Freedom and other things

Sunil Sharma
“My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realising Him.”

---Mahatma Gandhi

August comes with the hint of fall in Canada. 
A season of change.
A wonderful period of transition!
Change is life.
So is the idea of freedom.
A notion that has motivated people to resist old regimes and usher in changes.
A sacred idea that is foundational to civilizational and individual growth from constraining conditions.
August carries these echoes.

Setu celebrates this mood in the present edition.

It is also the month when India celebrates its freedom from the imperialist British Raj, specifically on 15th; a day of great joy and hope for its almost 1.4-billion people.

This year the largest democracy marks the 75th year of freedom from the oppressive foreign rule---and its onward march towards progress and development. Independence Day was celebrated with joy across the country---and the world via its strong diaspora, North America being no exception. 

In America and Canada, parades were taken out to express the pride and joy of a powerful immigrant community, confirming the pull of the roots for the articulate and mobile Indians, in their adopted lands. The cheering crowds along the routes confirmed the love of the native country and an assertion of hyphenated identity and heritage in settings multi-lingual and truly cosmopolitan.

The successful and confident diaspora embraces both the realities of their current identities---a dualism characteristic of every immigrant's life and existence anywhere in the world. It demonstrates both integration and unbreakable connections with the homeland of a resilient people in the vanguard of change.

Setu too invited noted artist-poet Meenakshi Mohan to join us in our homage to the idea of freedom. She came up with poems and paintings for us.

Similarly, the theme of the special edition is Freedom only. Guest-edited by young poet John Maurer, it brings in a selection of voices that explore this notion poetically, in-depth, sincerely for the discerning audience.

Trilingual poetry---another milestone of craft, vision, linguistic prowess and talent---by Nirmal Jaswal, noted poet of Hindi and Punjabi, along with translation of Hansa Deep, another major Hindi writer, and, collaboration between eminent poets Paul Brookes and Jerome Berglund are some other significant highlights.

Author of the Month is the senior satirist and bilingual poet Dharmpal Mahendra Jain whose wit and idiom are much appreciated in Hindi and English.

Arthur Broomfield, poet-academic from Ireland, is another pure delight. He discusses many things with Zara Browne in an interesting conversation.

Thanks to the readers and the authors for their love and support for making us reach 3,112,337 page views so far.

Without the combined patronage, this milestone would not have been possible.

The bilingual journal aims to keep on evolving in coming months.

Please do write in your suggestions and views.

We conclude with the classic Rumi instruction, so uplifting as a motto:
Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.
Sunil Sharma
Editor, Setu (English)
Toronto, Canada

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