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Ahmed Ali
--: Biography of Ahmed Ali :--


Ahmed Ali


Ahmed Ali ,born1910 in New Delhi – died14 January 1994 in Karachi ,  was an Indian (later Pakistani ) novelist, poet, critic, translator, diplomat and scholar, who was responsible for writing Twilight in Delhi. Born in Delhi, India, Ahmed Ali was educated at Aligarh and Lucknow universities, graduating with first-class and first in the order of merit in both B.A. (Honours), 1930 and M.A. English, 1931.  He taught at leading Indian universities including Lucknow and Allahabad from 1932–46 and joined the Bengal Senior Educational Service as professor and head of the English Department at Presidency College, Calcutta (1944–47). Ali was the BBC's Representative and Director in India during 1942–44. During the Partition of India, he was the British Council Visiting Professor to the University of China in Nanking as appointed by the British government of India. When he tried to return to India in 1948, K.P.S. Menon (then India's Ambassador to China ) did not let him and he was forced to move to Pakistan.

In 1948, he moved to Karachi. Later, he was appointed Director of Foreign Publicity, Government of Pakistan. At the behest of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, he joined the Pakistan Foreign Service in 1950. The first file he received was marked 'China' and when he opened it; it was blank.He went to China as Pakistan's first envoy and established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic in 1951.

Ali started his literary career at a young age and became cofounder of the All-India Progressive Writers' Movement and Association with the publication of Angare in 1932, a collection of short stories by four young friends, which was later banned by the British Government of India in March 1933. Shortly afterward Ali and Mahmud-uz-Zaffar announced the formation of a "League of Progressive Authors", which was later to expand and become the All-India Progressive Writers' Association. Ali presented his paper "Art ka Taraqqi-Pasand Nazariya" (A Progressive View of Art) in its inaugural Conference in 1936. A pioneer of the modem Urdu short story, Ali's works include collections of short stories: "Angare" (Flames), 1934; Hamari Gali (Our Lane), 1940; Qaid Khana (The Prison-house), 1942; and Maut Se Pehle (Before Death), 1945.

Ali achieved international fame with his first novel written in English Twilight in Delhi, which was published by The Hogarth Press in London in 1940.

During the 1950s, Ahmed Ali worked for the Pakistan Foreign Service, establishing embassies in Morocco and China.


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