about them, but about ourselves.
The impact of the pen is powerful but it is especially effective national leaders understand its power.
This is a time in our history when we needed to push the power of pen. We writers must not give up because I believe the Marape government is listening and will respond positively.