The New Constitution B.A English Short Story Punjab University


1.     The New Constitution

Saadat Hasan Manto

Summary
The story “The New Constitution” conveys the idea that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It also tells the reader about the true feelings of the common people of India for the British.

Ustad Mangu is a tongawala and lives in Lahore. He is illiterate. He is in the habit of overhearing his fares. Once he overhears from his fares about the communal violence. He is worried and tells his friends about the reason of this communal violence.

He hates the English because of their arrogance and insulting behavior. Once a gora soldier insults him and Ustad bears the insult silently. In rage, he abuses the English.

Once he overhears about the introduction of the new constitution. He is very happy. He returns to the Tonga stand and tells his companions about the news. After that, he overhears about the changes. He overhears that the Indians would be free. He thought that the new constitution would force the English to go back to England. The Indian would have elected assemblies. They would have equal rights. He waits for the introduction of the new constitution very impatiently.

On 1 April, he gets up early in the morning and comes on road to see the new constitution in force. However, he is disappointed to see no change. He meets a Gora soldier there and picks up a quarrel with him. He beats the Gora soldier. Two police officers lock him up. They tell him that nothing has changed and it is the same old constitution. (254)

What were the expectations of Ustad Mangu (from India Act 1935)? Did these expectations come true?
Ustad Mangu was a tonga wala. He was illiterate and did not know what the new constitution was. All his expectations were based on what he overheard from his fares. The most striking point is that he believed in all those expectations. He was sure that these expectations would come true.

He expected that a lot would change. The Indians would be free. The new constitution was going to be like boiling hot water, which would destroy the moneylenders. The new constitution would force the English to go back to England and they would not infest the earth anymore. The Indians would have elected assemblies and people would get government jobs. Everyone would be able to lay his hand on something.

He also expected that Indians would have equal rights. Ustad Mangu beats the Gora soldier under this illusion but it was surprising for Ustad Mangu that he was locked up. Therefore, all these were the expectations of Ustad Mangu and none of these came true. (166 words)

What were the feelings of the people of common working class of India for the English? OR
Write about the feelings of people like Ustad Mangu for the English. OR
The Indians hated British Imperialism. Discuss.
People like Ustad Mangu hated the British and their imperialistic system. Ustad Mangu was a tongawala and belonged to a lower working class of India. People like him were illiterate. They were unaware of the changes that were being made in India. They hated the British because of their personal insults.   The English used to abuse the Indians as if they were some lower creation of God, even worse than a dog. The English were proud too.

Under the circumstances, the Indians hated the British and their imperialistic system. Even after abusing them for hours, they used to feel enraged. They used to call them lepers, something dead and rotting. They wanted to knock them all out. They were sick of their arrogance. The English were just like human monkeys to them.

The people of lower working class felt that the English were ruling India against the will of the Indians. For the Indians, the English were usurpers and they did not have any right of ruling India. They wanted them to leave India and set the Indians free. (179 words)

Why did Ustad Mangu hate the British? OR
Justify Ustad Mangu ‘s  hatred for the British.
Ustad Mangu was a tongawala. He lived in Lahore before the establishment of Pakistan. The English were ruling India then. He hated the English because of a personal reason. Once it happened that Ustad Mangu had a quarrel with a drunken Gora soldier. The Gora soldier abused Ustad Mangu. Ustad had to bear the insult silently. This made him depressed for days and he developed feelings of hatred towards the English.

He used to tell his friends that he hated the British because they were ruling Hindustan against the will of the Indians. Besides, they missed no opportunities to commit atrocities. However, the true reason was his personal insult.

This hatred went on increasing because of the treatment of the English. They used to treat him as if he were some lower creature of God.

Therefore, we can conclude that the Gora soldier of the cantonment was responsible for Ustad Mangu’s hatred. This hatred went on increasing. Later it changed into a hatred for the British. (166)

What did Ustad Mangu look forward to on 1 April? OR
What did Ustad Mangu expect on 1 April? OR What were Ustad Mangu’s Expectations on 1st April? OR
Ustad Mangu looked forward too many things on the first April. Elaborate. OR
How was Ustad Mangu disillusioned about “The New Constitution”?
On the first April, he was very happy because he was going to see the coming of the new constitution with his own eyes. He wanted to see colour and light. He expected that everything would change. The shop signs, the lampposts, and even people would change. He wanted to see something colourful and dramatic.

