Humanists I Met
In Around 1958
I read the essays titled ‘Explorations’ written by Sib Narayan
Ray. When I tried to
translate, it did not work out well. So, left it.
Those days Sib Ray was the Head of
the Department Indian Studies in Melbourne,
returning to India
he was in the Editorial board of the magazine ‘Radical Humanist’. I was
occasionally writing articles for that magazine. Once I sent a write up of Avula.Gopala Krishna Murthy’s lecture.
There was some debate at the time of Ravipudi Venkatadri speech in Chirala in
1958. The write up was a summary of keen scrutiny on Ravindranath
Tagore. Sib Ray objected to publish that article. I insisted,
I told him that is surprising that Radical Humanist does not solicit criticism.
Afterwards I received a letter from V.B.Karnik to
leave the matter for this once. They wrote to Avula Gopala Krishna Murthy about it as
I persisted. I let go of it on his telling me. We said we are withdrawing on
Sib Ray’s request though we both are right in what he said and what I reported.
I questioned Sib Ray about it sometime later and he gave some lame excuse. Bengal sentiment and love for Tagore
was apparent in that excuse. A.G.K. strongly opposed the forced spiritualism in
Tagore’s writings and poetry. He was appreciative of Sarat’s ‘Sesha Prasna’ and the character Kamala in comparison to Tagore’s works. M.N.Roy too had
expressed the same opinion earlier. .Sib Ray could not swallow that opinion and
so he did not publish our report.
After that we stayed many times together with Sib Ray in Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi,
I introduced him to Alapati Ravindra
Nath and V.R.Narla .We took
him to Salarjung
Museum where he took down
long notes viewing the place one whole day. We invited Sib Ray for Humanist
Conferences once in Telugu University, another time in Alliance Franchise, Hyderabad.
Sib Ray published M.N.Roy’s
biography in ‘Radical Humanist’ as a serial. I translated that into Telugu
before it was released as a book in English. Sib Ray happily announced this to
so many people. Tarkunde and Indumathi
also came along with him for the book release.
While he was working in Bombay College
he worked in association with A.B.Shah for Humanist
and Secularist Movements. As a result of the seminars conducted by A.B.Shaw there were good writings on Gandhi and Nehru. They had a house in Santhiniketan.
He died there only in 2008.
Sib Ray encouraged Taslim Nasreen in her writing and supported her in Calcutta.Taslima was very fond of Sib Ray. We regarded him
as the father head.
Sib Ray supported Humanist Movement but did not take up
any responsibility himself. He encouraged Tarkunde in
his civil Rights Movement. We could be
together during conferences at Santhinikethan in his
last days. He collected a lot of information attempting to write the History of
Radical Humanist blended with the life of M.N.Roy.
He brought out various points from Germany, Russia,
Mexico and China which are
not obtainable for others I could source and provided information about Andhra to some extent. All along his life he was a Royist Historian. Literarily he had written many credible
articles in journals ‘Quest’ ‘New Quest’ and ‘Radical Humanist’.
He was a fine speaker in seminars.
We regarded him as the father head.