Getting into the discussion of some renowned storytellers of all time, how can one forget the name Saadat Hasan Manto. Manto was believed to be one of the most revolutionary and controversial writers of his time, eloquently crafting empathetic and shocking short stories about those living on the edges of society. Let’s revisit some of his life’s most impeccable -cum- contentious events.
Stories and pain of partition
Manto who was an Indian and Pakistani writer, playwright and author, is considered to be among one of those skilled and artistic writers who have brought upon the stories and the situation of India during partition, most proficiently.
Manto has projected the affliction of partition in an extremely conventional way and has also thrown some light on the repercussions faced by the people later, part of which can be seen and observed in his stories like Toba Tek Singh and Khol Do.
Sexual and offensive content
People of his time considered his stories and writings to be very vulgar and offensive to read. The interesting part of his stories was that he had certain limitations which he never crossed and he was clear in his mind to put out the reality in front of people.
He believed that ‘If you cannot bear his stories then the society is unbearable’. According to him, things that we see around if brought down on the paper is offensive then the society in which we live in, is equally objectionable.
Charge for Obscenity
Manto had to face a lot of criticism for few of his tales and under section 292, six of his stories were banned, the first three in colonial-era India, and the rest in Pakistan by the Indian penal code and Pakistan penal code respectively.
His stories like ‘Dhuan,’ ‘Bu,’ and ‘Kali Shalwar’ declared him to be a pornographic writer in those days but are highly praised today by the youth of our country.
Migration and Death
Manto’s wife and his daughters already left to Lahore to meet their relatives after which Manto also had to move during Partition riots which were at their worst at that course of time.
Manto’s career faced a huge backlash during the early 1950s because of the amount of alcohol he was into. He had no strong or good work and everything was going against him. Later, on 18th January 1955, Manto left this world and the main cause of his death was over-consumption of alcohol.
A biopic on Manto by Nandita Das
Nandita Das who is a Bollywood filmmaker, was so much obsessed with Manto’s thoughts and his life journey that she finally ended up constructing a full-fledged movie on him.
She says “We are still grappling with issues of identity, nationalism and religion. Not just in India, but around the world,” his words lend themselves to the times, then and now, in their identity politics.” Nawazuddin Siddique who portrayed the character of Manto quotes “When I see him and then myself, I feel very small. He further adds, “My respect for Manto gradually increased when I was preparing myself for the role, he is such an iconic character to play”.
Nawazuddin charged Re 1 for the movie. Rishi Kapoor and Javed Akhtar who were also seen in a cameo did not charge anything for the same.
Manto as a writer has been one of those iconic story presenters who will always be remembered for the things that he wrote long back but are the real issues of today’s world.
Theatre, Street plays and Events on Manto
Veracious stories seeded by Manto have always been a centre of theatrical plays and events in the 21st century. His ideology is still being projected out and is appreciated by the masses. There are numerous events that are being organized often to pay a tribute to him.
‘Mantoiyat’ – A complete show on Manto
The Modern Poets, a writer’s community of Delhi is all set to deliver a tangible event show on Manto called Mantoiyat. This is just an another way to put out his views and thoughts through dramatic acts, storytelling and poetries on his 107th birth anniversary.
Tickets link – https://insider.in/mantoiyat-jashnemanto-the-modern-poets-may11-2019/event
Fb page The Modern Poets – https://www.facebook.com/themodernpoets7/