ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Executioners of time: Journey of VIRASAM and Bengali revolutionary poetry


Ghosh Prabuddha - Jadavpur University, Comparative Literature, Kolkata, India


26 – Radical Poetics in the Literary Cultures of South Asia


 This paper shall trace the journey of Bengali and Telugu poetry from the era of Naxalbari uprising to post Liberalzation-Globalization era. The focus would be on Bengali poets such as Birendra Chattopadhyay, Manibhushan Bhattacharya, and Nabarun Bhattacharya and Telugu poets such as Varvara Rao, G N Saibaba (Telugu-English poet) and VIRASAM poets. Birendra and Manibhushan converted the socio-political unrest into literary aesthetics where romance and revolution got merged to reshape the poetic language on the wake of Naxalbari Movement. Nabarun carried the legacy of the ‘committed poets (this concept will be discussed as it emerges from the poetry of these poets)’ during his literary life and experimented with the poetic diction and poetic convention. VIRASAM’s unceasing journey has redefined the aesthetics of resistance poetry. Saibaba’s recently published anthology of poems posed a ‘threat’ to the state. They tried utmost to convert the oppressed peoples’ voice into poetic aesthetic and not to let them surrender to the descending despair. How did those poets keep balance between their party-line and literary aesthetics to counter societal as well as literary establishments?

VIRASAM constructed a bridge between the party and the cultural front through decades whereas such model is absent in the Bengali counterpart. is this a problem rooted in the debate between Samar Sen and Saroj Dutta or is it a problem of proper political orientation of the poets in the LPG era? This ques