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Rabbani suggests highest civil award for Manto

Published May 11, 2012 02:41pm


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Saadat Hassan Manto. -- File photo

ISLAMBAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday suggested the President Asif Ali Zardari to confer the highest civil award for prominent short-story writer late Saadat Hassan Manto to acknowledge his services.

“The 100th birth anniversary of Manto is being observed today. For his literary works, he had not only earned fame within Pakistan but in international community also,” Rabbani said while speaking on a point of order.

He said at a time when there is chaos and polarisation in the country, besides other remedial measures, if we respect the literary figures, it could help improve situation.

He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had established Pakistan Academy of Letters that had been patronising the literary figures besides working for their promotion but currently its role has been diminishing.

He said the intellectual renaissance that had begot during Bhutto's period is direly needed today.

Rabbani said a lot of people have been conferred awards in the past though some of them did not even deserve that distinction but Manto has not been given any such award despite his remarkable services in literature.

He requested the Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bokhari to propose the president to confer the highest civil award to the said literary figure.

Later, the chair asked Leader of the House Jahangir Badar to consider the proposal, who also supported the idea.


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Comments (10) Closed

paktvportal May 11, 2012 07:17pm
Agreed, I think there should be ban on post death awards in Pakistan as people exploit hero such as manto for their self promotions ect.
NASAH (USA) May 11, 2012 03:30pm
Why so late reinventing the wheel. In their heydays Manto or Faiz who were the mentors of us the non religious Muslims were hunted down and jailed for their unIslamic writings in the Land of Pure -- and the only accommodations they could get were in the thanas or in the jails -- now they are being rediscovered for something they were persecuted for 60 to 70 years ago? Hypocrisy thy name is lately come johnny 'progressives'. Where were you all these years? "kee meray qatle kay baad oosnay jafa say tauba Hai uss "zood pashemaaN" ka pasheman hona".
Vinod Mubayi May 11, 2012 05:51pm
Good comment! About the motives of these "johnny-come-latelies" regarding taraqqui-pasand writers, the latter may be wishing that "Apni gali may mujh ko na kar dafan bade qatle Meray patay se khalq ko kyun tera ghar milay" Now if they start recommending Jalib for these awards we may feel differently!
Kamaljit Singh May 11, 2012 08:08pm
Timeless storyteller little remembered in his own village Minna Zutshi Tribune News Service (L) Ujagar Singh at the makeshift library at Paproudi village. Photos: Inderjit Verma Samrala, May 11 In the non-descript village of Paproudi in Samrala, Sadat Hasan Manto is an unfamiliar name. The works of this noted Urdu writer —“Toba Tek Singh”, “Thanda Gosht”, “Tamasha” — are even more unfamiliar. The villagers cannot relate to any of these. But there’s a quiet realisation among them that the village is in the spotlight because of him. Manto was born in Paproudi on May 11, 1912. He spent most of his teenage in Shimla and Amritsar. He migrated to Pakistan after Partition. An old man in his late 70s is sitting on the village roadside.The way to Manto’s house? “Manto? I don’t know. Better ask the sarpanch…Yes, I’m from this village…But Manto?”. He looks puzzled. Manto’s house has seen several renovations and nothing is left of its original form. Only a dusty street, where the gate of Manto’s two-room house once opened, is intact. Manto’s schoolmate Ujagar Singh makes an unobtrusive entry. A year short of a century, this school dropout studied with Manto till Class I. If he’s to be believed, Manto was an unlikely hero some 90 years ago. “Manto’s family was called the Kashmiri family in the village. As kids, we enjoyed saag and makki di roti. A fruit called ‘phut’, that I hardly get now, was our favourite. I had no inkling that he would be a great writer one day,” he says. (Top) Ram Singh, present owner of Manto's house and (Below) a billboard in Samrala mentions Manto Utsav to be held on May 13. Photos: Inderjit Verma “Manto was an avid footballer. He was strikingly good looking. We’d keep visiting his maternal aunt’s house at Samspur village,” he recalled. Did he ever get a glimpse of a rebel in Manto? “Not the faintest when he was a child,” he says. Ujagar sees Manto through the eyes of a 10-year-old. There’s a ring of sincerity and affection when he talks of Manto. It’s a friend’s tribute, not a fan’s adulation. “In the past 90 years, everything has changed. The village well has long dried up,” says Ujagar, turning pensive. “In the 1960s, Manto’s kutcha house was auctioned by the government for Rs 400. But it was no small amount at that time,” he says. He says he is looking forward to the Lekhak Manch, Samrala, cutting a cake and then holding a candlelight march in Manto’s memory. Manto’s epitaph, that he wrote a few months before his death, reads: “Here lies Sadat Hasan Manto and with him lie buried all secrets and mysteries of the art of short story writing. Under tonnes of earth he lies, still wondering who among the two is the greater short story writer: God or he.” Lekhak manch The Lekhak Manch, Samrala, is celebrating the birth anniversary of Sadat Hasan Manto at his village. “Way back in 1988, we started the Manto Memorial Cultural Club. Last year, we opened a small library with the help of Punjabi litterateur Gulzar Sandhu,” says manch president Daljeet Singh Shahi. The ‘library’ is restricted to a shelf in a room at Kalgidhar Gurdwara. “We hope that within a few months, we would have a separate room to house the library,” he adds. Rajwinder Samrala, general secretary of the manch, says they plan to get Manto’s rare book “Siyah Haashiya” reprinted. Manto’s epitaph reads: “Here lies Sadat Hasan Manto and with him lie buried all secrets and mysteries of the art of short story writing... Gracious Offer “I’ll donate the house if there are any plans to preserve it as a national heritage building,” says Ram Singh, owner of the house that once was Manto’s. He says his grandfather had bought the house in the 1960s.
msr May 13, 2012 10:16am
We always aknowledge the people after their death. Let us give name to any college or university by the name of Manto.
Farrukh May 13, 2012 11:10am
For God's sake Manto ko bakhsh dain !
Farrukh May 13, 2012 11:34am
When I am dead my dearest , sing no sad songs for me ' plant thou no roses at my head ', nor shady cyprus tree , Be the green grass above me , with showers and dew-drops wet , and if thou wilt remember , and if thou wilt forget , I shall not see the shadows , I shall not feel the rain , I shall not hear the nightingale sing on as if in pain , and dreaming through the twilight , that doth not rise nor set , and if thou wilt remember , and if thou wilt forget .
Khan Changez Khan May 12, 2012 05:50am
Bad-e-hayeet laakhon san'adon ka kaiya karun Ay kaash chand sikkey hi miltey hayeet meyn Shams*
Caz May 12, 2012 08:01am
Why did bhutto not award him then?
Shahida Sab May 12, 2012 10:35pm
well i just wonder if art is name of admiring nudity or awards are for those who wrote most vulgar things. If art is to vommit out ur inner evils on page to make people sick, we really need to reconsider it... there should be no awards for mantoo. I just wonder if his writings deserved to be published, they are just sick stories .