Young_TagoreSomak Ghoshal reviews Young Tagore by Sudhir Kakar in Mint

Sudhir Kakar’s “first-of-its-kind psychobiography”, as the blurb puts it, intends to deepen “our understanding of Rabindranath Tagore”. It is, the author clarifies, an “inner biography” and “not to be confused with ‘psychoanalysis of Tagore’”. Since the clinical situation usually involves a direct exchange of words between the analyst and the analysand, it is impossible to use such a methodology to describe the interior life of a subject who is dead. But the challenge, in Kakar’s case, is also greatly enhanced by his limited access to Tagore’s writing, and the rich literature on it, in Bengali. The result, unsurprisingly, is not salutary.


tagoreMaverick film directors inject LGBT erotica in India’s cultural icon Rabindranath Tagore’s works, according to a report

Rabindranath Tagore, Asia’s first Nobel laureate in literature, has been interpreted as a gay rights champion by two maverick Indian film directors in their recent works.

Tagore, who won the Nobel in 1913 for Gitanjali, a collection of songs and poems, has had several films made on his novels and short stories. They have ranged from advocating women’s emancipation to support for society’s marginalized. Now an Indian director known for making films that revel in shock elements – full-frontal sex and profanities – has had his latest film, with strong undertones of gay, lesbian and transgender sex, released in India amidst mixed reviews.

tagoreEdinburgh Napier University, Scotland, UK, welcomed its first chair in Tagore studies on March 13. Professor Indra Nath Choudhuri, former member secretary and academic director of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, will promote the study of Tagore’s philosophy and works at The Scottish Centre for Tagore Studies (ScoTs), which is based at the university. More than the honour, Prof Choudhari says that the sense of duty and love for Tagore and an inner urge to disseminate Tagore’s literature in Scotland and beyond, forced him to take charge. Excerpts from an interview…

The interest in Tagore’s oeuvre has increased abroad, thanks to the efforts of organisations and performers.

The interest abroad, especially in the West, in Rabindranath Tagore’s songs (Rabindrasangeet), poems, to a certain extent dance and the dance-dramas, has taken an upsurge during the past 50 years, reaching the climax in the 150th year of the bard’s birth anniversary.

Fascination for the music grew through people who showcased it through small presentations, which were essentially for social entertainment. But the surge of interest started with the influx of Rabindrasangeet singers, some dancers and the exchange of artists from the bard’s own homeland, West Bengal, to foreign soil. The Indian Council of Cultural Relations played a major role in establishing cultural centres throughout the world, together with other local organisations, mainly by Bengalis.