Stalwart Hindi writer Mannu Bhandari passes away at 90

Known for showing women characters in a new light as strong, independent individuals, Mannu Bhandari was a forward thinker and one of the most influential post-Independence Hindi writers

Mannu Bhandari (Image credit: Twitter)
Mannu Bhandari (Image credit: Twitter)
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NH Political Bureau

Stalwart Hindi novelist and short story writer, Mannu Bhandari who was suffering from various ailments for the last few years, passed away on Monday. She was 90.

“She had been in the hospital for the past week. She passed away around 2 pm this afternoon. It is sad that a major literary person is now gone,” photographer Dinesh Khanna, her son-in-law, told media.

Bhandari – whose novels ‘Mahabhoj’ and ‘Aapka Bunty’ are considered path-breaking – was married to stalwart Hindi writer and founder of famous ‘Hans’ magazine, Rajendra Yadav. Yadav had died in 2013.

Born in Madhya Pradesh in a conservative family, Bhandari was considered ahead of her time.

Known for showing women characters in a new light as strong, independent individuals, Bhandari was a forward thinker and one of the most influential post-Independence Hindi writers.

Bhandari has been credited with writing many books, which date back to the late 1950s and early 1960s India.

According to critics, Bhandari was one of the pioneers of the ‘Nayi Kahani‘ movement, which was a Hindi literary movement, initiated by her husband Rajendra Yadav, Kamleshwar, and Mohan Rakesh.

Her stories dealt with gender inequality and the emergence of a new class of working and educated women.

Through her writing, she challenged the sexual, emotional, mental, and financial exploitation of womenfolk, creating female characters in her stories who were seen as no-nonsense, strong individuals with intellect.

Editor of the ‘Socialist Factor’ Frank Huzur said her departure is a big blow to the world of literature.

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