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September 15, 2015

Manto: Immortalised by his rejection of societal clichés


September 15, 2015

The Oxford University Press, Pakistan hosted a discussion on the recently launched film, ‘Manto’, followed by a question-answer session at the OUP Head Office Monday evening.
The panelists included the director of the movie, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, and cast members Nimra Bucha, Sania Saeed, and Talha Mufti. Clips from the movie, Manto, were also shown to give the guests an idea as to what Manto stood for. The film’s script has been penned by noted TV personality Shahid Mehmood Nadeeem.
Khoosat, in a profound observation of Manto, said, “One theme that runs through his works most unmistakably is tolerance. The keynote of his writings was tolerance for those whose views and
beliefs were different from those of the mainstream.”
“Manto,” he continued, “always advocated the right of others to think and live as they wanted.”
The movie depicts the last few years in the life and career of the South Asian author, known for his scathing insight into human behaviour and the often macabre and “cannibalistic” nature of some humans.
The clips would certainly have plummeted many back in time and to their moorings in the city of Lahore, hosting monkey trainers and tongas, as also the railway trains.
The film clips depicted Manto’s turbulent life and the most unfavourable social climate amid which he wrote the most controversial and, hence, successful stories.
Describing Manto as a great artist, radical, revolutionary author, they said that his works laid bare the darkness of the human psyche. Khoosat lamented that Manto died in 1955 yet till 2015 there was no
recognition and the film project just took off in 2012.
For one, Manto has written volumes on the partition of the South Asian sub-continent and all the events that followed with their social ramifications.
Khoosat said that Manto did not abide by clichés and that, perhaps, was what immortalised him.
He was all praise for Shahid Nadeem and

the prowess of his pen, alluding to the fine quality of the script.

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