Saadat Manto’s daughters in India,to visit writer’s birthplace in Punjab today

For the first time ever,the three daughters of legendary writer Saadat Hasan Manto,who chronicled the pain of partition of India and Pakistan in his stories,will be visiting his birthplace at Papraudi village near Samrala in Ludhiana district on Wednesday.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Attari | Published: September 5, 2012 2:07 am

For the first time ever,the three daughters of legendary writer Saadat Hasan Manto,who chronicled the pain of partition of India and Pakistan in his stories,will be visiting his birthplace at Papraudi village near Samrala in Ludhiana district on Wednesday.

Manto’s daughters — Nighat,Nuzhat and Nusrat — crossed over to India through Attari border on Tuesday along with a delegation. Besides visiting Manto’s birthplace and attending few other programmes,they will also attend a seminar on Manto’s works in New Delhi,which will be attended by HRD minister Kapil Sibal too.

On their way back,Manto’s daughters will visit Koocha Vakilaan,a locality in Amritsar where the writer spent a considerable time of his life.

Meanwhile,Papraudi,all is set to accord a grand welcome to Manto’s daughters. “We will welcome them with beats of dhol and bhangra. It will be like a marriage ceremony,” Daljit Shahi of Lekhak Manch,Samrala,said. A gate named after Manto at the village will also be inaugurated.

“I am very excited and happy to visit the birthplace of my father,” said the eldest of the three siblings,Nighat,who was born in Mumbai in 1946. A year later,following partition,Manto moved to Pakistan.

“We live in the same place in Lahore where the family moved after partition,” Nighat said. Her husband hails from Gujarat. “In his works,my father used to say that Manto toh zinda hai (Manto is alive). He will always remain alive through his writings,” Nighat said.

“After learning about the grand welcome planned by Lekhak Manch,I am all the more excited to visit my father’s birthplace,” said younger daughter Nuzhat,who used to teach Urdu at Lahore American School.

“We have been to India a few times,but this is the first time we will be visiting our father’s birthplace,” said Manto’s youngest daughter Nusrat.

Welcomed in unique zero-line function at Attari border

More than half-a-century after the publication of Toba Tek Singh (1955),written by literary genius Saadat Hasan Manto,a powerful satire on relations between India and Pakistan which depicted the pain of partition,a new dawn unfolded at Attari border on Tuesday as the Alami Urdu Trust organised a function to welcome the writer’s daughters to India. The function was held adjacent to the zero line on the Indian side – a fitting tribute to a man who belonged to both countries.

“I am thankful to the Indian government and BSF for organising the function here. They have sent a strong signal and will strengthen Indo-Pak ties,” said M Afzal,former Rajya Sabha MP and former Indian Ambassador to Turkmenistan. Afzal said he would write a letter of appreciation to the Home Ministry which had given the permission to organise the function.

“Such a function to honour a literary personality has not happened at the border as far as my memory goes. We are very happy to see that Manto has been remembered in such a big way,” said Islamia College Lahore Professor Dr Mirza Hamid Baig.

‘Manto served a raw deal’

Highlighting that Manto never used the word freedom and never wrote of the partition as one lakh Muslims and one lakh Hindus killed but of two lakh humans killed,Khalid Ashraf – an associate Professor at Delhi University – on Tuesday said that the ace writer had been served a raw deal by Delhi University,Jamia Milia Islamia University and Jawaharlal Nehru that have failed to acknowledge Manto’s rich literary contribution. Manto’s daughter Nuzhat,also rued that Pakistan government had not recognised her father’s contribution.

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