Who was Amrita Pritam, today’s Google Doodle

One of the most prolific Indian writers, she contributed greatly to Punjab literature of the second half of the 20th century

The "feminist turn" of Google Doodles continues. For some time now, in fact, the Mountain View giant has been dedicating the image that from time to time replaces the Google logo on the home page of the search engine to female celebrities who may not be well known to the general public but who, through their activities and their impact, have made a significant contribution to the fight for equal rights between men and women.

In recent weeks, just to give an example, the doodles have been dedicated to the Taiwanese singer Fong Fei-Fei and the Caboverdian singer Cesaria Evoria, among the most important artists in their countries of birth (and not only). On the other hand, today's Doodle, August 31, 2019, is dedicated to Amrita Pritam, who would have been exactly 100 years old today. But who is Amrita Pritam, what did she do in her life and why did Google decide to celebrate her on this day? Let's find out together.

Who is Amrita Pritam

Born on August 31, 1919 in Gujranwala, an important commercial center of the Pakistani Punjab (but which, at the time of her birth, was an integral part of British India), Amrita Pritam is widely regarded as the most important writer of Punjabi literature. Winner of several Indian and Asian literary prizes, in her very long career she has realized more than 100 collections of poems, novels, essays, biographies and a collection of traditional songs of Punjab, a region to which she will remain tied for the rest of her life despite the fact that in 1947 she decided to move from Lahore to India.

In spite of her immense literary production, Amrita Pritam's international fame is mainly due to her poems and poetry. Translated into several Indian languages, they have also become internationally famous: the most famous is "Black Roses and Existence", a title that also inspired Big G's designers to create the Doodle inserted today on the home page of the search engine.

 What Amrita Pritam did

Amrita Pritam's poems, together with her novels and other writings, have had a fundamental importance in defining the characterizing features of Punjabi literature, both Indian and Pakistani, of the second half of the 20th century. Not only that, but through her poetry and prose works, the Pakistani-born, naturalized Indian writer recounted the pain and horrors that resulted from the partition of the former British colony into India and Pakistan. During these years tens of thousands of people were killed, whose only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But Amrita Pritam's poems have also been instrumental in the emancipation process of Indian women. A member of the Progressive Women Writers Movement, she actively supported campaigns for equal rights for men and women in the Asian subcontinent.