04 August, 2021

Politics By Wrote

If there is one block that our politicians don't have, it's the one that usually plagues writers

Politics By Wrote
When 56-year-old Buddhadeva Bhattacharya was ushered in as West Bengal's chief minister by his venerable predecessor Jyoti Basu in Calcutta last fortnight, literature made another dramatic entry into the hurly-burly of politics. Rounding off his 40-minute speech with a verse from Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, Basu turned to Bhattacharya, an ardent admirer of the poet's works, and said, "Buddha knows literature well, he will translate the poem for you."

That's no big deal for Bhattacharya. Every evening, for many years now, the bhadralok apparatchik has been spending his evenings at Nandan, the city's most popular cultural complex, translating—who else?—but Mayakovsky. That's not all. Bhattacharya, throughout his tenure as home and information and cultural affairs minister of the state, found time to pen some 10 books. They include poems, plays and essays on such famous litterateurs as Manik Bandopadhyay and Jibananda Das. His first play, Dushshamoy (Hard Times) was even staged. A few months ago, he published Poka, a collection of two plays, one original, the other...

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