The concept of digitising books has taken over in a big way in today's time, and it is evident from the numerous books that are available in digital forms. In fact, you don't even need a specialised tablet like Kindle to read them as excerpts are available online and anyone with a smart phone has access.
Capitalising on this ease of reading matter via e-books, Mintu Brar, a social activist and journalist based in Australia, decided to launch a digital library meant especially for Punjabi Literature. At the inauguration of the digital library at Law Bhawan, Sector 37, Chandigarh, on Saturday, he talked about what had prompted him to take to this venture. "When I looked around, all I saw were English books available as e-books and I thought to myself that I want to put Punjabi culture out there as well," Mintu recalled. On the event, he also launched his book, titled Kangaroonama - a collection of his articles published over the years - and a magazine titled Kukubara, which is a collection of Punjabi literature.
Mintu says he started writing in an attempt to clear the air over what were believed to be a spate of racially motivated attacks against Indians in Australia in 2009. "I wanted to clarify certain things as some facts were misreported. I am not saying that the attacks weren't racially motivated, but after the first one was called a racially motivated attack, the air was tinged with racism. The subsequent attacks may or may not have been racist in nature," points out Mintu, who also presents a show on Harman Radio, an Australia-based online radio channel, in which he talks about social issues that he feels affects the NRIs based there. "I speak about whatever I believe is relevant and would not like to restrict myself," he clarifies.
Having shifted to Australia in 2007 to look for a better life for himself and his family, Mintu says he felt somewhat anchorless after leaving a settled home here in India to start a new life. "But, I found my feet eventually," he smiles. While he confesses to feeling a little distracted by the cleanliness and impeccable law and order in the kangaroo land, Mintu adds that he never forgot he is a Punjabi at heart.