With the assembly elections in West Bengal later this year, all parties are working full time to win over the electorate. Trinamool Congress, the incumbent in power, is facing a challenge from not just the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress but also an aggressive Bharatiya Janata Party.
The BJP has tried to appropriate Rabindranath Tagore, who is a revered icon for the Bengalis. The party has tried to show him as a nationalist, using some of his writings selectively.
But this is wrong, says political scientist Sibaji Pratim Basu, who has authored books on the poet and essayist. Tagore was never narrow-minded and any such effort will only rebound politically, he says. “Come what may, some icons in West Bengal are untouchable and will remain so,” Basu says in this podcast interview with Sidharth Bhatia.