Mahasweta Devi, Indian writer, Died at 90


Mahasweta Devi was born on January 14, 1926, in Dhaka, Bangladesh and died on July 28, 2016.

She was an Indian social activist and writer.

Devi father, Manish Ghatak, was a well-known poet and novelist of the Kallol movement, who used the pseudonym Jubanashwa.

Manish Ghatak’s youngest brother, Ritwik Ghatak was a noted filmmaker.

He mother was Dharitri Devi, who was also a writer and a social worker whose brothers were very distinguished in various fields, such as the noted sculptor Sankha Chaudhury and the founder-editor of the Economic and Political Weekly of India, Sachin Chaudhury.

The first schooling she received was in Dhaka, but after the partition of India, she relocated to West Bengal in India.

Mahasweta Devi joined the Rabindranath Tagore-founded Vishvabharati University in Santiniketan and completed a B.A. (Hons) in English, and then finished an M.A. in English at Calcutta University.

Devi later married renowned playwright Bijon Bhattacharya, who was one of the founding fathers of the IPTA movement.

During 1948, she gave birth to Nabarun Bhattacharya, one of Bengal’s and India’s leading novelists, whose works have been noted for their intellectual vigour and philosophical flavour.

Mahasweta Devi got divorced from Bijon Bhattacharya in 1959.

During 1964, Devi began teaching at Bijoygarh College (an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta system).

In that era, Bijoygarh College was an institution for working-class women students.

At that time, she also worked as a journalist and as a creative writer.

Before her death, she is more famous for her work related to the study of the Lodhas and Shabars, the tribal communities of West Bengal, women and dalits.

Mahasweta Devi passed away at 90 years old.