Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mahasweta gun-saluted!

Yesterday on TV I saw the state gun-saluting Mahasweta Devi's body as a mark of its ultimate respect to the great writer and activist.

Honestly, I don't have any taste for such occasions, but when I watch any such thing, I get a scary feel most of the time. This time I was confronted with a question: Did Mahasweta ever conceive such a farewell for her? Would she approve it anyway?

Mahasweta was a hard-core anti-establishment all her life. The characters of her novels and short stories, mostly marginalized and downtrodden, always acted out against the state as rebels or dissidents,  In her writings the state was always a machinery of repression. And just think of any of her novels - Aranyer Adhikar or Hazar Churasir Ma, for example! No other Bengal writer had arguably written about state repression in such a vivid and haunting way.

"I want to live forever," Mahasweta once said in an interview, "There's so much to do and write."

Yet on another occasion, she said she would like her body to get buried in the soil she had so much loved her whole life. And she wished to have a mahuya tree standing on her grave. 

How dreams and reality intersect and clash!

No comments:

Search This Blog

My Blog List