Nandita Das’ feature film on the life and works of acclaimed author Sadaat Hasan Manto is days away from release, and hype surrounding the film is slowly gaining momentum.
Amidst all the anticipation and fervor, an Indian media outlet, DNA reported that Manto’s daughters will be visiting India along with their spouses. The media report further detailed the itinerary of their trip, claiming that they will be entering India through the Wagha Border after which they will be flying to Mumbai for the premiere. The media outlet also quoted Manto’s daughter Nuzhat sharing her thoughts on director Nandita Das and their father.
Pakistan Today got in touch with Manto’s family in Lahore to get more details on their visit to India.
However, the family expressed surprise over the report, saying they had not spoken to anyone in the media before this. It is pertinent to mention that the report in the Indian media has been picked by leading news outlets in Pakistan as well, and all of them are running the same quotes by Manto’s daughters.
“The statement attributed to me is entirely false,” Manto’s daughter Nuzhat remarked, adding, “No such comment was given by me to DNA. While the news is correct and I will be travelling to India with my sister and her spouse via Wagah, it is extremely unprofessional of them to misquote me like this.”
Manto’s grandson, Mohammad Farooq, who is overseeing the family’s interaction with the media, also shared his thoughts on the matter.
“The statement from my mother published by DNA has been attributed to a team member of ‘Manto’ by an editor of the Indian publication in a tweet,” Mohammad said.
He added, “On part of DNA, it is misrepresentation of my mother’s stance as no statement was given to them and it’s entirely fabricated.”
False comments, news is partially correct. But attribution of false comments to my mother!!! Lol!
— Mohammad Farooq (@MohammadFarooq_) September 14, 2018
Mohammad further shared, “I was among the ones officially extended an invitation by Nandita Das to attend the premiere of ‘Manto’; however, I was unable to do so because of the limited time period available to apply for the visa.”
He continued, “Furthermore, the visa process has been messed up from day one, the invitation was extended to the family on the 1st of September and relevant documents forwarded by the sponsors late night on the 10th of September.”
Farooq also shared with Pakistan Today an email of his interaction with Das and Manto’s team in which they clarified that no one from the team gave out any quotes regarding the family’s trip to India. In fact, Das merely expressed her desire to have Manto’s daughters attend the premiere of the film and that was what the journalist ended up quoting.
The film’s team further shared that they contacted the journalist who wrote the report and he insisted that he contacted Nuzhat Manto and spoke to her.
Are they not coming? The recorded conversation was coordinated thro a ‘Manto’ team member.
— Yogesh Pawar (@powerofyogesh) September 14, 2018
Manto has been screened at various film festivals across the world including the esteemed Cannes Film Festival and has received raving reviews from the audiences. The film starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Manto is scheduled to hit screens on September 21.