Google Doodle Celebrates Legendary
Poet Kaifi Azmi’s 101st Birth Anniversary
New Delhi, 14th January 2020. Today’s Doodle celebrates
Indian poet, songwriter, and social change advocate Kaifi Azmi on his 101st
birthday. With work ranging from passionate love poems and activist verses to
Bollywood songs lyrics and screenplays, Azmi has become one of the most
renowned poets of the 20th century in India, and his humanitarian efforts
continue to impact people’s lives today.
Azmi was born Syed Athar Hussain Rizvi on this day in 1919
in the Azmargh district of Uttar Pradesh, India. At age 11, he
composed his first poem, a ghazal-style piece.
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s 1942 Quit India freedom
movement, he later left for Bombay (now Mumbai) to write for an Urdu newspaper.
He then published his first collection of poems, Jhankar (1943),
as well as became a member of the influential Progressive Writers’ Association
that used writing to try to achieve socioeconomic reforms.
Azmi was prolific and won numerous awards for his
contributions, including three Filmfare Awards for Garm Hawa (“Scorching
Winds,” 1973), the prestigious Padma Shri Award for Literature and
Education (1974), and one of India’s highest literary honors, the
Sahitya Akademi Fellowship (2002).
In one of his early and most famous poems, “Aurat,” Azmi
advocated for women’s equality, one of the causes he championed in his
Kaifi Azmi also founded the NGO Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS) to support various educational initiatives to improve the lives of rural women and families, and to this day, MWS continues its work in the spirit of its founder.
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