NOVEL TRAIN TO PAKISTAN BY KHUSHWANT SINGH PDF
edition of Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan to celebrate the 50th Bourke- White to freeze frames of the Partition for his book” (Joshua. Abstract—This research aims to explore the heteroglot world of Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus in a Sikh village in. Khushwant Singh's novel, Train to Pakistan. Train to Pakistan, the first novel on the theme of Partition, is a brilliant and realistic story says, Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan deserved a high position in.
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It is in this respect that Train to Pakistan, written by Khushwant Singh and published in , is often considered a foundational novel (Mehrotra ; Coussy 42;. This event has been capture and well-documented by Khushwant Singh in his Historical novel Train to Pakistan, first published in Singh's magnum opus. Mano Majra is a place, Khushwant Singh tells us at the beginning of this classic novel, where Sikhs and Muslims have lived together in peace for hundreds of.
His manners suggest that he does not belong in the village.
The young man goes to the gurdwara and asks Meet Singh if he can stay for a few days. The priest obliges and asks the young man for his name, which is Iqbal. Jugga has run away, he says, which makes it obvious that the budmash has committed the crime.
The priest is perturbed not by the murder, but by Jugga robbing his own village. The visitors talk favorably about the British and ask why they have left India, which annoys Iqbal, who resents the British and asks the men if they want to be free. Imam Baksh says that freedom is for the educated.
The peasants will merely go from being the slaves of the English to the slaves of educated Indians or Pakistanis. The next morning, he is arrested. Ten constables also arrest Jugga, surrounding his house with rifles. Jugga and Iqbal are led away. The policemen, however, suspect that the men are innocent.
The subinspector asks the head constable about Iqbal, recognizing him as the same man who got off the train with them the day before. The subinspector then goes to see Hukum Chand and tells him about the arrests. Later, he has Iqbal stripped and sees that Iqbal is circumcised, a sign of being Muslim. This leads him to conclude that Iqbal is a member of the Muslim League.
In early September, the train schedule goes awry. A train from Pakistan arrives one morning, but no one gets off. It is a ghost train, it seems.
Officers then ask the villagers for all of the wood and kerosene they can spare in exchange for money, and they oblige. Around sunset, a breeze blows in, carrying the smell of burning kerosene, wood, and charred flesh.
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Hukum Chand spends the day watching the corpses of men, women, and children get dragged out of the train and burned. He tries not to think about them. He asks his servant for whisky and invites the same entertainers back to the rest house. Chand keeps Haseena overnight for comfort, but they do not have sex. The next morning, the subinspector visits the rest house.
He tells Chand that forty or fifty Sikhs have entered town. Jugga has identified members of his former gang, including Malli, but was not with them. Chand asks if Malli and his companions are Sikh or Muslim.
They are Sikh, but Chand wishes they were Muslim. Chand orders the subinspector to free Malli and his gang, and then to ask the Muslim refugee camp commander for trucks to evacuate the Mano Majra Muslims. After a week alone in jail, Iqbal shares his cell with Jugga, whose own cell is now occupied by Malli and his gang.
Iqbal asks Jugga if he killed Ram Lal and Jugga says that he did not; the banian gave him money to pay lawyers when his father, Alam Singh, was in jail. Iqbal thinks that the police will free Jugga, but Jugga knows that the police do what they please.
By mid-morning, the subinspector drives to the police station at Chundunnugger. The subinspector then asks if anyone has seen Sultana and his gang. The head constable says that they are in Pakistan and that everyone knows this. The subinspector tells the head constable to pretend not to know.
The head constable is confused and says that Iqbal is a Sikh who cut his hair in England. The ruse works, however, in arousing suspicion; Muslims no longer trust Sikhs, and Sikhs no longer trust Muslims. The lambardar suggests that the Muslims go to the refugee camp until things settle down. Imam Baksh goes home and tells Nooran that they must leave.
She does not want to go to Pakistan, but, if they do not leave willingly, they will be thrown out. The old woman is annoyed to see Nooran, until Nooran mentions that she is two-months pregnant. Nooran is grateful and returns home. Early in the morning, a convoy of trucks bound for Pakistan arrives. A Muslim officer orders the Muslims to leave their houses and board the trucks, taking only what they can carry.
Since then, on the various sides of borders, the representations of this era have been paradoxical. On the one hand, in public monuments1, school textbooks2 and perhaps the work of some historians3, there has been a tendency to focus on the grand narrative of national liberation and to turn a blind eye on the Partition and its violence. On the other hand, survivors — whether they be victims, culprits or witnesses — have often kept an indelible memory of the horror of these events4.
One could therefore oppose a mainstream a counter- representation of the Partition in terms of forgetting and remembering. In this context, works of fiction have been seen as sites of memory and contestation.
To quote two historians: It is in this respect that Train to Pakistan, written by Khushwant Singh and published in , is often considered a foundational novel Mehrotra ; Coussy 42; Roy , one that reveals the horror of a forgotten past with both realism and bitterness Raizada ; Pabby ; Wolpert ix6. Train to Pakistan, in this perspective, both undermines and upholds mainstream representations of the Partition.
