Follow Us:

Samar Sen

Samar Sen

SNS |

Arguably one of the most enigmatic men of Bengali letters Samar Sen is still considered to be a leading poet even though he had stopped penning poetry at an age when other poets would have been churning out memorable verse. By then he had chosen journalism to be his profession. But then Sen had always preferred to swim against the tide having sharply criticized Rabindranath Tagorelsquo;s poetry. Tagore’s international fame and an age gap of more than five decades did not deter Sen. It may be mentioned that Tagore praised Sen’s works. But if Sen’s autobiography Babu Britanta is anything to go by he was no respector of persons. But his fame was on the rise with Buddhadeb Bose and Abu Syed Ayub both including several poem’s of this young iconoclast in their anthology of Bengali poems despite nursing a political ideology which was diametrically opposite to the one Sen believed in. The brightest feather was added to the cap of the young poet in 1936 when Times Literary Supplementin its 1 February number discussed in detail two of his poems in the write-up ldquo;Land Made for Poetry New India’s Hopes and Fearsrdquo; . After a brilliant academic career Sen joined The Statesman as a sub-editor but left this job to go to Russia as a translator. On his return he joined a city daily but put in his papers after his principles clashed against the management’s policy. At Humayun Kabir’s request he started Now and just as his name and fame as an editor was ascendant he resigned. Kabir’s policy just did not seem to gel with Sen’s methods. If he had quit Now for his reported allegiance to a political outfit which swore by Marx Sen was in for a shock when he started Frontier with the help of some of his friends. Frontier hit the stands an year after peasants clashed with police at Naxalabari when the political party Sen supported was in the driver’s seat in the state. It was time for the man who described himself to be ldquo;No revolutionary but editor of a revolutionary paperrdquo; to take a new stand. Small wonder Frontier railed against state-sponsored terrorism but did not hesitate to be a scathing critic of the politics of killing that had become the order of the day by those striving for a better social order. This was his finest hour. Kudos to Kabitirtha a little magazine which has brought out its tribute to Samar Sen on the year of his birth centenary in a 285-page paperback.