Writer and activist Sadia Dehlvi dies aged 63

Sadia, who hailed from the royal ‘Shama’ family, edited Bano, an Urdu women’s journal

August 06, 2020 04:08 am | Updated 04:09 am IST - New Delhi

Author Sadia Dehlvi at the Hazrat Nizamuddin's Chilla, in New Delhi. File

Author Sadia Dehlvi at the Hazrat Nizamuddin's Chilla, in New Delhi. File

Noted Delhi-based writer and activist Sadia Dehlvi has passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer. She was 63.

Sadia was admitted to a city hospital recently where she was undergoing treatment. She died at her home on Wednesday.

“Sad to hear about the tragic demise of Sadia Dehlvi, a well known cultural figure of Delhi, a dear friend and a wonderful human being. Rest in Peace,” tweeted eminent historian S. Irfan Habib.

Sadia, who hailed from the royal ‘Shama’ family, edited Bano , an Urdu women’s journal. Her grandfather, Hafiz Yusuf Dehlvi, founded in 1938 Shama, an iconic Urdu film and literary monthly.


A well-known food connoisseur, she wrote a book on Delhi’s culinary history in 2017, titled Jasmine & Jinns: Memories and Recipes of My Delhi.

A woman of many talents, Sadia also produced and scripted documentaries and television programmes, including “Amma and Family” (1995), starring Zohra Sehgal, a veteran stage actor.

She was a close friend and confidante of the late author Khushwant Singh. Singh dedicated his book Not a Nice Man to Know to her.

He wrote, “To Sadia Dehlvi, who gave me more affection and notoriety than I deserve.”

Singh’s book Men and Women in my Life has Sadia’s photo on its cover and the book has a chapter dedicated to her.

Sadia produced the television show “Not a Nice man to Know” with Singh interviewing women from various fields.

She is survived by her son Arman Ali Dehlvi.

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