Dr. Imtiaz Ali Taj
Date of Issue (October 13, 2001)
Syed lmtiaz Ali Taj, prose and drama writer, was born in Lahore on October 13, 1900. After his education, he was able to partake in his father's publishing institution, Dar-ul-Ishaat Punjab.
During his college days he showed his literary qualities by translating and directing several English plays, and then staging them for the college. He sometimes played female roles as girls in his time were not allowed to act.
His earliest involvement with publications began with 'Phool', a children's periodical and 'Tahzeeb-e-Niswan' for women readership.
In 1918 he began the literary magazine called 'Kehkashan' in collaboration with his friend, Maulana Abdul Majeed Salik. In Phool he had the assistance of the famous short story writer Ghulam Abbas Ahmed as well as young Ahmed Nadeem Oasmi.
He translated into Urdu Shakespeare's play 'A Mid Summer Nights Dream' and entitled it in 'Sawan Rain ka sapna'. In 1922 he wrote 'Anarkali', which became a landmark in Urdu drama writing. This was later adapted into feature films in India and Pakistan.
In 1926 he wrote a play 'Chacha Chhakan' which was similar to the famous characters 'Uncle Podger' of the English dramatist Jerome, Chacha Chhakan remains until today the most humorous character in the Urdu literature.
Apart from criticism on drama, he also wrote radio plays, novels, short stories and several film stories, some of them directed by him. As the Director of 'Majlis' he republished many critical works of Urdu literature.
After the establishment of Pakistan, Syed lmtiaz Ali Taj conducted a daily feature 'Pakistan Hamara Hai' for Radio Pakistan. It was no doubt a popular programme.
On 19th April, 1970 while he was asleep, he was shot dead by some unknown persons. His wife Hijab lmtiaz Ali was seriously wounded.