Manto lives on

Published: January 18, 2011
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Manto was the leading Urdu short-story writer of the twentieth century.

Manto was the leading Urdu short-story writer of the twentieth century.

Pakistan’s revolutionary literary icon, Saadat Hassan Manto’s 56th death anniversary was observed today (Tuesday).

Manto was the leading Urdu short-story writer of the twentieth century. He was a journalist, critic and film writer.

Manto is best known for his Urdu short stories. Some of his famous works include Bu, Khol Do, Thanda Gosht, and Toba Tek Singh. In his short life, he published 22 collections of short stories, one novel, five collections of radio plays, three collections of essays, two collections of personal sketches.

Manto is often compared with DH Lawrence, an English writer. His topics range from the socio-economic injustice prevailing in pre and post-colonial era, to the more controversial topics of love, sex, incest, prostitution and the typical hypocrisy of a traditional male.

Manto was also known for his detestation of communalism, hypocrisy of believers, and exploitation of women and bloodshed on the eve of partition of India. He stood for humanism and exposed the characterless elite of his times. He was considered persona non grata in a newly liberated Pakistan because of his stories like Toba Tek Singh.

Manto was too hard to swallow for people who want to dilute the truth. So subversive was his work considered that it led to him being banned for many years. After producing remarkable pieces of art simultaneously, Manto embarked on a journey of self-destruction. The substandard alcohol that he consumed destroyed his liver and in the winter of 1955 he fell victim to liver cirrhosis.

On January 18, 2005 the 50th anniversary of his death, Manto was commemorated on a Pakistani postage stamp.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Nadeem Zafar
    Jan 18, 2011 - 5:25PM

    waah wah..gem of a man was this fellow, Saddat Hassan Manto. This may sound odd..or absurd to many..but he runs in my blood. I have read him over and over…his short stories..essays..letters that he wrote to his friends..and some books that are written about him..and I really feel that I can never get tired of reading him..and reading about him. Reasons..for this are many. He is one of the very few writers in Urdu literature who has successfully deciphered the workings of human mind..and expressed his findings through simple descriptions of human interactions. Manto..is the man of idea as well as of style. He is both fragnance and colour. He has not been given the attention he deserved from the critics. But..his lovers know..he never expected that..he knew us a bit too well. :) We love you Manto..we love you sooo much! Recommend

  • Nadeem Zafar
    Jan 18, 2011 - 6:04PM

    And..while any other piece about a model or a cricketer would have attracted hundreds of comments..its sad to note that this piece about Manto..isnt getting as many. :(Recommend

  • Jan 18, 2011 - 8:42PM

    I was expecting some “Original” article here, but it’s only composed of some paragraphs copied/pasted from Wikipedia’s article, and without even citing the source…
    Quite unprofessional…Recommend

  • Jan 28, 2011 - 3:33PM

    Somebody said about Manto ” Gande muashre ka ujla manto”

    it made me burst into tears when i read this quote. A great writer. i am a big fan of him. and i am proud to be one of the people living under the influence of Manto era.Recommend

  • Nadeem Zafar
    Jan 28, 2011 - 6:09PM

    “Main nay usko dekha hay
    ujli ujli sarkon par, ik gard bhari hairani main
    andhay ondhay katuron ke phailti hui tughyani main
    jab wo khali botal phaink kr kehta hay..
    Dunya..tera husn yehi badsurti hay..
    tou dunya usko ghurti hay..”

    First Part of Majeed Amjad’s poem Manto. Recommend

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