Google Doodle today paid tribute to activist and Indian poet Sayyid Athar Hussein Rizvi, popularly known as Kaifi Azmi, on his 101st birth anniversary.
— Vikas Khanna (@TheVikasKhanna) January 13, 2020
Kaifi Azmi was born on 14 January 1919 in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh. He is the father of renowned Indian actor Shabna Azmi and noted cinematographer Baba Azmi.
At the age of 11, Azmi composed his first ghazal ‘Itna To Zindagi Mein Kisi Ki Khalal Pade’.
He was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India movement and he abandoned his studies during the time of agitations in 1942. Later, he left to Mumbai to write for an Urdu newspaper and eventually became an active member of the Influential Progressive Writers’ Association that used writing to achieve socioeconomic reforms.
His first collection of poems ‘Jhankar’ was published in 1943. In his famous poem ‘Aurat’, Azmi pointed out the social problems faced by women and made case for women’s equality. He is also the founder of a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) that supported educational initiatives to improve the lives of rural women.
Azmi has won many awards including the Padma Shri Award for Literature and Education (1974). He is also the recipient of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Fellowhip (2002) and three Filmfare awards.
Azmi died on May 10, 2002, at the age of 83.