In the recent turn of events, a film helmed on the life of Urdu writer Saadat Manto Hassan by Nadita Das was banned in Pakistan. Nandita Das took to twitter to express her disappointment. She said that Manto belonged to both the countries equally and therefore she was keen on getting the film screened in both Pakistan and India.
Our Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry has responded, assuring the director that he will try to pursue importers to screen this film.
The actress who also featured in Ramchand Pakistani expressed her gratitude to the minster as she said, Shukriya!
Manto who was once subjected to sever criticism due to his bold stories, is now hugely celebrated. His literary heritage is now considered a treasure. Pakistani writers, poets and intellectuals came together to write an open letter to PM Imran Khan for lifting the ban on this film.
The petition said:
“Manto, a critically acclaimed film directed by Nandita Das, celebrates the life of an Urdu writer who chose Pakistan as his home during the Indian partition but is collectively owned and revered by the people of subcontinent.”
It further said:
“The film ban is being hugely protested as it’s considered a threatening attack to creative and artistic freedom of expression. It is therefore, appealed that the ban is dismissed with immediate effect.”
The letter questions if the “Naya Pakistan” would allow such a dreadful fate to befall upon writers, particularly Manto after Saadat Hassan Manto had faced persecution, torture and years of court trials during “Purana Pakistan”.
The petition was initiated by journalist Saeed Ahmed. It has been signed by prominent personalities, including Manto’s daughters Nighat, Nusrat and Nuzhat, rights activists I.A. Rehman and Hussain Naqi, Salima Hashmi, Mirza Hamid Baig and Saleem Asmi.
Nandita Das was humbled by their efforts.
We previously, interviewed the writer of Pakistani version of the film based on the life of Manto. The film starred Saramad Khoosat as Manto and was written by Shahid Nadeem. This Manto was extremely praised by critics as a top notch piece of art.
Read More: Shahid Nadeem compares about the two versions of Manto
He appreciated the actor and director Nandita for all the efforts, research and hard work she has put in to make this movie.
Read More: Manto, one man two versions!
Shahid Mahmood also condemned the ban of the Indian version in Pakistan. He said. “It is very unfortunate that it has been banned here, the ban should be lifted. Manto was banned by courts and now if governments ban his film then it does not do justice with Manto.”