Saturday, June 05, 2010

Tagore, Satyajit Ray and Agantuk

A very interesting debate has been initiated at

I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with the author. Following are my points with respect to part1 of the bloglink given above.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


Anonymous said...

I just chanced upon this blog. Medical practitioner in Agantuk? You don't mean 'Ganasatru'?

Sambaran said...

@Anonymous: In Agantuk, Utpal Dutta was describing the positives of tribal life. Dhritiman asks "aapnar oshukh holey ki aapni ojha ke daekhatey jaan"? Utpal Dutta replies that he had indeed visited an 'ojha' when he was in jungles.
So I meant Agantuk itself, not Ganasatru.
However, please visit the blog I quoted in the beginning of the post. That is where you will get the context of this post. This post of mine is not an independent article. It is a response to the points raised at