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Google celebrates poet Kaifi Azmi's 101st birthday with doodle


NEW DELHI: Google on Tuesday paid homage to poet, screenwriter, and social change advocate Kaifi Azmi on his 101st birthday with a colorful doodle.

Born Syed Athar Hussain Rizvi on this day in 1919 in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh district, Azmi became one of the most renowned poets of the 20th century in the country through his passionate love poems and activist verses.

One of his most famous works, "Aurat", which advocates for women's rights and equality, has become an often recited poem at the ongoing anti-CAA protests in the country. 

"At age 11, he composed his first poem, a ghazal-style piece. Inspired by 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," the search engine giant said in a blog post.

The activist-poet won numerous awards for his contributions including three Filmfare Awards for his script, dialogues, and lyrics for MS Sathyu's iconic "Garm Hawa"(1973), He was also awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award, and one of the highest literary honors, the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship.

The poet breathed his last on May 10, 2002.