Nandita Das, on her part, took to Twitter in a series of posts, thanking the people of Lahore for standing up for her film.
Das wrote, “Thanks to everyone who has taken to the streets to protest against the ban on MANTO in Pakistan. I am there with you in spirit, and so is the entire MANTO team!”
In a separate tweet, she added, “Amazing to see people out on the streets to protest. Salima Hashmi, artist and daughter of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and others! Respect and gratitude. #FreeManto #FreeSpeech.”
Notably, Saeed Ahmed, a Pakistani playwright in December, had initiated an online petition through an open letter to Imran Khan in which he requested the government to lift the ban on screening of the film.
“Manto, a critically acclaimed film, directed by Nandita Das, celebrates the life of the Urdu writer who chose Pakistan as his home during the Partition but is collectively owned and revered by the people of the sub-continent. The audiences and critics worldwide have appreciated the film. However, it is a matter of huge concern that Pakistan has recently decided to ban the film. The disappointing decision to ban the film has created a hue and cry among writers, poets and intellectuals in the literary circles of Pakistan,” Dawn quoted the petition as reading.
Nandita Das’ film is based on the life of legendary Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, who chose shift to Pakistan post-partition in 1948 after inhabiting in Bombay since 1936. Famous for his controversial writings, Manto faced many trials in the country.
The movie celebrates Manto’s controversial yet exalted legacy that is today respected by people of the subcontinent. (ANI