Tagore, Premchand and Quest For a Better World

Today, as the gulf between the Hindus and Muslims on the one hand and between India and Pakistan on the other is at its widest, there is need for literature that celebrates our shared values and humanity

Arecently launched Indian television channel, Epic TV, stands out for its preoccupation with and celebration of the past.  From historical dramas such as The Twentieth Wife, shining the light on the saga of Mughal emperor Jahangir and queen Noor Jahan, to Hindu mythological epics and from the lost recipes like the delectable ‘Ash’ from the dastarkhwan of the Nizam of Hyderabad to the evolution of Ganga-Jamuni culture and cuisine, it offers distinctly different fare.

What has had truly hooked me though is the series that filmmaker Anurag Basu (of Barfi fame) has done based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novels and short stories. Like most Indians, I read Tagore’s Gitanjali, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and his popular short story ‘Kabuliwala’ in English.

Rabindranath Tagore who received the Nobel Prize for Literature was a great storyteller celebrating humanity and humanism.

However, my Bengali friends familiar with the great man’s vast oeuvre insist that one must read him in the language he originally wrote to appreciate his versatile genius and immense rang

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