"India has lost a great writer. Bengal has lost a glorious mother. I have lost a personal guide. Mahashweta Di rest in peace," Banerjee posted on Twitter.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award winner died following cardiac arrest and multi-organ failure, a doctor said. She was 90.

The Bengali novelist penned telling commentaries on the sufferings and oppression of tribals, and in a rarity for a city-bred writer, came down from the ivory tower to mingle with them.

She shared their food and huts, tried to understand their problems and fought the powers-that-be to uphold the rights and better the living condition of these backward people.

In her six-decade literary career, she authored over 120 books, comprising 20 collections of short stories and around 100 novels and contributed innumerable articles and columns to newspapers and magazines, a large number of them woven around tribal life.

Adopting a distinctly matter-of-fact style free from sentimentality, Mahasweta vividly portrayed the sufferings the tribals endured at the hands of upper-caste landlords, money-lenders and government servants, and chronicled the stories of tribal resistance and protests."Aranyer Adhikar" (The Occupation of the Forest), dwelling on Birsa Munda's revolt against the British, fetched Mahasweta the Sahitya Akademi award in 1979.

"Choti Munda evam Tar Tir" (Choti Munda and His Arrow), "Bashai Tudu" , "Titu Mir" are among other novels that come under the genre. Her short story collections, including "Imaginary Maps" and "Breast Stories", "Of Women, Outcasts, Peasants, and Rebels", and short stories "Dhowli" and "Rudali" also deal with tribal life.

Also read: Noted Writer Mahasweta Devi Dies


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