Bloomers in Hillary's gift raises hackles
Kolkata, May 9 (IANS) A mat presented by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with two lines from a song of Rabindranath Tagore printed on it has led to howls of protest for the spelling bloomers and wrong word usage.
The mat in "Kantha" stitch with Tagore's face and part of the Bengali song "Aguner Poroshmoni Choyao Prane" (touch the heart with the magicstone of fire), was handed over by Clinton to Banerjee during their meeting at the state secretariat Writers' Buildings Monday.
A visibly happy Banerjee proudly displayed the gift to the mediapersons after the meeting.
However, on close scrutiny it was found that the word "Poroshmoni" was wrongly spelt. What was worse, in the second line of the song which reads "He Jiban Purno koro", "Purno" was replaced by "Rinyo" and "Jiban" was misspelt.
"When it concerns Tagore and international diplomacy the US should have been more careful", said Sahitya Academy president and noted writer Sunil Gangopahdyay.
A spokesperson of the US consulate refused to comment on the matter.
However, sources said the mat was purchased in Kolkata from a local designer's collection.
"Whatever it be, the US should have been more sensitive to the sentiments of the Indians, particularly Bengalis, as Tagore occupies a monumental position in the heart and mind of the public," said a banker T.P. Dutta.
"It was an extremely immature artwork. As for the mistakes, Hillary and her delegation should have got the quality of the artwork evaluated by knowledgeable people. Nobody will talk about the designer's flaws. It will go down that the US, in its carelessness, has given such a gift that so glaringly lacks aestheticism," said writer Abul Bashar.
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