Chapters Name Page Number
1 Introduction to the age 2 About Khushwant Singh
Chapter 1- Age of the writer
The partition of INDIA is one of the most terrifying and horrific event in the Indian history and it means different things to different people. This historical event is significant in the world history not only as a political occurrence which gave birth to two nations. History alone is not sufficient for a comprehensive understanding of the partition. Even after reading hundreds of books of history, it is difficult to have a complete picture of the Partition of India. This most tragic incident in the history of India left an indelible mark on of every Indian & particularly on those Indians who have been the victims of these incidents. Indian writers could not remain untouched from this shocking affair and used the medium of creative writing especially novel writings. All these books deal with various aspects of the event as the responses of creative writers. The trauma left by Partition remains a major concern of Indian literature after independence. The deepest anguish was expressed by the poets of the Punjab and Bengal directly affected by the Partition. Reactions vary from nostalgic lament for a lost age to attaching blame and apportioning responsibility for the terrible misfortunes that befell those who had been affected, in some way or the other, by the events of 1947. The Partition literature shows the brutal tragedy of the partition affected people of both communities. The vast volume of partition fiction in English, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and other languages of the subcontinent faithfully records the partition as a reality. The partition of India inspired many creative minds in India to produce literary and cinematic depiction of these events. The partition of India was an episode of enormous intensity that affected the normal lives of millions of people. It also left its impact on human emotions and values to such a great extent that all creative writers and artists have come under its influence.
Much of partition literature falls under what has been termed as topical literature. Given the propensity of writers to focus on violence and communal tensions, in Urdu these stories have been called “riot literature”, again serving to deflect the attention from partition and turning the cause-and-effect equation upside down. Literature has a vital role to play in preserving events in collective memory, and interpreting the implications for posterity. Partition literature exists across all major literary forms: novels, short stories, poems and non-fiction.
Almost every literary piece related to the partition depicts hooliganism, rape, murder, treachery, barbarism and a common thirst of blood amongst people. They were ready to slaughter their neighbors who had lived arm in arm for centuries just because they practiced different religion. Few authors have depicted the restoration of human rationality and prudence after the holocaust. However, many disillusioned authors have given tragic account of the events without taking any sides. The literature of partition has a common chord that connects all literary pieces produced on this theme. It is the theme of violence and human trauma.
Writers during the partition literature and their works
Some of the famous writers in this are khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan (1956), Bapsi Sidhwa’s Ice Candy Man and bride, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children. The first novel which brought partition into limelight was Khushwant Singh’s ?Train to Pakistan? in 1956 (originally under the title of Mano Majra). Since then many have penned the horror of partition and unequivocally criticized barbarism and hooliganism so commonly practiced by the multitude. In Hindi literature the list of the writers and novelists who has delt with the theme of partition and politics. They can be divided into two categories- those who dealt with the factors responsible for partition, and those who dealt with event itself. Along with novelists some short story writers and poets also apprehended the theme of the partition and politics related to the event of partition. Even if partition offered a variety of subject matter for the crative writers, the majority of the writers chose to deal with violence, abduction, rape and politics and the responsible political circumstances for the vivisection of the country i.e. Politics being particular favorites for many creative writers of post-independence and post-partition novelists. These writers have shown the graphic descriptions of women were physically abused. Some of the masters handled the theme of rape very touchingly in their short stories.
CHAPTER 2 – ABOUT KHUSHWANT SINGH
Khushwant Singh born Khushal Singh, 2 February 1915 – 20 March 2014 was an Indian novelist, lawyer, journalist and politician. Khushwant Singh is India’s best known writer and columnist. Khushwant Singh has an important place among the Post Independence Indian English writers. He has been founder-editor of the illustrated weekly of India, the national herald and the Hindustan times. He is the author of classics such as Train to Pakistan; I shall not hear the nightingale and Delhi. His non-fiction includes the classic two volumes a history of the Sikhs, a number of translations and works on Sikh religion and culture. He was the Member of Parliament from 1980 to 1986. Khushwant Singh was an Indian novelist and journalist who were best known for his secularism, humor, sarcasm and free thinking. He was decorated with Padma Vibhusan, India’s second highest civilian award. Among the other awards he has received are the Punjab Ratan, the sulabh international award for the most honest of the year, and honorary doctorates from several universities.
He produced some of the most provocative and admired English-language fiction and nonfiction in post-World War II India. His debut novel, Train to Pakistan (1956; film 1998), was acclaimed for its exploration of the bloody violence between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs during and shortly after the 1947 partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan. As a journalist he has written on a variety of themes on the world of fact, men and affairs. His narrative ability distinguishes his writing from that of the other leading journalists of India. As a novelist Khushwant Singh is famous for Train to Pakistan and I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale. Train to Pakistan made him internationally known, though he had made a literary reputation with publication of his short stories The Mark of Vishnu and other stories. His mind and personality has been moulded by western education and culture, he is a pure Sikh. He values Indian art and culture and is deeply rooted in the soil of India.
The Mark of Vishnu and Other Stories, 1950The History of Sikhs, 1953Train to Pakistan, 1956The Voice of God and Other Stories, 1957I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale, 1959The Sikhs Today, 1959The Fall of the Kingdom of the Punjab, 1962A History of the Sikhs, 1963Ranjit Singh: The Maharajah of the Punjab, 1963Ghadar 1915: India’s first armed revolution, 1966A History of the Sikhs, 1966 (2nd edition)A Bride for the Sahib and Other Stories, 1967Black Jasmine, 1971Tragedy of Punjab, 1984Delhi: A Novel, 1990Sex, Scotch and Scholarship: Selected Writings, 1992Not a Nice Man to Know: The Best of Khushwant Singh, 1993We Indians, 1993Women and Men in My Life, 1995Uncertain Liaisons; Sex, Strife and Togetherness in Urban India, 1995Declaring Love in Four Languages, by Khushwant Singh and Sharda Kaushik, 1997The Company of Women, 1999Truth, Love and a Little Malice (an autobiography), 2002With Malice towards One and AllThe End of India, 2003Burial at the Sea, 2004Paradise and Other Stories, 2004A History of the Sikhs: 1469-1838, 2004Death at My Doorstep, 2005A History of the Sikhs: 1839-2004, 2005The Illustrated History of the Sikhs, 2006Why I Supported the Emergency: Essays and Profiles, 2009The Sunset Club, 2010Agnostic Khushwant Singh, There is no GOD, 2012The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous, 2013 .
