Google Doodle honoured the celebrated author Ismat Chughtai on her birth anniversary, one of the most powerful voices in Urdu literature of the 20th century, was known for her free and fearless explorations of feminine sexuality and middle-class morality in her writing, and for the fierce determination with which she defended her right to express herself.
Ismat Chughtai wrote on themes like female sexuality and femininity, middle-class gentility, and class conflict, often from a Marxist perspective. She was considered the grand dame of Urdu fiction, Along with Rashid Jahan, Wajeda Tabassum and Qurratulain Hyder, Ismat’s work stands for the birth of a revolutionary feminist politics and aesthetics in twentieth century Urdu literature. She explored feminine sexuality, middle-class gentility, and other evolving conflicts in the modern Muslim world.
Chughtai’s outspoken and controversial style of writing made her the passionate voice for the unheard, and she has become an inspiration for the younger generation of writers, readers and intellectuals.
Chughtai’s work fit into no pre-conceived narrative and she published short stories, novels, sketches, plays, reportage and radio plays. She also wrote stories and dialogues for films, including for her husband, the Hindi film director, Shahid Lateef. Among others, she wrote the story of Garam Hawa, the iconic film on Partition starring Balraj Sahni.