Shakti Chattopadhyay’s poems, like Chaplin’s films, political: Poet Srijato

NewsDrum Desk
22 Jan 2023

Kolkata, Jan 22 (PTI) Sahitya Akademi award-winning Bengali poet Shakti Chattopadhyay’s poems are political in nature as the films of Charlie Chaplin are, though both were never part of any political group in their lives, popular poet-lyricist Srijato said on Sunday.

Shakti Chattopadhyay, his friends Sunil Gangopadhyay, Sarat Kumar Mukhopadhyay and Sandipan Chattopadhyay shaped the journey of modern Bengali poetry, said Srijato who uses a single name.

"Politics cannot be defined by certain words, certain parties. Being political does not mean being used by parties in the domain of arts. He could never be swayed by omnipresent and all-powerful partisan politics. But if you talk about the politics in art, that is a far bigger canvas.

“Charlie Chaplin's films were very much political though he did not belong to any group, (Jnanpith Awardee) Sankha Ghosh's poems have political elements; similarly Shakti's poems have political elements in a distinct form," he said at a session of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet here.

Naming a few Bengali poems like ‘Ekbar Tumi’ (Once you), Srijato said Chattopadhyay stood by people by highlighting their dreams and frustrations in his works and that is his politics.

Srijato, the recipient of prestigious Ananda Purashkar in 2004, later told PTI that "poets like Shakti, Sunil and Utpal (Basu) deserved more recognition in the world for their works but lack of proper translations of their representative works did not let that happen." Srijato, who recently directed a film, recalled that he was introduced to Chhattopadhyay’s poems when he was in class seven or eight and was swept away by his works.

"Since then, there is not a single day when I did not read Shakti's poems. It is like an addiction which has grown on me," he said. PTI SUS NN NN

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