Carlos Santana, a rock musician and a popular figure in the Latin-Amercian music industry once said, “Just as we have two eyes and two feet, duality is a part of life.” Santana knew, in order for mankind to survive, there would have to be a balance of the good and bad. The importance of having a balance between evil and virtuous traits, and not having a monopoly of one is vital as both have the potential of bringing out the worst in people even if they are unintentionally doing something. Haroun’s journey proves the necessity of balance as without order, there would be chaos and anarchy. In Salman Rusdie’s book, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, characterization of the natives of Kahani, coupled with Haroun’s experience is utilized to portray that the balance of freedom of speech and the power of silence must be existent in order for a community to be healthy and survive.
The power of silence can be a deleterious enemy or a powerful ally. Haroun, learns that the divide between the Gups and Chups is as equivalent as the gap between the right to freedom of speech, and controlling that with silence. Haroun comes across the fact that Khattam Shud, the ruler of the Chups is “the grand Panjandrum himself”(154) and “does exactly what he wants to forbid everyone else”(154) from doing. For example “his followers sew up their lips and talks and talks”(154). As the two sides of the moon are polar opposite, the side Khattam-Shud rules is utter evil. He ensures that his followers will never speak again by sewing up their lips and forcing them to take extreme vows of silence. These vows help Khattam-Shud rise to greater power as everyone in Chup now is under his dictatorship proving somewhat detrimental to the Gup army as all the Chups are merged under one leader. As the Gup army crosses the border between the two cities they encountered Mudra, the Shadow Warrior. Prince Bolo who is too focused on rescuing Princess Batcheat misunderstands what “Mudra said in his silent, dancing way” of Abhinaya and perceives Mudra as a threat to him and the army. Without being silent and letting Rashid translate Abhinaya, he addresses his army and asks “Why should we believe this creature? Must we do business with traitors now?” Prince Bolo immediately comes up with the idea of seizing Mudra, as he still regards him as a threat, but after Rashid further translates the Abhinaya, the army comes to know that Mudra is the Champion Shadow Warrior of Chup and refuses to follow the rule of Khattam-Shud. Mudra later on gives insight on Khattam-Shud and the life of the Chups which tremendously helps the Gups beat the Chups.
Unification is evident in societies where the freedom of speech enables expression of thought building trust, and the collaboration of ideas. During the war, “The Chupwalas…turned out to be disunited rabble” as “their vows of silence and their habits of secrecy had made them suspicious and distrustful of one another” that led to the fact that “the Chupwalas did not stand shoulder to shoulder, but betrayed one another, stabbed on another in the back, mutinied, hid, deserted”(185). The point that authoritarian control can never be maintained is illustrated by the description of the Chupwala army. Khattam-Shud silencing the people of Chup as well as them abandoning their past and present allowed the overwhelming of the talkative Gup army towards the Chup army. As the Gup army was advancing towards Chup, Haroun realized that the “Guppees engaged in non-stop conversation and debate of growing intensity”. This proved worthy as during the battle, “The Pages of Gup, now that they had talked through everything so fully, fought hard, remained united, supported each other when required to do so, and in general looked like a force with a common purpose. All those arguments and debates, all that openness, had created powerful bonds of fellowship between them.” The strong unification, and fighting for a common purpose was useful as unlike the Chupwalas who betrayed each other, the Gups stood together and fought as one. This unification not only helps the Gups defeat the Chups but also unifies both cities and both communities a whole.
Overall, silence can be rewarding or mortifying based on the context of the situation. The freedom of speech promotes the active building of a unified community that progresses towards common goals. The predominance of the freedom of speech in the Gup community and lack thereof in the Chup community prohibits the advancement of both communities. With no common purpose and trust destruction is inevitable.