Noted poet & Padma awardee Shankha Ghosh succumbs to Covid
Kolkata: Noted poet, literary critic and essayist Shankha Ghosh, a Padma Bhushan awardee, died of COVID-19 at his East Kolkata residence on Wednesday morning. He was 89 years old and is survived by his wife and two daughters.
In her condolence message, Mamata Banerjee said: "I am deeply mourned at the death of Shankha Ghosh. He had taught at Jadavpur University, Delhi University and Visva Bharati University. Some of his famous books are Babarer Prarthona, Mukh Dekhe Jae Bigyapone, Okampor Rabindranath.
He was awarded Jyanpith, Padma Bhusan, Sahitya Akademi, Rabindra Smriti Puroskar. I had a very cordial relation with him. I express my heartfelt condolences to his family members."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also condoled his death. He was cremated with full state honours at the Nimtala crematorium.
Chittopriya Ghosh who became more popular with his pet name Shankha was born on April 6, 1932, at Chandpur district, now in Bangladesh. He was detected with Covid on April 14 and was in home isolation.
A graduate in Bengali from Presidency College he did his MA from Calcutta University. He taught in several colleges and finally joined Jadavpur University from where he retired in 1992. He taught at Delhi University, the Indian Institute for Advanced Studies and Visva Bharati.
He was considered to be an authority of Rabindranath Tagore's works. He got the Sahitya Akademi Award for his book Babarer Prarthana.
He went to the United States and spent time at IOWA Writers' Workshop in 1967-68.
Ghosh had opposed the police firing in Nandigram by the Left Front government.
His poem Yamunavati, based on the killing of a young girl in police firing in rural Bengal during the Food Movement of 1951, gave him prominence. His first anthology of poems, Dinguli Raatguli, was published in 1955.
The issue of social protest has been a constant theme in his creations.
Some of his poems were lyrical and reflective, while the other works reflected a sense of anguish towards society's superficiality and existence.
However, his mastery over the Bengali language and his absolute control over the form of poetry is a hallmark of his works, which became the epitome of grace and depth. His poems always conveyed a message but were always free of polemics.
Ghosh's works have been translated into several languages, including English and Hindi.