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Hindi author Krishna Sobti dies at 93

Hindi author Krishna Sobti dies at 93

(Eds: Changes in the intro ) New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Eminent Hindi author and essayist Krishna Sobti, best known for writing on issues of female identity and sexuality, passed away on Friday here, barely a month before her 94th birthday, family sources said. The award-winning author had at least seven novels and four short stories to her credit. Many of her works have also been translated to English and Urdu. Her last book "Channa" was launched at the New Delhi World Book Fair here on January 11 this year."It was actually her first novel, written 60 years ago. But due to some disagreement with an Allahabad-based publisher it was never published," Ashok Maheshwari, a friend and managing director of Rajkamal Prakashan, said. Born in 1925 in Gujarat (now in Pakistan), Sobti's writing was characteristic of strong and independent women characters in Hindi literature at a time when few dared to do so.Terming her demise a "loss for world literature", poet Ashok Chakradhar said she was the "pioneer of writing for women's honour". "Her 'Mitro Marjani' established a new type of writing style in Indian literature. I was lucky to have known her. And her demise is not just a loss for our country but the entire world," Chakradhar said. Fondly known as the "grande dame" of Indian literature, Sobti was also the recipient of prestigious awards including Sahitya Akademi, and Jnanpith. She had declined the Padma Bhushan award. Author-poet Ashok Vajpeyi said she was the "trustee of Indian democracy" through her contribution to literature. "What she has done for Indian literature is unmatched. Her social message was very clear through her work, if we can call an author a trustee of democracy and constitution, she was it. "She fought for equality and justice throughout her life. She was not just an eminent author of Hindi, but the entire Indian literature," Vajpeyi said. Sobti breathed her last in a Delhi hospital where she was admitted for the last two months, Maheshwari said."She was about to complete her 94 years in February, so an age factor was there no doubt. For the last one week she was in the ICU," he said. According to Maheshwari, Sobti was one of the most sensitive and alert writers of her time, who had managed to create an identity of her own in the field of literature. "Even after being extremely sick, she was very much aware about her thoughts, about what was happening in the society," he said. Sobti's last rites will be performed at 4pm Friday at Nigam Bodh ghat. PTI MAH TRSTRS