On Non-violence, Peace and Working-Class Writings

Sunil Sharma
This month’s focus is on three things: Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy; contemporary British working-class writers and translations of some seminal texts into English.

Mahatma Gandhi---the Father of Nation---not only continues to inspire a grateful country but also a world going through war and climate crisis, apart from the ongoing pandemic that refuses to go, although tamed.

Gandhiji, the Apostle of Peace, continues to speak to those seeking Ahimsa and peace among the comity of nations and communities. Hatred never pays! That is the message of Bapu to the world.

Setu pays homage to the saint on his birthday that falls on October 2nd.
His legacy of truth, love and non-violence is relevant and will always be the inspiring heritage of humankind.

The mantra according to the man who led a slave India to freedom from the oppressive British Raj says specifically:

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.”

And this one:

“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

Three invited authors discuss their individual responses to the great soul and his universal teachings about love, ethical living and moral courage!
The Special Section guest-edited by the well-known poet Paul Brookes is pure literary dynamite!
It is looking back in anger for the spiritual offspring of John Osborne.
The bare-knuckled writing that is angry, raw and on the edge; a bitter expose of the fault-lines of the repressive social system...and powerfully challenge the status-quo through searing words, your angry art.

Registering pain and anguish and rage for an unjust system that divides and exploits people.
This selection is powerful and clearly demonstrates how serious writing always functions worldwide---as a kind of subversion.
Of challenging the official narratives of power and control.
Textures and tones of these texts are at variance with the formalist and self-reflexive writings of these days.
Not abstract or wordy.
Rooted in immediacy of lived-in experience; full of moving imagery and an idiom springing straight from the protesting heart and mind of a working-class writer, painfully aware and self-aware of the inequities of advanced democracies.

Talking of his experience, Paul, himself a proud working-class author, says: "This project has made me research areas and poets I was unaware of. It has been revelatory."
For us also, Paul.
About the other side of living in unequal cultures!
Translation as a section continues to be rich and fertile: Eminent poet Jerome Berglund translates another batch of Swedish poetry of Gunnar Wennerberg into English.
Senior poet and editor Atreya Sarma Uppaluri presents a careful selection of the important Telugu voices for our readers in his impeccable style and prose.
October brought Diwali a bit early for the Indians and the huge diaspora.
Let Light prevail over Darkness!
Good over Evil!
That message of millennia still resonates.
With the hint of winter, Canada undergoes the seasonal change, confirming the cyclical wisdom: Nothing is permanent!

Please, enjoy!

With thanks to all the contributors and you!

Take care!
Sunil Sharma
Editor, Setu (English)
Toronto, Canada

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