Mahasweta Devi

Mahasweta Devi

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Mahasweta Devi

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Mahasweta Devi (Bengali: মহাশ্বেতা দেবী Môhashsheta Debi) (born 1926 in Dhaka in what is now Bangladesh) is an Indian social activist and writer.


Mahasweta Devi was born in 1956 in Dhaka, to literary parents in a Hindu Brahmin family. Her father Manish Ghatak was a well known poet and novelist of the Kallol era, who used the pseudonym Jubanashwa. He also happened to be the elder brother of the noted filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak. Mahasweta's mother Dharitri Devi was also a writer and a social worker whose brothers were very distinguished in various fields, such as the noted sculptor Sankha Chaudhury and the founder-editor of the Economic and Political Weekly of India, Sachin Chaudhury. Her first schooling was in Dhaka, but after the partition of India she moved to West Bengal in India. She joined the Rabindranath Tagore-founded Vishvabharati University in Santiniketan and completed a B.A. (Hons) in English, and then finished an M.A. in English at Calcutta University as well. She later married renowned playwright Bijon Bhattacharya who was one of the founding fathers of the IPTA movement. In 1948, she gave birth to Nabarun Bhattacharya, currently one of Bengal's and India's leading novelist of the cerebral kind. She got divorced from Bijon Bhattacharya in 1959.


In 1964, she began teaching at Bijoygarh College (an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta system). During those days, Bijoygarh College was an institution for...
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