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Tiff between Dr Bidhan Roy & Dr Nilratan Sarkar on Tagore’s operation

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Death did not come silently to Rabindranath Tagore, though he probably wanted it that way. The whole of India was so keen to see him recover from his ill health that none of Tagore’s last wishes were honoured. He was suffering from ailments that doctors like Bidhan Chandra Ray felt needs immediate operation, else he will not recover. Stalwarts like Mahatma Gandhi felt Rabindranath Tagore needs to live for a few more years as it was the time when India was going through the last phase of the independence movement and Tagore’s presence and inspiration was a big boost to Indians against British rule.

Dr Bidhan Ray gave his opinion that Rabindranath Tagore needs operation. Accordingly a makeshift operation theatre was made at Jorasanko Thakurbari and Tagore against his wishes was brought down from Santiniketan one last time. When Dr Lalitkumar Bandopadhyay suddenly entered the poet’s room, and said the operation was fixed for the day and he need not be afraid as he will not be given complete anesthesia, the poet felt very perturbed. However, he had no other alternative, but to agree. On the very day of the operation, he had called Rani Chanda and dictated a few lines of the poem: ‘Tomar Srishti r poth rekhechho akirno kori…’

But what was surprising is though Dr Bidhan Ray, who was treated as a Dhanwantary in those days, thought operation is the only solution to Tagore’s ailments, another famous Dr Nilaratan Sarkar differed in his opinion. He had realized the ailing poet in his old age will not be able to withstand the operation. He said Tagore should not be operated upon. It is said at a point the two doctors had a tiff on this too. And the result we all know. Just a couple of days after this operation, Tagore left us all on Baishe Srabon.