The power that the written word carries is far more harmful and damaging than a sword.
At best the sword can only cause physical harm - that too by force.
Whereas the written word is strong enough to influence many minds at a time - influence to the extent of even giving rise to revolutions and agitations against unjust / unfair governance.
Several important events in history have been the result of the powerful writings of the leaders of those times.
Although a sharp weapon like a sword does appear dangerous, the damage it can inflict on the human body can be healed.
But the written word can make or mar a person of reputation and character. It can build or bring down governments. The weapons and the force can only hurt the people. But the people will not change their minds.
The worse the force is applied, the stronger the people will become in their ideology. The force and wars will not change the mind-set of the people against whom the wars are declared.
It was Edward Bulwer Eytton (1803 - 73) who first coined this proverb in 1839.
The proverb is…
Beneath the rule of men entirely great the pen is mightier than the sword.
Take for example the struggle for freedom against the British in India. All our freedom fighters were constantly inspiring the common man to fight against the British with their powerful writings even when they were in prison.
Great leaders like Gandhi preached ahimsa and non-violence. He achieved his dream of free India through this means and his objective proving that violence is not the means to success.
Poets like Subramania Bharathi adopted the medium of print to stir up the dormant spirit of the people.
Through his writings in Swedesamitran , he inspired the masses to fight against the British. The result of those writings is right here for all of us to see - a free India. There are many political leaders who have ignited the people against the wrong stance of their governments.
The word SWORD does not literally mean the weapon which is used. It refers
to any kind of violent activity or use of force. In modern days it is used in the context of wars. People are no longer ready to be taken for granted.
They believe in peace and any attempt at dictatorship or corrupt governance is questioned immediately. The press in fact is often referred to as the watchdog of democracy.
There is ample evidence to prove this point in the current scenario.