Can Roddur Roy be blamed for blasphemy?

Over the last couple of weeks, a video has gone viral in which some female students of Rabindra Bharati University have painted their backs with alleged obscenities. I strongly feel that obscenity is a relative term. The video has purportedly portrayed our cultural icon Rabindra Nath Tagore in poor light.
Months back a Youtuber named Roddur Roy had sung a few Tagore songs, known as Rabindra Sangeet in popular culture. But the renditions were annoying as he had invoked redundant cuss words between the lines. He used the profanities as conjunctions and adjectives. All of a sudden our moral and cultural brigade took offense in it. Feeling threatened that our rich Bengali culture and its lineage are at risk, an FIR has been lodged against him.
For many of you, I haven’t added anything new to your info. Most importantly, many of you have started taking sides as to who to support. I do not believe in binaries. In my opinion, all parties have to be blamed. At the very outset, let us scrutinize the first allegation. Forget about Roddur, no one, I repeat no one on planet Earth is as big as a creditable person to even certify Tagore. He is a “BISWAKOBI” (Universal Poet) in true sense. Yes, his medium of language has been predominantly Bengali, but his reach has been to a wider network of readers and admirers. That is why he is called the greatest cultural icon of Bengal. Traditionally, Bangla literature has always been extremely rich in content.
But in the post-independence Bengal, the new age litterateurs couldn’t meet the set benchmarks. It is primarily because the comparison always used to be with Tagore. It is the fault of neither the poets nor the authors. They were fighting a lost battle against their very readers. Till today, many people are earning a living out of Tagore, be it his songs or his plays. Could the legend Late Uday Shankar be famous without Tagore? No, because Tagore was and will continue to remain an industry. Even the greatest film directors of our country had earned their fame by depicting Tagore’s works to the international audience and they take pride in that.
Same was the instance of Satyajit Ray, the world-renowned film-maker whose works were mostly in Bangla and from Kolkata. The contemporaries and successors of Ray met with the same fate. They were also compared. In my opinion, both types of comparisons were unfair.
Coming back to Roddur, who is my namesake, that also I got to know yesterday. Yes, his rendition was poor in taste. At times it was awful. What I felt is that he should be ignored and not publicized. Instead, our digital tigers on keyboards kept on spreading his versions. The videos became viral and Roddur kept on earning from his YouTube channel. Instead, he could have been despised and avoided.
As far as the Rabindra Bharati students are concerned, Roddur calls it a symbol of protest. My question is- Against whom? Society? Administration? Your slang will cleanse the society and ameliorate the administration? You are residing in a fools’ paradise. This doesn’t sound like a sensible rebuttal. Yes, the students have exercised their rights to enjoy their lives, even if it is at the cost of spitting towards the sky. It is their wish. Let them go to hell. How does it bother those entities who all owe allegiance to Tagore without even reading him properly? It is shameful that most of the protestors are oblivious to Rabindranath’s body of work. They are also visibly getting detached from the typical Bengali culture.
Who has appointed you all to preserve our culture? Culture isn’t a fragile thing that it can be infringed upon. If your /our culture is so vulnerable, then assume that it never existed. It has to upgrade with time but not the way my namesake and his followers want. Have you forgotten how you all were silent when another poet had wrapped Lord Shiva’s trident with a condom? You all called it freedom of expression. Why can’t the others enjoy it? Ignore them if you disdain them because ignorance is bliss.


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