Acclaimed Hindi writer and essayist Krishna Sobti died in a New Delhi hospital on Friday morning. She was 93.
Sobti was admitted to the hospital two months ago and had been in the ICU for the last one week.
Born on 18 February 1925 in Gujarat, Krishna Sobti was most known for her 1966 book Mitro Marjani — a novel that delves into the sexuality of a married woman. Widely considered the grande dame of Hindi literature, Sobti was known to write on topics like female sexuality, Partition and relationship between man and woman.
Krishna Sobti started her career writing short stories. Her famous story, Sikka Badal Gaya, deals with Partition. In the 1960s, Sobti published a series of short stories under the pseudonym, ‘Hashmat’, earning praise from authors and critics alike.
In her life, Sobti had been criticised for using too much profanity in her writings and many people have called her out for being “obsessed with sex”.
Throughout her literary career, Sobti had been bestowed many awards, including the Jnanpith. She had won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for Zindaginama in 1980 and was appointed a fellow of the Sahitya Akademi in 1996. She returned both, her award and her fellowship, in 2015. She was also offered the Padma Bhushan in 2010, which she declined to accept. In 2017, she was awarded Jnanpith Award for her “path-breaking contribution to Indian literature”.
After the publication of her book, Zindaginama, she had sued novelist Amrita Pritam for Hardatt Ka Zindaginama for violating her copyright. However, the suit was decided in Pritam’s favour, six years after her death.
Krishna Sobti married Dogri writer Shivnath, when she was past her 70th birthday. However, Shivnath died a few years later and Sobti had lived alone since then.