Days after stirring controversy by attacking Sir Vidia Naipaul, theatre veteran Girish Karnad seems to have turned his sights on another Nobel Laureate -- Rabindranath Tagore.
According to media reports, the renowned dramatist has reportedly called Tagore a 'great poet but a second rate playwright.'
"He was a great poet certainly, one of our greatest. And he got the Nobel Prize in 1913 when most of our modern literature was still in the state of formation. His greatness as a poet is there, his greatness as a thinker is there... he didn't direct great plays. All the plays written till 1947 are second-grade. The point is he was a mediocre playwright… We should learn to be practical in this matter," Karnad was quoted as saying.
The Jnanpith awardee also claimed that Tagore's contemporaries hadn’t accepted him as a playwright.
Karnad’s outburst against Naipaul too doesn’t seem to have ended. Continuing from where he had left off at last week’s Mumbai literature festival, the playwright called the Nobel Laureate “an old fogey”.
Speaking to reporters after a talk organised by the Azim Premji Foundation at its Bengaluru campus, Karnad said, “Naipaul is an old fogey. There is no development in his thought. He is saying the same thing. And he`s been uncreative for the past 10 years.”
He added, “His non-fiction is obnoxious and his two novels on India are dreadful. His great books are on the West Indies. He has lived by his books. I think he has written more non-fiction than fiction. And he thinks his non-fiction is more important.”
He had last week described Naipaul as being "tone-deaf" and "anti-Muslim".