Author : Mahasweta Devi
Translator : Su. Krishnamoorthy
Kaattil Urimai (Right to the Forest) is based on the life of the tribal freedom fighter, religious leader and folk hero Birsa Munda. The novel chronicles the turbulent period of the late 19th century, and particularly the tribal armed uprising against the British led by Birsa Munda to rid the forests and hills of “usurpers”. She received Sahitya Akademi award for it in 1979. A long-time champion for the political, social and economic advancement of tribal communities whom she characterizes as “suffering spectators”, her concerns for those communities are quite evident in this novel.