Habib Tanvir

  • Birthday: 01. September 1923
  • Birthplace: Raipur, Chhattisgarh

Biography

Habib Tanvir (1 September 1923 – 8 June 2009) was one of the most popular Indian Urdu, Hindi playwrights, a theatre director, poet and actor. He was the writer of plays such as, Agra Bazar (1954) and Charandas Chor (1975). A pioneer in Urdu, Hindi theatre, he was most known for his work with Chhattisgarhi tribals, at the Naya Theatre, a theatre company he founded in 1959 in Bhopal. He went on to include indigenous performance forms such as nacha, to create not only a new theatrical language, but also milestones such as Charandas Chor, Gaon ka Naam Sasural, Mor Naam Damad and Kamdeo ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna.

For him true "theatre of the people" existed in the villages, which he strived to bring to the urban "educated", employing both folk performers as actors alongside urban actors. He died on 8 June 2009 at Bhopal after a three-week-long illness. Upon his death, he was the last of pioneering actor-managers in Indian theatre, which included Sisir Bhaduri, Utpal Dutt and Prithviraj Kapoor, and often he managed plays with a mammoth cast, such as Charandas Chor which included an orchestra of 72 people on stage and Agra Bazaar with 52 people.

During his lifetime he won several national and international awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1969, Padma Shri in 1983, Kalidas Samman 1990, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1996, and the Padma Bhushan in 2002. Apart from that he had also been nominated to become a member of the Upper House of Indian Parliament, the Rajya Sabha (1972–1978). His play 'Charandas Chor' (Charandas, The Thief) won him the Fringe Firsts Award at Edinburgh International Drama Festival in 1982, and in 2007, it was included in the Hindustan Times' list of 'India's 60 Best works since Independence which said : "an innovative dramaturgy equally impelled by Brecht and folk idioms, Habib Tanvir seduces across language barriers in this his all-time biggest hit about a Robin Hood-style thief" as .


Movies

1975 - Charandas Chor
1979 - Dhongee
1953 - Footpath - 1953
Prahaar
1982 - Rustom