For avid readers of Urdu who may not be its scholars, Urdu prose, especially,
genres such as short stories and novels mostly trigger the names of Prem Chand, Qurratulain Haider, Saadat Hasan Manto, Ismat Chughtai, Rajender Singh Bedi, Krishan Chandar and the like. The reason may be two fold. Firstly, these powerful, courageous and uncompromising writers shaped Urdu literature at the time when the subcontinent was passing through a massive turmoil. They were not only creations of their time but also laid the foundations of a robust tradition of protest and resistance that continues to inspire writers and readers. Secondly, they also tried to reflect, represent and mould the aspirations of modern citizens of the Indian subcontinent. It may not be wide off the mark to say that the first seventy years of the 20th century marked the golden period of Urdu literature. The freedom movement, crumbling feudal structure, communal hatred, caste and similar issues provided ready material for content.
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