Born in Dhaka on January 14, 1926, Mahasweta Devi was the daughter of Manish Ghatak, himself an accomplished writer under the pen name Jubanashwa and Dharitri Devi, a writer and a social activist. Following its publication 1956, she went on to write over 100 books and twenty collections of short stories.
Mahasweta Devi was also an accomplished social activist and her activism led to many visible results, the first of which being the release of the statue of tribal leader Birsa Munda from imprisonment by the Jharkand State Government. This artwork of Google pays tribute to the pre-eminent writer on her 92nd birthday.
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"The reason and inspiration for my writing are those people who are exploited and used, and yet do not accept defeat", she once said.
Mahasweta Devi committed her life to the empowerment of tribals in the country and also raised issues concerning the apathy of common people in rural Bengal. Several of her works have been adapted in films over the years. She won multiple awards for her works and her social activism, including Jnanpith Award, Sahitya Akademi Award in Bengali, Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan. Some of her famous works are "Hajar Churashir Ma" (Mother of 1084), "Aranyer Adhikar" (Right to the Forest), "Agnigarbha" (The Fire Within), "Rudali", "Sidhu Kanhur Daakey". She had once said, "My India still lives behind a curtain of darkness". "When you see women in Argentina protesting restrictions by breastfeeding in public, you remember Mahasweta's Gangor, the young tribal mother who was horribly tormented by the police because someone took a photo of her breastfeeding her baby and published it", she wrote. She passed away on July 28, 2016, at the age of 90, in Kolkata, West Bengal.