Karachi, Sindh has been home to a long, red history of communists, Avatar Hangal is one of them. Akhtar Balouch, Blogger
Every time the generous people at Dawn publish one of my blogs, I start receiving phone calls from friends in the dozens. Write about this, one would say, as another would insist on a different topic.
Many complain: why haven’t you written about this or that so far? Why did you miss this or that great personality from Karachi?
It always pleases me to receive these messages and calls, while at the same time I am saddened by the limitation of resources. But as our dear Hasrat Mohani said:
Hai mashq-e-sukhan jaarii aur chakkii kii mushaqqat bhi
[As the pen’s labour continues, so does the labour to survive.]
A senior journalist and a serious human rights activist Zaman Khan phoned me from Lahore, asking me to write about A.K Hangal. He was also kind enough to forward me an interview with Mr Hangal.
The name might not be as well-known in Pakistan, but the face would certainly look familiar to many. Hangal was seen in more than 300 Bollywood films, playing supporting roles. Apart from being an actor, Hangal was also a staunch communist.
He wished to see India transform into a communist state after the Partition. Because of his views, he had to spend two years in jail in Karachi. He also spent some time in the Hyderabad Central Jail, Sindh.