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Pandit Manto Ki Famous Obscene Kahaniyan


Are they using pictures of Mozelle to sell stories of Saadat Hassan Manto? No, the women doesn't look Jewish. She looks like Raj Kapoor's Mandakini, only brunette, or may be she is a  chubbier version of some nymphet from any page of Amar Chitra Katha. The person lured into buying is sure to be disappointed. Or may be not. A case of 'Never Judge A Book By Its Cover'. Or may be not.


These thoughts went through my mind as my gaze settled on the cover of Manto Ki Prasidh Kahaniyan. Well, not actually. I just had one thought, 'Is that Manto?'

So a book-stall at Jammu Railway Station sells work of Manto like it was some raunchy Hindi pulp.

Actually this is nothing new, Manto has been treated like this for quite some time now.
Several suits have already been filed against me on charges of obscenity. But look at the injustice that in Delhi, right under your nose, a publisher brings out the collection of my stories and calls it The Obscene Stories of Manto. I wrote the book Ganje Farishte. An Indian publisher has published it as Behind the Curtains.… Now tell me, what should I do?
— Manto writing in Pundit Manto’s First Letter to Pundit Nehru, dated 27th August 1954.* In this particular letter, first in a literary work written like series of letters meant for various people including Uncle Sam, Manto also wrote about his Kashmiri origin.

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* Translated from the Hindi version of the original Urdu by M. Asaduddin

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