Writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi breathed her last on Thursday afternoon.
Winner of the 1996 Jnanpith and 1997 Ramon Magsaysay Awards, Mahasweta Devi firmly believed that 'real history is made by ordinary people.'
The noted writer, who dedicated her life for the cause of the tribals, spoke to Rediff.com quite a few times.
In an interaction with Indrani Roy Mitra/Rediff.com in December 2012, the winner of the 1996 Jnanpith Award and the 1997 Ramon Magsaysay Award voiced her grievances with the Trinamool regime in Bengal.
She said: "When the people of Bengal took to the streets against the Left's misrule, they had asked for better governance. By that, they had meant an improved state of healthcare, education, law and order... Take a look at these three sectors now -- crib deaths are rising to an alarming proportion; the healthcare system is in shambles; anarchy is haunting the education system. As far as the law and order situation in Bengal is concerned, the least said the better. The literacy drive too has taken a backseat."
"But if the TMC too goes the Left's way, it won't be long before the people decide to go against it."
Read that interview HERE
In another interview to Indrani Roy Mitra/Rediff.com in May 2009 just before the Weest Bengal elections, the eminent writer spoke about West Bengal's politics, its ills and a possible cure.
In the interview, she said: "Without a change, the state (West Bengal) will be doomed. For 32 long years, the Left leaders have dragged the state back to the dark ages. There has been no improvement whatsoever in the field of education or literacy, health or infrastructure."
Read that interview, HERE
In December 1997, Mahasweta Devi spoke to Archana Masih/Rediff.com about her work with the tribals, the government's attitude towards denotified tribes.
In the interview she said: "Tribals are not thinking of a revolution. We always expect to live in comfort ourselves, and expect the naked and the poor and the starving people to do the revolution. That is not correct. I have seen many changes. Politics bhi dekha, politics ka social-anti social nexus bhi dekha. Now it is very difficult to isolate who is the anti-social and who is the politician. In these days it is better to keep silent. I don't believe in talking much, specially politics which I refuse to understand. I believe in work alone.
Read that interview HERE
Earlier in July 1997, director Govind Nihalani who was then adapting on screen Mahasweta Devi's Hazaar Chaurasi ki Ma recalled his association with the Bengali novelist and asserted that she was one of the finest writers we had.
He said, "Her concern with the essential human being and his fight against the system forms the backbone of her work. In most of her works, her underlying belief in the concept of protest, the concept of fighting for your rights, for your survival, for your dignity.
"She does not stop with merely shedding tears over the plight of the tribal community, she goes beyond that to explore, to implant the seeds of protest and struggle. In this sense, her works are valuable -- I do not think any other writer in our country has dealt with such themes with such depth, such literary style and substance."
Read more HERE