Mahasweta Devi: Biography

Mahasweta Devi

14 jan 1926

Mahasweta Devi was a famous women social activist, writer and journalist from India who worked hard for the growth of the tribal people. Indeed, she was fondly called, ‘The Mother of the Sabars’ because of her extensive work in support of the Sabar tribe. The Indian government honoured Mahasweta with various literary awards such as the Sahitya Akademi Award, Jnanpith Award, Ramon Magsaysay Award and also the civilian awards Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan.

Mahasweta was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1926 but later after the partition of India, their family moved to West Bengal. Mahasweta was born in a literate family. Both her parents were well-known writers. Mahasweta also received good education. She acquired a Bachelors and Masters degree in English.

Basically interested in writing, Mahasweta Devi wrote more than 100 novels and over 20 collections of short stories. Some of the notable works of Mahasweta includes Hajar Churashir Maa, Rudali, Jhansir Rani and Aranyer Adhikar.

Mahasweta owned different roles such as Professor, a journalist and a creative writer. She was bold in raising her voice against the sufferings of tribal people in India. Stories of ordinary people inspired Mahasweta.

Mahasweta married Bijon Bhattacharya, who was a renowned playwright and one of the founding fathers of the Indian People’s Theatre Association movement. Her son Nabarun Bhattacharya also came to be a novelist and political critic. Mahasweta Devi’s marriage with Bijon did not last forever. She married author Asit Gupta in 1962 and later ended that relationship in 1976.

Mahasweta Devi’s works were recognised internationally and many films were taken based on her works. The legendary and glorious mother of Bengal passed away on Jul 28, 2016 due to multiple organ failure.