Gen Zia’s era taught writers to stand up for truth, says Sindhi writer Noor ul Huda Shah

Gen Zia’s era taught writers to stand up for truth, says Sindhi writer Noor ul Huda Shah

She said writers of the past did not stop writing the truth even when they were flogged or put in jails
20 Jul, 2017

“Though many people believe the tenure of military dictator Ziaul Haq was the darkest period of literature and literary work in Pakistan, I think it was an era which taught writers to take a stand for the truth and not to be afraid of difficulties and jails,” said eminent Sindhi writer Noorul Huda Shah on Wednesday.

Ms Shah was speaking at the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) during an event titled ‘Meet a writer over a cup of tea’.

She said writers of the past did not stop writing the truth even when they were flogged or put in jails.

“The writers of today are not familiar with these difficulties and are scared if they are told they will be sent to jail. Writers need to transform themselves according to the story and have to feel like a murderer, a feudal lord, victim and other characters which the writers of today are not doing. Maybe that is the reason books written now do not leave an impact on readers,” she said.

Ms Shah said she had started writing novels after Abdul Kareem Baloch asked her to write a drama for him.

“I said I don’t know how to write a drama. Mr Baloch sent me a script and I said I got a headache reading it. He then sent me an essay by Sindhi drama writer Mumtaz Mirza which was about dramas. After reading the essay, I wrote two dramas,” she said.

The dramatist said she had met a woman in Karachi who said her family was against the marrying off of daughters and that her daughter was allowed to marry after her son watched Ms Shah’s drama titled Jungle.

Speaking about her latest short story, Doors of Paradise, she said the story is about a conversation between a suicide bomber and his mother. After he detonates a bomb and gets to the door of paradise, the bomber is convinced he has done a good deed and will be rewarded. However, his mother says she gave birth to a human and cannot imagine how he turned into a terrorist.

The bomber was in the end asked to go away from paradise along with all his body parts.

PAL Chairman Prof Dr Mohammad Qasim Bughio said Ms Shah has always highlighted social problems and written splendid and unique TV dramas. He said a number of her dramas including Tapish and Ajayab Ghar were considered master pieces in their time and that her collection of short stories are also of great significance.

Originally published in Dawn, July 20th, 2017


Naeem Jul 20, 2017 09:50am
Big deal....The reign of Sindhi Wadera Shahi as government has taught us how to deal with cheats, looters and plunderers. Zia's much maligned reign was several thousand fold better than the village thugs ruling over our heads. This woman has built a career of milking her Sindhi persecution complex....get over it , its been 30 years now!!
At your service Jul 20, 2017 09:56am
Noorul Huda Shah a true bold writer, but today some writers and columnists are " kings horses" and we see complete divided writers ,one in favor of treasury benches other at opposition benches. The greed ,money, has even bought the minds & thoughts. Ma'am Noorul Huda is a source of strength for freedom of writings.
Z Junejo Jul 20, 2017 09:58am
What truth did they try to protect?
Sachan mAchan Jul 20, 2017 11:04am
Righto if you peddled too much truth you just stood and got flogged.
nusrat Jul 20, 2017 11:54am
Ms Shah spoke the truth. She is very real observer and bold writer. It is PPP which has been all out to malign Gen Zia for insufficient reasons.
Nusrat Jul 20, 2017 01:02pm
It is Zia Era when her stories & dramas were super hit...... where do u stand today despite all the liberty... no one knows........
Sameer Jul 20, 2017 02:42pm
Noor Ul Huda, Way to honor the truth by standing against Gen Zia but going deaf and dumb with a corrupt provincial government. Those who support corruption or stay silent in its amidst are already enslaved. You dont need a dictator to do that.
JKhan Jul 20, 2017 04:46pm
She is Sindhi by birth but a renowned and highly respected writer. Why isn't she heard or seen these days? Because most respectable and persons of dignity stay away from limelight.
Shaz Jul 20, 2017 09:53pm
The topic is such brilliant description of Zia Ul Haq era, there was certainly vision, direction, aim & target, motives to goals for cumulative of Pakistani patriots, unlike today the average Pakistani is Moran due to the PM in a nutshell for JIT, Panama etc.
BAZIGAR Jul 21, 2017 12:30am
Madam is very talented writer. may you see lots of happiness in your life. I have watched many dramas written by you in the early and late 90's. You have entertained me a lot. so many thanks for that.
Sid Noonari Jul 21, 2017 09:43am
Ma'am Noor Ul huda Shah is very kind and humble person too. Very down to earth... moreover, she still keeps a rebellion soul in her body.
Sid Noonari Jul 21, 2017 10:12am
@Naeem We villagers are dealing with village thugs through reading national and international writers and are getting inspirational message of change. People like Apa noor brought us out from Wadra's Awtaaq to stand up for our rights. People, now prefer to protest on roads and fight against those thugs instead of going to them and beg for justice. That is transformation change our writers brought in your lives. You never know how a poor Sindhi fights with a powerful thug. On the other hand, metropolitan thugs in shape of mafia kept burning the city without any resistance from within the society. My dear civilized and educated citizen babu! how did you try to get rid of them? any struggle or resistance?