Is Manto’s Biographical Drama Facing Censorship?

At one of the enlightening, engaging sessions at the Karachi Literature Festival that was held this month at Beach Luxury, Hina Bayat who is a large part of the drama ‘Mein Manto’ ruefully discussed how Geo is unnecessarily delaying the airing of the show with inadequate excuses and highlights the high level of censorship that runs within the channels actions.

She stated,

“We’ve been waiting for Mein Manto to release on Geo for so long but we don’t see any sign yet. And this is happening in age when we supposedly have more freedom of expression. Back when PTV was the only channel, it dared to air the whole Manto Nama despite strict censorship rules.”

The show has been directed by the renowned Sarmad Khoosat. Nimra Bucha, one of the actresses in the drama who plays the role of Manto’s muse was also present at the Karachi Literature Festival. She stated,

“I’m not a physical character but part of his imagination. I inspire Manto and yes I’m in the serial as well,” the actress explained at the Karachi Literature Festival 2015 (KLF).

When questioned about the drama’s release date, she replied,

“It will definitely release by the end of this year. Everything is done – the shooting is over, the post production is finished – but a release date has not been finalized yet.”

The director made an appearance on PTV’s New Year Show with Huma Amir Shah where he publically declared,

“I’ve put in every commercial actor I could think of – Humayun Saeed, Mahira Khan, Nadia Afghan, Saba Qamar, – you name it to make the film more commercially viable. So if the distributors say that the audience won’t come see your film because it’s too artsy than I can say ‘hey, they’ll come and see all these popular actors if not Manto’s story’.”’

When the anchor questioned the controversial content in Manto’s work, the director scoffed and replied that within his works Manto did not objectify women or man handled the politics of their representation, but attempted to relay the raw, truthful details about women.
Author: Rabia Ahmed | Published on