M. K. Binodini Devi

Film writer

1922 – 2011

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Who was M. K. Binodini Devi?

Maharaj Kumari Binodini Devi was an Indian writer from Manipur, a Southeast Himalayan state in North-east India and a member of the erstwhile royal family of Manipur. She was notable for bridging the two worlds of ancient royalty and modern art. Born as a princess into a palace life which she lovingly recalled in a series of late essays, she made her name in the wider world as a novelist and a writer of short stories, essays, plays and award-winning screenplays, lyrics and ballet scripts. She received the Padma Shri in 1976, one of India’s highest civilian awards, followed by Sahitya Akademi Award given by Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of letters in 1979 for her novel Boro Saheb Ongbi Sanatombi based on the true life story of a Manipuri princess, daughter of Maharaj Surchandra Singh. However, she returned the Padma Shri to protest the alleged rape and killing of Thangjam Manorama by 17 Assam Rifles personnel in 2004.

M. K. Binodini Devi wrote under the single name of Binodini. Her screenplays were made into award-winning feature films, directed by her long-time collaborator director Aribam Syam Sharma, such as My Son, My Precious, 1982; The Chosen One, that have also been screened in the London Film Festival as well as the Museum of Modern Art, and Cannes, Toronto and Locarno Film Festivals. Her wildlife and environment themed script for a modern ballet was made into Sangai, Dancing Deer of Manipur, a performance film that won the British Film Institute’s Outstanding Film of the Year Award in 1984.

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Feb 6, 1922
Also known as
  • Princess Wangolsana
  • M. K. Binodini
  • India
  • Visva-Bharati University
Jan 17, 2011

on July 23, 2013


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