Mahasweta Devi, noted writer, activist dies after prolonged illness
Noted writer and activist Mahasweta Devi passed away in Kolkata on Thursday . She was 90. Mahasweta Devi suffered a massive heart attack while she was undergoing treatment in a hospital on 23 July.
Mahasweta Devi was a recipient of several literary prizes including Jnanpith and Sahitya Academy award. She was also bestowed with the Padma Vibhushan and the Ramon Magsaysay award, which is considered as Asia’s Nobel Prize.
Devi had been undergoing treatment at Kolkata’s Belle Vue Clinic for the past two months. Doctors said she had been admitted with illnesses related to old age.
Her condidtion had deteriorated as a result of infection and kidney failure.
She was also noted for her activism and political positions.
Devi was a vocal critic of the industrial policy of the Left government which ruled West Bengal for over three decades. She had led a march of intellectuals and writers against their land acquisition policy
Her biography ‘Queen of Jhansi’ is translated into many languages including English. ‘Hazar Churashir Maa’, ‘Aranyer Adhikar’, ‘Agnigarbha’, ‘Bitter Soil’, ‘Chotti Munda evam Tar Tir’, ‘Imaginary Maps’, ‘Our Non-Veg Cow’, ‘Dust on the Road’ are some of her major works.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has condoled the death of Mahasweta Devi. She said with her death, Bengal has lost a great mother.
India has lost a great writer. Bengal has lost a glorious mother. I have lost a personal guide. Mahashweta Di rest in peace.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) July 28, 2016
Mahasweta Devi was born in 1926 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her father, Manish Ghatak, was a well-known poet and novelist.
Manish Ghatak was the brother of renowned film maker Ritwik Ghatak. Devi’s mother, Dharitri Dev was also a writer of repute. She started her education in Dhaka and later moved to Kolkata. She graduated from Shantiniketan and took her Masters in English from Calcutta University. She started her career as a college lecturer in Kolkatta.