30 July 2016 Current Affairs: Eminent author and social activist Mahasweta Devi passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal after a multi-organ failure. She was 91. Her writings had mainly focused on the marginalised communities in the country and served as the voice of the oppressed and downtrodden.
Mahasweta Devi : Mahasweta Devi was born in Dhaka (now in Bangladesh) in 1926 into a family of literary figures. Her first book Jhansi’r Rani (The Queen of Jhansi) was published in 1956 when she was teaching at Kolkata’s Bijoygarh College. In a literary career spanning more than 50 years, she has written over 120 books i.e. 100 novels and over 20 collections of short stories.
She was the author behind award-winning Hindi films Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998) and Rudaali. Some of her noted stories are Agnigarbha (Womb of Fire), Aranyer Adhikar (The Occupation of the Forest), Dhowli, Dust on the Road, Bashai Tudu, Till Death Do Us Part, Old Women, etc.
As a social activist, she was founder member of Aboriginal United Association and had started a tribal magazine named Bortika in 1980.
Awards and Honours : Sahitya Akademi award (1979), Padma Shree (1986), Jnanpith (1997), Ramon Magsaysay award (1997) and Deshikottam award (1999).