A very interesting debate has been initiated at http://mycounterpoints.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-first-blogging-experience.html
I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with the author. Following are my points with respect to part1 of the bloglink given above.
- I agree with the statement that we guard our icons too much (though I cannot think of any other race which does not). This tendency, though natural, is a weakness which should be overcome.
- You yourself said that the fact of "tagore mollycoddling with British" was hidden from public. So I have no ways to verify your statement. I can neither agree nor disagree with you. Same goes about your assertion regarding lobbying for prize.
- Regarding Tagore's sycophancy, I have heard the argument before. Methinks, returning knighthood clinches the argument in Tagore's favour. A true sycophant will not be deterred by the fear of social boycott. I also believe Tagore was sufficiently strong-minded to fear a social-boycott. Consider Gharey-Bairey. I found the storyline of 'Gharey Bairey' very daring and relevant. Casting a freedom-fighter and his hot-headed-but-hugely-popular-methods as villainious shows independence of thinking. I appreciate Tagore for that.
- Regarding quality of Tagore's work, we might be in agreement. However I am not passing my judgement on the basis of number-of-universities where Tagore is in curriculum. I am passing my judgement based on my first-hand reading experience. I have read quite a few stories/novellas of golpoguchchho and about 10 essays of Tagore. I never felt compelled to read more. I did not find Tagore unputdownable. As far as probondho goes, I will pick Amlan Dutta anyday before Tagore. Regarding fiction, a Sharadindu/Shirshendu anyday before Tagore for me.
- Regarding Satyajit Ray, I have serious disagreement with you. Unlike Tagore, I truly adore Ray's works (exceptions notwithstanding) and that has got nothing to do with the Oscar-lifetime-achievement-award. Against your quip regarding medical-practitioner-in-Agantuk, I cannot express myself better than what Soumya did in Greatbong's Goopy-gyne post. I quote partially:
If after seeing Agantuk, one of the messages you came away with, was that the film was implying that we ought to go to a quack instead of a modern medical practitioner, then you need to watch Agantuk again with an open mind.