‪‪Mahasweta Devi‬ ‪India


Mahasweta Devi’s 92nd birth anniversary: Remembering the fiery author and her work

During Mahasweta Devi's lifetime, she had, time and again, raised her voice against the atrocities suffered by the adivasis. Recipient of numerous literary awards, she was deeply moved by the everyday realities she saw around her and started writing during the 1960s.

NEW DELHI: Google Doodle today celebrated the 92nd birth anniversary of the Padma Shree awardee and Bengali author and social activist Mahasweta Devi.
Devi, who won the the Sahitya Akademi award in 1979, wrote 100 novels and 20 collection of short stories. She was best known for her work "Hajar Churashir Ma", "Rudali", and "Chotti Munda Evam Tar Tir".

In 1997, she was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay award in journalism, literature, and the creative communication arts for "compassionate crusade through art and activism to claim for tribal peoples a just and honourable place in India's national life."

Devi is well known for her crusade for the rights and empowerment of the Lodha and Shabar, the tribal people from West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Today's Google Doodle is reminiscent of author's contribution to the field of literature, her work for the tribal community and her association with Bengal.

Born in 1926, in Decca, British India (Now Dhaka, Bangladesh), the author completed her graduation in Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in English from the Rabindranath Tagore-founded Patha-Bhavana Vishvabharati University in Santiniketan. She also completed her Master's in English from Calcutta University.

She wrote her first novel, Jhansir Rani (1956), which was based on a biography of Rani of Jhansi.

She won the Sahitya Akademi award (1979), the Padma Shree (1986), the Jnanpith (1997), the Magsaysay award (1997) and the Deshikottam award in 1999.

In 2003, the French government awarded her with the prestigious Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Orders of Arts and Letters) for her contributions to the arts and literature.

In 2007, she was the leading voice to protest against the killing of 14 people by West Bengal police who were protesting against a proposal by the Left Front government of the state to set up a chemical hub at Nandigram.

“As I have been saying incessantly, the right to dream should be the first fundamental right!” Mahasweta Devi had said at the Jaipur Literary Festival in 2013. Devi, who passed away on July 28, 2016, is still remembered owing to her vociferous social activism, her defiant attitude and her deep involvement with the Shabars — one of the Adivasi of Munda ethnic group tribe, who live mainly in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. They not  only suggest the audacity of her dreams, but also her steely resolve to fulfil them, come what may.


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