Saadat Hasan Manto The Writer Of Next Century

Qasim Khan Lahore

Saadat Hassan Manto (b:1 May 1912 – d:18 January 1955), the most widely read short-story writer of the Urdu language. He is best known for his short stories, "Bu" (Odour), "Khol Do" (Open It), "Thanda Gosht" (Cold Meat), and his magnum opus, "Toba Tek Singh", born on 11 May 1912 at Samrala in Punjab’s Ludhiana district in a Kashmiri Muslim family of barristers.

In a literary, journalistic, radio scripting and film-writing career spread over more than two decades, he produced twenty-two collections of short stories, one novel, five collections of radio plays, three collections of essays, two collections of personal sketches and many scripts for films. 

Manto arrived in Lahore sometime in early 1948 from Bombay where his friends had tried to stop him from migrating to Pakistan because he was quite popular as a film writer. In Lahore, he lived in Lakshmi Mansion at the Mall, near several prominent intellectuals and thus found a stimulating atmosphere around him. His only problem was how to cater for his family. Lahore at that time did not have many opportunities to offer.

He was tried for obscenity half a dozen times, thrice before and thrice after independence. Some of Manto’s greatest work was produced in the last seven years of his life, a time of great financial and emotional hardship for him.

"A writer picks up his pen only when his sensibility is hurt." Saadat Hasan Manto to a court judge.