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Tribal crusader no more

Eminent writer and social activist Mahesweta Devi, a crusader for the rights of tribal and the oppressed died at the age of 90 after a prolonged illness. She was honoured with Ramon Magasysay award. The Jnanpath and Padma Bhushan awardee was a six decade old visionary and authored over 120 books, comprising 20 collections of short stories and around 100 novels and contributed innumerable articles and columns to newspapers and magazines, a large of them woven around tribal life. Adopting to a simple living and high thinking and laced with colloquial words and expressions she won the hearts of the poor very much.  Mahasweta blended oral histories with contemporary events to portray the sufferings of the tribal at the hands of upper caste landlords, money lenders and Government servants.  Her novel ‘Aranyer Adhikar fetched her the Sahitya Academy Award in 1979 and “Choti Munda evam Tar Tir” ‘Basha Tudu, “Titu Mir are among other masterpieces.  She was an inspiration to tribals from the post-independence period. Devi worked for the welfare of the people of tribal people with her inspiring writing through books and well written articles. She served as a striking example for the poor and downtrodden and made a mark as a tribal crusader.

Nickhil Mani

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)


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