New Delhi: Litterateur Mahasweta Devi, one of the doughtiest fighters and a social activist who proved ‘pen is mightier than sword’ took her last breath today at the age of 90 in Kolkata’s private hospital.
Tasleema Nasreen, Mira Nair, Amitav Ghosh, Amish Tripathi and others took to their Twitter handles to express their grief over this loss to the nation.
“Mahasweta Devi died. Stood by me during my bad times. The socially committed writer was later involved with TMC & wanted to see Mamta as PM,” tweeted Taslima Nasreen.
“RIP Mahasweta Devi. A terrible loss for literature. A great writer and extraordinary activist; a woman with a warm, generous heart,” wrote Amitav Ghosh.
“The world has lost a great artist. Rest in peace, Mahasweta Devi. Eternal inspiration,” posted Mira Nair.
“Tragic news that Mahasweta Devi has passed on. An iconic writer and a national treasure. May her soul find purpose once again,” wrote Amish Tripathi.
“Mahasweta Devi. You were and will remain India’s greatest inspiration to women of words. And beyond. RIP,” wrote Shobha De.
“Mahasweta Devi, you will continue to tell us stories as long as words live on this earth,” posted Seagull books.
“MahaswetaDevi was a humanitarian whose narrative always remained fearless. Salutes to her life while mourning her death.#RIP,” wrote Ashoke Pandit.
“Tremendous loss. Meeting her you were struck by her principles and courage. And what writing. #MahaswetaDevi #RIP,” tweeted Rahul Bose.
Devi was a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Vibhushan, Jnanpith and Magsaysay Award, among several others.
Mother of Nabarun Bhattacharya- one of the leading novelists of Bengal, she was an activist who dedicated herself to the struggles of tribal people in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
In her elaborate Bengali fiction, she often depicted the brutal oppression of tribal peoples and the untouchables by potent, authoritarian upper-caste landlords, lenders, and venal government officials.
Some of her notable works are ‘Hajar Churashir Maa,’ ‘Agnigarbha,’ ‘Bashai Tudu,’ ‘Draupadi,’ besides others.
Postcolonial scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has translated Devi’s short stories into English, most notably the 1995 collection ‘Imaginary Maps.’ (ANI)