Who is Ismat Chughtai, featured in today’s Google Doodle?

Google on Tuesday celebrated the 107th birth anniversary of Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai with a Doodle. In a blogpost, Google referred to her as the “grande dame of Urdu fiction.”

Ismat Khanum Chughtai, born in Uttar Pradesh, is considered one of the pioneers of Urdu literature. She was an excellent storyteller and novelist, and her works are known to be bolder, more radical and incisive than other writers of her times.

Ismat Chughtai or Ismat Apa as she was known, was considered by some as a crusader for the rights of oppressed women. Some of the earliest feminist writing in Urdu can probably be credited to her.

She became famous, rather notorious, with the publication of her short story “Lihaaf” (The Quilt) and was arrested on charge of obscenity in 1942. She appeared before the Lahore High Court in 1945 and was acquitted. Soon, “Lihaaf” acquired an iconic status and she was hailed as the first bold, feminist short story writer in Urdu.

One of her unpublished short stories was turned into Garm Hava, a landmark film. It depicted the dilemma of a North Indian Muslim family after partition.

She was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1976.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:55:51 PM |

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