By Ali Imran
WASHINGTON, April 2: Acclaimed literary critics and intellectuals paid tributes to the genius of Saadat Hasan Manto a the launch of a new book which sheds light on personality, works and struggles of one of the greatest writers in Urdu language.
Abu al Hasan Naghmi, author of the book draws on factual accounts from his association with Manto in the last three years of the life of the short story writer, who died prematurely at the age of 42 in 1955.
“I have intentionally left out what has already been said about life and works of Manto — and have adhered to what I actually experienced and witnessed,” Naghmi said.
The book launch ceremony coincided with fifth anniversary celebration of the Society of Urdu Literature, which is devoted to promotion of Urdu language among younger generation of Pakistani-Americans.
Renowned scholar of Urdu language and literature Dr. Taqi Abedi, in his appraisal of the book, praised the work and its author for choice of precise diction, short paragraphs and truthful description of the events and conversations.
He particularly noted that nowhere Naghmi gives the impression that by writing on the towering figure of Urdu literature he is attempting to extol or elevate his own stature.
Abedi also offered some thoughtful suggestions on promoting Urdu language by making best use of modern technology as well as broadening the horizon of the already widely spoken, understood and comprehensive language.
The event, moderated by Halqa Arbab-e-Zauq President Dr. Zulfiqar Kazmi, featured high-profile speakers including scholars Dr. Moazzam Siddiqui, Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Satya Paul Anand. Poets Baqir Zaidi, Aziz Qureeshi and Mona Shahab recited their poems on the occasion. Secretary General Halqa Arbab-e-Zauq Zahoor Nadeem, veteran journalist Akmal Aleemi, seasoned broadcaster Khalid Hameed, Urdu Times Editor Khalil ul Rehman and actress Reema also expressed their opinions. Artist Noor Naghmi read out Manto’s famous short story Toba Tek Singh in an enactment style while famous classical musician Ustad Dilshad Khan and his son performed some of the popular Pakistani numbers on violin.