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Tag: History

In search of a gestalt in Ray’s cinema

Published @ Critical Collective
Satyajit Ray’s colossal presence in Indian cinema is in no need of commendation. His centenary is expected to further illuminate Ray as a storyteller, author, graphic-artist, publicist and illustrator. Despite sporadic efforts, the different manifestations of Ray’s work have so far been seen in segregation, refusing as it were, to probe into an omniscient meta-narrative that could have, undetected, informed his harvest. Are we only to contend then, with the different faces of a polygonal genius? Or is there in…

The contradictory Bengali

Published @ Biblio India
A bhadrolok is someone taken to be urbane and informed, with genteel manners and liberal political values, whose authority derives not from class or birth but from having attained a cultural referentiality through education and through participation in enlightened debates. Here, two books by two eminent bhadralok Bengalis are being reviewed by another – not eminent but self- confessed – bhadralok Bengali. Does this reinforce the self-assured, self-governing, self-congratulatory and hermetically sealed world of the Bengali bhadralok? It apparently does.

Crucible Of Intellect

Published @ Outlook India
As I write this review, India is in the middle of another proxy war, televised hate speech is deified as prime-time journalism and a cynical public is deeply divided and communalised. In such times, an anthology that ennobles the opposite of these ailments is a surprising, but welcome, infringement. It is difficult to imagine a time when politicians were also statesmen, read widely and debated vigorously, when they agreed to disagree with civility and yet partook in an…

Event, memory, metaphor

Published @ Daily News & Analysis
In this book that he has, curiously, curated, graphic storyteller Vishwajyoti Ghosh has attempted to ‘redraw’ the map of Partition. The hyperbolism of the statement can be tempered if we take the literal meaning of the word re-draw, which is to illustrate once again the fault-lines of Partition. This collection of collaborative graphic texts is no less than that. It returns to the event of the biggest forced migration of humanity’s recorded history and tries to re-imagine it through a…

There’s no record to disprove Bose’s death

Published @ The Bengal Post
It is time we understand that for a figure like Subhas Bose, there is no greater honour than to die in the battlefield in the war for freedom, insists Harvard’s Professor Sugata Bose, in an expansive interview with Sayandeb Chowdhury The setting of the large, airy, six-windowed second-floor room at Netaji Bhavan is doubtlessly the most fitting location for an interview of this nature. This room is directly above the room where he, the talismanic subject of our discussion, for…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: History, Politics, Profile | Read More

The man from a lost world

Published @ The Bengal Post
Facsimile of the published article Amitav Ghosh is great hope for fiction in the 21st century and now, at the height of his powers, his influence is all set to grow bigger, writes Sayandeb Chowdhury Amitav Ghosh’s novels are an Olympian event; a peripatetic storm in the largely sterile cultural topography of this ‘city of lost causes’ as he calls Calcutta succinctly and appropriately. On his arrival, the city’s literati suddenly wake up to the possibilities of fiction, a possibility…

Indian marxists lack original thinking

Published @ Bengal Post
The sunlight inside the spacious atrium at Taj Bengal seemed to have been looking for him. The itinerant light, when it found Ramchandra Guha posing on a chair for a restive photographer, seemed to stand still on him for some time. The sun, obviously partial to leading lights on a clear December morning in Calcutta, set its sight on the award-winning author of India After Gandhi because he was the most sun-worthy man in a city that day, which once had many…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: History, Profile | Read More

Gandhi was a most remarkable man

Published @ Daily News & Analysis
Indian political leader Mohandas Gandhi circa 1935. In 1938, 23-year-old Phillips Talbot was sent to India on a fellowship to learn about British-governed India. An American Witness To India’s Partition is a collection that springs out of his experiences in India and the subcontinent between 1938 and 1950, chronicling the build-up to the independence of India and Pakistan, and the early experiences of the new states. The book was released in India in an event organised by Asia Society in…