Literary project to highlight Tagore`s love affair with China

London: China`s love affair with Rabindranath Tagore will be the theme of an Indo-Chinese literary collaboration which will see contributors of the likes of Amartya Sen among others.

The publication of the book on Tagore will be the first of a series of works to come out following an agreement between Sage Publications India and Central Compilation and Translation Press, China.

The two parties had signed a pact to publish Indian management books in Chinese and original scholarly works by Chinese scholars into English.

As the first step of this agreement, Sage India will publish in English the book on Tagore, which will have both Indian and Chinese contributors, says Sage India, MD-CEO Vivek Mehra.

"The first write-up is an original essay by Amartya Sen," Mehra told PTI.

The book, authored by leading Chinese scholar Tan Chung, is expected to come out in May 2011 so as to coincide with Tagore`s 150th birth anniversary celebrations.

Tan, lived in India for many years and taught at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and his father was also a scholar who was brought to Shanti Niketan by none other than Tagore himself.

According to Mehra, the agreement is a landmark in the history of Sage India as "it adds another dimension to our language publishing programme and begins our oriental sojourn".

He says the Chinese are very much interested in career-oriented books.

"Our initial focus will be on management books. Later we plan to expand to books on social sciences," he says.

China has already announced that it will fund a gallery at the Rabindra Bharati University campus in Kolkata to highlight the Nobel laureate`s relations with that country.

The gallery, to be named `Rabindranath and China`, will cost Rs 53.6 lakh. Covering 180 sq m, the gallery will have motifs on themes like Chinese civilisation, Lord Buddha: the GreatLiaison between India and China, Tagore`s inquisitiveness and respect for China, his visit to China in 1924, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan and studies of Chinese literature and culture.

In May, President Pratibha Patil had unveiled a bust of Tagore on a busy road in Shanghai to mark his visit to the city 86 years ago.