Former Governor of Goa and litterateur Mridula Sinha has passed away recently. A blend of committed political affiliations and unparalleled literary sensibilities, she was born on 27th November 1942 in the Chhapra Dharampur Yadu village in the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar.
Mridula Sinha was a student of psychology, a lecturer in Dr. S. K Sinha Women's College, and owner of a little school in Muzaffarpur. She was married to Sh. Ram Kripal Sinha who, too, was a college lecturer.
Mridula was fond of listening to tales especially folk tales and eventually gave all those tales words of her own and started her career in writing. Along with the support of her husband, she wrote short stories and folk tales about all the events happening in her village and around. These stories were published in Hindi and known as 'Bihar ki Lok Kathayen' (Folk Tales of Bihar).
Mridula Sinha also wrote a biography of Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia naming it 'Ek Thi Rani Aisi Bhi' which was later converted into a movie. Her other magnificent works include Dhai Bigha Zameen, Apna Jeevan, Antim iccha, Ya Nari Sarvbhuteshu etc. These wonderful writings of Mridula reached out to the world and portrayed the folk culture and environment of the village-life she lived in.
Mridula’s husband Ram Kripal Sinha was mainly involved in politics. Politics was his first choice. During his electoral campaigns, Mridula Sinha helped him with her accessibility to women of the village they lived in. During her campaigning, she realized that with her knowledge and potential, she could do a lot for the social welfare of her society. Although she was not interested in politics, a desire of helping needy people drove her to politics and the first distinction she earned was to become the Chairperson of the district Social Welfare Board.
Time kept on trickling away and eventually her husband became a member of the Union Cabinet and until August 2014 she, too, occupied the position of the national executive member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In 2014 during the campaign of BJP's election days, Smt. Sinha was heading the BJP Women Wing of the party. On 25th August 2014, Mridula Sinha was appointed as the Governor of Goa State.
Mridula Sinha is no more now. She suffered a massive heart-attack and breathed her last on 18th November 2020 at around 5pm in a Delhi Hospital.
On the death of Mrs. Sinha, PM Modi tweeted that Mridula Sinha will be remembered for her efforts to serve the public. She was also a skilled writer who made extensive contributions to the world of literature as well as culture. I am saddened by her demise.Condolences to his family and fans.
Home Minister Amit Shah also paid rich tributes to her. Shah remembered her through a tweet. He wrote, 'Former Goa Governor and senior BJP leader Mridula Sinha ji's death is really saddening. She worked for the nation, society and organization throughout her life. She was also an accomplished writer who shall always be remembered for her magnificent writings. My condolences to her family.
Though Mridulaji is no more in this world now, I am delighted to say that she always respected and gave due regards to writers’ fraternity. No doubt, she rose to the highest position of her political career by virtue of her selfless social-work and dedication but she always held a lot of appreciation and recognition for fellow-writers in her mind. I write this on the basis of a personal experience.
Many years ago, I received a call from Goa from one of the staff members in the Governor's office that the Governor had recommended my name to the Central Government for nominating me as a member of Hindi Salahkar Samiti of various Ministries to be co-opted soon. I was requested to send my bio-particulars, contact details etc. to one of the officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, immediately. After some time, the Government of India nominated me as a member in the Hindi Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Law and Justice and also brought out a Gazette Notification to this effect.
Later, I wrote a letter of thanks to Mridula Ji for having taken an initiative to recognize my work and put me into limelight. After posting the letter, I started to ponder over for a while that neither was I a resident/voter of Mridulaji’s state, nor did I ever see/meet her and also nor did I have any political leanings, as well. Still Mridula Ji without knowing me personally recommended my name. Such unprejudiced and appreciative quality of Mridula Ji speaks volumes of her respect and regard for writers whom she knew by name and their works only.
Dr. Shiben Krishen Raina
2/537 Aravali Vihar (Alwar), Rajasthan 301001Member, Hindi Salahkar Samiti,
Ministry of Law & Justice (Govt. of India)
Senior Fellow, Ministry of Culture (Govt. of India)
Dr. Raina's mini bio can be read here: