Shaukat Kaifi, the wife of renowned poet Kaifi Azmi and mother actress Shaban Azmi has passed away today. She was 91. She is survived by daughter Shabana Azmi and son Baba Azmi.
Shaukat Kaifi has appeared in many Bollywood films, and she is best known for her role in the Rekha and Farooq Sheikh-starrer Umrao Jaan.
Before joining films, Shaukat Kaifi worked with Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) as a stage actress. Apart from the 1981-released Umrao Jaan, Shaukat also appeared in films such as Haqeeqat, Heer Ranjha, Bazaar, Salaam Bombay and Saathiya.
Shaukat Kaifi was born into a Muslim family of Hyderabad. She grew up in Hyderabad, India. At a young age, she was married to the Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi.
Shaukat and Kaifi, who settled in Mumbai immediately after their wedding, endured many ups and downs in life together. Kaifi was a committed member of the communist party, so much so that, upon his request, his party membership card was buried with him when he died. He worked all his life for the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and the Progressive Writers Association (PWA), and for many years after their wedding, his income was nothing more than the meagre stipend that the Party gave him. For many years, the couple lived with their two children in accommodation provided by the Communist Party of India, which was nothing more than one bedroom in an apartment shared with three other families.