Stories about progressive

Manto: Still relevant, still cherished

January 18 marked the 57th death anniversary of Saadat Hassan Manto, the greatest and most controversial short story writer ever produced by Urdu literature. Manto jumped into the realm of Urdu fiction in the early 30s. In the wake of the Progressive Movement, when all writers inclined towards realism were ardently following the ideology of the movement, Manto was the only exception. He was a movement unto himself. With his unique treatment of the subject, and psycho-analysis of human behaviour, Manto turned the whole course of Urdu fiction, which until then was mainly under the influence of Prem Chand’s realism and ...

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Inconclusive debates of our time

Friend Ashfaq Salim Mirza is a modernist among our comrades. He refuses to limp back to rosy 19th Century and unlike most dwellers of that dreamland, who have an explanation for every unfolding event, believes several debates are still inconclusive. Arguing with him, our mentor, the late Professor Khwaja Masud, would often take umbrage at his unqualified rejection of Sufism as a crutch for the Left to hobble on, in a kind of three legged race, with the Pakistan ideology stalwarts. He took to task the nascent Awami Party — which he had himself co-founded with Harris Khalique, Ayub ...

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Qasmi according to Malik

Mansoora Ahmed, the adopted daughter of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, has passed away. When Qasmi Sahib died, she was orphaned like nobody else was for sadly everybody’s attitude towards her changed in no time. I had just received Nadeem Shinasi, Fateh Muhammad Malik’s latest work, of which more than a quarter is dedicated to letters written by Qasmi Sahib to his dear friend. One of the letters made me pause. How could it have been published, I wondered? Just then the phone bell rang and Tasneem Manto asked if I had learnt about Mansoora’s death. Let me just say here that while ...

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They smuggled my poems to Delhi too

At Jamuna’s bank, I, too, got my blessed Ganges bath, so to say. These are the days of Faiz dip. The centenary festival is on the move. It is natural for Pakistan, of course, to celebrate Faiz but the person and the poetry have also won admirers far beyond our lands. India, in particular, has a claim on Faiz in that an entire epoch of Faiz’s poetry was written in the undivided India. It was also the days of the Progressive Writers’ Movement, which for a decade and a half dominated the literary scene in the subcontinent. Faiz’s poetry immediately after ...

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