Sunil was a real banyan tree in Bengali literature: Somnath

Updated: Oct 25, 2012, 08:51 AM IST

Kolkata: Condoling the death of litterateur and Sahitya Akademi president Sunil Gangopadhyay, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee Wednesday described him as a "banyan tree" in Bengali literature.

"He was like a real banyan tree in Bengali literature. He was a pioneer," Chatterjee said.

Chatterjee said the death of the prolific writer had definitely created a deep void in the world of literature which could not be filled up easily.

"Gangopadhyay taught the Bengalis that they should be proud of themselves," he added.

The legendary Bengali writer died here early Tuesday following cardiac arrest. He was 78.

Having authored over 200 books over six decades since his first poem "Ekti Chithi" (A letter) was published in the 1950s, Gangopadhyay created a niche for himself in the Bengali literary scene.

He touched upon almost all genres of Bengali literature -- novels, children`s fiction, poetry, literary criticism and essays -- but poetry was closest to his heart.