What is Mahasweta Devi’s legacy?

By Sunil Kumar

Mahasweta Devi’s work largely comprised of several novels, short stories and poems; and she is known for her novels such as Haajar Chaurashir Maa(Mother of Corpse 1084- backdrop: Naxalite Movement in West Bengal(late 60s and early 70s), Tin Korir Shaad, Aranyer Adhikar(about tribals), Rudali and Breast Stories, etc.

She was a writer; who empathised largely with the deprived sections of society, class struggle, social oppression, human misery, bonded labour etc.

As a journalist; she framed her narrative and novels from alternate sources; not from official documents, but tales; a raconteur approach and unofficial records.

She researched the tribes of West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. As a feminist; Mahasweta Devi wrote about the status of women, historically and in current times.

She used dark humour and irony to show the hypocritical morality of society. Her legacy is largely giving a reflection of certain sections that were previously ignored; and giving them a voice.


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