Manto, age 102
They said he was a failure; the degenerate son of a dignified man. They said he was a pervert; that he wrote stories soaked in sex and murder. They said he was a pagan, who described the land of the pure in words that ached with impurity. At times they ran out of words — other times, they came up with the wrong ones: the progressives called him a reactionary, the reactionaries called him a rebel.
But they didn’t deny the obvious — not the Marxists, not the housewives, not the judges that tried him for obscenity before and after independence: that Saadat Hasan Manto was a genius.