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Zia Sarhadi (Urdu: ضیا سرحدی‎; born Fazl-e-Qadir Sethi[1] 1914 in Peshawar, North West Frontier Province – 27 January 1997 in Karachi, Sindh) was a Pakistani screenwriter and director of films in the Indian Film Industry, whose career spanned what is widely considered the Golden Age of Indian Cinema.



He was the father of TV and radio actor Khayyam Sarhadi and grandfather of actress Zhalay Sarhadi.[1] As a director, he was probably best known for his films Humlog (1951) and Footpath (1953).[2]

He was involved in writing the script as a consultant for the film Mother India (1957), considered one of the greatest Indian films of all time, but is rarely credited for his contribution.[3] Described as an"unaffiliated Marxist", his films were known for dealing with social issues of the period.[2] His film Footpath, for instance, dealt with issues of moral guilt in the 1950s India.[4]


As ActorEdit

  • 1936 Manmohan (Zia Sarhadi also wrote the lyrics, story, screenplay and dialogue of this film)[2]

As directorEdit

  • 1936 Bhole Bhale
  • 1938 Madhur Milan
  • 1938 Abhilasha
  • 1943 Nadaan
  • 1945 Yateem
  • 1951 Hum Log (1951 film)[5][2]
  • 1953 Footh Path[5]
  • 1956 Awaaz[2]
  • 1960 Rahguzar
  • 1966 Insaan

As screenwriterEdit


  1. ^ a b "Peshawar's contribution to subcontinent's cinema highlighted". The News International (newspaper). Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Obituary:Zia Sarhadi". The Herald (magazine). Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  3. ^ Chatterjee, Gayatri (2002). Mother India. British Film Institute. pp. 31–2. ISBN 978-0-85170-917-8.
  4. ^ Gokulsing, K. Moti; Dissanayake, Wimal (17 December 2008). Popular Culture in a Globalised India. Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-203-88406-5. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b Filmography of Zia Sarhadi on website Retrieved 26 April 2019

External linksEdit