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Khwaja Ahmad Abbas

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (1914 – 1987) (K.A. Abbas) was an Indian Director, Novelist, Journalist, and Screenwriter. He has been recognized nationally as well as internationally for his work and he is also known to be a pioneer in parallel cinema. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas has written stories for some of the popular Raj Kapoor Movies.

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas has contributed to over 45 movies and he has also published a total of 70 books. His books are written in Urdu, Hindi, and English. As a director, the first movie directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas was Aaj Aur Kal (1946). Some movies were based on his scripts even after his death.

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas 1

Life and Early Work

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas was the son of the poet Khwaja Altaf Hussain Hali who was the student of Mirza Galib. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas was born in Panipat and later completed B.A. in English Literature in the year 1933. He later went on to complete L.L.B. from Aligarh Muslim University. Talking about the early career of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, he started as a journalist and he was later made the editor of the film section of the newspaper.

His first introduction with filmmaking was when he started working as a part-time publicist for Bombay Talkies. This is how he managed to sell his first screenplay. Soon, he started writing scripts, and in the year 1945, he directed his first movie. Later, he founded his production company known by the name of Naya Sansar.


Khwaja Ahmad Abbas has been the man behind several Indian movies. The list includes movies like Dharti Ke Lal and Pardesi. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas was able to open the Soviet Market for Indian movies. It is also known that Khwaja Ahmad Abbas wrote scripts for Raj Kapoor’s film and this helped him in gaining a lot of popularity as well. These scripts included Awaara, Shree 420, Mera Naam Joker, and Heena.

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas is also known for the debut movie of Amitabh Bachchan as this helped him in gaining a lot of fame. Because of his contribution to filmmaking, he won several awards which include BFJA Awards, Palme d’Or Award, National Film Award, Gold Award for Directions, and many others.


The Cinema of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas had always been focused on neo-realistic films and he gained a lot of popularity because of such movies. He has not only directed such movies but he also worked as a screenwriter for such movies. The list includes Neecha Nagar, Jagte Raho, Naya Sansar, and many more.

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas had also directed movies that were related to social issues and one of the movies that highlighted the plight of tea plantation works helped Khwaja Ahmad Abbas in winning a national award. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas was also involved in a censorship case when he challenged the Central Board of Film Certification as well as the Central Government for obtaining a U certification for his movie Char Shaher Ek Kahani. You can read Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’s autobiography with the title ‘I am not an Island: An Experiment in Autobiography’.

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas on Art House Cinema

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