Google Doodle celebrates Amrita Pritam’s 100th birth anniversary

In 1956 she became the first woman to win the Sahitya Akademi Award for her long poem, 'Sunehade' (Messages)

Today’s Google page opened to a doodle celebrating Amrita Pritam, one of India’s first prominent women Punjabi poets. She was born as Amrit Kaur in Gujranwala, Punjab (present-day Pakistan). Her father, Kartar Singh Hitkar, was a poet and scholar.

Amrita Pritam is most remembered for her poem titled “Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu,” (Today I Invoke Waris Shah), addressed to Punjabi Sufi poet Waris Shah in which she laments the tragedy of the partition of Pakistan from India.

Today, I call Waris Shah, “Speak from your grave,

”And turn to the next page in your book of love,

Once, a daughter of Punjab cried and you wrote an entire saga,

Today, a million daughters cry out to you, Waris Shah,

Rise! O’ narrator of the grieving! Look at your Punjab,

Today, fields are lined with corpses, and blood fills the Chenab.

Her famous novel “Pinjar”, written in 1950, talks about the social turmoil and the traumatic torture inflicted on women by their abductors in the wake of the Partition. It was adapted into a Hindi film of the same title, which won the National award for Best Feature Film on National Integration in 2004.

In 1956 she became the first woman to win the Sahitya Akademi Award for her long poem, 'Sunehade' (Messages). In 1981, she won the Bharatiya Jnanpith for the novel 'Kagaz Te Canvas' (The Paper and the Canvas). In 1969, she was awarded the Padma Shri and in 2004 the Padma Vibhushan. She was also bestowed the highest honour conferred by the Sahitya Akademi - 'Immortals of Literature' in 2005.


Today’s doodle, by artist Vrinda Zaveri, carries a reference to Amrita Pritam’s autobiography 'Kala Gulab' (Black Rose). She has written two other autobiographies - 'Rasidi Ticket', which talks about her deep affection for poet Sahir Ludhianvi, and 'Shadows of Words'.

In 1986, she was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. She died in 2005. In 2007, noted lyricist Gulzar released an audio album, 'Amrita recited by Gulzar'

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 12:22:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/google-doodle-celebrates-amrita-pritams-100th-birth-anniversary/article29306790.ece

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