Chaman Lal Ahuja



Born on 1 April 1933 in Vehoa town of West Punjab (district Dera Gazi Khan), now in Pakistan, Shri Chaman Ahuja is a well-known theatre critic and writer. A postgraduate and a PhD in English, Shri Chaman Lal Ahuja has been engaged in different teaching positions, from lecturer in a Ferozepur college in 1955-56 to the Chairman of the Department of English, Panjab University, Chandigarh during 1986-87. He went to UK on a Charles Wallace India Trust Grant to pursue research on Beckett in 1990. A Scholar-in-Residence at the American Studies Research Centre, Hyderabad in 1990, he has also received IUC Associateship from the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla in 1991. As Principal Investigator, he worked for a major UGC project Theatre India Today: Towards a New Dramaturgy during the years 1996-1999. Shri Ahuja has also received a senior fellowship from the Department of Culture, Government of India during 2000-2002.
Shri Chaman Ahuja entered the field of practical theatre as a Drama Critic of The Tribune. Besides about 650 drama reviews as regular Drama Critic of The Tribune (1977-90), he has published hundreds of articles/features/interviews in the magazine section of the national dailies. Shri Ahuja has also contributed scores of articles and book reviews to learned journals such as Theatre India, STQ, Enact, India Perspective, Sangeet Natak, New Quest, Literary Criterion, Eugene O’Neill Review (Boston), Indian Journal of American Studies, Indian Journal of English Studies, Purba, Journal of Higher Education (UGC), Education Quarterly, Indian Literature, and Contemporary Indian Literature. The major works of Shri Chaman Ahuja include Tragedy, Modern Temper and O’Neill (1984), which was his doctoral dissertation; All Life Long, the Same Questions, the Same Answers: Reinterpreting Samuel Beckett (1996); The Mystique of Tragedy: Exploring East and West (1997); Contemporary Theatre of India: An Overview (2012); Theatre Thinking in India (2012); Chamanzaar (Urdu Poetry, 2015); and Bargad Nama (Urdu Poetry, 2016). Shri Ahuja has been a member of various committees, such as Member, Postgraduate Committee, UGC Curriculum Development Centre (1986-87); Member, Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi (1989-90); Member, Programme Advisory Committee, Doordarshan, New Delhi (1995-97); and Member, International Association of Theatre Critics.
Shri Chaman Ahuja receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to scholarship in the performing arts.