Mrinal Sen versus Satyajit Ray: The war of words that lasted nearly 30 years

Mrinal Sen
Sixty Years in Search of Cinema
Book Excerpt 

Sen at that time was working on another Ashish Barman story. Called Akash Kusum, it is a story of a young man belonging to a lower-middle-class background, who wants to become rich by some quickfix methods. Sen incorporated some changes in the storyline... Thus the film’s hero Ajoy becomes a desperate dreamer of impossible dreams, who thinks he can break social and economic barriers with his dreams alone. In the end he fails and loses even the little he possessed.

But critics took such a stern view of the matter that Sen got a little worried. As reviews began to criticize the film and critics poured their ire on Ajoy, on 25 July, there was a feeble attempt to salvage the hero, as an ad commented: ‘He was not a bluffer, he only had ambitions.’

On the same day, a debate began in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ section of the English . . .