Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the lead actor in Sadat Hasan Manto’s biopic, said “Manto will be relevant for next 200 years,” a local news channel reported. In an interview with NDTV, Nawazuddin who is playing Manto’s role, remarked that all the writings of famous Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto are ‘universal’ and relatable to every human being and society. “Manto has talked about those human emotions which you will always find in every society,” Nawazuddin added that even after 100 years, the complexity of human nature will be the same everywhere. “Manto’s stories are timeless and that’s why he will remain a hero forever,” the actor stated. While answering a question about the significance of truth in Manto’s writing, Nawazuddin recounted that in every age, being truthful is very difficult like Manto because people are afraid to listen to the truth. Movie’s director Nandita Das also told the NDTV that every individual is “grappling with showing reality in the way it is.” “We are living in the times of post-truths and alternate facts,” so it is the duty of everyone including artists, writers and journalists to portray things in it is true self, the artist added. The film is being produced by Vivek Kajaria under the banner of Holy Basil Production. This makes the Hindi debut for Kajaria after working on several Marathi films. They have also taken aboard US-based investor Robin Raina who is the chairman of a software company. This will be the second film to be directed by Das after she made her debut with Firaaq in 2008 which star Naseeruddin Shah and received many positive reviews. The movie, which many thought will not be able to see the light of the day, is now being seen as a viable project.
Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.