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"Rabindranath Tagore second-rate playwright "

Posted on Nov 10, 12:45PM | IBNS

Veteran playwright Girish Karnad triggered yet another controversy after he said Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore a "second-rate playwright".

"Tagore was a great poet but a mediocre and second-rate playwright," Karnad apparently told reporters on sidelines of an event near Bangalore.

"Rabindranath Tagore wrote medicore plays. We should learn to be practical in this matter," he said.

He produced his plays but those were never produced by his contemporaries. The contemporary Bengali theatre never accepted them. I think they did one or two plays. His comedy succeeded but not his other plays.

He further said certain Tagore's plays are 'unbearable' and claimed that his "plays didn't have any depth".

"In the last 50 years, India has produced many playwrights like Badal Sarcar, Mohan Rakesh and Vijay Tendulkar, who are better than Tagore," Karnad added.

The controversial comments came in the wake of his statement against Nobel-winning author V S Naipaul that triggered a debate last week.

Defending his public tirade against Naipaul for his views on Muslims and Islam, Karnad said that he waited for the opportunity for 10 years.

"I heard him speak on television more than 10 years ago - in 2000 - and since then I have waited for an opportunity to say 'Sorry, you're wrong. You're absolutely wrong.", and I couldn't do it earlier since I was a government servant," he said, speaking to a private news channel.

Karnad's outburst against Naipaul came after the organisers of a literature festival in Mumbai felicitated Naipaul with a lifetime achievement award on Oct 31.