Importance of Dissent #BookBytes 13

Here’s a quote from my current read The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafaq. This isn’t a book one can rush through and I’m making steady, though slow progress. More on that when I review the book. For now savour this quote.

“To her way of thinking, anyone who can’t rise up and rebel, anyone devoid of the ability to dissent, cannot really be said to be alive. In resistance lies the key to life. The rest of the people fall into two camps: the vegetables, who are fine with everything, and the tea glasses, who, thought not fine with numerous things, lack the strength to confront. It is the latter that are the worse of the two.” 

Elif Shafaq, The Bastard of Istanbul

Wise words, aren’t they?

Dissent is such an important thing for any healthy system – specially for a country, a democracy like India. Dissent implies a thinking, feeling mind.

I agree when Shafaq says so eloquently, if one is ‘okay’ with everything, one is but a vegetable. However, I’m not sure I completely agree with the second part of the quote – is it worse to feel something and not have the courage to stand up for it or to not feel at all? How frustrating it must be to not be able to speak your mind. I’d feel sorry for such a person.

What do you say?

Before you leave:

Here are two must-read posts with some fabulous quotes:
One, by my dear friend Anamika. These quotes need to go up as posters in the rooms of boys and girls. Do drop by her post here.
And the second one is by Nabanita who picked out some powerful quotes on feminism. Do drop by for a read.


If you stumble upon a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage from a book that leaps out at you demanding to be shared join in with #BookBytes.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share it on your blog and link back to this latest post.
  • Put in the logo (above) so it’s easy to spot.
  • Leave the link to your blogpost in the comments so I can drop by too.
  • Book Bytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. Do join in.

The next edition is scheduled for August 20th.

11 Replies to “Importance of Dissent #BookBytes 13”

  1. Dissent is important, truly important. The contexts in which dissent has scope can be numerous. For some, it can be the prevailing politics in the country. For some others, it can be environmental issues. For some others, the context can be fighting the patriarchal mindset in the family and at home. While the first two cases might take a person to take to Social media or other public platforms for venting out or making a difference by expressing dissent (or proposing solutions), the third may not see the activism of a person on a public platform and yet that person is fighting and struggling (without anybody knowing) to change one mindset at a time among the people who are important to him or her. And this may be the reason why the social media handles of such a person may look like devoid of opinions and dissent. If you ask me, in present times, dissent is everywhere. More and more people are raising their voices. At the same time, it is important to note if it is all becoming a part of noise pollution.
    Joining a day late with my Book Bytes post about a world I like to live in where the struggles are foremost internal than external –

    Thank you for linking back to my Rights of boys and girls post and making me feel happy with the line ‘My dear friend Anamika.’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw but you have become a dear friend Anamika. And you’re right Dissent can be in any area and can be expressed in any way however small. It shows that one has a thinking mind. You’re right about the noise factor too. While expressing oneself has become common in the current scenario so has noise. it’s as if people simply HAVE to say something contrary to popular opinion.


  2. The quote makes sense. Dissent is important. Sometimes I get confused if dissent without actually doing about the issue at hand is also as important. It must be. At least, I hope it is. An important part of dissent has to be about freely expressing opinions. There was a time when I would do that on a variety of topics. These days though, I have stopped. One, because I don’t think I can affect change on bigger issues that plague the society especially when it comes to politics. Two, because once bitten twice shy. I have been dragged into unnecessary blame game just because I had a thought process contrary to someone. So, I have completely stopped. There are only a select few issues I talk about in front of others or on social media. I steer clear of controversial ones. Maybe that makes me a coward in some sense. Though, I’m not too sure.
    Anyway. Waiting for your review on the book 🙂
    Also, Thank you for linking back, Tulika.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree Naba on what you said about social media. One doesn’t achieve much by voicing opinions there. Also one has to be really really strong to handle the viciousness. That said I am in awe of people who CAN handle it and still stick to their ground.


  3. Tulika, dissent is important. It requires a thinking, feeling mind, true that. The quote you shared from the book is equally thought provoking. The ones who feel nothing cannot be better off than the ones who do feel but do nothing about it. It takes courage to raise your voice and speak your mind. We hear a lot of voices expressing their views about issues that matter to them and then there are some who see all, hear all and quietly mull over the solutions to the problems. Waiting for your book review, am sure it will be as interesting as the quote and thought you have shared with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the quote! And this reminds me this is an author I have wanted to read since forever.

    So many books.. so little time. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally agree with the first part of the quote Tulika – Dissent is the wind beneath our wings for it lets us decide which flight to take on and which not. I have faced a lot of angst from my parents and peers alike for being outspoken. I get very frustrated with all of them as they keep telling me to put my head down and not fight it all out. Its ok to go with the flow and accept the things that are there as its not correct to fight things. Their society really objects to my open mindedness and I wish I could make my mother understand that what she does by accepting it all and doing nothing about it, is very very destructive to our lives.


    1. That’s true. Being quietly accepting of things is harmful to your life as also to your mental peace. How long can you keep feeling the antagonism and keeping quiet? You end up harbouring so many negative feelings and make you an unhappy crabby person, right?


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