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Nov 09, 2012 at 10:10pm IST

Rabindranath Tagore was a second rate playwright, says Girish Karnad

New Delhi: After publicly targeting Nobel laureate VS Naipaul and calling him anti-Muslim, veteran actor and playwright Girish Karnad has created another controversy by calling another Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore a "second rate playwright". "Tagore was a great poet but a second rate playwright," Karnad said.

Karnad, who is also a famous theatre artist, claimed that Rabindranath Tagore's contemporaries also did not accept him as a playwright. "Rabindranath Tagore wrote mediocre plays...We should learn to be practical in this matter," he said.

Karnad's controversial comments against Naipaul had sparked off a debate on the web with author Taslima Nasreen tweeting in support of Karnad. "If Naipaul wrote his books in one of the Indian regional languages, he would have been an unknown writer even in India," she said.

Mumbai Literature Festival organiser Anil Dharker expressed dismay over the controversy saying, "We were all taken aback by Girish Karnad's attack on VS Naipaul. After all, we had invited him to speak about his journey in theatre and Mr Naipaul had nothing to do with that!" Karnad made made his comments against Naipaul at the Mumbai Literature Festival.

He had, later, in an interview to CNN-IBN had strongly defended his attack on Naipaul saying he had no regrets for publicly targeting the eminent writer. Karnad had also went on to say that he didn't mind being called a professional secularist but Naipaul had no right to abuse Muslims.

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