Eminent Bengali fiction writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi has been honoured by the Google on her 92nd birthday with the doodle. The Indian literary icon passed away in July 2016, at the age of 90, and was accorded a state funeral by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who said: “India has lost a great writer. Bengal has lost a glorious mother. I have lost a personal guide. Mahashweta Di rest in peace.” Devi worked for the rights and empowerment of the tribal people of West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh states of India.
She was awarded Bengali Sahitya Akademi Award, Ramon Magsaysay Award along with the highest civilian awards of India like Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan. She was born in 1926, in Decca, British India (now Dhaka, Bangladesh) and admitted in Santiniketan from 1936 to 1938. She completed her BA Hons in English from Visva Bharati Univerity, founded by the Rabindranath Tagore. Devi wrote over 100 novels and over 20 collections of short stories, primarily in Bengali. Her first novel, titled Jhansir Rani, based on a biography of Rani Jhansi was published in 1956.
She was best known for her work “Hajar Churashir Ma”, “Rudali”, and “Chotti Munda Evam Tar Tir”. Mahasweta Devi raised her voice several times against the discrimination of tribal people in India. In June 2016, the Jharkhand State Government freed the statue of noted tribal leader Birsa Munda upon Devi’s activism.
At the Frankfurt Book Fair 2006, when India was the first country to be the fair’s second-time guest nation, she made an impassioned inaugural speech wherein she moved the audience to tears with her lines taken from the famous film song “Mera Joota Hai Japani” by Raj Kapoor.