Edit October 2017

Happy Diwali to all Setu readers
This October, we are celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Lights, symbolizing the return of a righteous king to his legitimate kingdom and restoration of the moral order in the universe through the re-inscription of an ethical code in public life and governance. Lord Ram in his earthly avatar stands for the dharma at various levels and is a representative figure of the quintessential human values; an ennobling embodiment of the finest principles of the Indian culture and civilization, an inspiring ideal and idol for his followers worldwide. The very enactment and witnessing of the folk theatre called Rama Lila can be uplifting experience for the lay audiences anywhere, both as a collective and individual. Diwali is the climax to a long and painful narrative---embedded in popular imagination and psyche of a nation--- of his sudden and unexpected exile, banishment, abduction of a pious spouse and the ultimate triumph over an arrogant evil king and his formidable military, with the help of a ragtag army of forest creatures and animals, in a battle that continues to resonate across the changing landscapes of the globe, across time-space continnum.

In order to reclaim that ethical space in public domain where the digital fake is the real real for the folks willing to be gullible voyeurs, Setu requested some prominent writers to send us their lyrical take on this most famous fest, often dubbed and wrongly so by the myopic media, as the Hindu fest in America and elsewhere. 

The Diwali Special showcases these literary responses from USA, Mauritius, Egypt and India. Please do savour these poems about customs and traditions explaining an ancient civilization for a post-industrial mass audience, mores that anchor the country in a sacred heritage links that to the cynical present lacking all top ideals except a shared global obsession for consumption, entertainment and hedonistic pleasures and sensations. 

Noted author AtreyaSarma Uppaluri provides an incisive analysis of the same in his well-argued critical essay commissioned for this section.

Another innovative feature this time is the Debut column that highlights a collegian writer for the patrons. The collegiate poetry is welcome in future also, provided it is well-crafted and image-driven.

We have got a First also---the multi-lingual poetry by the noted surgeon-poet Rameshwer Singh. In a way, such an attempt challenges the linguistic hegemony of English in a globalised and multi-polar world through an assertion of the pride of other languages, dominated till today by this legacy of an imperialist centre, now made defunct by the historical forces. Languages per se are modes of communication, not sites of power struggle between competing centre and periphery. Of late, they have been made vulnerable by the culture industry aiming for superiority of a single world-view and its calibrated and controlled creative expression via the national language of such a manipulative industry. Privileging English over other languages is political in nature and aimed to consolidate the appeal of such a geo-location and cultural artifacts, as most sexy and seductive for the rest of the humanity willing to mimic such life style, most so, in corrupt and impoverished third-world countries. 

The bold multilingual experiments by Rameshwer tend to defy the imposed dominance by a neo-imperialist order and to reverse a sense of manufactured cultural inferiority fostered among the so-called natives.

Needless to say, such endeavors are also welcome in coming months.

Then there is Goya as read by Selwyn Rodda, a regular columnist from Melbourne, Australia. Selwyn is single-handedly trying to spread art literacy--- through his frequent FB posts on happening artists and their accessible works as critiques of the system--- among the New Millennials. He is part of the Setu campaign to re-educate a cynical market about great artists and painters and their overall commitment towards best humanist and liberal ideology of an age when bourgeoisie was revolutionary and talked of freedom, equality, fraternity, among other things radical.

Friend  Scott Thomas Outlar talks of fellow poet Michael Lee Johnson in his column and the latter's dedication to the art and commendable selflessness in promoting others in an ego-filled field. The gesture of Micheal and an apt summation by Scott can be motivating for fellow travellers and others of the tribe.

The rest of the usual features make it another memorable issue.

So, keep on reading your favouraite e-zine and do write-in to let us know your feelings, please.

Setu, English
Kalyan, Mumbai Metro Region, Maharashtra 


  1. I have hugely enjoyed reading the Edit (as I had done Atreya Sarma's write on Diwali/Deepavali) which, apart from being very well written -- coherent, lucid, convincing through logical arguments and supportive examples -- effectively places several important issues in perspective, especially the religo-cultural significance of Diwali. Besides, the Edit rightly warns us to be alert to the dangers of replacing the real Real with the hyper-real. The Post-modern society the world over urgently requires the restoration and re-valorisation of ethical values in order to save itself from hurtling into the abyss of chaos, moral confusion, and self-destruction. The function of an able Edit is to spur the reader to savour the diverse features in the issue. The present Editorial succeeds in that. I shall read the other contributions in time, particularly the fiction. Thank you, Mr. Sunil Sharma. Regards. Dr. Subhash Chandra

    1. Thanks for prefixing "re-" before valorisation. I had missed doing it. Regards. Subhash

  2. Thanks for stopping by and encouraging us in our humble efforts to be of some value.


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