Santiniketan wary about Tagore songs for IPL cheer


By Hindustan Times

As Kolkata Knight Riders’ cheerleaders gear up to groove to Tagore songs in saris at the upcoming Indian Premier League, the Nobel laureate’s own land, Santiniketan, is not happy about it. People in the West Bengal town, where Rabindranath wrote most of his literary classics, have slammed the
usage of his poetic pieces for entertainment.

“I am confused, amazed and wondering as to how Rabindranath Tagore’s songs will fit into such a commercial sporting event. Cricket, especially IPL, is all about frenzy and madness. I don’t think this is the right platform to use his songs,” says Professor Samit Roy of Santiniketan’s world-famous Visva-Bharati University, which was envisioned by Tagore.

Professor Indrani Mukhopadhyay, principal of Sangeet Bhavan, Visva-Bharati, says, “I’m sceptical about their presentation. I hope they don’t do anything vulgar or even tamper with the tunes because Tagore songs are not for party dancing.” Dr Tarak Sengupta, vice-president of Sangeet Bhavan, adds: “I hope those cheerleaders don’t do anything that insults Tagore.”

KKR officials are however, upbeat. Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR, says, “This time, we just wanted to add a very local flavour (to the cheerleading). Playing Tagore songs is just another step in this effort to keep everything Bengali, and (the team’s owner, actor) Shah Rukh (Khan) was very keen about this.”