It is a belief that men wrote the history of India. It is only through a male perspective because society back then did not give women enough credit or space to express themselves. For the most part, women were denied education, married at a young age and allowed no dreams.
Even in such unfavourable conditions, some women shone bright with their resilience. Their love for poetry and story writing couldn’t be taken away by anyone. Such strong women gave their undeniable contributions to Indian literature. Even today, years after their passing, they provide strength to the new generation of women, always holding their head high and working towards achieving their dreams.
Here is a list of some famous female Indian writers
Toru Dutt was a young translator from Bengal. She wrote mainly in English and French. Along with Sarojini Naidu, Toru was one of the founders of the Anglo-Indian poetry scene in India. She died at the mere age of 21. She wrote two collections of poetry in English as well as a novel in French. Due to her untimely Keats, she gets compared to the British poet John Keats.
Famously called the ‘Nightingale of India’, Sarojini Naidu was a freedom fighter, a poet, an advocate for female rights, and anti-imperialistic beliefs. She was a lady like no other. Her poems were deeply patriotic, showing in great detail the richness of India and Indian culture. Her poetry had fantastic imagery and lyrical prowess. During her time in Cambridge, she was also a member of the suffragette movement.
Undoubtedly one of India’s highest acclaimed and awarded female poets of all time. Amrita Pritam wrote mainly in Punjabi. She was originally from Lahore and moved to India after the partition. Her works mostly revolve around the times and theme of India’s partition. Regardless of her nationality, she was garnered immense love from both sides of the border. She was the first female to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi award for her long poem sunehade. She went on to win the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest honour awarded to a civilian. In her long life and career, she wrote over 100 poems and shaped the future of literature for women. Being the first female voice from Punjab, Amrita Pritam is forever immortalised by her works and contributions to society and female empowerment.
In the history of Hindi literature, Mahadevi Verma is a well-known name. No discussions about Hindi literature can be complete without her. Known for writing about her own life, she wrote about the various animals that lived in her house. She spoke about social welfare for women and their development. Mahadevi was known as the ‘Saraswati in the vast temple of Hindi literature ‘. In 1988 she was honoured with the Padma Bhushan as well. Mahadevi Verma will forever be known as one of the greatest known story writers in Hindi literature.
Regarded as the mother of Indian feminism, Savtribai and her husband Jyoti Rao Phule devoted their lives to the uplifting of women around India. Her poetry was revolutionary for the time, with themes of radical feminism, caste abolishment, and the right to education for all women. She was the first female teacher in India. Her legacy is a part of every woman today who can study and live a life of dignity.