M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI AND SAADAT HASSAN MANTO
POLES APART IN THOUGHT AND YET TOGETHER
The Story of a trial in Lahore
There was hardly anyone in the art or literature field in the region who was not in contact with M.A. Rahman Chughtai. But his contact with Saadat Hassan Manto was of a different kind. My uncle Abdur Raheem Chughtai used to tell me the stories in detail. Late evening the voice of Manto would reverberate in the gali (small lane) of his Chabuk Sawaran house. Abdur Rahman Chughtai used to ask his brother, who is it? Abdur Raheem used to reply it is Manto again, asking for his usual Ten rupees. Abdur Rahman was kind at heart and used to say he is under pressure right now with his addiction issues. Go give him the Ten rupees. And the Ten rupees used to be given. It was the kindness of Abdur Rahman Chughtai which used to help Manto when he was starved from his alcohol addiction. And this is a hundred percent fact.
Of course Saadat Hassan Manto wrote on Sex and Sexual matters (at times about incest too), but writers of that time thought nothing of it. And that was no issue with Abdur Rahman Chughtai as to what Manto wrote. For him and in his views, he was a writer and a writer needed to be defended all the time. A case was initiated in court against Manto and he was arrested for the same. A trial began. Few came forward to help Manto. It was Abdur Rahman Chughtai who appeared in the Court (much to annoyance of many) and bailed him out and satisfied the judge that Manto was an honourable citizen of the country. And all this on record and acknowledged by Manto himself.
Of course Manto acknowledged many things as he too admits that PERVERSION is part of his character. We publish an excerpt from his writings where he talks of this PERVERTED aspect of his life. But we have no objection to same, and it is none of our business. The freedom of a writer needs to be guaranteed in any society. But when the freedom is taken too far, then chaos descend in the society.
The much hyped TOBA TEK SINGH is a story in question of two mental asylums on both sides of the divided geography due to the Two Nation Drive in India and Pakistan. And he creates some lunatics in a Mental Asylum and dubs them as Muhammed Ali Jinnah as well a Master Tara Singh, but strange that he does not create any Jawaharlal Nehru or Mahatama Gandhi. Why? Here we have a suspect in our hands? In fact he was writing to people like Ismat Chughtai that he did not like it here and wanted to go back to Bombay. Freedom was to create all the lunatics. But in his views the lunatics were these people and he makes them utter MURDABAD PAKISTAN too. Read about it yourself:
“A stout Muslim lunatic from Chiniot who had been an enthusiastic worker for the Muslim League, and who bathed fifteen or sixteen times a day, suddenly abandoned this habit. His name was Muhammad Ali. Accordingly, one day in his madness he announced that he was the Qa’id-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In imitation of him, a Sikh lunatic became Master Tara Singh. In this madness it almost came to bloodshed, but both were declared ‘dangerous lunatics’ and shut up in separate rooms.
One day, while bathing, a Muslim lunatic raised the cry of “Long live Pakistan!” with such force that he slipped on the floor and fell, and knocked himself out.”
It is a fact that the writer Manto was himself familiar with the Lunatic Asylum in a very personal way. It is said that due to his alcoholism, he spent time in the Lahore Mental Asylum. So his writings were very realistic.
Our object is not to give you the story but the cue of the story. It is simple. Manto did not like the Muslims here and thought of them as ‘characterless in allowing Sikhs to rape the dead bodies of Muslim women. (thanda ghost). Manto was against the division of this region in two countries and did not believe in the Two Nation theory. Manto writes himself again:
“A deadly atmosphere surrounded as before summer, in the sky, eagles shrieks would make us sad,, in the same way Pakistan Zindabad and Quaid e Azam Zindabad chanted slogans, also were sad to our ears.
On Radio waves Iqbal Marhoom similar poesy was wearing us out by being a burden on our shoulders.” (loose translation)
The result the Indian lobby is supporting Saadat Hassan Manto to this day as a voice of ignorant Pakistan, whose intellectuals did not believe in the Ideology of Pakistan. As far as our greatest intellectual Dr Allama Iqbal is concerned, they invent all the wrong stories about him. You see false stories floating everywhere against Dr Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam, what about the exploits of Jawaharlal Nehru (Lady Mountbatten scandal) as well as Mahatama Gandhi. To save the reputation of Mahatama Gandhi, India bought letters of him to his Jewish lower, to remove them from public eyes. Is that not a fact too? How Gandhi uses exquisite words for his Jewish lover in sexual incidents?
The simple truth is that the Propaganda machine wants to spin evil against Pakistan and bath India in ocean of holiness. I am sure there are bad people on both sides as well as good people. But with the recent rise of the Hindu Mullahs in India the story is totally different. The saner element in India needs to pay heed to the call of the time. PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE AND RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY IS THE NEED OF THE TIMES.
And one thing is sure as attested by Carnegie Institute of Studies. Alcoholism generates paradoxes in our character and we say things, which we do not know we are saying. Alcoholism says the American Psychiatric Association makes Rats feel like lions and when the effect wears out they realize they are just rats and have to drink again to become lions. No reference to dear Manto Sahib.