Social Realism in Mahasweta Devi’s Mother of 1084
“Life is not arithmetic, and man is not made for the game of politics. For me, all political programmes and creeds should aim at the realization of the claims of man to survival and justice. I desire a transformation of the present social system” (Devi, Agnigarbha 8).
Mahasweta Devi deafeningly explains that life is not the calculation in number or any game, it is larger than we expect and richer than we imagine. Generally considered the voice of marginalisedand downtrodden, she adamantly wanted to change the face of society making the existence of everyone in society equal. Everyone gets life the same way but they are born in society which becomes their fate. God makes everyone the same and we humans differentiate in the name of class, religion and economy. Devi advocates the transformation of existing laws and social systems that are not able to complete their duties and responsibilities towards common and marginalised people; they are surrounded merely by the toadies in the hands of a few powerful capitalists.She wrote for eighteen hours a day during the peak period of her career and gave a light to the nation about the plight of the people suffering under the democratic-masked authoritarian government. Devi, according to Samik Bandyopahyay, locates and unfolds “illegitimacy . . . spread throughout society, in the administration, in the cultural-intellectual establishment, in politics, in the existence of a whole antisocial fringe of killers prepared to serve the interests of any organized political force anywhere between the extremes of the Right and those of the Left” (Mother of 1084 viii).She worked for the rights and empowerment of the tribal people (Lodha and Shabar) of West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states. She is praised for her vibrant tolerance to oppose the powerful rule that is mostly feared by majority of the male writers of the period. She became the light house of the scattered thoughts of the tribes and the outcome of the situation came to be known as Naxalites. Mahasweta Devi exposes the feudal system which is anti-tribal, anti-women, anti-poor and anti-tiller.
Known as the voice of tribes, her novel Mother of 1084 is somewhat different, as in this novel, she not only talks about the plight of the proletariats but also covers so many social issues concerned with so called upper-class society which are unknown to common people. The present study aims at exploring all the social issues raised by the author in the novel Mother of 1084.
---. Five Plays.Trans. and intro.SamikBandyopadhyay Calcutta, Calcutta: Seagull,
---. Agnigarbha. Calcutta: Karina Prakashni, 1978. Print.
Gupta,Richa. “Root Cause of Youth Becoming Naxalite.” Academia.edu. 7 June 2016.
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