Saadat Hasan Manto

Saadat Hasan Manto

Saadat Hasan Manto

Saadat Hasan Manto was an author, dramatist, and writer who worked actively in British India and, after the partition, started working in Pakistan. He mostly wrote in Urdu and authored twenty-two compilations of the short stories, 5 series of radio plays, novel, 2-collections of sketches, and 3-collections of essays.

Critics and authors admire his short stories. He was known for writing about the harsh realities of the society that nobody dared to speak about. He is widely recognized for his writings about the 1947 partition, which he opposed soon after partition in 1947. The article contains all the information about him, including Saadat Hasan Manto Biography.

Name:Saadat Hasan Manto
In Urdu:سعادت حسن منٹو‎‎
Movies:Kali Salwaar, Kisan Kanya, Mirza Ghalib, Apni Nagariya, Shikari, Badnaam
Profession:Novelist, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, short story writer
Genre:Drama, nonfiction, satire, screenplays, personal correspondence
Awards :Nishan-e-Imtiaz Award (Order of Excellence) in 2012 (posthumous)
Notable works:Toba Tek Singh; Thanda Gosht; Bu; Khol Do; Kaali Shalwar; Hattak
Date:11 May 1912
Place:Samrala, India
Spouse:Safiyah Manto (m. 1939–1955)
Children:Arif (died a few days before his first birthday) Nusrat Jalal Nuzhat Arshaf Nighat Patel
Relatives:Ayesha Jalal
Date:18 January 1955
Rest Place:Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Saadat Hasan Manto Biography

Saadat Hasan Manto Biography

Saadat Hasan is a trigger word for readers of the Urdu language. He was a short story writer from Indo-Pakistan, recognized as one of the most acclaimed scriptwriters, novelists, and playwrights. Not only did his short stories earn him provocative fame, but they also put his life in crisis.

He was a person of social problems who generated awareness via his writings. He is compared to an English author, D H Lawrence. His subjects ranged from the social and economic inequality that prevailed before and after partition times to the more contentious subjects of love, intimacy, prostitution, incest, and the usual hypocrisy of the typical man.

In the discussion of these issues, he takes no pains to hide the real state of the situation. He hated communalism, the humiliation of women, and the violence on the eve of the independence of India. He was too difficult to bear for people wanting to weaken the truth and facts.

After making impressive works of art, his self-destruction journey started. The low-grade alcohol he used to consume damaged his liver. Saadat Hasan Manto Poetry is inevitably worth praising.

Manto Date of Birth

He opened his eyes on 11th May 1912 in Samrala, Ludhiana.

Education of Manto

He attended Aligarh Muslim University.

Saadat Hasan Manto Family

His father was a local court judge. Ethnically he was a Kashmiri and was proud of it. In his letter to Jawaharlal Nehru, he stated that being ‘attractive’ was the 2nd definition of being a ‘Kashmiri.’ Manto and his wife Safia were blessed with a son Arif who, unfortunately, passed away in his childhood. After that, the couple was blessed with three daughters Nusrat, Nuzhat, and Nighat.

Saadat Hasan Manto Books


Initial Career

A real turning point came in his life in 1933, when he happened to meet Abdul Bari, a polemic author and scholar who urged him to discover his true abilities and read French and Russian writers.

Translation of Victor Hugo’s Work

Within a brief span, he translated the novel of Victor Hugo ‘The Last Day of the Condemned Man.’ Urdu book shop published it as Sarguzasht-e-Aseer. Soon he joined Ludhiana-based daily newspaper Masawat’s editorial team.

Joined IPWA

This heightened zeal led him to be a graduate of Aligarh Muslim University, and he joined the university in Feb 1934, and soon became a member of the IPWA (Indian Progressive Writers’ Association), where he met the author Ali Sardar and got a new strength in his literary works. His 2nd novel ‘Inqalab Pasand,’ was got published in 1935 in Aligarh magazine.

Moved to Mumbai

He 1st arrived in Mumbai in 1934 and began writing for newspapers, magazines, and storylines for the Bollywood industry. He became friends with Ashok Kumar, Shyam, Ismat Chugtae, Naushad, and Noor Jehan during that time. At that time, he lived in the middle of the red-light zone of Bombay, and whatever he saw there had a great impact on his writing.

Saadat Hasan Manto poetry

Worked for AIR

Subsequently, he started writing for AIR (All India Radio) Urdu service in 1941. This turned to be his successful time as he published four sets of radio plays, Manto Ke Dramay, Aao, Teen Auratain, and Janazay, in the next 18-months.

Saadat Hasan Manto Short Stories

He kept writing short stories and released his next collection of short stories entitled Dhuan, followed by Manto Kay Afsanay and his 1st compilation of topical essays named Manto Kay Mazameen.

Moved Back to Bombay

In the meantime, due to a dispute with the director of AIR, poet Noon Meem Rashid, he quit his job and went back to Bombay in 1942 and began working with the film industry again. He achieved his biggest success in scriptwriting with movies such as Mirza Ghalib, Shikari, Aatth Din, Chal Chal Rey Nojawan that was eventually released in 1954.

