This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Aditi Thakker. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Here Are 7 Indian Poets Who Kept Poetry Alive And Adored Through Generations

More from Aditi Thakker

By Aditi Thakker:

The art of poetry has always thrived in India through various poets. They have represented different aspects of the Indian society, and written about relevant issues in various styles. Some of the poets mentioned here are very famous nationwide, while other are more popular in their own regions and languages. Here’s a range of poets who have successfully expressed themselves in the form of poetry through generations, proving that poetry can never be dead. I’m sure that most of us know about Rabindranath Thakur and the beautiful poetry he wrote. By not including  his name in this article, I do not intend any disrespect, but wish to shed light on other poets of commendable calibre.

poetry

Kamala Das: A victim of child marriage, Kamala Das wrote English and Malayali poetry to express her thoughts after marriage. She wrote strongly about feminism, womanhood and eroticism. She is known for her impeccable presentation of sexual desires of women of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. Her works include, The Sirens, The Annamalai Poems and My mother at Sixty-six.

Harivanshrai Bachchan: He is one the most influential, inspiring and multi-talented poets the world has seen! He wrote in Hindi and English, on various themes. Poetry was not merely a way of expressing his thoughts but also one of understanding the changing times around him. Madhushala, one of his earlier works talks about the importance of having a purpose in life. Although, it is poetry about alcohol and bars, its imagery draws upon the importance to having self-goals and the pleasure of meeting them. His works include, Dhaar ke Idhar Udhar (Two sides of a sword), Lo Din Beta, Lo Raat Gayi (The Day Passed and the Night has Gone) among others.

Nissim Ezekiel: Ezekiel is known to have addressed contemporary issues with a comic angle. He wrote about India in English, addressing issues of corruption, political movements, and inflation in the 1970-80s. His works include, The Night of the Scorpion, The Patriot, and Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S. Some of his poetry is read with an intentional Indian accent.

Amrita Pritam: By far the most famous Punjabi poet, her poetry has struck an emotional chord with generations of Indians. She originally wrote in Punjabi, focusing on love and romance. Her later works however involve revolutionary and patriotic poetry, as also feminist thoughts. Her works include, Lok Peera (The People’s Anguish) and Punjabi di Awaz (Voice of the Punjabis). Her poem on post-independence violence, ‘I Ask Wazir Shah Today’ is a must read.

Vikram Seth: Vikram Seth is one of the most famous names in Modern Indian poetry. Having studied many languages including German, Welsh and Mandarin, Seth has an international perspective on poetry and his works generally hold global relevance. His poem, ‘All You Who Sleep Tonight’ expresses the plight of people living away from their loved ones. His works include, Mappings and the Beastly Tales, the latter one being for children.

Kaifi Azmi: Considered to be the most famous Urdu poet of the 20th Century, Azmi started his career presenting ghazals. Initially he wrote romantic poetry but soon embarked on socialist thought, under influence of Communist political parties in India. He wrote about the sufferings and exploitations that a common man had to endure in pre-independence India. His works include, Surmaya, Kaifiyaat and Awaaara Sajde. Aurat (Woman) and Makaan (House) are popular poems written by him.

Habba Khatoon: She started writing poetry as a young Kashmiri girl in the 16th Century. She wrote about the beauty of the Kashmir Valley and the love and romance that bloomed therein. Soon after, she was forced to live away from her husband, she started writing about sorrow, loneliness and pain. She is celebrated as one of the best poets Kashmir has seen, with her songs and poetry still holding prominence in the Valley today. Khatoon’s poetry was always inspired by events in her own life, almost autobiographical in some ways.

You must be to comment.
  1. Baldeep Grewal

    I have always wondered, when does a person become a poet? When he\she starts penning down their feelings on paper or when the world realises their gift? One may write perhaps the most beautiful poetry ever but would still not be a poet because the words were always for their eyes only. Personally, I feel there is a poet in all of us. It was Gulzar’s birthday on the 18th and I was glad to see something like this come up. Kudos to the writer 🙂

    1. Aditi Thakker

      Thank you 🙂

More from Aditi Thakker

Similar Posts

By joshua daniel

By malvika

By Riddhi Morkhia

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below