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Khwaja Ahmad Abbas
--: Biography of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas :--


Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (7 June 1914 - 1 June 1987), popularly known as K. A. Abbas, was an Indian film director, novelist, screenwriter, and a journalist in the Urdu, Hindi and English languages. He was the maker of important Hindi films like, Saat Hindustani (1969) and Do Boond Pani (1972), both of which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, Palme d'Or nominated (Cannes Film Festival) Pardesi (1957) and Shehar Aur Sapna (1963), which won the National Film Award for Best Film.

As a screenwriter, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas is considered one of pioneers of Indian parallel or neo-realistic cinema, having penned films like, the Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, Neecha Nagar (1946) , Jagte Raho, Dharti Ke Lal, Awara, Saat Hindustani and Naya Sansar. Apart from this, he wrote the best of Raj Kapoor films, Awaara, Shri 420, Mera Naam Joker, Bobby and Henna. His column 'Last Page', holds the distinction of being the longest-running column in the history of Indian journalism. The column began in 1935, at Bombay Chronicle, and when it closed, it moved to the Blitz, where it continued till his death in 1987 He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1969, by Government of India.

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas was born in Panipat, Punjab, British India (now Haryana, India). He was born in the home of celebrated Urdu poet, 'Khwaja Altaf Husain Hali', a student of Mirza Ghalib. His grandfather Khwaja Gulam Abbas was one of the chief rebels of the 1857 Rebellion movement, and the first martyr of Panipat to be blown from the mouth of a cannon.

Abbas's father Ghulam-Us-Sibtain graduated from Aligarh Muslim University, was a tutor of a prince and a prosperous businessman, who modernised the preparation of Unani medicines. Abbas's mother, 'Masroor Khatoon', was the daughter of Sajjad Husain, an enlightened educationist.

Abbas took his early education in 'Hali Muslim High School', which was established by his great grand father Hali.

He had his early education till 7th in Panipat. He was instructed to read the Arabic text of the Quran and his childhood dreams swung at the compulsive behest of his father. Abbas completed his matriculation at the age of fifteen. He did his B.A. with English literature in 1933 and LL.B. in 1935 from Aligarh Muslim University.

Abbas's family tree goes back to Aiyub Ansari, the companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was the grandson of Hali, the chief protégé of Urdu poet Ghalib, while Abbas's great grandson is Anwar Azeem, a prominent Marxist journalist and Urdu writer, and father of actor/dancer, Neelima Azeem, mother of Bollywood sensation Shahid Kapoor

Abbas began his career as a journalist, when he joined 'National Call', a New Delhi based paper after his finishing his B.A.. Later while studying law in 1934, started 'Aligarh Opinion', India's first university students' weekly during the pre-independence period.

After completing his education at Aligarh Muslim University, Abbas joined the Bombay Chronicle in 1935. He occasionally served a film critic, but after the film critic of the paper died, he was made the editor of the film section.

He entered films as a part time publicist for Bombay Talkies in 1936, a production house owned by Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani, to whom he sold his first screenplay Naya Sansar (1941).

He went on to write scripts for Jagte Raho, and most of the prominent Raj Kapoor films including Awaara, Shri 420, Mera Naam Joker, Bobby and Henna.

His autobiography, I Am not an Island: An Experiment in Autobiography, was first published in 1977 and later released in 2010

Awards and honours

. 1964: National Film Award for Best Film: Shehar Aur Sapna 
. 1946: Wrote screenplay, for Neecha Nagar, which became the only Indian film to win a Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the Cannes Film Festival. 
. 1942: BFJA Awards: Best Screenplay: Naya Sansar (1941) 1957 Cannes Film Festival: Golden Palm: Pardesi: Nominated 
. 1964: Maharashtra State Award: Fakira 
. 1965: International Film Festival Awards (Santa Barbara, USA)): Hamara Ghar 
. 1966: Jury Member: 16th Berlin International Film Festival 
. 1970: Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration: Saat Hindustani 
. 1972: Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration: Do Boond Paani 
. 1980: Gold Award for direction: The Naxalites


Haryana State Robe of Honour for literary achievements in 1969, the prestigious Ghalib Award for his contribution to Urdu prose literature in 1983.

Vorosky Literary Award of the Soviet Union in 1984, Urdu Akademi Delhi Special Award 1984, Maharashtra State Urdu Akademi Award in 1985 and the Soviet Award for his contribution to the cause of Indo-Soviet Friendship in 1985.


. Naya Sansar (1941) - Screenplay, Story 
. Neecha Nagar (1946) - Screenwriter 
. Dharti Ke Lal (1946) - Screenwriter, Director, Producer 
. Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946) - Screenwriter, Story 
. Aaj Aur Kal (1947) - Director 
. Awara (1951) - Screenwriter, Dialogue 
. Anhonee (1952) - Screenwriter, Dialogue, Story, Director, Producer 
. Rahi 1953 - Director 
. Naghma (1953) - Director 
. Munna (1954) - Screenwriter, Director, Producer 
. Darwaza (1954) - Director 
. Baradari (1955) 
. Jawab (1955) - Director 
. Sabse Bada Rupaiya (1955) 
. Shahzada (1955) 
. Shree 420 (1955) - Screenwriter, Dialogue, Story 
. Jagte Raho (1956) - Screenwriter 
. Jallad (1956) - 
. Bada Bhai (1957) - 
. Pardesi - Screenwriter, Director 
. Mehfil (1957) - Director 
. Hathkadi (1958) - Director 
. Zindagi Ya Toofan (1958) 
. Chaar Dil Chaar Rahen (1959) - Screenwriter, Dialogue, Director 
. Zara Bachke (1959) - Director 
. Eid Mubarak (1960) Documentary / Short - Director 
. Qatil (1960) - Director 
. Gir Game Sanctuary (1961) Documentary - Director 
. Flight to Assam (1961) - Director 
. Pyar Ki Dastan(1961) - Director 
. Gyarah Hazaar Ladkiyan (1962) - Director 
. Roop Lekha (1962) - Director 
. Maya Mahal (1963) - Director 
. Teen Gharaney (1963) - Director 
. Shehar Aur Sapna (1964) - Director, Screenwriter 
. Hamara Ghar (1964) - Director 
. Tomorrow Shall Be Better (1965) - Director 
. Aasman Mahal (1966) - Director 
. Dharti Ki Pukaar (1967) Short Film - Director 
. Char Shaher Ek Kahani (1968) Documentary - Director 
. Bombai Raat Ke Bahon Mein (1968) - Producer 
. Saat Hindustani (1970) - Director, Producer 
. Mera Naam Joker (1970) - Screenwriter, Story 
. Do Boond Pani 1972 - Director 
. Bharat Darshan (1972) Documentary - Director 
. Bobby (1973) - Screenwriter, Story 
. Kal Ki Baat (1973) Short Film - Director 
. Achanak (1973) - Screenwriter 
. Juhu (1973) (TV) - Director 
. Faasla or Faslah (1974) - Director, Producer 
. Papa Miya of Aligarh (1975) Documentary - Director 
. Phir Bolo Aaye Sant Kabir (1976) Documentary - Director 
. Dr. Iqbal (1978) - Documentary - Director 
. The Naxalites (1980) - Screenwriter, Director 
. Hindustan Hamara (1983) Documentary / Short - Director 
. Love in Goa (1983) - Screenwriter 
. Nanga Fakir (1984) (TV) - Director 
. Ek Aadmi (1988) - Director 
. Akanksha (1989) (TV) - Dialogue, Screenplay 
. Heena (1991) - Story

Source : Wikipedia


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