In a departure from the common conception of dissent as defiance to be tolerated, this issue seeks to highlight dissent as a fight for acceptance. While it is nothing but a crude survival instinct to truncate what outgrows conventional boundaries, the beauty of human coexistence lies in the assimilation of such outgrowths.
Dissent doesn’t just ask us to tolerate the audacity of nonconformity, it asks of us something much more noble and tender: to lend consideration to those who disagree with us. In an era of increasing entrenchment of beliefs, where we are speedily hurled into echo chambers of like-minded views, accepting dissent, and not simply tolerating it, requires courage. Dissent tugs us to move towards and listen to the voices coming from the other end of the spectrum.
To build a better society for all, we need a more nuanced understanding of the nature of dissent. Even though walking in the shoes of dissenters has always lent new perspectives that have been indispensable for progress, the act of dissenting, however, has never come freely. Dissent exacts great personal cost, but many individuals have readily paid that price throughout history. In today’s world, however, people, taken in by the lure of authoritarianism, that which promises the perpetuation of the status quo, tend to look upon differences as threateningly alien.
Art, and Literature in specific, has always been a popular medium for voicing dissent, and we wished to explore this relationship further. We chose the theme of dissent because of its paramount importance in this moment in history. In this issue, we have attempted to curate literary works which explore the diverse mutations of the role of dissent in the various arenas of our personal and public lives.