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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Google Doodle honours Padma Shree on her 92nd birth anniversary

Google Doodle honours Padma Shree on her 92nd birth anniversary

Today celebrated the 92nd birth anniversary of the Padma Shree awardee and Bengali author and social activist Mahasweta Devi.

Devi, who won the the Sahitya Akademi award in 1979, wrote 100 novels and 20 collection of short stories. She was best known for her work "Hajar Churashir Ma", "Rudali", and "Chotti Munda Evam Tar Tir".

The Ramon Magsaysay awardee passed away in July 2016 following age-related illness. She was honoured with the Jnanpith Award in 1996. Counted among South Asia's most decorated authors, Mahasweta Devi was also bestowed with Padmashri, Padma Vibhushan and Sahitya Akademi award. 

In 1997, she was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay award in journalism, literature, and the creative communication arts for "compassionate crusade through art and activism to claim for tribal peoples a just and honourable place in India's national life."

"My India," she once said, "still lives behind a curtain of darkness". Her famous works like 'Hajar Churashir Ma' (Mother of 1084), 'Aranyer Adhikar' (Right to the Forest, 'Jhansir Rani' (The Queen of Jhansi), 'Agnigarbha' (The Fire Within), 'Rudali', 'Sidhu Kanhur Daakey', gave an insight into the oppressed lives. 

Born in 1926, in Decca, British India (Now Dhaka, Bangladesh), the author completed her graduation in Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in English from the Rabindranath Tagore-founded Patha-Bhavana Vishvabharati University in Santiniketan. She also completed her Master's in English from Calcutta University.

Many of her novels inspired filmmakers and were turned into movies. Award winning films like Govind Nihalani's 1998 movie Hazar Chaurasi ki Ma and Kalpana Lajmi  Rudali were based on books authored by Mahasweta Devi. While Rudali was based on the lives of professional mourners upon the death of upper-caste males in Rajasthan, 'Hazaar Chaurasi ki Ma' (The Mother of 1084) is based on her Bengali novel on the emotional struggles of a mother who tries to understand the reasons behind her son's involvement in the Naxalite movement. 

In 2007, she was the leading voice to protest against the killing of 14 people by West Bengal police who were protesting against a proposal by the Left Front government of the state to set up a chemical hub at Nandigram.

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