Rabi Thakur, Translation and a facebook conversation

(This is in response to a comment on facebook)

I will make a huge generalization.

Indians, by and large, and except for a handful of people, do not read other Indians of a different language. Unless they write in English. Not even in translation. One will either read a writer of one’s mother tongue, or of English (or translated, Murakami Marquez Pamuk yadayada). And we Bengalis are perhaps the worst of all.

I was (and am) a fairly well-read guy, but before I stepped out of Bengal, the only non-Bengali Indian writer in a regional language I knew of was Premchand. And had read exactly one story of his. Sadgati, because Ray made a movie on that story.  Dharamvir Bharti? Ananthamurthy? Vaikom Muhammad Basheer? কী সেগুলো ? গায়ে পরে না মাথায় মাখে?

While everyone knows Tagore and Sharatchandra and Premchand anyway; by and large, we have immense snobbery over other Indian languages, all across the country. Hence Tagore. He is a genus, no questions, but he is neither of your mother tongue, and neither a non-Indian. Therefore he is not read across India a much as he should, one could say.


About Shom

Shom Biswas is a writer from India. @Spinstripe
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