Google doodle celebrates Kaifi Azmi, poet and songwriter

The Hindu Net Desk 14 January 2020 08:40 IST
Updated: 14 January 2020 11:19 IST

Azmi wrote about farmer suicides and their rights, about women’s rights and communal harmony

Google's doodle on January 14 is a tribute to Indian poet, songwriter, and social change advocate Kaifi Azmi on his 101st birthday.

Azmi was born Athar Husain Rizvi on January 14, 1919, in a Zamindar family in what is today the Azmargh district of Uttar Pradesh, India.

He wrote his first ghazal ‘Itna to zindagi mein kisi ki khalal pade’ at the age of eleven, and his first lyric for a film was for 'Buzdil' directed by Shahid Lateef in 1952. He wrote his last song for an unreleased 1997 film, 'Chand Grahan'.


At the age of 19 he joined the Communist Party and was invited by Communist leader Sajjad Zaheer to Bombay to write for the paper 'Qaumi Jung'.

Azmi won numerous awards for his contributions, including the National Award and Filmfare Award for the screenplay and dialogue of M.S. Sathyu’s 1974 film ‘Garm Hava’. He also received the Padma Shri Award for Literature and Education and the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship.

Azmi wrote about farmer suicides and their rights, about women’s rights and communal harmony. One of Azmi's famous poems, “Aurat,” advocated for women’s equality. This was one of the causes he championed throughout his lifetime.

He spent the last twenty years of his life in Mijwan, a small village in Uttar Pradesh where he was born. There he set up an NGO Mijwan Welfare Society that runs the Kaifi Azmi Higher Secondary School for girls, the Kaifi Azmi Inter-College for girls, the Kaifi Azmi Computer Training Centre and the Kaifi Azmi Embroidery and Sewing Centre for Women.

Kaifi Azmi was married to stage actress Shaukat Kaifi. He is the father of actor Shabana Azmi and cinematographer Baba Azmi.