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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Union minister comments on Rabindranath Tagore’s complexion, kicks up row

“All were fair-skinned in Tagore's family. Even Rabindranath Tagore was fair-skinned in reality. However, there are two types of fair skin tones.” said the minister.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: August 20, 2021 1:52:58 pm
Subhas Sarkar

Union Minister of State for Education Subhas Sarkar on Wednesday courted controversy for making a comment about Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s complexion, drawing flak from the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Sarkar, the doctor-turned-MP from Bankura, said no one in Tagore’s family, including his mother, cradled him in their arms when he was a baby because he was “dark-skinned”. He made the comment during an interaction with the teachers of Visva-Bharati University, which was founded by the Nobel laureate. He was at the institute to attend a felicitation ceremony for becoming a Union minister.

“All were fair-skinned in Tagore’s family. Even Rabindranath Tagore was fair-skinned in reality. However, there are two types of fair skin tones. Those who have a yellow tint, and those with a reddish complexion. Tagore had the second type of skin tone. His mother and others in his family refused to take him in their lap as he was dark-skinned. But that same person became world-famous,” said the minister. Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty was by Sarkar’s side when he made the remark. The minister was accompanied by local BJP leader Dhruba Saha.

“Subhas Sarkar is not aware of history…This is a racist comment and an insult to the icons of Bengal,” said TMC leader and Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee.

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