Asgar Wajahat



Born on 5 July 1946, Shri Asghar Wajahat is an acclaimed Hindi playwright whose play Jis Lahore Nai Vekhya O Jamyai Nai is considered an important contribution to dramatic literature. He completed his MA (Hindi) in 1968, and his PhD in 1974 with the topic A Comparative Study of Progressive Hindi and Urdu Poetry (1936-1950) from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Later, he did his Post Doctoral Research from Jawaharlal Nehru University (1981–83) with the topic the Comparative Study of the Trends of Hindi and Urdu Literature During the Late 19 - Early 20th Century. He joined Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi as a lecturer of Hindi in 1971 and later became a Professor and also the Head of the Department of Hindi in the University. He also worked as an Associate Professor with the Department of Indo-European Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.
Over a period of five decades, Shri Wajahat has produced a fairly significant body of works including five novels, eight full-length plays, five collections of short stories, a travelogue, a collection of street plays and a book on literary criticism. His first full-length play was Firangi Laut Aaye which had the mutiny of 1857 in the background. Another play Inna ki Awaaz describes how the politics of power destroys art and culture. His most impactful play Jis Lahore Nai Vekhya O Jamyai Nai explores the conflicts in our present day society in the context of the narrow definitions of religion and also the rupture of cultural bonds caused by this tension. The play was first performed under the direction of Habib Tanvir in 1989, who subsequently took the play to Karachi, Lahore, Sydney, New York and Dubai. His other plays include Veergati, Samidha, Aki, Godse@Gandhi.Com, and Pocketmar Rangmandal. His work has been translated into many Indian and foreign languages. He has also been associated with reputed Hindi literary magazines such as Hans and Vartaman Sahitya as guest editor.
Shri Wajahat has been honoured with the Sanskriti Award in 1978 by Sanskriti Pratishthan, Delhi; Sahityakar Samman in 1986 by Hindi Akademi, Delhi; and Kendriya Hindi Sansthan Award given by the President of India in 2014. Shri Asghar Wajahat receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2014 for his contribution to Indian theatre as a playwright.