Mannu Bhandari, renowned Hindi author passes away at 90

Mannu Bhandari was considered to be one of the pioneers of the ‘Nayi Kahani’ movement. It was a Hindi literary movement that was initiated by famous authors such as Rajendra Yadav, Nirmal Verma, Bhisham Sahni, etc. ‘Mahabhoj’ and ‘Aapka Banti’ remain Mannu Bhandari's most notable novels.

Mannu Bhandari passes away
Mannu Bhandari passes away

Mannu Bhandari, a renowned and widely celebrated Indian author has passed away at the age of 90. The news of her demise was confirmed by her family. Mannu Bhandari breathed her last in Gurugram where she had been living with her daughter. As per her son-in-law, Bhandari was not keeping well for the last few years and had been in the hospital for the past week. She passed away at around 2 pm on November 15, 2021.

Mannu Bhandari, a renowned name in the literary world, had been credited with writing various books, which date back to the late 1950s and early 1960s India. However, two of her most renowned Hindi novels are ‘Mahabhoj’ and ‘Aapka Banti’.

Mannu Bhandar: One of the pioneers of ‘Nayi Kahani’ movement

Mannu Bhandari was considered to be one of the pioneers of the ‘Nayi Kahani’ movement. It was a Hindi literary movement that is understood to have been initiated by famous authors such as Rajendra Yadav, Nirmal Verma, Kamleshwar, Bhisham Sahni, etc.

In the 50s and the early 60s, an Independent India was going through a transformation in terms of changes in society. There was a major push for industrialization and urbanization, and this opened many opportunities for literary debates and discussions.

Mannu Bhandari and several other eminent authors presented their point of view as part of the ‘Nayi Kahani’ movement.

Mannu Bhandari: Notable work that presented strong women in the post-independence era

•  Bhandari wrote on human emotions, on narratives that dealt with the emergence of a new class of working and educated women and gender inequality.

•  Mannu Bhandari was a forward thinker and one of the writers of the post-Independence era who wrote about women and showed them in a new light- as independent, strong individuals.

•  Through her writing, Bhandari challenged the emotional, sexual, mental, and financial exploitation of women. In her stories, Mannu Bhandari created women who were seen as no-nonsense and strong individuals with intellect.

Mannu Bhandari’s work has been translated into many Indian languages. Some of them have adapted into films as well as for the stage. The popular Hindi movie ‘Rajnigandha’ was based on her short story ‘Yahi Sach Hai’. The movie won the Filmfare Best Movie Award in 1974.

Personal Life

Mannu Bhandari was born in Madhya Pradesh on April 3, 1931, and grew up in Ajmer, Rajasthan. Bhandari’s father was a freedom fighter who had produced one of the first English-to-Hindi and English-to-Marathi dictionaries.

Bhandari received her early education in Ajmer and graduated from Calcutta University. She went on to pursue an M.A. degree in Hindi from the Banaras Hindu University.

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