His most important expectation was that the Indians would have equal rights. Ustad Mangu beat the Gora soldier under the illusion that he had equal rights after the enforcement of the new constitution.

He also expected that the new constitution was going to be like boiling hot water. It would destroy the moneylenders who sucked the blood of the poor. The new constitution would force the English to go back to England. They would not infest the earth any more. Everyone would be able to lay hands on something. The present system of allotting Tonga number plates would change. All his hopes and expectations went to walls when he learnt that there was no new constitution. It was much disillusioned. (175 words)

Discuss that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing in the context of the story “The New Constitution”
At the start of the story, the writer talks about the knowledge of Ustad Mangu very ironically. According to the writer, “He had never seen the inside of a school, and in strictly academic terms was no more than a cipher, but there was nothing under the sun he did not know something about.”

We find that Ustad Mangu had a little knowledge about things. We see that he was in the habit of overhearing his fares. The most important thing was that he believed in all what he used to overhear from his fares. He was illiterate so he did not know exactly what was going on around him.

It is his little knowledge that he expects the new constitution would change everything. He would have equal rights after the enforcement of the new constitution. Nevertheless, the new constitution was not just that. Ustad had a little knowledge about that too. Because of this little knowledge, he did a very dangerous thing. He beat the Gora soldier and he was locked up. It was all due to his little knowledge. (181 words)

What kind of man is Ustad Mangu? Discuss his ideas.
Ustad Mangu is the central character of the story “The New Constitution”. He is a middle-aged person and is illiterate. He is a tongawala. He lives in Lahore. He is in the habit of overhearing his fares. That is why he knows something about everything. He shares these things with his friends.

Ustad has many friends and cuts jokes with them. In normal circumstances, he is a humorous fellow.

Ustad Mangu hates the English. He does not like their arrogance. Once, a Gora soldier abuses him. From that point onward, he also starts abusing them. He remains depressed for hours. He wants to get rid of the English. He wants equal rights. For this reason, he greets the new constitution warmly.

He believes that the communal violence is because of some holy man’s curse. He also believes that a king rules every country. He is interested in communist system.

He is simple. He hates the English and wants India free. He believes that he will get equal rights because of the new constitution. (173 words)

Describe the quarrel of Ustad Mangu with the Gora soldier.
On 1 April, the situation was different for Ustad. He thought that the new constitution was in force and now he had equal rights. Now if the Gora soldier could beat him so could he. Therefore, under the wrong impression he picked up a quarrel with the Gora soldier. Ustad wanted to take a revenge of his previous insult. He demanded five rupees from the Gora soldier as fare. The Gora soldier could not believe it. He came close to Ustad Mangu. He also recognized Ustad Mangu. He decided to beat Ustad Mangu with his stick.

Ustad Mangu was a strong and well-built man. He started beating the Gora soldier with his powerful blows. He was in rage. The Gora soldier tried to save himself but could not. He could not believe that Ustad Mangu was beating him. In desperation, he began to shout for help. A crowd had gathered.

Two policemen appeared from somewhere. They rescued the Gora soldier from Ustad with great difficulty. Ustad Mangu was very angry and was shouting, “New constitution, new constitution!” but the two policemen told him that it was the same old constitution. He was locked up. (194)

What did Ustad Mangu overhear about political changes in India? OR
What did Ustad Mangu overhear from his fares?
Once, Ustad Mangu picked up to moneylenders. They started discussion about government of India Act 1935. Ustad Mangu gathered from their discussion that this Act would be introduced on the 1 April and because of this Act, many things would change. The moneylenders were not sure about interest and they wanted to ask a lawyer about it.

After some days, he picked up to barristers. They were arguing about the new constitution. As their discussion was going on in English, Ustad could not follow it. However, it was his idea that they were against the new constitution. He did not like them.


Three days later, he picked up three students. They were discussing about the new constitution. They said many good things about the Act. They said that because of the Act, things were going to open up. The Indian would have elected assemblies. They would get government jobs. (149 words)


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