Literature not only holds the mirror to society, but it is a mirror which is radio-active, and goes beyond contemporary history. Not only to entertain, but also to instruct in the basic virtues of living. The immortal literature that we find flowing to us from the 14th century through Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’, William Shakespeare’s immortal plays like ‘Hamlet’ ‘Othello’ and ‘Macbeth’, Milton’s ‘The Paradise Lost’, followed by Pope, William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson, to T.S. Eliot in the modern age – not only mirrored the life of those times, but is also home to the conscience of those times.

When we look upon our own age, and try to find for an author who transcending beyond the divisions of genres, takes the universe into his lap, and, thus represents our modern world in all its contradictions, and can lay claim to mirror the conscience of his times, it is none other than the great Indian, Dr. Jernail Singh Anand, a poet from Punjab, the land of five rivers which is known for the great Gurus and their immortal verses collected in holy Guru Granth Sahib.

Dr. Anand has authored 150 books, out of which 9 are epics. In this world where poetry has given way to fiction, Anand is the only author who has opted to write extensively in the epic form. His first epic ‘Geet: The Unsung Song of Eternity’ sequels Milton’s ‘The Paradise Lost’. ‘The Satanic Empire’ reinvents Dante’s ‘The Divine Comedy’. Thereafter, came ‘The Plague: The Metaphor is Dead’ followed by ‘The Mahabharata: The War of Words’. ‘Ganterbury Tales’ tried to revive the magic of Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’. It was followed by ‘The Master’ which reworked Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’. The most recent works, ‘The Mahakaal Trilogy: Lustus, the Prince of Darkness’[Book I], ‘The Dominion of the Netherworld’ [Book II] and ‘The Ultronic Age: The Celestial Reign’ [Book III] have really set the critical world re-setting its scales, because there is hardly any poet in world literature who can match the literary creation of Dr. Anand.

Commenting on the Mahakaal Triology, Dr. Maja Herman Sekulic, a great Serbian-US poet, observes:

Just to have such a grand vision and vigour to undertake a poem of such epic proportions is a unique accomplishment in the 21st century with no match today! We have to look for comparisons in classical epic literature or to turn to today’s cinematic epics such as “Star Wars” where good always conquers the bad as is projected to happen in the third part of Anand’s grand trilogy.

Dr. Jernail Singh Anand is, as I stated before, the greatest poet among philosophers and the greatest philosopher among poets but I will add to this that he is also the greatest moralist and idealist in 21st century world literature! He was recently awarded Franz Kafka prize that couldn’t be placed in better hands!

She goes on to add: The true moralists are always prone to be great satirists as he had already proven in “Lustus” where I dared to compare him with Daniel Dafoe at his sharpest.

Great seers, prophets and philosophers like Leo Tolstoy, Maxim Gorkhy, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, John Milton, William Wordsworth, Kahlil Gibran, Walt Whitman – all have produced literature which transcends their times, and lives in the day to day thoughts of the men. I have seen such sweep of sympathies for the world of men and nature only in holy scriptures like the Bible, the Quran and Bhagwat Gita and the Guru Granth Sahib.

The life-work of Dr. Anand, who presides over the International Academy of Ethics also, gives out the sacred scent of goodness which seeks welfare of the entire universe. I find all those enduring qualities in the work of Dr. Anand, the sage poet of the modern world, which lend a subtle grandeur to his persona as an author of all times, and he can be safely called the conscience keeper of the 21st century. We have to agree with Dr. Tamali Neogi that “the merciless satirist is perhaps the most honest lover of mankind”.

[Dr. Shiv Sethi is a renowned scholar, author and reviewer.]

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