VASANT RITU - SPRING, ISSUE NO. 114 (Mar-Apr 2024)

Post-Independence Bengali Poetry

This special Bengali feature of Muse India is designed to map the development of post-independence Bengali poetry of West Bengal. Bengali poetry has always been one of the treasure houses of Indian literature. Curated by Angshuman Kar, this feature will give the readers an idea of the gradual development of Bengali poetry in West Bengal in the last 75 years by examining its development through each of the last seven decades. This development, Kar argues, has not been linear; neither has it been spiral. Bengali poetry of this era, rather, seems to be a combination of several railway tracks that run parallelly and develop sometimes linearly and sometimes spirally to reach a crossroads.
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“On the heels of the Krittibas poets, came a band of young poets born of the same cultural milieu, the same angst, and the unapologetic attitude in their disruptiveness. They aimed at breaking the shackles of society by taking matters into their own hands. … The Hungry Generation poets … confronted and disturbed preconceived literary canons.” (Maitreyee B Chowdhury in “Revolution in Bengali Poetry”). (FEATURE)


“In the last seven decades, Bengali poetry has been lyrical. Even some of the explicitly political poems have shown strong lyrical fervour. Again, instead of movements, Bengali poetry of this era has been influenced by the activities of small groups formed based on the ideological affinities of the poets.” (Angshuman Kar in “Post-Independence Bengali Poetry”) (Photo of Angshuman Kar by Dirk Skiba). (FEATURE)


“The appreciable aspect of the concept of the metaverse is that it can do so not merely by critiquing and remembering the wounds of the past but also by constructively enabling virtual inhabitations of alternative “what ifs,” thereby illustrating how much better off the world would have been if those wounds had not been inflicted in the first place.” – (Apala, Revathy and Adrika in “Subaltern Futuring”)  (LITERARY SECTION)


“Dalit identity politics, which achieved greater momentum in East Bengal before partition, disappeared completely from West Bengal after partition. The Dalit Namasudras … scattered into multiple refugee camps in eastern and central India. …and due to policies of rehabilitation adopted by the Indian government …(were not) in a position to reorganise their political struggle. Their identity was gradually subsumed by the Hindu refugee identity. (Asit Kanti Sarkar in “The Other Side of Suffering”) (LITERARY SECTION) 


Emanul Haque's Wind! Wind! translated from Bengali by Ketaki Datta, is a tale about man's greed. Though fictitious, the satirical story is a representation of the real state of affairs in the world that we live in. (FICTION)


Monsoon Flood by Meenakshi Gogoi depicts the repercussions of man’s endless greed for exploiting nature. Man tries to make amends, but how long will he be able to save himself from nature’s fury is an indisputable question. (FICTION)


Arti Jain’s poems deeply reflect on the hopscotch of life where each step turns into a decision that remains with us for the rest of our lives. (POETRY)


Asijit Datta's poetry offers introspective reflections on navigating our contemporary world, compelling us to confront the intricacies of our realities head-on. (POETRY)


Annapurna Sharma in her review of Immunity in a Spoon of Ghee by Ratna Rajaiah writes that this book can be considered a lexicon in the field of Public Health and Nutrition. (BOOK REVIEWS)


Madhulika Ghose applauds The Kala Ghoda Affair: A Lalli Mystery by Kalpana Swaminathan and says that if you want to embark on a thrilling adventure set in Mumbai, replete with all classes of criminals, a clever detective, and different types of food, this book will not disappoint. (BOOK REVIEWS)


This issue of Muse India is sponsored by our Senior Member Dr Shyamala Narayan.

Past Issues

Issue:113:Contemporary Gujarati Literature

Issue:112:Conversations – Contemporary Indian Women Poets

Issue:111:Kerala Writing in English

Issue:110:Indian Graphic Novels

Issue:109:Literature of the Northeast

Issue:108:Muse India Haikai Special 2023

Issue:107:Feature: Poetry Fervour

Issue:106:FEATURE: Regional Folktales of India