Eminent Hindi author and essayist Krishna Sobti died on Friday in Delhi, people close to her said. She was 93.
She died in a Delhi hospital this morning, where she was admitted for the last two months, Ashok Maheshwari, a friend and managing director of Rajkamal Prakashan, said.
"She was about to complete her 94 years in February, so an age factor was there no doubt. For the last one week she was in the ICU," he said.
Her last rites will be performed at 4 pm on Friday at the Nigam Bodh ghat in Delhi.
"Even after being extremely sick, she was very much aware about her thoughts, about what was happening in the society," Mr Maheshwari added.
"Krishna ji was one of the most sensitive and alert writers of our times. She created her own identity and dignity in the field of literature," he told news agency PTI.
Her latest book Channa was launched at New Delhi World Book Fair on January 11.
"It was actually her first novel, written 60 years ago. But due to some disagreement it was never published," he informed.
Born in 1925, Krishna Sobti was known for writing about issues of female identity and sexuality.
Mitro Marjani, Zindaginama and Surajmukhi Andhere Ke were some of her famous works.
She received prestigious awards like Sahitya Akademi, Jnanpith and was also offered Padma Bhushan, which she had declined.
Author-poet Ashok Vajpeyi said she was the "trustee of Indian democracy" through her contribution to literature.
"What she has done for Indian literature is unmatched. Her social message was very clear through her work, if we can call an author a trustee of democracy and constitution, she was it.
"She fought for equality and justice throughout her life. She was not just an eminent author of Hindi, but the entire Indian literature," Mr Vajpeyi said.
Terming her demise as a "loss for world literature", poet Ashok Chakradhar said she was the "pioneer of writing for women's honour".
"Her Mitro Marjani established a new type of writing style in Indian literature. I was lucky to have known her. And her demise is not just a loss for our country but the entire world," Mr Chakradhar said.
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