Who is Mahasweta Devi? Google Doodle celebrates 92nd birth anniversary of Indian writer

By: | Updated: January 14, 2018 2:22 AM

On the 92nd birth anniversary of an acclaimed Indian writer Mahasweta Devi, search engine Google has honoured the writer by creating a doodle on her.

Mahasweta Devi, Google doodle, Bengali writer, Hajar Churashir Ma, social activist, tribal people of West BengalOn the 92nd birth anniversary of an acclaimed Indian writer Mahasweta Devi, search engine Google has honoured the writer by creating a doodle on her. (Screenshot/ Google doodle)

On the 92nd birth anniversary of an acclaimed Indian writer Mahasweta Devi, search engine Google has honoured the wordsmith by creating a doodle on her. Mahasweta Devi was one of the foremost Bengali writer and a renowned social activist. She was well known for her political writings. Her writings encompassed a range of styles, from short stories to activist prose. Other than writing, Devi had dedicated her life working for the rights and empowerment of tribal people of West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. On working at the grass root level, the writer had developed a deep understanding of the marginalised communities; she had also campaigned on various issues. In her lifetime, Devi wrote 100 novels and over 20 short stories. Her writings were influenced by the day to day realities she witnessed in rural Bengal and also the lives of the oppressed and the marginalised. Her works include ‘Aranyer Adhikar’, ‘Chotti Munda evam Tar Tir’, ‘Rudali’, ‘Kulaputra’ and ‘Agnigarbha.’

Devi was born to a poet father, Manish Ghatak and a social worker-writer mother Dhariti Devi. Her writings were primarily written in Bengali and often translated into other languages. In the Google doodle, one can see Mahasweta Devi holding a pen and book over the Howrah bridge and above her are the caricatures of the people she wrote about including tribals and marginalised. Her first novel was based on the life of Rani of Jhansi and was published in 1956 by the name Jhansir Rani. Devi was also honoured with Sahitya Akademi and Jnanpith awards for her literary excellence. She was also the recipient of the second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan. She had also written a novel on the Naxal movement, Hajar Churashir Ma (No. 1084’s Mother), which is considered one of her notable works.

She was a writer, who never shied away from politics and was rigorously involved in activism. Her writings and passion made her a legend in the literary world. Her sincerity towards her work was exceptional and one imagines her holding a pen, surrounded by books and lost in her work. The writer died at the age of 90. Her death was mourned by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The Chief Minister had tweeted her grief, “India has lost a great writer. Bengal has lost a glorious mother. I have lost a personal guide. Mahashweta Di rest in peace.” Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief on Twitter “Mahashweta Devi wonderfully illustrated the might of the pen. A voice of compassion, equality & justice, she leaves us deeply saddened. RIP.”

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