Wazir Agha

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Wazir Agha (Urdu: وزیر آغا ‎) was a Pakistani Urdu language writer, poet, critic and essayist.  He has written many poetry and prose books. He was also editor and publisher of the literary magazine “Auraq” for many decades. He introduced many theories in Urdu literature. His most famous work is on Urdu humour. His books focus on modern Urdu poets, notably those who have written more poems instead of ghazals. Agha’s poems have mostly an element of story.

Agha has received Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his best cotributions to Urdu literature. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Back ground

Agha was born on 18 May 1922 in the village Wazir Kot in the Sargodha district. His father was a businessman who dealt in horses from the Persian-speaking Qizilbash family. Wazir’s father obtained 750 acres (3.0 km2) of land from the British government in the Sargodha district.

Agha learned Persian from his father, Punjabi from his mother and English from his British friends.[citation needed] During his school years, he developed a strong fondness for Urdu ghazals and started composing poetry on his own. He graduated from Government College, Jhang and later received his masters degree in economics from Government College, Lahore. He gained his PhD from theUniversity of Punjab in 1956 for his research on humor and satire in Urdu Literature.

Agha died on 7 September 2010 in Lahore. He was laid to rest in his native village near Sargodha.

Literary career:

Agha was the editor of the college magazine Chanab in Government College, Jhang. In 1944, he came across Salahuddin Ahmad who was the editor of famous monthly Adabi Duniya. He was asked to contribute by writing essays on topics uncommon in Urdu Literature of that time, such as economics, philosophy, psychology. In 1953, his work on “In search of happiness” was compiled as a book that opened a formal paradigm of research in Urdu literature.

From 1960 to 1963, he acted as a co-editor of Adbi Duniya and from 1965 onwards, he remained editor of monthly Auraq for many decades.  He established himself as a critic.

The Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) has published a book on Agha’s life and work as part of its publishing project, “Makers of Pakistani Literature”. [dead link] He was also Life Fellow of PAL since 1995.  He also wrote an autobiography Shaam Ki Mundair Sey.

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