I'm an avid Urdu literature reader and I highly appreciate that finally the people of my country are promoting it more & more nowadays, god bless. Just a few days ago, a movie based on Manto, a vvv famous yet controversial writer from the past, came out and GUYS IT IS FAB. I'm going to watch it as soon as I get a chance. For today, my friend Jamal has a guest post for y'all about this writer. While I sit back and plan my zine, have a read about Saadat Hasan Manto, the unappreciated hero we had.
Urdu literature has produced some fine writers which have captured the minds and imaginations of masses. They have played role in moving people’s emotions and inspiring them in time of independence and war. These writers have inspired generations after generations and educated Pakistanis about their traditions and cultures through their writing. One name among the greats of Urdu literature is that of Saadat Hasan Manto.
Manto mostly wrote quality short stories. Some of them like Toba Tek Singh are absolute classics. One has to read Manto to understand how his work back in the partition days was well ahead of its time. Thanks to a much more tolerant society and wider acceptance diverse literature, you can find Manto’s works in libraries as well as online on shopping websites like Kaymu.
Rebel at heart!
Known more for his controversial works, Manto was a rebel at heart. Perhaps this is what made him into a notable literary figure that he is now. This was not the case back in his time, where he was branded as being “obscene” in his work. Though he was tried 6 times on this charge, he was never convicted. He was criticized for writing sexually explicit content which, even in today’s subcontinent, is considered a taboo. He also criticized the injustices against women and the interference of religion in state affairs.
Manto’s work is different than other Urdu writers. He always went against the flow of things and presented the other side of the picture. This habit of his also got him into trouble many a times. His work was well ahead of time, and it was after his demise that people actually realized the depth of his literary work.
Hit Morality Issues with a Bang!
Manto’s work around the partition era is unparalleled. He highlighted various issues faced by the people of subcontinent at that time. Being a critic of partition, Manto viewed the unity of the subcontinent its biggest strength. His short stories carried a strong message on this issue. Using his personal experiences as well as observing the events unfolding in lives of his friends and colleagues at the time of partition, Manto was able to highlight the issues faced in the plight of Muslims and Hindus to their respective majority areas.
Manto was a strong advocate of equal rights for women and minorities. Exploring the psyche of women is extremely difficult and expressing it in words is unheard of, but Manto managed to highlight the issues of women in his work with ease. He was branded an infidel for highlighting the plight of minorities and women in subcontinent. The cruelty faced by women in Punjab and minorities in the whole subcontinent is widely discussed in his work. People don’t like to hear the bitter truth. This is why he always invited unjust criticism at his work.Manto is as much Indian as he is Pakistani. This is because most of his famous work was before the time of partition in British India. After partition, he migrated to Pakistan, his new homeland, along with millions of other Muslims. Though he was never acknowledged for his work in his lifetime, he received Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civil award, posthumously in 2012.