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Google Doodle Celebrates Jnanpith Award-Winning Poet Mahadevi Varma

Google celebrates Jnanpith awardee Mahadevi Varma

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Google on Friday celebrated freedom fighter, women’s rights activist, Hindi poet and Jnanpith awardee Mahadevi Varma with a doodle.

On this date, in 1982, the Bharatiya Jnanpith honoured her with the prestigious award for her “outstanding contribution towards literature”.

Guest artist Sonali Zohra has designed the doodle that shows the transformative poet busy penning her thoughts into beautiful verses under a tree by the field on a breezy afternoon.

Often referred to as ‘modern Meera’ for ushering in the era of romanticism in Hindi literature, Varma was born on March 26, 1907, in Farukhabad in Uttar Pradesh into an orthodox family.

Married at the tender age of nine in 1916, Varma remained at her parental home to continue her education at Crossthwaite Girls’ School in Allahabad.

Mahadevi Varma
Mahadevi Varma (Wikimedia Commons)

The spirit of a writer was kindled by Varma’s mother who inspired her daughter to write in Sanskrit and Hindi, according to Google.

She penned her first verses in secret, while pursuing a master degree in Sanskrit. However, her roommate and friend, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan (a well-known poet) discovered her talent soon.

Varma is revered as one of the foundational poets of the Chhayavad movement in Hindi literature, the Google blog said. Her poignant poetry and essays, mostly centred around her feminist outlook.

In her biography “Mere Bachpan Ke Din” (My Childhood Days), Varma wrote that at a time when a girl child was considered a burden upon the family, she was very fortunate to be born into a liberal family.

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Her works appeared in magazines and books. Her collection of short stories “Sketches from My Past” portrays those women whom she encountered as the principal of an all-girls school.

Though a firm supporter of women’s rights, Varma also explored the topics of tradition and the past with great fondness, it added.

Varma was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1956, Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1979, and Padma Vibhushan in 1988. She passed away on September 11, 1987.  IANS

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Google Sends Email to Employees Asking Them to Delete China Search Engine Memo

The China search engine would link users' search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo

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Google asks employees to delete China search engine memo: Report. Wikimedia Commons

In its bid to suppress a memo revealing information about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, Google has sent an email to employees asking them to delete the sensitive document, The Intercept reported.

Authored by a Google engineer familiar with the project, the memo disclosed that the search system would require users in China to log in to perform searches.

Codenamed Dragonfly, the search engine would track the location of users and share the data with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data, said the report on Friday, citing the memo.

The news about Google’s plan to build a censored search engine in China broke in August when The Intercept reported that the search platform would blacklist “sensitive queries” about topics including politics, free speech, democracy, human rights and peaceful protest, triggering internal protests among some Google employees.

Two weeks after that report, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its “early stages” and “exploratory”.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

A group of Google employees who were organising internal protests over the censored search system got access to the memo detailing information about the project.

The Google leadership, according to the The Intercept report, were furious when they discovered that the memo was being passed among employees who were not supposed to know about about the Dragonfly project.

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The China search engine would link users’ search history to their personal phone numbers, according to the memo.

This means if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google, individual people could easily be tracked and users seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention. (IANS)

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