Work During Stay in Bombay

A few of his short stories had also come from this period, including Bu, Kaali Shalwar, and Dhuan, which were published in Feb 1945 in Qaumi Jang. Another achievement of his 2nd phase in Mumbai was the publication of a compilation of his stories entitled Chugad, which also included the tale ‘Babu Gopinath.’ He remained in Bombay until he migrated to Pakistan in Jan 1948, after India was partitioned in 1947.

saadat hasan manto books pdf

Decided to Migrate to Pakistan

He decided to live in India after separation as a citizen of Bombay. His family went to Lahore in 1948 to meet their friends and relatives. During this period, when the details of the brutality of partition uprisings reached him, in the middle of the periodic riots in Mumbai, he planned to move to Pakistan.

He thus found himself ‘muhajir’ and was among those Muslims who left India for Muslim-majority country Pakistan.

Life at Lahore

When he reached Lahore from Mumbai, he joined a number of intellectuals at Pak Tea House. As per one reporter, ‘There was no external interference and people used to express their views on any issue without any fears and threats even during the rule of military dictators.’

Residence in Lahore

He and his family lived in Lakshmi Mansion, near Butt Tikka, in Lahore. The 3-storied building was constructed by Lala Lajpat’s insurance firm in 1938, Sarojini Naidu inaugurated it, and once K. Santhanam, a prominent lawyer, resided here and it was also the residence of a jeweler’s family called Girdharilal.

It was, however, evacuated during the 1947-48 partition riots. Currently, the mansion is uninhabited and dilapidated, but its exterior still exists, painted and revamped.

Saadat Hasan Manto movie

Topics wrote by Manto.

He narrated the turmoil that occurred before and after India’s partition in 1947. He firmly criticized India’s partition, which he saw as an intense disaster. Saadat Hasan Manto began his writing career translating the writings of Oscar Wilde, Victor Hugo, and Russian authors such as Gorky and Chekhov.

1st Tale

His 1st tale was ‘Tamasha’, based on the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.  While his earlier work, inspired by the radical authors of his era, displayed socialist leanings and marked leftist, his later writings gradually became powerful in representing the darkness of the psyche of human beings, as humanist norms gradually diminished around the Separation.

Description of Human Nature

His final writings, which developed out of the social environment and his financial troubles, displayed an intrinsic nature of human helplessness against despair and darkness and included satire that existed in the dark comedy, shown in his final book Toba Tek Singh.

Described Harsh Realities of Society

No aspect of human life remained taboo or untouched for him; he honestly pulled out stories of pimps and prostitutes alike.  To many prominent women authors, his words represented facts and given them the respect that they deserved.

He is still remembered for his sharp understanding of human nature and also the discovery of the grisly inhuman nature of the frustrated humans, which appears in his writing.

Saadat Hasan Manto Controversies

Faced Trials for his Work

He faced trials for immorality in both Pakistan and India, including 3 times in India before partition (Bu, Kali Shalwar, and Dhuan) and 3 times in Pakistan after partition (Upar Neechay Darmiyan, Thanda Gosht, and Khol Do) under the Indian Penal Code’s Section 292 and Pakistan Penal Code in the early years of Pakistan.

Criticized for his Migration

While the society’s right-wing sections condemned him for ethical reasons, the left-wing critics and radical or Marxist criticized his work for ideological causes, including his migration and settling in Pakistan.

Saadat Hasan Manto grave

Saadat Hasan Manto Death

He became highly alcoholic in his later life, gradually leading to liver cirrhosis. He passed away in a mental hospital on 18 Jan 1955 in Lahore. His demise was linked to the side effects of alcoholism.


He was an author whose personal life became a topic of lots of debate and self-discovery. Over the last 2-decades, several stage performances have been performed to portray his character in contrast with the harsh social and economic facts of the post-partition period.

The stage Play by Danish Iqbal ‘Aik Kutay Ke Kahani’ presented him with a new aspect on the event of his 100th birthday. On 18th Jan 2005, on his 50th death anniversary, he was memorized on a Pakistani postcard.  On 14th Aug 2012 that is Independence Day of Pakistan, he was posthumously honored the Nishan-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistani government.

Saadat Hasan Manto Movie

In 2015 a Pakistani director and actor Sarmad Khoosat produced and released ‘Manto,’ a film based on Manto’s life. In 2018, the BBC ranked ‘Toba Tek Singh’ as one of the hundred stories that changed the world, along with works by writers such as Virginia Woolf and Homer.

The 2018 movie Manto, produced by Nandita Das and featuring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, is an Indian movie based on Manto’s life. Google celebrated its 108th birthday with Doodle on 11th May 2020.

Saadat Hasan Manto Books

  1. Chugad
  2. Atish Paray
  3. Manto Kay Afsaanay
  4. Afsanay Aur Dramay
  5. Dhuaan
  6. Khol Do
  7. Siyah Hashiyay
  8. Lazat-e-Sang
  9. Loud Speaker
  10. Badshahat Ka Khatima
  11. Khali Botlain
  12. Ganjay Farishtay
  13. Namrood Ke Khudae
  14. Manto Kay Mazamin
  15. Yazeed
  16. Thanda Gosht
  17. Parday Kay Pechay
  18. Beghair Unwaan Kay
  19. Sarak Kay Kinaray
  20. Beghair Ijazat
  21. Burquey
  22. Toba Tek Singh
  23. Phundunay
  24. Sheetan
  25. Sarkandoun Kay Peche
  26. Shikari Aurtain
  27. Kali Shalwar
  28. Ratti Masha Tola
  29. Tahira Sey Tahir
  30. Mottled Dawn-50 Sketches & Stories of Partition
  31. Manto Ke Behtareen Kahaniyan

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