25 June, 2021

One Of A Rare Tribe

Writing apart, Jnanpith winner Mahasweta Devi is committed to the rehabilitation of tribals

One Of A Rare Tribe
I have always believed that the common man is the creator of history. That belief has always been with me, from the source to the river basin. The Seventies is still very important to me. Not naturally, but because of a serious hammering....This traveller has never ignored the call of a new journey. But unless I travel all the way I won't reach my destination. I'm still walking — Mahasweta Devi(1984)

EVEN at 71 she is unweary. And as uncompromising as ever. The Jnanpith Award is just another milestone, like the Padmashree in 1986, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1979 and many others before, which she would take in her stride the way only she can. And carry on as usual, with her writing and her work among the tribals, the dispossessed and anybody who comes to her seeking help. The prize money, of course, will go to the Pashchimbanga Kheriya Shabar Kalyan Samiti, a tribal welfare society. Perched frail amidst the disorganised order that is her daily life, she grimaces: "I don't have any private life! So many people turn up looking for some relief, some sympathy, how can one...

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