Chinese poet finds place in Kolkata Town Hall

Lu Hsun, the revolutionary poet who is to the Chinese what Rabindranath Tagore is to Indians, will soon be rubbing shoulders with his illustrious contemporary at the Town Hall. Qian Min, the mayor of Shao Xing city, will join mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, to unveil the bronze bust of Lu Hsun.

Lu Hsun defied the Chinese aristocracy, shunned the ancient scholarly language and wrote in simplified Chinese. He was born in Shao Xing city in Zhejiang province and became a cult figure in post-liberation China. The citizens of Shao Xing donated the statue to the city’s Chinese community earlier this year, responding to the interest shown by Indian Chinese Association (ICA), a Kolkata-based organisation for culture, welfare and development.

“The unveiling of Lu Hsun’s statue will mark the beginning of a new chapter in Sino-Indian relations. While economic ties between the two countries have strengthened, culturally, there is a need to understand each other more. Lu Hsun’s arrival in Tagore’s city can make that cultural connect. Indians can learn about Lu Hsun and the Chinese can learn about Tagore,” Chinese consul-general Mao Siwei said.

ICA president Paul Chung said giving Lu Hsun’s statue a pride of place in a prestigious setting as the Town Hall was symbolic of a major change in the way Indians perceived the Chinese community. “It’s great to see Kolkata that has been home to the biggest Chinese community in India pay respect to the greatest literary figure in Chinese culture. This gives our community a sense of belonging,” he said.

That is important, given the mistrust the community had developed after the widespread arrests during the Chinese aggression in 1962. The closure of tanneries four decades later dealt another blow to the community and sparked off widespread immigration.

“Some Chinese felt they did not belong here. Embracing a cultural ambassador like Lu Hsun will go a long way in demonstrating the government’s concern for us. It will foster goodwill and restore the community’s confidence in India,” said Hsieh Ying Hsing, the owner of Big Boss restaurant in Tangra.

The statue has been kept at the Sea Ip Church since it arrived from Shanghai in March. It was first proposed to be installed at a park in Lu Hsun Sarani or CIT Road. After discussions with community representatives and the Chinese consul-general, the Town Hall was chosen as the venue that befitted Lu Hsun’s stature.

source: TOI


  1. ycl1688 says:

    It is nice to see indian and chinese are so friendly, remembered just decades ago writing a letter to China will be investigated by security control, sending money to China will face further question, using a Hero pen is considered as Communist china sympathizer, what a wind of change.

  2. ycl1688 says:

    sorry using wing sen pen not hero pen.

  3. wang says:

    Hopefully, the wind of change will bring about a change for the better, which translates into better livelihood and prosperity to the Chinese community in India, notably those living in Kolkata with the Indians.

    Hi Leon,

    Once Lu Hsun’s statue is inaugurated and unveiled at the Town Hall, please post a picture image here, if possible. Thanks.

  4. leon says:

    just sometime ago the statue was inaugurated successful by the hon’ble mayors of Shaoxing and kolkata. I was lucky enough to witness the history to be. ^^
    would upload the pic asap 🙂

  5. ycl1688 says:

    It is something to cherish about Indians accepting Chinese food first, then cultural exchange. It is a 360 degree turn, it is time to realize with Chinese talent and hardworking characters will make both countries stronger. Something I would never visualized that a consulate in Kolkata and airlines flying between two countries just 30 or so years ago. A step in the right direction. With sino-indian strong relation, India need not look over their shoulder on Pakistan.


    Shoaxing being famous for their cooking wine, maybe ask the mayor for some tips on making the wine. Just joking.