Eminent Hindi writer, Krishna Sobti passed away in New Delhi, on Friday. She was 93. A Jnanpith Award winner Sobti’s was a voice in contemporary Hindi prose that was very hard to ignore. Her works deal closely with issues of female identity and sexuality.

The author-feminist was way ahead of her times. Here is a little more to know about Krishna Sobti:

  • In 1944, Sobti took over the literary scene as a writer of short stories, with her stories Lama, and Nafisa. She also published Sikka Badal Gaya, her popular story on Indian partition in the same year.
  • Channa (1954) and Dar Se Bichchuri (1958), Mitro Marajani (1966), Tin Pahar (1968), Yaron Ke Yar (1968), Suraj Mukhi Andhere Ke (1972) established her as an outspoken female voice.
  • She was born in Gujrat, now in Pakistan, and was educated in Delhi and Shimla. Sobti had three siblings and her family worked for the British government. Before the partition of India, the author studies in Fatehchand College in Lahore, but in 1947 the family returned to India.
  • Sobti married Dogri writer Shivnath after she turned 70, however, companionship was not a long one as her husband passed on soon after the marriage.

Krishna Sobti’s life as an author always remained surrounded by criticism. Some people believed she used too much profanity in her writings. Critics also called her out for being obsessed with sex, however descriptions of sex in her works were always from the woman’s perspective, hence it challenged patriarchy and its flag bearers remained unhappy with her.

  • Sobti was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award for Zindaginama in 1980 and subsequently in 1996 was appointed as a Fellow of the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters.
  • She was offered the Padma Bhushan by in 2010, which she declined.
  • Krishna Sobti received Jnanpith Award in 2017 for her ‘path-breaking contribution to Indian literature’.

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