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5 Women Authors from Pre-Independent India

There are several successful female novelists in India nowadays. India now has a major writing industry, and we should be proud of it. Women are more vocal and wish to write books and articles about themes that are taboo in India as well as about daily life.

We value these women because they have contributed to our personal development. Have you ever considered the women in India prior to its independence, though? How did the women communicate? Then, were there a lot of female writers? With the Indian partition and other problems in India, it was particularly difficult for these women to stand up.

Kamini Roy

The first woman to graduate with honours in British India was a feminist and Bengali poet who was born in 1868. Additionally, she was among the first Indian girls to attend school. Kamini Roy hails from a wealthy Bengali family. She learned to write from her father, a judge and a writer. She began when she was just eight years old. In 1889, her first collection of poems was released. The song’s name was ‘Alo O Chhaya.’

Other famous works by her include Mahasweta, Pundorik, Dwip O Dhup, and others. Additionally, she produced some outstanding poetry, like Smritichihno, She Ki, Sukh, Era Jodi Jane, and others.

Ismat Chughtai

One of the first and most accomplished women to write in Urdu. Ismat Chughtai is known for her many revolutionary writings. Her words, which were outspoken and occasionally controversial as well, have had an impact on generations of women. Ismat was the first female author to write about same-sex attraction and  feminism as well.

Ismat, who was born in 1915, was decades ahead of her time and frequently wrote on female sexuality and other similar subjects. Young writers and authors look up to her and find inspiration in her writings. Lihaaf, which was called to court in 1944 for obscenity, is some of her best writing.

Amrita Pritam

Amrita Pritam, a writer who primarily wrote in Hindi and Punjabi, was born in 1919. She was the first woman poet in Punjab. She relocated to India from Lahore in 1947 after the partition of India. She was, and continues to be, adored by intellectuals and readers in both Pakistan and India. She has written more than 100 poems, folk songs from Punjab, articles, and other works. Many foreign languages have received her writings in translation.

Ajk Aakhaan Waris Shah nu (An Ode to Waris Shah), her best-known poem, has been read all over the world. It served as a memorial to the people who died when India was divided and expressed her sorrow over it. It is addressed to the Sufi poet, Waris Shah – and is one of most elaborate pieces written that remind us of the massacres of the partition.

Krishna Sobti

Krishna Sobti, one of the most renowned writers in Hindi, received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980 for her work Zindaginama. She relocated to India during the partition and was previously a resident of Pakistan. She is credited with founding Hindi literature. Some of her works are now available in English and Urdu and have been translated.

She is best known for the 1966 publication of the book Mirto Marajani, which explores the sexuality of women. She also produced such well-known works as Yaaron Ke Yaar, Daar Se Bichchuri, and Zindaginama. She has written many short stories as well, two of which are Nafisa and Sikka Badal Gaya.

Gaura Pant (Shivani)

The first woman to create fiction with a female protagonist was Gaura Pant, best known by her pen name Shivani. In the 1960s and 1970s, she wrote for publications like Dharmayug and Saptahik Hindustan, and she had a sizable readership.

She has written numerous works of Hindi literature in addition to novels like Mera Beta, Surangma, and Teesra Beta. Additionally, some of her works have been adapted into Indian television programmes. She won the Padma Shri prize in 1980 for her contributions to Hindi literature.


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