“Real history is created by ordinary people”: Mahashweta Devi (1926-2016), a writer who became a voice of marginalised communities

Mahashweta Devi, a writer who became a voice of marginalised communities

DTE Staff, Thursday 28 July 2016 | To read the full article, click here >>

Mahashweta Devi was not just an onlooker, but a responsible representative of the downtrodden and the ignored population of India

She always believed that the real history is created by ordinary people. For her, the endless source of inspiration for writing used to lie in “amazingly noble human beings” and their sufferings. Bengali litterateur and activist Mahashweta Devi, who breathed her last today in Kolkata, has been fighting against social injustice ever since she started holding a pen for a purpose.

Mahashweta Devi was not just an onlooker, but a responsible representative of the subaltern, the downtrodden and the ignored population of the country. It is through her fierce writing that millions of tribal people in India could manifest their misery. This leading Bengali fiction writer and an eminent social activist wrote extensively on emaciated existence of the most marginalised and dispossessed of our people. Her indictment of the society “for the indignity it heaps on its most oppressed constituents” has always been strong. […]

Mahashweta Devi had thrown herself into the fight to reclaim basic rights of the deprived lot and make them self-reliant. She walked her way through remote villages and deserts in search of oral history and folklore. Her “impractical sincerity” towards collecting data for her stories is reflected in each of her creations. […]

Her work with the Sabars, a de-notified tribal community in the Purulia district of West Bengal, earned her the sobriquet, “The Mother of the Sabars“. As a social worker in the domain of tribal welfare, she rendered her service to the West Bengal Oraon Welfare Society and the All Indian Vandhua Liberation Morcha. She was also the founding member of Aboriginal United Association.

Above all, she would be remembered for founding India’s first organisation for bonded labourers in 1980 that gave thousands of them an organised platform for raising voice against forced labour. […]

Source: Mahashweta Devi, a writer who became a voice of marginalised communities
Address: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/mahashweta-devi-a-writer-who-became-a-voice-of-marginalised-communities-55093
Date Visited: Tue Nov 29 2016 20:01:22 GMT+0100 (CET)

Indian Express, New Delhi  Updated: July 28, 2016

Acclaimed writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi has died at the age of 90. […]

She has won both the Sahitya Akademi and Jnanpith awards for literary excellence. She is also a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay award and the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian honour.

She began writing in the 60s, moved by the everyday realities she saw around herself in rural Bengal. At that point of time, Devi used to teach in a college on the outskirts of the city of Kolkata. Many of her works have also been the basis of films.

Her works include ‘Aranyer Adhikar’, ‘Chotti Munda evam Tar Tir’, ‘Rudali’, ‘Kulaputra’ and ‘Agnigarbha.’

Source: Mahasweta Devi, acclaimed writer and social activist, dies at 90 | The Indian Express
Address: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/mahasweta-devi-acclaimed-writer-and-social-activist-dies-at-90-2940584/
Date Visited: Tue Nov 29 2016 20:03:42 GMT+0100 (CET)

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