Kolkata: Remembering Mahashweta Devi’s contribution towards literature, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday paid her tribute to the eminent author and social activist on her 93rd birth anniversary.
Banerjee described the Padma Vibhushan awardee, who is best known for her works including “Hajar Churashir Maa”, “Chotti Munda Evam Tar Tir”, “Rudali”, and “Jhansir Rani”, as her true inspiration along with others.
“Fondly remembering Mahashweta Di on her birth anniversary. In difficult times, she was a true inspiration for me and many others. We miss her,” Banerjee tweeted. “Apart from her literary contributions, her work for the tribals and the downtrodden continues to inspire us,” she said.
Mahashweta Devi had lent support to the Trinamool Congress supremo with the call for ‘Poriborton’ (change) ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal in 2011. She had also taken an active part in Nandigram agitation and headed the movement against the earlier CPI(M) government’s industrial policy.
Born in 1926 in Dhaka to well-known poet Manish Ghatak and Dharitri Devi, also a writer and social worker, she grew up in a political and literary environment. Mahashweta Devi received Sahitya Akademi Award for “Aranyer Adhikar” in 1979 for her work in the literary field, and in 1996 she was awarded with the Jnanpith. She was honoured with the Ramon Magsaysay Award the next year and was shortlisted for Man Booker International Prize in 2009.
Apart from her literary work, Mahashweta Devi was also known for her social work for the rights of tribal communities in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
She was awarded Padma Shri for social work in 1986, Padma Vibhushan in 2006 and Banga Bibhushan in 2011. Mahashweta Devi passed away in July, 2016.