In 1517, the religious reformer Martin Luther wrote and got printed 'Ninety Five Theses' criticizing many of the practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. A copy was pasted on a church door in Wittenberg, challenging the Church to debate his ideas. This was reproduced in vast numbers and read widely. This led to a division within the Church. Luther's translation of the New Testament sold 5000 copies within a few weeks and a second edition appeared within three months. Several scholars think that print brought about a new intellectual atmosphere and helped spread the new ideas that led to the Reformation.
Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer had little formal education. Most of his works were based on his personal experience rather than on books from the past. When he was in class five, Basheer left home to take part in the Salt Satyagraha. Later he spent years wandering in different parts of India and travelling even to Arabia, working in a ship, living with Sufis and Hindu sanyasis, and training as a wrestler.
Basheer wrote his short novels and stories in the ordinary language of conversation. With wonderful humour, Basheer's novels spoke about details from the everyday life of Muslim households. He also brought into his books themes which were considered very unusual at that time - poverty, insanity and life in prisons.
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