biography of urdu poet sardar jafri

Ali Sardar Jafri was born in Balrampur, Uttar Pradesh, India. He joined Aligarh Muslim University where he got exposed to Communist ideology and subsequently, he was expelled from the University in 1936. He pursued his education in Delhi University and then in Lucknow University but could not complete his Post Graduation here, because of his Anti British attitude. He then moved to Bombay.

With the publication of his first collection of short stories titled, “Manzil” in 1938 and then collection of Nazms and Ghazals “Parwaz” in 1943, he established himself to be a poet to reckon with.

Ali Sardar Jafri was a rebel, freedom fighter, pacifist, radical activist, story writer, critic and documentary filmmaker. He was involved in several social, political and literary movements.He remained the President of Progressive Writers’ Movement since 1936.

He published eight poetry collections, which include, “Nai Duniya Ko Salaam” (1948), “Khoon Ki Lakeer”, “Amn Ka Sitara”, “Asia Jaag Utha” (1951), “Patthar Ki Deewar” (1953), “Ek Khwab Aur”, “Pairahan-E-Sharar”  (1965); and “Lahu Pukarta Hai” (1965), which were followed by “Awadh Ki Khak-E-Haseen”, “Subhe-Farda”, “Mera Safar” and last anthology titled as “Sarhad”.

His important works as a lyricist include Dharti Ke Lal (1946) and Pardesi (1957).

He also made four documentaries, Phir Bol  Ae Sant Kabir being the most outstanding one. Besides this, he produced a hugely popular TV serial, Kahkashan, based on the lives and works of seven luminaries of Urdu poetry—Hasrat, Josh, Firaq, Jigar, Faiz, Makhdoom and Maja’z.


The Aligarh Muslim University had conferred a D.Litt. on him in 1986, fifty years after he was expelled from the University.

Several other honors and awards including

“Padma-Shri” In 1967,

“Gold Medal” From Pakistan Government For Iqbal Studies (1978),

“Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy Award” For Poetry,

“Makhdoom Award”,

“Faiz Ahmad Faiz Award”,

“Iqbal Sammaan” Of Madhya Pradesh Government

“Sant Dyaneshwar Award” Of Maharashtra Government.