In one significant passage, the narrator reports the thoughts of Hukum Chand, the Magistrate of the small village of Mano Majra where the novel is set. Powerless in the face of mounting tensions, he exclaims: Where was the power? What were the people in Delhi doing?
Making fine speeches in the assembly! I do think he is the greatest man in the world today. By playing with pronouns — replacing the first person singular with the second person plural, as shown in italics — he questions the idea of national experience. For some, having a tryst with destiny means taking part in fancy ceremonies; for others, it implies dying in the most terrible circumstances.
This ironic discrepancy creates a tone of bitterness. Chand then recalls the fate of three of his acquaintances: No one was allowed to get off. So did everyone else. Sunder Singh gave them his urine to drink. Then that dried up too so he pulled out his revolver and shot them all.
Then he lost his nerve. He put his revolver on his temple but did not fire. There was no point in killing himself.
The train had begun to move. He did not redeem the pledge. Only his family did ; emphasis added.
Train to Pakistan Summary by Khushwant Singh
By effecting a change in the scale and the subject of history, the glorious hypotext of independence is transformed into an outraged hypertext of Partition that refuses to countenance the silencing of victims7. Khushwant Singh himself seems to have strongly believed in the importance, or even the duty to remember the events of Nevertheless, is it not possible to detect more subtle and insidious forms of forgetting in Train to Pakistan? A number of narratives — both historiographical and testimonial — keep the violence of at a certain distance.
To quote a historian: In this type of representation, barbaric acts are silenced when they are mentioned and forgotten just as they are remembered; attributing responsibility to someone else is a way to exonerate oneself while also reducing violence to a marginal phenomenon.
The villagers of Mano Majra are the subjects of the narrative in a narratological sense; simply put, they are the actants whose quest it is to resist an expansion of communalism coming from the outside9. In the initial situation, Mano Majra is described as a pastoral utopia, an oasis of peace in a desert of violence The humble village is organised symbolically around a sacred banyan tree, itself surrounded by the Sikh temple, the mosque and the residence of the only Hindu villager.
The depiction of local customs and beliefs in the iterative present creates an impression of permanence and the inhabitants seem to live outside of history until Partition: Then comes a series of four trials for the villagers.
Firstly, violence erupts when the only Hindu inhabitant is assassinated by criminals coming from a nearby village — Malli and his gang — and a train of corpses stops at the village.
Tension mounts but the members of both Hindu and Sikh communities gather under the banyan tree until the arrival of the police. Secondly, Hukum Chand tries to sow discord in Mano Majra to encourage the Muslims to leave for Pakistan and thus maintain law and order. He has Malli released and spreads a rumour according to which the murder was committed by Muslim League activists.
The naive villagers fall into the trap: The Sikhs meet in the temple and some want to draw blood. When the Muslims join them, however, friendship overcomes animosity and a scene of reconciliation ensues. Little do they know that the soldiers in charge of the transfer will deport the Muslims to Pakistan and force them to leave most of their belongings behind.
When the Sikh villagers refuse to seize those goods, Malli and another group of outsiders accept.
Train to Pakistan Summary by Khushwant Singh
The complicity between intruders and the solidarity among villagers is explicit: It is all settled, said the Sikh officer, speaking softly in Punjabi. I have arranged that these people from the next village will look after the cattle, carts, and houses, till it is over. I will have a list made and sent over to you.
His colleague did not reply. He had a sardonic smile on his face. Mano Majra Sikhs and Muslims looked on helplessly. Once again, it is Malli and some unknown refugees who volunteer first: They were followed by many others, mostly refugees. Some villagers who had only recently wept at the departure of their Muslim friends also stood up to volunteer. He falls to his death after cutting the rope set up above the railway line to kill those sitting on the roof and to force the train to a stop, thereby saving his lover Nooran and the rest of the Mano Majra Muslims.
Chatterji 6 In Train to Pakistan, therefore, violence is carried out by the opponents of the narrative: The villagers are not responsible because they are manipulated, nor are they guilty since the only crime they could have committed is prevented and atoned for by a sacrifice. Their only fault, it seems, is their innocence.
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The answer depends on our perception of dominant discourses. Among the two types of forgetting that have been dealt with silence and self- exoneration , one was mentioned in Train to Pakistan but the other was inspired by the reading of historiography. Perhaps this can explain why the first has attracted the attention of literary critics while the second has not. It might therefore be time to use the latest works of historians to revisit other Partition novels from a fresh perspective.
Chatterji 7 Notes 1. Since , two monuments dedicated to the memory of Partition victims have been erected: To be precise, historians have long written about the relations between the Congress and the Muslim League until the Radcliffe Line was drawn in However, it has only been a dozen years since some have started to conduct interviews with survivors see Butalia; Pandey; Menon and Bhasin.
Chatterji 8 5.Some Reflections. The stories reflect the culture and ethos of life in Punjab. They went from house to house, talking, crying, swearing love and friendship, assuring each other that this would soon be over. It is a novel set in AD when the partition of India was taking place and swarms of people — both Hindus and Muslims were migrating in large numbers.
Download Train to Pakistan pdf by Khushwant Singh - pdf That Long Silence , , Jan 1, , India, pages. One is a boy leader is in his teens who encourages the Sikh men to kill Muslims, baiting them by saying that their manliness depends on it.