The firebrand trade unionist, lawyer and teacher is under house arrest, charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, for merely representing the downtrodden and the vulnerable, the Dalits and their legal voices. But Sudha Bharadwaj has mentored so many wide-eyed law students and young lawyers eager to make a difference to our deeply unjust world that the tributes just keep pouring in, even as they wait for her to be exonerated in the court of law.
Writing, for Manto, was a violent transmission (or translation) of reality, where language speaks what it hears, and often fails to digest. Writing was Manto’s indigestible preoccupation. He was not looking for coherence, but instability. Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Manto the way a refined artist pays tribute to another. His rendering of Manto allows you to reinvent the writer.
She invoked awe and reverence as a woman who toiled amongst the most socially turbulent parts of the country with quiet strength and navigated the corridors of power with the claims of the powerless, all while exuding an air of warmth and dignity. Her own life and work evoked reverence and inspiration among even the most cynical of us.