Mahasweta Indian Tribal Poem Summary

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There has been a long tradition of discourse in India related to the

tribal people, dating from pre-colonial times, through the colonial

period, to the contemporary era, which have largely determined their

historical, political and social status in the Indian nation. It was during

the colonial period that the academic study of the tribes of India was

undertaken systematically. The socio-cultural and historical

marginalization of the tribes that had begun in the pre-colonial periods

was also strengthened through the colonial discourses on race and

culture. Historical discourse has also been largely silent on the subject of

tribal history, which now is being resurrected from these silent spaces.

Literature is another area of discourse that has sought to represent tribal

life through various genres and languages. There are many works

dealing with the “tribal theme” in both English and the regional

languages of India. Mahasweta Devi’s novels and short stories that deal

with tribal life are an important and incomparable contribution to the

literary and cultural legacy of India’s tribal/non-tribal interface.

Mahasweta Devi is today acknowledged as a writer of

international stature and the English translations of her literary works

have been read in the larger context of postcolonial studies. Her works

are an outcome of the three inter-twining concerns of her life- social

activism, journalistic reportage and creative literature. Literature for

Mahasweta Devi is
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