Sunil Sharma is a Mumbai-based writer and a college principal. He is also widely-published Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. He has already published 14 books: four collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, one a critical study of the novel and co-edited six anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. Recently his poems were published in the UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree. He edits online journal Episteme: http://www.episteme.net.in/
The Irish Easter Rising, 1916: An Indian Response
First there was Prometheus
Symbolizing human aspiration eternal
For freedom from a foreign yoke and dignity.
An Easter in 1916 was exceptional for the Irish
When ordinary citizens, including poets, became
Extraordinary through their uncommon deed and desire.
They rose in rage against oppression by their covetous neighbor
Already an empire where the sun never set and the arrogance
Attending such an expansionist power.
Men and women commonly encountered in public places
And a terrible beauty was born thereafter—according to a poet still undecided.
The Raj took no chance here.
They called it a revolt, an insurrection!
Very much like an almost-identical Indian episode of anger
They called deliberately as the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
The colony writing a willful master narrative of violence and execution of patriots
Called rebels by the ruling foreigners.
Both places—India and Ireland—they suppressed the mass uprising in a brutal manner
Killing in cold blood and leaving specters!
Thus, thereby, the empire created a deep foundation for revolutionary action by the subjected nation.
Looking back, 2016, such popular gains of history are many but still not understood by the tyrants everywhere.
Be it the Arab Spring or Occupy Wall Street endeavors
You find the echoes of epic-scale risings, Irish or Indian, relevant and reverberating for us.
When a people is roused and entire country, awakened, no totalitarian system
Can ever survive such an outpouring of the national anger.
The Irish Rising!
A nation in chains breaking them asunder
And each man and woman turning into a vanguard impatient with the oppressive system.
A sacred occasion inspiring citizens to dream of burial, resurrection—new beginnings and faith.
A spiritual event turning political.
More power to the masses!
The Irish Rising is nothing but Ireland singing for her freedom
And setting example for others by becoming transcendental!