Saadat Hasan Manto: ‘He anticipated where Pakistan would go’

The Guardian: Link

How many of us can confidently say that we perceive the underprivileged amongst with compassion and mercy, knowing that somewhere down the line we might be hiding our failures as a responsible citizen in the cloak of self serving hypocrisy? S.H Manto’s style of storytelling revolves around the complex moral situations that we are trapped in. He is considered as the primary chronicler of India-Pakistan partition, an appealing work in its most honest and gruelling form possible. He is able to carve his own identity even in narrating historical events in addition to writing exploring non-conformist pastures of fiction. He views partition from a humanist school of thought and finds himself astonished at the news of best friends and neighbours killing each other over something as imaginary as borders and religion. Foreseeing and predicting what would become of Pakistan in 35 years of time, he underscores a visionary literati is as good as political pundit or astute economist in terms of their contribution to nation building.

The biggest contribution of literary geniuses like Manto is that they opened up windows to young readers and writers of the developed world that the one needs to overcome the rigid classification of past and present while attempting a work of fiction. Even a subject matter of the present be worthwhile of being the subject of fiction without being apologetic for doing it.  His glorious legacy is passed on to people like Haneef Mohammed, who has been under the scanner of extremist forces for writing political satires. Let’s wish that his soul embedded in purgatory fire, keep filtering polite hypocrisies and lies for allowing the impolite but honest narrations come up to the surface, keep itself ablaze for keeping these treacherous paths visible for millions to come.


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