Eminent writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi passes away

Mahasweta DeviMahasweta Devi, a Jnanpith Award winning writer and an a champion of the rights of the tribals and other marginalised sections, passed away in Kolkata today after a cardiac arrest following multi-organ failure.

She died of a cardiac arrest at 3.16 pm, following a multi-organ failure, doctors at the private Belle Vue Clinic hospital, where she had been admitted, said.

The 91-year-old writer had been suffering from kidney, lung and other age-related ailments for a long time and was admitted to the hospital on 22 May.

Winner of the Padma Vibhushan, Magsaysay, Sahitya Akademi and Jnanpith awards, she was also the voice of the oppressed classes.

Mahasweta spent considerable time in rural India to research on the lives of marginalised people to dig out soul-stirring stories on the lives of the poor and the destitute.

Some of the best known work of the prolific writer and journalist include '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', 'Bish-Ekush', 'Chotti Munda, Tar Teer' and 'Subhaga Basanta'.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said her body would be kept at Peace World mortuary tonight and in the morning it would be brought to the cultural hub of Rabindra Sadan where the public can pay their last respects to the departed soul.

She will be cremated in the afternoon with full state honours.

"India has lost a great writer. Bengal has lost a glorious mother. I have lost a personal guide. Mahashweta Di rest in peace", Banerjee said recalling her association with Mahasweta who had supported her in the fight against acquisition of land in Singur and Nandigram. .

The President, vice president and the ptrime minister condoled the passing away of Mahasweta Devi.

Vice President of India M Hamid Ansari  in his condolence message said Mahasweta Devi will be remembered for her popular stories that sought to raise awareness about social injustice, discrimination, poverty in our country.

Condoling the demise of the social activist and writer Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "Mahashweta Devi wonderfully illustrated the might of the pen. A voice of compassion, equality and justice, she leaves us deeply saddened. RIP."