Agha Hashar Kashmiri

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Agha Hashar Kashmiri (3 April 1879 – 28 April 1935) was an eminent Urdu poet, playwright and dramatist who was called the "Shakespeare of Urdu"; a number of his plays were actually Indian Shakespearean adaptations.[1][2] An influential Parsi theatre playwright, he first wrote under contract from Alfred Theatre in Mumbai (then Bombay) from 1901 to 1905, thereafter in 1916 he shifted to Madan Theatres', Elphinstone and Corinthian companies in Calcutta. He wrote several adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, including Mureed-e-Kaash (A Winter's Tale, 1899), Shabeed-e-Naaz or Achuta Daaman in Hindi (Measure for Measure, 1902) and Shabeed-e-Havas ( King John, 1907).[3]

Yahudi Ki Ladki (The Daughter of Jew) published in 1915 became his best known work, and in the coming years a classic in Parsi-Urdu theatre. It was adapted several times, in the silent films and the early talkies era, notably Yahudi Ki Ladki (1933) by New Theatres, and by Bimal Roy, as Yahudi (1958) starring Dilip Kumar, Meena Kumari and Sohrab Modi.[3][4]

His most remarkable plays are Sita Banbas, based on the Ramayana; Bilwa Mangal, a social play on the life of a poet with a passion for whores; Aankh ka Nasha (The Witchery of the Eyes) which deals with themes of treachery and the evils of prostitution; and Rustom O Sohrab, a Persian tragedy.[2][5] Several of his notable Shakespearan inspired plays are Safed Khoon (White Blood), based on King Lear and Khwab-e-Hasti (The Dream World of Existence) described as "a mutilated version of Macbeth".[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khan, Abdul Jamil (30 August 2006). Urdu/Hindi: An Artificial Divide : African Heritage, Mesopotamian Roots, Indian Culture & Britiah Colonialism. Algora Publishing. p. 318. ISBN 978-0-87586-438-9. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Bilwa Mangal". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Taylor & Francis. p. 1994. ISBN 978-1-135-94325-7. 
  4. ^ Meghnad Desai (2013). PAKEEZAH. HarperCollins Publishers India. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-93-5116-023-6. 
  5. ^ a b Hochman, Stanley (1 January 1984). McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama: An International Reference Work in 5 Volumes. VNR AG. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-07-079169-5. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Gāragī, Balawanta (1962). Theatre in India. Theatre Arts Books. p. 156. Retrieved 3 October 2012.