One of the literary devices used by writers is juxtaposition, putting side by side. Juxtaposition is very succinct. It needs no further explanation and elaboration. George Frederick Hagel, a German philosopher once said, the lesson man learns from history is that man does not learn from history. Maybe, the refusal of man to learn from history elicits the literary device of juxtaposition in order to cure it.
The Spaniards when they went to South America, found out that the Inca Indians were eating potato. They discourage the eating of it claiming it was a devil's food. The run of history disproved it. Now potato chips is common on every European plate. This simply means that the whims and caprices of man cannot change divine truth and reality.
For a long time, man has sought to suppress uncomfortable truth to them, but no matter how they try, the truth keeps re-emerging. One of the weapons of suppression of truth is propaganda, threats, and even murder.
Galileo was forced to recant his championing of heliocentrism because it did not tally with the belief or the powers that be at that time. He buckled under societal pressure and he personally recanted. However, it was found out later that what he was saying was the truth.
A man may buckle under the truth because of fear but the truth can never be recanted. Forcing somebody to recant or silencing him from bringing out the truth is a confession of failure. Sometimes somebody may be killed in order to prevent him from bringing out the facts. This is violence, and it is admission of failure. When man runs out of ideas, he is at his wit ends. He comes face to face with uncomfortable reality that threatens him and his answer is violence, eliminating the one whom the truth is coming from. The truth is like energy, once created it cannot be destroyed.
So killing somebody, because the truth does not end the truth. It is like banning a book. When you ban a book, it rather excites the curiosity of people. Their appetite is whetted and their desire to read the book is increased. A question is a desire to know. When the answer to the question does not respond to the felt needs of the questioner, the desire for the question remains. The question repeats itself, it re-asks itself. It remains a question within a question, until adequate and satisfying answer is found. This is recognized in history.
Ernest Hemingway, in his book The Old Man and the Sea writes “you may destroy a man but you cannot conquer a man”. What are the murderers of Ahmed Suale looking for? What are they trying to hide? As Ernest Hemmingway has said, you may destroy the man, but you cannot conquer the man’s will power. The question Ahmed Suale sought to bring out will never be silenced. It is a question of time. The lapse of time, may never take the place of evidence. The fury of hurricane can never blow enough sand upon falsehood and make them equal with the truth.
That is the epitaph to Ahmed Suale.
Energy once released can never be destroyed.
Kwabena Anane Adjei
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