The Lost Tagore


After nearly 60 years of Congress propaganda, are Indian writers beginning to write realistic biographies?

RABINDRANATH TAGORE — A Pictorial Biography: Nityapriya Ghosh; Niyogi Books, D-78, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-1, New Delhi-110020. Rs.1500.  Image source and courtesy - thehindu.com  |  Click for source image

RABINDRANATH TAGORE — A Pictorial Biography: Nityapriya Ghosh; Niyogi Books, D-78, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-1, New Delhi-110020. Rs.1500. Image source and courtesy - thehindu.com | Click for source image

Tagore, like most writers, comes across as a man who was extremely sensitive to criticism — to the extent of refusing to forgive the critic. Saratchandra Chattopadhyay, the novelist who happened to ridicule Tagore’s story Yogayog , was shown no sympathy by the poet when his book Pather Dabi was proscribed by the British in 1927. Instead of extending moral support to his fellow-writer, Tagore wrote to Saratchandra saying that he should not expect mercy at the hands of the government, if he had written a seditious novel.

Even Subhas Chandra Bose found himself at the receiving end of Tagore’s unforgiving nature on occasions more than one. In 1928, a dispute arose in the City College of Calcutta after seven Hindu students were penalised for conducting Saraswati Puja in the hostel. They were accused of defying the hostel superintendent’s fiat that idol worship was not allowed in a Brahmo institution. When Bose took up the cause of the Hindu students, Tagore, an ardent Brahmo Samajist, did not take it kindly.

Shortly thereafter, when Bose wrote to Tagore from jail requesting an introductory letter to some eminent people in Europe — where he planned to go for medical treatment — the poet obliged him with just two bland sentences: “My friend Subhas Chandra Bose is going for his treatment. I earnestly hope my friends will be kind to him and help him.” And Bose tore up the letter. (via The Hindu : FEATURES / BOOK REVIEW : A human being rather than a flawless god).

‘Secular’ Saints

In post-Independence India, Congress propaganda painted Indian leadership in glorious style. All Congress leaders at the forefront of anti-British actions were elevated to sainthood – albeit secular saints.

One such leader was Rabindranath Tagore. To most of India Tagore is propaganda shell today. Based on this review, we may start getting to know the real people.

Is the tide changing?

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  1. Amit Kumar Gupta
    December 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Actually eagerly waiting for the book from the diary of Maniben(daughter of Sardar vallabh Bhai Patel). I hope an uncensored version come to Indian market as it will remove the sainthood halo of JL Nehru and may be some more.

  2. December 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    True Anurag.. what i conclude is that what all personalities that congress had been glorifying, they should be terribly reviewed..

    In Tamil Nadu, subramanya bharathi is one such person.. he was a drug addict, and wrote his poems under the influence of kanja..

  3. December 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    It is probably also true those who have been tarnished from history books deserve a 2ndlook.

  4. Amit
    December 7, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Same old story of Hindus not helping other Hindus, and instead, finding faults with them. History repeats itself, as Anuraag criticizes Arun Shourie for (gasp!!) not being critical of Christianity’s evils, while writing about white-wash of Islamic barbarities by Marxist historians. How could Arun Shourie be such a fool?? Only Anuraag is smarter than him to realize the true threat and real evil.

    The crab mentality lives on, exemplified by the very blog-writer who shines a light on it in the past!! Sweet irony!!

  5. December 8, 2011 at 3:35 am

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