KARACHI: Ahmed Ali, a novelist, poet, critic, translator, diplomat and scholar is being remembered on his death anniversary today (Saturday).
Ahmed Ali as born in 1910, in New Delhi, India. He was a great novelist, poet, critic, translator, diplomat and scholar, who was responsible for writing arguably the greatest novel ever written about Delhi and which is considered classic.
He taught at leading Indian universities including Lucknow and Allahabad from 1932–46. Ahmed Ali became co-founder of the All-India Progressive Writers' Movement and Association with the publication of Angare in 1932, a collection of short stories which was later banned by the British Government of India in March 1933.
Shortly afterward, Ali and Mahmud-uz-Zaffar announced the formation of a "League of Progressive Authors“. Ali presented his paper "Art ka Taraqqi-Pasand Nazariya” in 1936.
Ali's works include collections of short stories: Shole 1934; Hamari Gali 1940; Qaid Khana 1942; and Maut Se Pehle 1945.
He joined the Bengal Senior Educational Service as professor and head of the English Department at Presidency College, Calcutta (1944–47).
Ali was the BBC's Representative and Director in India during 1942–44. During partition, he was the British Council Visiting Professor to the University of China in Nanking.
When he tried to return to India after partition in 1948, K.P.S Menon did not let him therefore he moved to Karachi in 1948. Later, he was appointed Director of Foreign Publicity, Government of Pakistan.
He joined the Pakistan Foreign Service in 1950. He went to China as Pakistan's first envoy and established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic in 1951.
Ahmed Ali achieved international fame with his novel Twilight in Delhi. Ali was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Humanities at Michigan State University in 1975, Fulbright Visiting Professor of History at Western Kentucky University and Fulbright Visiting Professor of English at Southern Illinois University in 1978–79.
He was made an Honorary Citizen by the State of Nebraska in 1979. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Karachi during 1977–79, which later conferred on him an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature in 1993.
During the 1950s Ahmed Ali worked for the Pakistan Foreign Service, establishing embassies in Morocco and China.
He died on 14 January 1994 in Karachi. SAMAA