If Sadat Manto was writing in 2010, he would be a Pakistani, he would have seen the nuclear age for his nation and heard of the wars with India and the strange,in-between days of "Partition" in 1947.
Sadat Manto is neither Pakistani or Indian, to me he seems to stand as a representative of Old India, where all religions lived together,personal devotion was just that,personal. This remarkable collection of short tales and sketches tells the stories of 1947,as the British departed indian shores in a matter of weeks,leaving millions in the Punjab divided and under siege.
Punjab was Muslim majority but very mixed in 1947 , the split meant that many Sikhs and Hindus' were stranded in the West, with Muslims stranded in the East. They violence and carnage resulted from desperate flight and mob rule colliding, the British were powerless with a token force of men.
Manto is objective throughout, he observes events through a careful eye. His dismay at events is in every paragraph, all groups are victims of mans sudden inhumanity to man. Manto is very readable, credit must go to the translation from the Urdu and the excellent introduction by Khalid Hasan.
I wont spoil these little tales by giving too much away but read this and Khushwant Singhs "Train to Pakistan" if you are interested in the partition of India in 1947. If you are of Asian descent in the UK, ask your grandparents for some primary source accounts of the horor, it really happened and must never be forgotten.