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​Reference No. 48352 (Re – Markings)

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Re-Markings, a biannual refereed international journal of English Letters, aims at providing a healthy forum for scholarly and authoritative views on broad sociopolitical and cultural issues of human import as evidenced in literature, art, television, cinema and journalism with special emphasis on New Literatures in English including translations and creative excursions.​

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Re-Markings Vol. 16 No. 3, September 2017
Editorial

Dreaming of a new dawn, I awoke with enthusiasm this Independence Day (15 August, 2017) and thought of the poem from Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali that had left its lasting imprint on my mind ever since I first read it in school. The poem, “Where the Mind is Without Fear,” penned by the Nobel Laureate a little over a century ago and endowed with immense patriotic fervor, projects the vision of Mother India as a “Heaven of Freedom.” When I attempted to see the ideal of freedom in all its manifestations that Gurudev had envisaged for our nation in contrast with the ground reality of India today, I couldn’t resist the impulse to create a re-oriented version of the poem as given below:

Where the Mind is … 
(with apology to Tagore)

Where the mind is in perpetual fear and the
Head can’t be held high
Where knowledge is on proxy sale
Where power-brokers have broken up the
Nation into fragments by narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of falsities and lies Where tireless striving stretches its arms
Towards rampant corruption 
Where the muddled stream of reason has found its way

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought of self-aggrandizement
From such hell of fetters, my Father, let my country awake!

My version of the poem sprang from deep agony and anguish for what we had made of our nation in a span of seventy years since we began what Nehru called our “tryst with destiny.” I shared the piece on social media to see if mine was an isolated voice of despair. The overwhelming response from hundreds of friends as well as aliens, substantiated by insightful comments endorsing the poem’s contem-porary relevance, brought home to me the fact that the pall of gloom and disillusionment that had descended upon our hallowed nation was a matter of serious concern for every sensible and sensitive citizen. Particularly significant is the candid reaction of the celebrity writer, Padma Shri Ramesh Chandra Shah: “Most resounding rebuttal of the eternal irrelevance that plagues our collective life today: shameless betrayal of all the ancestral voices that had sought to shape our destiny. That is what we have become – a living parody of all we once stood for.” Professor Shah’s observation made me instantly aware of the complicity of all, without exception, in the “shameless betrayal of all the ancestral voices”: the power-hungry leaders, the semi-literate and half-baked politicians embroiled brazenly in scams and corruption, the judiciary working in tandem with vested interest groups and powers that be, the bureaucracy insidiously seeking patronage from political godfathers, the rapist godmen masquerading as the Almighty incarnate on planet earth to perpetuate arson, loot and rape in the name of religion, and last but not least the Media barons going all out to please their political patrons for purely commercial goals.

It is truly sad that a country that created the ‘green’ and the ‘white’ revolutions has to contend with suicide by farmers as a matter of routine. While the majority of the masses are “living and partly living” under the throes of grinding poverty and endless despair, it is disgusting to see the cult worship of those power wielders who, in any advanced country, ought to have actually been in jail. It is time we heeded Edmund Burke’s warning: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” It becomes incumbent, therefore, for all of us to shed off our individual and collective amnesia and engage ourselves with commitment in the task of damage control to save freedom from the “hell of fetters.”

It is heartening that, In keeping with the mission statement of Re-Markings, the current edition of ‘our’ journal addresses and articulates many issues and concerns that plague our nation today. Omkar Sane’s “70 Set Free” offers a poignant view of a country where nothing appears to be cheaper than human life. Similarly, a majority of essays in this volume reflect how women as scholars, academics and writers stand firmly committed to create the valuable space of freedom for themselves in the ‘home’ and the ‘world’ in an essentially patriarchal set up. The conversation with the young Dalit writer, Chandramohan S, unravels the efforts of those constrained to live on the margins of society. I am optimistic that our contributors will continue to light the way to the creation of an India that immortal legends like Subhas Chandra Bose, Sri Aurobindo, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh and a host of others had lived and died for. We may not be willing to sacrifice our all to the belief, “Zindagi hai kaum ki, tu kaum pe lutaye ja,” but we can at least dare to challenge the status quo as a measure of our unified responsibility to safeguard our own conscience.

Nibir K. Ghosh 
Chief Editor  

CONTENTS

“A lisping embrace at God’s own country”: A Conversation with Chandramohan S – Nibir K. Ghosh
70 Set Free – Omkar Sane
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Remembering Edward Albee on his first death anniversary – S. Ramaswamy
Buddhist Undertones in Raja Rao’s
The Serpent and the Rope Shrikant Singh
Return of the Repressed: Doris Lessing’s
Martha Quest and Alfred and Emily as Sites of Postmemory –Sneha Pathak
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: Re-Mapping Identity through Language – Rachna Arora & Smita Jha
The Politics of Mother-Son Relationship in Toni Morrison’s Sula Sucharita Sharma
Conflict between Id and Superego: An Appraisal of Strindberg’s Miss Julia Reefaqat Husain  
Quest for Identity in Anita Nair’s Ladies CoupeSonia Jain  The Novel: Dead or Resurrected? – Dhananjay Kumar Singh
Examining Masculine Bias in Language – Bhavesh Chandra Pandey
Female Predicament and Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Critique – Divya Gupta
Myriad Images of Indian Women in Contemporary Cinema – Satyendra Prasad Singh
Sublimation of Love amidst the Divine Spells of Sunderbans: Kunal Basu’s “The Japanese Wife” – Seema Shekhar
“The best person I know is Myself”: Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy KidShubhra Arora
Indianness in the Fiction of Chaman Nahal – Jyoti Rawat  

Poetry
Tasneem Shahnaaz – Father/Baba, Love’s Monologue, Soul of a City
Manju – Technique of Tears, Evolving Humanity Manasvini Rai – Dreamberg Sheikh Samsuddin – How Her Memories Haunted Her
Saurabh Agarwal – My Only Relief, Day’s End, Long Wait Answered?  
G.L. Gautam – An Unhappy Creature Makhuri (Short Story) – Aruna Pandey

Review Essays on Bose: Immortal Legend of India’s Freedom Bose: Enigmatic Icon  –  Jonah Raskin
Love’s Labour Gained –
Ramesh Chandra Shah
Subhas Chandra Bose: A Legend of India’s Freedom and Idea of India –
Abdul Shaban

ReviewContemporary Women’s Writing in Canada – Purabi Panwar