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2012 Nobel Nominations for Mahasweta Devi , Mahesh Dattani, and Sonnet

Nobel Nominations this year went for three Indian writers . All of them are outstanding in their fields- Maheswata Devi in fiction, Mahesh Dattani in drama and Sonnet Mondal in poetry

 

The Nobel Committee sends invitation letters to persons who are qualified to nominate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.The completed forms must reach the Nobel Committee not later than 31 January of the following year. The Committee then screens the nominations and submits a list for approval by the Academy.The Swedish Academy is responsible for the selection of the Nobel Laureates in Literature, and has 18 members. The Nobel Committee for Literature is the working body that evaluates the nominations and presents its recommendations to the Swedish Academy, and comprises four to five members .

What is the literary oeuvre of Mahasweta Devi? In response to the question, "What would you like to do for the rest of your life?" in a 1998 interview, Mahasweta Devi replied: "Fight for the tribals, downtrodden, underprivileged and write creatively if and when I find the time" Althrough her career , Mahasweta Devi Her first book, Jhansir Rani (The Queen of Jhansi), was published in 1956. This work also marked the beginning of a prolific literary career. In the last forty years, Devi has published twenty collections of short stories and close to a hundred novels, primarily in her native language of Bengali. She was awarded the Jnanpath, India's highest literary award in 1995. In the following year, she was one of the recipients of the Magsaysay  award, considered to be the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Several of her other early works such as Amrita Sanchay(1964) and Andhanmalik (1967) are  also set during the British colonial period. The  Naxalite movement of the late 1960's and early 1970's were also an important  influence in her work. This leftist militant movement, which started in the Naxalbari region of West Bengal, began as a rural revolt of landless workers and tribal people against landlords and moneylenders. In urban centers, this movement attracted participation from student groups. Devi's Hajar Churashir Ma(Mother of 1084) is the story of a upper middle class woman whose world is forever changed when her son is killed for his Naxalite beliefs. This book has recently been made into a Hindi-language movie called Hazaar Chaurasi ki Ma by director Govind Nihalani . Her  concerns can be seen in works such as Aranyer Adhikar (Rights of the Forest) and anthologies such as her 1979  NairhiteMegh  (Clouds in the Southwestern Sky). Aranyer Adhikar, which was published in 1977, is based on the life of Birsa Munda, a tribal freedom fighter. She has also donated the prize money from both the Jnanpath and Magsaysay awards to tribal communities and continues to use her work to further the position of these groups in India. 
This activism is central to Devi's understanding of the role of a writer in society: "I think a creative writer should have a social conscience. I have a duty towards society”. These are enough justification for her nomination for Nobel. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak , who has  translated two collections of Devi's stories including those in Imaginary Maps into English, suggests that this interplay of activism and literary writing in Devi's fiction can be of substantial interest to current academic discourse and practices.

The plays of Mahesh Dattani on the other hand , the other writer ,emerged as ‘fresh arrival’ in the domain of Indian English drama in the last decade of the twentieth century. His plays deal with contemporary issues. Over a carrier spanning twenty five years he has written radio plays for the BBC and the film script of Ek Alag Mousam. He wrote  plays    (i) Tara  (ii) On a Muggy Night in Mumbai (iii) Where There’s a Will (iv) Dance like a Man   (v) Bravely Fought the Queen (vi) Final solutions. The International Herald Tribune while praising Mahesh Dattani praised him as ‘‘One of Indian’s best and most serious contemporary play wrights writing in English.’’Mahesh Dattani is India’s first play-wright to be awarded in 1998 the ‘Sahitya Akadami Award’ for his contribution to the world of drama. Alyque Padamsee calls him ‘one of the most serious contemporary play wrights’.There are two published texts of Dattani’s plays—one a collection of plays while the other one is in parts. Alyque Padamee says, ‘‘At last we have a play wright who gives sixty million English speaking Indians an identity.Dattani’s plays have contemporary values and his plays can be said to have been impaired by Ibsen the Father of Realism. Dattani handles every problem from gender issues to sexuality very successfully. Dattani’s achievement as a play wright depends on the fact that his plays are a slice of life. He has successfully launched the Indian theater in English. In many of his plays, he deals with various issues like homosexuality, gender discrimination, communalism and child sexual abuse.Yet the issues are  not moralised, as the demons of communal hatred and other evils are located not out in the street but deep within us. The living legend of Indian English Theatre, Mahesh Dattani showed courage in introducing the homosexual themes openly through his dramas, 'On a Muggy Night in Mumbai' and 'Bravely Fought the Queen', which was aptly visualised in his debut film Mango Souffle.Dattani has created a vibrant, new theatrical form which is a marked development on the hither to stagnant Indian drama in English.

Sonnet Mondal  the outstanding  poet for Nobel nominations had his debut as a poet in  2007 with his book A Poetic Peep Into The Post Modern World. Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam appreciated this  book. His  second book The Curse of Atlantis and Other poems was published in 2009. In March 2009 he was appointed as the Sub Secretary general of Asia Unit of Poetas Del Mundo. He was bestowed " Poet Laureate" on 1st October 2009 from Bombadil Publishing ,Sweden.. In the year 2010 his book 21 Lines Fusion Sonnets of 21st Century was launched which emerged as Sparrow bestseller.followed by the release of Penumbra of Indian Verses. Sonnet pioneered the 21 line fusion sonnet form which he introduced in his book 21 lines fusion sonnets of 21st century published in 2010.Some of his sonnets were translated into Macedonian  for the Stremez literary magazine of Macedonia.United Writers' Association is a literary rganization based in India which was founded by Dr. K Thiagarajan almost 33 years ago at  Chennai in India conferred D.Litt on him. He is featured as “ one of the Famous Five among Bengali youths”in India Today  magazine.