Girish Karnad kicks-up another storm, calls Rabindranath Tagore '2nd rate playwright'
Karnad's comments have angered the Bengali film and theatre world with Dadasaheb Phalke winning actor Soumitra Chatterji calling it "embarrassing".
"It is embarrassing to call a Nobel laureate second rate. You also devalue his contribution to the original development of dramatic literature in the country. Tagore had his own way of visualising reality. Karnad also said that he never wrote for the poor which I think is rather foolish," he said.
Debashish Ray Chaudhuri, who has directed some of Tagore plays, said Karnad is a non-Bengali and so he does not have access to all of the Tagore's plays.
"His comments should not be taken seriously. I think it was in passing. Tagore's plays are famous even globally. As a playwright, he was ahead of his time," he said.
Another leading Bengali theatre personality, Bibhas Chakravorty, said, "It is his personal view. Of course, I disagree with him but we cannot treat it as the view of the entire theatre field."
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta also took exception to Karnad's remarks.
"This is extremely unfortunate that a man of knowledge , a man of culture, a man of theatre and a man whose works have been liked by us, should have made such an unfortunate statement. It is perhaps an expression of lack of understanding about people. After more than 100 years, if somebody says he had been writing substandard material, it is sad."