Wednesday, April 28, 2010

75th Death Anniversary of Agha Hashr Kashmiri.........A Legend for Urdu Drama

Today, on 28th April, is the 75th death Anniversary of Agha Hashr Kashmiri, who gave a new charm to Drama in Indo-Pak Subcontinent.

He was born on 3rd April, 1879 in Banaras, got initial education there but due to the lack of interest in Text books, could not get a higher Education and left school. He was interested in Poetry and Music since childhood, after watching few stage dramas in Banaras, got attraction towards this field and at the age of Eighteen, he came to Bombay, where he started his career as a Playwright.

He wrote a great number of plays, some of them were not conserved and are unavailable now a days. He worked for different Theatrical companies for almost thirty three years, made his own company several times but could not continue. His famous "Indian Shakespeare theatrical company" was very successful and presented a number of beautiful plays. During the whole period of his work, he continued to write in several different languages. Although, he could not get a higher education, but he had a full command on more than one languages. He was familiar with Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Hindi, Gujrati and English. He wrote remarkable Plays in Hindi, which were super hit at that time. He also translated and transformed some plays of Shakespeare, King Lear as "Sufaid Khun", Measure for Measure as "Shaheed-e-Naz", King John as "Said-e-Hawas" and Macbeth as "Khwab-e-Hasti".

He also made few Films and placed a foundation for coming Film makers.

He Loved reading, and read Hundreds of Books to increase his knowledge.

He was called as "Indian Shakespeare", and he proudly accepted this recognition. Like Shakespeare, he came from a small city, never went to any University, got hold on the Theatres of that time, chose the format of prose as well as poem in writing style, converged the facts and truths of life in his plays, and died in April.


  1. Another very informative and timely post by you once again!

    Though I don't know much about urdu literature, but i count it my good luck that i stay informed without even struggling hard. People like you sincere and devoted to blogging platform are adding to our knowledge constantly.

    Good joB!

  2. Thank you Reebz, for your appreciating comment.

  3. Informative Post on Agha Hashr Kashmiri. Recetlty his play SUFAID KHOON was performed On Arts Council Karachi, it was Directed by Zia Mohiuddin and Talat Hussain played the lead role and as usual stole the show due to his fabulous performance. This play was produced by NAPA (National Academy for Performing Arts) except for Talat Hussain who is as on Faculty all other actors were students at NAPA.

  4. hmm..I am thankful to you...Urooj for introducing me to Agha Hashar Kashmiri and to lend me his drama.

    While I read the first two drama in just two days I am very much impress by his skills.

    For example...the first drama named : Khoobsorat Bal'la,

    The introduction and a little dialogue of good and bad at the start of the drama was superbly portraited and

    than their comparisions gives the readers definite picture of how writer see and going to use both of them.

    While (Naiki) Goodness, keeps praising Allah, Creator of universe and Who loves His creation and so is always ready to accept whoever approaches Him, the same time (Bad'di) Badness keeps its bllad on high tone of what attraction it have for people.

    But one thing which I liked in the dialogue was writer didn't press his viewers.

    He gave the options openly and wanted the reader to choose.

    Though....we already knew that even naiki suffered it will conquer the hearts.

    Only..sometimes...when I read stories...I feel so bad about writer who put all the burden on in Khoobsorat Bal'la....poor Tahira lost everyone...her husband...son...

    I mean why writers had to be so severe on goodness and why Allah put such high ranked test on goodness?


    Thanks alot for sharing such nice post !

  5. Khoobsurat Bala was written at a time when the horrors of 1857 were alive in the minds of many viewers.

    The travails of Tahira served as a much-needed catharsis for the people who had seen their rulers losing everything in most brutal manners.

    It is true that as we move on, we tend to look forward to plays that do not depict the path of virtue to be laden with so much pain: but that depends on which period of history one is talking about or living in :)

  6. hmm..Shafique Sahib...thank you for your reply...

    But one thing which perplexed me a little was writers taking side...of one killer...

    There were kind of killers in the drama...

    Shamsa..killed for kingdom while Tahira killed for layalty...because she was faithful to her King.

    Shamsa killed the people who were her relatives...but Tahira killed her own son...

    And I think no one is allowed to kill anyone...even own daughter or son..whatever the circumstances are...

    But than writer put the nature..the sympathy...the goodness..on Tahira side...the audiences sympathy was with Tahira...


    hmm...her loyalty...towards her King didn't give her the rights to take her son's life...the SON...was a creation of Allah too...

    How come our loyalty towards someone...makes us so brutal to kill...hmm....

  7. Hmmmmmmmm Thinking, a very interesting question and I am very keen to know the answer from Sir Khurram’s side.

    However, I have a different opinion.

    In life, sometimes we have to choose one best option and except that there is no other way. Tahira also had the same situation. She had no choice, and so she killed her own son in order to save life of Sohail. Because, if they knew that Sohail is alive, they simply would go in search of him, which was dangerous for Sohail’s life.
    But for me, Tahira did it not just due to the reason that she was faithful to the king.
    Life of Sohail was not just important because he was the real owner of Kingship, but he had to live because this was in the favor of the whole Nation.

    She did it not just in the loyalty of the King, but for the “Greater Good” of Nation.

    Sometimes, it is possible that One’s wrong deed could be justified for the “Greater Good”.

    When a soldier sacrifices, his life for the sake of his Nation, we justify it. When a mother sacrifices his son's life, for the sake of her Nation. Can we justify it also? or Can not?


  8. ...Well said...Urooj...thanks !