About the Archive

About Sajjad Zaheer

“Sajjad Zaheer was a prominent personality whose prime area of focus was literature (more specially Urdu literature), left politics and cultural activities. He was born on November 5, 1905 in Lucknow. He was one of seven children of Sir Syed Wazir Hasan and Sakinal Fatima [Lady Wazir Hasan]. He was married to Razia Dilshad on December 10, 1938. In 1935, he founded the Association of Progressive Indian Writers in London, and later on founded the same in India and became its nodal point. After the removal of the banning of Communist Party of India, in 1942 he became the editor of two party journals, Qaumi Jang and Naya Zamana. In 1948, in the wake of Indian Partition, he was sent to Pakistan to carry out party works as its General-Secretary in Pakistan. He was then imprisoned by the Pakistani government for Rawalpindi Conspiracy case, and spent four and a half years in different jails in Pakistan. He was released in 1955 and was sent back to India. Upon his return he continued his Party activities as well as, he continued to be at the helm of Progressive Writers’ Association. He visited several places in order to create a global platform for liberal thinkers and left cultural activists. He visited several countries including Viet-Nam and Cuba. In 1959 he became Chief Editor of Awami Daur (later Hayat). He died in Kazakhstan on 13 September, 1973. He has seven monographs and four translations to his credit, besides several essays in different languages.”

[taken from the Daastaan Finding Aid]

History of the Online Archive

The online Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive represents a deep collaboration between the Sajjad Zaheer family, Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD), and the University of Texas at Austin (UT). Najma Zaheer Baquer, in her capacity as the representative of the Sajjad Zaheer & Razia Sajjad Zaheer Estate, had an established Memorandum of Understanding with Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) to archive the collection, including establishing open access to the collection through digital means. The opportunity to internationalize and democratize access to the collection through digitization was of great interest to UT professors and to UT Libraries and so in 2014 discussions began in earnest between the family, AUD and UT. The results available here represent years of collaboration as well as the financial, logistical and moral support of AUD’s Centre for Community Knowledge, UT’s South Asia Institute, and the South Asia Materials Project. For more details about the many hands and moving parts of this collection, please see Acknowledgements.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please email: zaheerarchive@utlists.utexas.edu.