***** Glorious 24 years of The Challenge print journal *****


Vol. 22 No. 2 July - December 2013

The Nobel prize recipient (1995) Irish poet Seamus Heaney breathed his last on 30th August, leaving a huge space in the field of English poetry. Heaney as commented by a number of critics, was the greatest Irish poet since W B Yeats. After his demise, it is now said that Yeats was the greatest Irish poet till Heaney. We find in the poetry of Heaney that, he tried to sanctify ordinary objects and places. He was an admirer of those writers who didn’t compromise their artistic independence. Heaney’s poetry reflects his ‘self’—mostly his self-accusations and self-reinvention. We offer our condolences and pay tribute to him wishing his soul rest in peace. It is quite sure that his poems would be liked and read in generations to come.

Sushmita Banerjee, a writer of India, settled in Afghanistan was shot dead there on 5th September. This heart-breaking incident has been condemned all where. Sushmita’s memoirs was made into a Bollywood film, Escape from Taliban which had raised anger and fury in the minds of the Talibani fundamentalists and so she was shot, 18 years after they had sentenced her to death for refusing to wear the burqa in public. It is really barbaric. There are many such writers who are trying to defeat terrorism but the time is yet to come. A number of writers have lost their lives in raising their voice of protest against social evils, terrorism and fanatical activities. They must be treated as martyrs. Their fight is through pen and we ought not to forget that ‘pen is mightier than sword.’ It may take some time but once awareness comes to the society through such writings; the fundamentalists and wayward persons would get no chance to ruin the peace of the global society.

In the last few months, we have been witnessing many riots, civil-wars, breaking of solemn border agreements, violation of commitments and other national and interntional issues. There have been conflicts occurred because of religious provokations too. Mankind is in threat. The lesson of ‘oneness’—the very theme of any religion, must be taught to all. The web of harmony and peace spread throughout the world is being disturbed and destroyed by the incongruous greed of nations. Let us hope that the problems are resolved soon and peace pervade all where with no cast of eyes.

The Challenge can now be traced through its website www.thechallenge.org.in providing it a global access. Even if it is a print journal crossing 22 years of publication, we are pleased to launch its online connectivity. The best of the submitted works have been compiled in the current issue. The pieces are impressive and promising.

Let men kindle one another to be in righteous path for ever and with this hope,

Heartily yours,
Manoj Kumar Pathak