Noted Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh passed away on Wednesday morning while he was in isolation at his residence after testing positive for COVID-19, his family said. Ghosh, 89, was found to be COVID-positive on April 14.
He was in home isolation on the advice of doctors, according to Health Department sources. Ghosh, who suffered from several comorbidities, was hospitalised a few months ago due to deterioration of his health condition.
Considered to be having authority on Rabindranath Tagore, Ghosh is known for 'Adim Lata - Gulmomay' and 'Murkha Baro Samajik Nay', among other books. His works have been translated into several languages, including English and Hindi.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2011 and Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977 for his book 'Babarer Prarthana'.
Litterature Subodh Sarkar said COVID-19 snatched away Ghosh when he was needed the most as "the state was faced with the threat of fascism".
"He was soft-spoken but his pen was razor-sharp, always speaking against intolerance. He used to be a participant in all conventions and movements for free and liberal thinking," Sarkar said.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay his condolences to the Ghosh family. He wrote, "Shri Shankha Ghosh will be remembered for his contributions to Bengali and Indian literature. His works were widely read and admired. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti."
Union Minister Amit Shah wrote a tweet that reads, "Anguished to learn about the sad demise of a renowned Bengali poet and Sahitya Akademi Awardee, Shri Shankha Ghosh Ji. He will always be remembered for his outstanding poems, deeply rooted in the social context. My deepest condolences to his family and followers. Om Shanti!"
Here's how others reacted to the news of Ghosh's demise.
Ghosh was born on February 6, 1932, at Chandpur in present-day Bangladesh. Ghosh is survived by his daughters Semanti and Srabanti, and wife Pratima.
With inputs from PTI.