Manto - Uncovering Pakistan

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20160616

Sa'adat Hassan Manto was a writer who confronted social taboos in Indio-Pakistani society. Even though he died in 1955, an alcoholic and penniless, his work still speaks to 21st century Pakistan.

"If you find my stories dirty, the society you are living in is dirty. With my stories, I only expose the truth" (Manto)

Born in Punjab in what was then British India on 11th May 1912, Manto died aged only 42 in Punjab, by then Pakistan. As a film and radio script writer, a journalist and most significantly as short story writer in Urdu, he chronicled the chaos that prevailed in the run up to, during and after the Partition of India in 1947. Manto was tried for obscenity six times - three times in British India and three times in Pakistan, but he was never convicted.

"A writer picks up his pen only when his sensibility is hurt" (Manto)

Often compared with DH Lawrence, Manto (much like Lawrence) wrote about topics considered to be social taboos in Indio-Pakistani society. With stories such as 'Atishparay' (Nuggets of Fire), 'Bu' (Odour), 'Thanda Gosht' (Cold Meat) and 'Shikari Auratein' (Women of Prey), he portrayed the darkness of the human psyche and the collective madness of the social and political changes around him.

"If you cannot bear these stories then society is unbearable. Who am I to remove the clothes of this society, which itself is naked. I don't even try to cover it, because that is not my job. That is the job of dressmakers" (Manto)

With the help of Manto's three daughters, Nusrat, Nighat and Nuzhat, as well as writers and scholars like Ayesha Jalal, Suniya Qureshi, Preti Taneja and Mohammed Hanif, presenter Sarfraz Mansoor tells Manto's story and assesses his legacy.

Producer: Paul Kobrak.

2016061620170103 (R4)

Sa'adat Hassan Manto was a writer who confronted social taboos in Indio-Pakistani society. Even though he died in 1955, an alcoholic and penniless, his work still speaks to 21st century Pakistan.

"If you find my stories dirty, the society you are living in is dirty. With my stories, I only expose the truth" (Manto)

Born in Punjab in what was then British India on 11th May 1912, Manto died aged only 42 in Punjab, by then Pakistan. As a film and radio script writer, a journalist and most significantly as short story writer in Urdu, he chronicled the chaos that prevailed in the run up to, during and after the Partition of India in 1947. Manto was tried for obscenity six times - three times in British India and three times in Pakistan, but he was never convicted.

"A writer picks up his pen only when his sensibility is hurt" (Manto)

Often compared with DH Lawrence, Manto (much like Lawrence) wrote about topics considered to be social taboos in Indio-Pakistani society. With stories such as 'Atishparay' (Nuggets of Fire), 'Bu' (Odour), 'Thanda Gosht' (Cold Meat) and 'Shikari Auratein' (Women of Prey), he portrayed the darkness of the human psyche and the collective madness of the social and political changes around him.

"If you cannot bear these stories then society is unbearable. Who am I to remove the clothes of this society, which itself is naked. I don't even try to cover it, because that is not my job. That is the job of dressmakers" (Manto)

With the help of Manto's three daughters, Nusrat, Nighat and Nuzhat, as well as writers and scholars like Ayesha Jalal, Suniya Qureshi, Preti Taneja and Mohammed Hanif, presenter Sarfraz Mansoor tells Manto's story and assesses his legacy.

Producer: Paul Kobrak.

2016061620170103 (R4)

Sa'adat Hassan Manto was a writer who confronted social taboos in Indio-Pakistani society. Even though he died in 1955, an alcoholic and penniless, his work still speaks to 21st century Pakistan.

"If you find my stories dirty, the society you are living in is dirty. With my stories, I only expose the truth" (Manto)

Born in Punjab in what was then British India on 11th May 1912, Manto died aged only 42 in Punjab, by then Pakistan. As a film and radio script writer, a journalist and most significantly as short story writer in Urdu, he chronicled the chaos that prevailed in the run up to, during and after the Partition of India in 1947. Manto was tried for obscenity six times - three times in British India and three times in Pakistan, but he was never convicted.

"A writer picks up his pen only when his sensibility is hurt" (Manto)

Often compared with DH Lawrence, Manto (much like Lawrence) wrote about topics considered to be social taboos in Indio-Pakistani society. With stories such as 'Atishparay' (Nuggets of Fire), 'Bu' (Odour), 'Thanda Gosht' (Cold Meat) and 'Shikari Auratein' (Women of Prey), he portrayed the darkness of the human psyche and the collective madness of the social and political changes around him.

"If you cannot bear these stories then society is unbearable. Who am I to remove the clothes of this society, which itself is naked. I don't even try to cover it, because that is not my job. That is the job of dressmakers" (Manto)

With the help of Manto's three daughters, Nusrat, Nighat and Nuzhat, as well as writers and scholars like Ayesha Jalal, Suniya Qureshi, Preti Taneja and Mohammed Hanif, presenter Sarfraz Mansoor tells Manto's story and assesses his legacy.

Producer: Paul Kobrak.