Kolkata: At a time when debate over a strong anti-graft law has grown stronger, Magsaysay award winner, writer and renowned social activist Mahasweta Devi feels that a single bill cannot rid India of corruption until there is an awakening among the masses.

She said, “No bill can solve the corruption in our country till people rise up to it. People have to rise, resist and oppose graft. Until and unless that can be done, no bill can be effective.”

Mahasweta clarified that as she is not very familiar with Anna Hazare, she is neither supporting him nor opposing him.
Referring to the hunger strike that has recently taken a toll on the masses, Mahasweta said, “If it comes to going on hunger strike, then Irom Sharmila of Manipur is on fast for the last 11 years. Her struggle and fast is also very important.
It is the fight of a lone woman against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).”

Commenting on Mamata Banerjee government, she said, “Mamata should look into allegations of rampant corruption among her party cadres. This is not the change that we all wanted.”

She said, “Talks is the only medium to solve the Maoist problem in the state. The talk process should not stop.”

Talking about Booker prize, Mahasweta said, “I am not attracted by awards. I have never craved for any award. I never even gave a thought of getting the Magsaysay so whether I get the Booker or not, that does not matter.”

JPN/Bureau