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Scholarly Article

Sourav Das

The Body and Its Scars: The Stigma Texts of Saadat Hasan Manto


partition, migration, communal conflict, violence, phallocentrism


The ambit of South-East Asian Literature has been fraught with several incidents of displacement and forced migration, and in the process of this movement the transmission and the redundancy of violence forms a major part of the social campus. Affected greatest of all is the woman population as men try to balance their socio-political virility with crude and forced sexual overtures. Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto’s short stories echo these very social realities. In this paper I intend to highlight some choice texts written by Manto and show that all the communal conflict of the Partition of the Indian subcontinent did was to validate a free reign of terror. Using the theories of Slavoy Zizek and Michel Foucault among others, I endeavour to present how the violence and the torture got documented on the bodies of its victims, especially the women. How mechanisms of power become fully operative only after its inscription on the bodies.

About the Author

Sourav Das is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Literary Studies, Brainware University, West Bengal, India. His specialization is Post Colonial Literature and Theory. He has published research papers like ‘Saadat Hasan Manto and his Treatment of the Debased Feminine’, ‘A Post-Colonial re-reading of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot’, ‘Joyce and the Irish Stagnation: A Journey to Persia and Back’ in online literary journals of repute and the paper ‘Search for the Female Identity in Literature: The Quest for a Voice’ in the anthology, Feminism: Text and Context edited by Professor Sanjeev Kumar Vishwakarma. He may be contacted at

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