The Union minister of state for Education, Subhas Sarkar of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) made some bizarre claims on Thursday. He said that Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore was discriminated by his mother and family for having a “dark skin” complexion. He even went on to say that Tagore’s family members “did not cradle him in their arms or sat him in their laps”. The minister made these comments while on a tour of Visva Bharati University that was established by Tagore in Shantiniketan, in Bolpur district of West Bengal. “The family members of Rabindranath Tagore were fair-skinned but Tagore was of not so fair complexion. Due to this, his mother and other family members did not cradle him in their arms or sat him in their laps,” said Sarkar as quoted by ANI. The central minister did not stop there, he went on to say, “There are two kinds of fair complexions. One that was bright yellowish and the other that was reddish. Tagore was fair but of the second variety and therefore was cuddled by his family less often than other fairer children,” as quoted by NDTV. Subhas Sarkar is a member of parliament (M.P.) from the district of Bankura in West Bengal in the lower house. The statement has elicited reactions from lovers of Rabindranath Tagore and also from students of Visva Bharati University.
Yes, and then Tagore wrote the famous song in Gitanjali, for which he received Nobel prize.”Hum kaale hain to kya hua Dilwale hain…”See…I can speak rubbish too.. am I qualified to be a minister now? Please?
— dadabhai (@dadabhaikolkata) August 19, 2021
The BJP, however, has maintained that the minister’s statements were taken out of context.