Saadat Hassan Manto
Updated: May 31
Celebrated for his stories of partition, Saadat Hasan Manto’s creative choices have been subject to censorship. For what it is worth, he left us with twenty collections of short stories, five, of radio dramas, three, of essays, two, of sketches, a novel and a clutch of film scripts on subjects including criticism of society and the government, insanity, alcohol, and prostitution.
Some of Saadat Hassan Manto's most famous works include Thanda Gosht, Toba Tek Singh, Khol Do, Inquilab Pasand, and Asli Jin. Manto once said, “If you cannot bear the stories I write, then it is the society you live in which is unbearable.”
Saadat Hassan Manto wrote so much which resonates with us even today, so we decided to plunge into one of his articles, which he penned before partition.
We have been hearing for a long time now about all the things our country needs to be saved from. However, it is, in fact, those who make this noise from who our country needs saving from. Undoubtedly immaculate at the art of making noise, their hearts are utterly devoid of sincerity.
These people, of poor character, who can not even fix things at home, emerge as politicians and make promises to fix the country and preach morality to the people! How funny!
They keep telling the people that they are reviving the dead, politics and religion, whilst the blood of both religion and politics is on the hands of these lofty men who are known as illustrious leaders.
Religion is no abstract concept. Its spirit is a concrete reality, thus, is the same as it always was, and that is how it shall always be. Religion is a rock which the raging waves of the sea cannot affect. When these leaders shed crocodile tears, claiming that religion is in danger, they lie. Religion is not something that can be endangered; if anything, it is them who endanger religion to suit themselves.
These people collect donations, but have they so far offered a solution to unemployment? These people practice religion, but have they ever followed the rules of religion? These people, who live in houses given in charity, feed themselves with alms. Those who live on borrowed things, whose soul is lame, whose mind is crippled, whose tongues, hands and feet are paralyzed, how can they lead the country and the nation. We do not need countless leaders who play new tunes.
Our country only needs a leader who has the sincerity of Hazrat Omar and the warrior spirit of Atatürk in his chest. Those who press forward against the enemy with bare feet and empty stomachs. We need that one man who shall rein in this unbridled horse of a country and lead it courageously towards the field of freedom.
If a man clothed in silk clothes dares to tell you the remedy for poverty, cut him down to size. These leaders are bedbugs who are stuck inside the hearths of the country. They must be driven out by the boiling water of hatred. They are thieves of thieves, now is the time for people to show their distrust in them.
There is a need for the youth with torn shirts to rise and throw down these so-called leaders from the high place they have assumed without our permission. They have no right to sympathize with us, the poor. Remember, poverty is not a curse. Those who curse poverty are, in fact, those who are cursed.
Think about your profit and loss and your future. Act accordingly, and then watch the spectacle of these so-called leaders trying to steer the heavy ship of their lives in the vast ocean of this world.
As dreary times surround Pakistan, we are once again reminded of why his work shall remain forever green.
Find the original work here.
This blog has been written by Komal Salman.