Sukanta Bhattacharya: Poet of the have notâ€™s
Sukanta spent his childhood at their house at Nibedita Lane, Bagbazar. He was sent to Kamala Vidyamandir, a local primary school where his literary career began. His first short story was published in Sanchay, the school's student magazine. Later another
Sukanta Bhattacharya was a poet and playwright. Along with Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam, he was one of the key figures of modern Bengali poetry, despite the fact that most of his works had been in publication posthumously. During his life, his poems were not widely circulated, but after his death his reputation grew to the extent that he became one of the most popular Bengali poets of the 20th century. He has had a significant influence on poet Subhas Mukhopadhyay and composer Salil Chowdhury, who set some of his popular poems to music.
The poetry of Sukanta Bhattacharya is characterized by revolutionary Socialist thoughts, patriotism, humanism and yet romanticism.
Sukanta Bhattacharya was born to Nibaran Chandra Bhattacharya, owner of Saraswat Library, a publishing and book selling enterprise, and Suniti Devi.
He was the second of their six sons. Sukanta was born at his maternal grandfatherâ€™s house at Kalighat, Kolkata, Paschimbanga, India although his family hailed from the village of Kotalipara in Gopalganj, Bangladesh.
Sukanta spent his childhood at their house at Nibedita Lane, Bagbazar. He was sent to Kamala Vidyamandir, a local primary school where his literary career began. His first short story was published in Sanchay, the schoolâ€™s student magazine. Later another of his prose writing, Bibekanander Jiboni, was published in Sikha, edited by Bijon Bhattacharya.
After studying at Kamala Vidyamandir, he got admitted to Beleghata Deshbandhu High School. He joined the Communist Party of India in 1944. In the same year, he edited an anthology, named Akal (Famine) published by the Anti-Fascist Writersâ€™ and Artistsâ€™ Association. He was the Editor of the Kishore Sobha (Youth Section) of the Bengali daily organ of the party, Dainik Swadhinata from its inception in 1946. He died of tuberculosis at the Jadavpur T B Hospital (later, K S Roy T B Hospital) in Kolkata at a very young age of 20. A comprehensive account of the poetâ€™s life can be found in Kobi Sukanta Bhattacharya O Sei Somoy written by the poetâ€™s youngest brother, Amiya Bhattacharyya.
Prodigious Sukantaâ€™s poetry was published in magazines while he was alive, and except for Chharpatra his books were all published posthumously.
His works are deeply marked and influenced by his Communist experience. One of his shorter poems name Hey Mohajibon from the book Chharpatra compares the moon with a burnt roti, a prosaicness born of hunger:
Poetry, we do not need you anymore.
A world devastated by hunger is too prosaic,
The full moon now reminds us of toasted bread.
Sukanta Samagra (Complete Works of Sukanta) (1967), published by the Saraswat Library, Kolkata was edited by Subhash Mukhopadhyay. This includes all the printed texts, some lesser known writings, his plays and stories, which include Khudha (Hunger), Durbodhyo (Incomprehensible), Bhodrolok (Gentleman) and Dorodi Kishorer Svopno (Dream of a Compassionate Adolescent), an article, Chhondo O Abritti and also a selection of letters.
Sukanta Bhattacharyaâ€™s books are: Chharpatra (Certificate, 1947), Ghum Nei (Sleepless, 1954), Purbabhas (Premonition, 1950), Abhijan (Expedition, 1953, a play), Mithe-Kora (Sweet and sour 1951), Geeti Guccho (Songs 1965), Sukanta Somogro (Complete Works of Sukanta) (1967), Patra Guchha (Letters).