Go Back
Hajar Churashi_r Maa
Author: Mahashweta Devi

Publisher: Karuna Prokashani
ISBN: 9788184370553
Pages: 199
Add to Booklist
Bookmark and Share
Hajar Churashir Ma is a major literary masterpiece by a veteran Bengali literary figure and brave social activist, Mahasweta Devi. This widely read and translated novel displays Devi’s in-depth social awareness and an unsurpassed literary maturity which enabled her to experiment aptly and freely with the condensed plot and the narrative technique. Written during 1973-1974, the novel attempts to probe into the Naxalite movement of the early 1970’s from a feminist and humanist point of view. The novel aptly mirrors a mother’s attempt to interpret her youngest son’s association with the Naxalite movement, a rebellion which found its roots in a small village of Naxalbari, North Bengal. The limited fire of violent rebellion spread rapidly in and around its place of origin, bringing the peasants and the intellectuals together and engulfing too many young lives and dauntless hearts. Inside the parameter of the events of a single day, through the reminiscence of the mother of the spirited boy who is killed in police firing for the political cause of the movement the entire plot of the novel slowly unfolds. Sujata Chatterjee, an urban woman and a demure wife, has for so long accepted the hypocritical norms of the patriarchal society by all odds. It is only after her son Brati’s death, which compels her to visit the police morgue to see her son’s lifeless corpse no.1084, that she begins her personal journey from an illusioned ignorance, submission, compromise into the realm of awakening and knowledge. Not only does she understand the ideology that snatched her son’s life, but also rediscovers her own suppressed self-esteem and learns to assert it. Visiting Brati’s political comrades who survived the struggle and their families, she uncovers the face of her own alienation. The hypocrisy of the hierarchical societal orders her son violently protested against, both ideologically and politically, seem to be void, baseless, futile to her, enough to be questioned and challenged.