Biplab does it again! says Tagore returned Nobel Prize

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb came in for fresh criticism after he said Rabindranath Tagore had rejected his Nobel prize in protest against the British government.

The opposition was quick to react to the chief minister's folly.

Tagore never returned the Nobel Prize for Literature, which was conferred on him for his work 'Gitanjali' in 1913. He, however, had refused to accept the British Knighthood in protest against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919.

Speaking in Bengali at a programme in Gomati district on the occasion of Tagore's birthday on Wednesday, the chief minister had said, "Rabindranath Tagore not only rejected the Nobel Prize in protest against the British government, but also got Biswosrestho (world's best) award for Gitanjali. However, Tagore cannot be confined to the (Gitanjali) award".

Tripura's royal scion, Pradyot Kishore Devburman, who is also the TPCC working president, said he was "very unhappy" with the chief minister's comment.

"Tagore surrendered the knighthood conferred on him in 1919 to protest against the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab. My grandfather was also very perturbed by the incident. I found it in his diary. It is not good that our chief minister said this. It does not have any sense," he said.

Tagore had visited Tripura seven times and was close to four successive kings - Birchandra, Radhakishore, Birendra Kishore and last king Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur, said Panna Lal Roy, a writer, who wrote a number of books on Tagore's relation with Tripura kings.

Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Birajit Sinha told a press conference on Friday, "Even we are receiving phone calls from abroad and people are laughing at his comments. He has tarnished the image of our state and made us feel ashamed".

TPCC vice president Tapas Dey said, "Tripura is a state where 98% people are literate, but I wonder what the people of our country or abroad are thinking about our state now. Our beloved chief minister's comment is embarrassing".

CPI (M) state secretary Bijan Dhar said, "I can only laugh at his comment".

The Tripura chief minister had earlier made controversial remarks such as the existence of the Internet during the Mahabharata war, whether 1994 Miss World Diana Hayden should be considered an Indian beauty and the questionability of mechanical engineers joining the civil services.

 

Biplab grabbed headlines after BJP's victory in Tripura, a Left bastion, early this year. BJP selected Biplab as chief minister. Since then, he has come out with statements like these.

First in line was his statement which said internet and satellite existed during the 'Mahabharata' days

Later on, he went on to say that former Miss World Diana Hayden is not an Indian beauty like Aishwarya Rai. However, he apologised after fierce criticism from various corners.

But his epic faux pas was his remarks on civil service jobs. Tripura's first BJP Chief Minister said that it is civil engineers who should opt for civil service and not mechanical engineers. He explained his statement to ANI saying that civil engineers are experts in building structures and can easily build a society too.

Biplab then asked youngsters not to seek government jobs. He advised them to set up 'paan' shops and rear cattle.

With these gaffes coming one after another, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called Biplab to New Delhi.

ALSO READ: Curious case of Biplab Deb

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Biplab does it again! says Tagore returned Nobel Prize

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