Literature & Books in Kolkata

Kolkata-literatureHave you seen a rickshaw puller reading newspaper? One can easily state this “everyone in Kolkata is an intellectual!” When in doubt, check facts – Kolkata’s literacy rate of 87% far exceeds the all-India average of 74%. There is no doubt education plays a major role in the life of Bengalis and everyone is overqualified for their job; this is particularly true for government clerks and other civil servants!

Owing to Bengali renaissance that happened during the British Raj, literature and fine art blossomed in the city. Prestigious institutes such as the Presidency College, Jadavpur University, Indian Statistical Institute and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta have been the leading lights of education. In fact, the University of Calcutta was the first modern university in South Asia founded in 1857, which boasts of four Nobel laureates Ronald Ross, Rabindranath Tagore, C. V. Raman and Amartya Sen. Now can any city in India beat that?

It is apt for a city obsessed with books to have a street dedicated to books in Kolkata – College Street!

There is an annual international book fair that attracts book lovers from all over eastern India – Kolkata Boi Mela

But the city is home to one person who was an institution by himself. Rabindranath Tagore set up an institute that has become university on its own – Shantiniketan