If you’re on the first page of Google, you’re probably famous (or have a technically strong team). But if you’re on Google Doodle, there’s no doubt that you’re incredible. It’s a matter of great curiosity and excitement for many people every morning to know whom – or what – Google will dedicate their logo to for the day. Google has paid homage to noteworthy people from around the world, to remember their contributions to the respective fields. Google Doodle helps the names and tales of such important people to transcend their communities. Naturally, it becomes a matter of pride for a community to see Google’s logo changed for one of its representatives. Bengalis have enjoyed this chest-swelling experience many times. Google Doodles for Bengalis remind us how incredible our role models are.
Google Doodles for Bengalis: When Google Celebrated Bengal’s Talent
Here’s a quick look at Google Doodles for Bengalis which moved the Bangalis close to tears:
1. Mahasweta Devi – Author, Social Activist
Google Doodle celebrated the 92nd birthday of Mahasweta Devi. Born in Dhaka, she worked in Kolkata and wrote books like Hajar Churashir Ma and Aranyer Adhikar. Much of her literary work reflects the struggles and lives of the tribal communities with which she worked as an activist.
2. Satyajit Ray – Filmmaker, Author, Screenwriter, Graphic Designer, Music Composer
Kolkata-born Satyajit Ray is among those who put Bangalis on the global map with his movies. Films like Apu trilogy on one hand and Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne series on the other show his versatility. He wrote many short stories besides creating characters like Feluda and Professor Sonku.
3. Fazlur Rahman Khan – Architect
This Dhaka-born architect is said to be the “father of tubular designs” for skyscrapers. His initiations in structural systems are the reason he is called the greatest engineer of the 20th century. He was a pioneer in CAD or Computer-Aided Design. Chicago’s Willis Tower is among his noted works.
4. Rabindranath Tagore – Writer, Poet, Artist, Musician, Educationist
The Bard of Bengal, a polymath, had extraordinary talent in literature, music, and arts. Songs, poems, dramas, novels – he penned it all, including the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. He established Vishwa Bharati in Santiniketan to promote education beyond booking knowledge.
5. Jagadish Chandra Bose – Scientist
Born in Bangladesh’s Munshiganj, J.C. Bose, a science polymath who lived and worked in Kolkata, was one of the pioneers in radio science, while his contributions to plant science established that plants are like any other life form. He was also considered the father of Bangla science fiction.
6. Raja Ram Mohan Roy – Social Reformer
Born in Hooghly, Ram Mohan Roy earned the title “Raja” from Akbar Shah II. He had a massive influence on politics, education, and religion. The greatest contribution of the Father of Indian Rennaissance was the abolition of Sati (widow immolation) and the prohibition of child marriage.
7. Begum Rokeya – Feminist, Writer, Activist, Educationist
A feminist thinker from Rangpur in Bangladesh, this women’s rights champion demanded equal treatment for men and women as rational beings through her literary movement and inspired women to gain education for liberation. She founded Kolkata’s first school for Bengali Muslim girls.
8. Jamini Roy – Painter
Google Doodle celebrated the 130th birthday of the Bankura-born painter Jamini Roy who is celebrated for his contributions to Indian arts. The originality of his art form has grabbed eyeballs all over the world. His style features Indian folk art forms, particularly the Patua’s techniques.
9. Humayun Ahmed – Writer, Dramatist, Filmmaker, Screenwriter, Songwriter
A Chemistry scholar and a professor born in Netrokona, Humayun Ahmed pulled a chord in the hearts of Bangali readers with his very first book, Nondito Noroke. He’s often revered for bringing the new golden age of Bangla literature in the 20th century. His overall impact is also noteworthy.
10. Tareque Masud – Independent Filmmaker
Noted for movies like Muktir Gaan and Matir Moina, through which he repeatedly talked about religion and humanity, portrayed strong female characters, and depicted patriotic movements, the talented Cinema Feriwala from Faridpur pioneered Bangladesh’s independent film movement.
11. Shamsur Rahman – Poet, Journalist
Google Doodle celebrated the 89th birthday of Bangladesh’s unofficial poet laureate who was born in Dhaka. In his poems, one can find recurring modernist themes like liberalism, rebellion among the youth, religious fundamentalism, the emergence of Bangladesh and its consequences, etc.
12. Firoza Begum – Singer
This prolific Nazrul Geeti singer from Bangladesh learnt her art from none other than Nazrul Islam himself. She sang for the All India Radio at a very young age. She also lived in Kolkata for 13 long years. She set a new benchmark for the society, after becoming a professional female singer.
13. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis – Scientist, Applied Statistician
The father of modern statistics in India, born and brought up Kolkata, was the founder of the Indian Statistical Institute. As a member of the first Planning Commission of independent India, this human calculator played a major part in most of the statistics work the 19020s and 30s in India.
14. Kishore Kumar – Singer, Actor, Lyricist, Composer
An evergreen name in the world of Indian cinema, Kishore Kumar was known for his pitch-perfect voice and the ability of vocal manipulation. A man from Madhya Pradesh to a Bengali family, his contributions to the Bengali entertainment are as important as his works in Bollywood movies.
15. RD Burman – Musician
Born and brought up in Kolkata, Rahul Dev Burman, or – as the world calls him – Pancham Da, revolutionary music director and composer of the Indian film industry. He incorporated unique sounds in his songs, and brought international music styles to India by using Western instruments.
16. Asima Chatterjee – Organic Chemist, Educationist
Kolkata takes pride in being the birthplace of this trailblazer in the field of organic chemistry. She was the first woman in India to get a Doctorate of Science. Her contributions include her works on vinca alkaloids now used in chemotherapy, as well as on the drugs to treat malaria and epilepsy.
17. Sake Dean Mahomed – Traveller, Surgeon, Entrepreneur
Born in Patna when it was still a part of Bengal, Sake Dean Mohamed opened the first Indian restaurant, Hindoostane Coffee House, in Britain. This Bengali traveller introduced the Indian shampoo bath to Europe, besides Indian food. He is the first Indian to have his works published in English.
Let’s not forget the other stalwarts who have a connection with the Bengalis. They take a share of the pride for the Google Doodle on Ravi Shankar, the sitarist from Benares born to a Bengali family. There there are Doodles on – Kolkata-born Nargis Dutt, the Bollywood actress; Sitara Devi, the Queen of Kathak who was born and raised in Kolkata; Gauhar Khan, the eminent singer and dancer from Kolkata; KL Saigal, the singer and actor who lived and worked extensively in Kolkata not only in the Bengali industry but also in the Hindi film industry which was based on Kolkata. Bangalis, with open arms, consider these as Google Doodles for Bengalis – a celebration of talents that have a Bangla connection by birth, life, language, work, or ancestry.