He shows a passionate awareness of life in India – the social awakening and protest, the poverty and hunger of the peasants, various dimensions of the struggle for independence the tragedy of partition, social and political changes along with inner life of the sensitive, suffering individuals. He is distinguished writer as his work is more of realism, which shows real life in a true sense. Khushwant singh like any other Indian writer explores the concept of social, political scenario of India at time. Unlike the other writers, he selects his material from variety of lives. He deals with various aspects of social reality and most of his work is his reflections of his life. Violence is another fundamental aspect in Khushwant Singh’s novel. But his final aim is not only to highlight communal violence death, disaster, hate, and vendetta but also to show the path of humanism. As a writer he is able to write about religion and politics because he is personally involved with it. His earliest memories are those of his grandmother reciting passages from the Granth Sahib and the Sukhmani. Years later he was a spectator to the horror unleashed by the partition. He was also a witness to the terrible tragedy of the anti-Sikh riots. It is his close association with these subjects that has enabled him to write so poignantly about them. Khushwant Singh has written about every subject that has touched him. His friends, family, and his identity as a Sikh; all find a place in his fiction. Khushwant Singh is one of India’s distinguished men of letters with an international reputation. His presentation of the real and the comic makes him stand as a pillar and peer among modern Indian writers on subjects of concern to contemporary man. His writing has grown out of the grass roots of the social milieu as his experience of rural India. In most of his works ,he shows a awareness about India- he social awakening and protest, the poverty and hunger of the peasants, various dimensions of the struggle for independence the tragedy of partition, social and political changes along with inner life of the sensitive, suffering individuals. Khushwant Singh, many other Indian novelists, explores social, political realities of contemporary Indian life. His main concern is the man and the reality. Most of the critics have talked about the portrayal of violence and politics in his books. Violence is another fundamental aspect in Khushwant Singh’s novel. But his final aim is not only to highlight communal violence death, disaster, hate, but also to show the path of humanity. Khushwant Singh’s fictional world indicates the richness and depth of his apprehension of reality. He deals with various aspects of social reality.
Chapter 3 – ABOUT THE NOVEL
TRAIN TO PAKISTAN
Summary of the novel
Train to Pakistan is an historical novel written by Khushwant Singh about an actual event known as the Partition of India which happened in 1947. This novel depicts the bitter and dirty truth of Indian independence, which we call division. He opens the novel Train to Pakistan is a peaceful village is fictional. It is important to note that the writer didn’t want to make this novel a political because he didn’t wanted to describe the political role of British and the Indian people in detail, but to understand the progression of the novel , it is important to know about the history .
Train to Pakistan is a magnificent novel where Khushwant Singh tells the tragic tale of the partition of India and Pakistan and the events that followed which will be remembered as one of the blackest chapters of human history. Just on the eve of independence India was partitioned causing a great upheaval in the whole continent. Independence brought in its wake one of the bloodiest carnages in the history of India. Thousands fled from both sides of the border seeking refuge and security. The natives are uprooted and it was certainly a experience for them to give up their belongings and rush to a land which was not theirs. It is the summer of 1947. When a train arrives, carrying the bodies of dead Sikhs, the village is transformed into a battlefield, and neither the magistrate nor the police are able to stem the rising tide of violence. Amidst conflicting loyalties, it is left to Juggut Singh to redeem himself and reclaim peace for his village. First published in 1956, Train to Pakistan is a classic of modern Indian fiction.
The partition does not mean much to the Sikhs and Muslims of mano majra , a village on the border of India and Pakistan . The story begins with the robbery and murder of Lala Ram Lal, the only Hindu family in the town. The murderers were a gang of Malli. Jugga and Iqbal, they both were arrested for the one same murder they did not commit. When they released from the jail, they realized that a gang was planning to attack the train taking Mano Majra’s Muslim people to Pakistan and kill the passengers. Sadly, Nooran, who is Jugga’s lover, is also on that train. Neither the magistrate nor the police is able to stem the rising tide of violence. They each had the intentions to save the train, though they were well aware of the fact that it may cost their lives. Iqbal was the person who fights with his own thoughts whether he should do something or not.. On the other hand, Jugga sacrifices his life to save the train. The train to Pakistan shows how themes of love and religion cause mankind to do unthinkable things that include heartbreaking actions. The people of the village were thrown into a system where the value of human life is based on caste systems, religious and political beliefs.
The bond between Sikh Jugga and Muslim shows that people can choose to be different, love exists in every religion, and love has no language but the language of love only.
Characters in the novel
The main characters
The novel introduces Bhai Meet Singh, who is fat, usually wears dirty underpants, the caretaker of the town Gurudwara. Hukum Chand, who is magistrate comes in his American car but later resigns due to heavy tensions of the town.
Juggut Singh, a Sikh thief, who is playing a bad character in the novel, is an uneducated local badmash, who visits police station once in a week, is 6 feet tall and strong. In this novel, Iqbal is a mysterious character, who is foreign educated, an atheist social worker from Britain and people gives him respect for that and calls him Babu Sahib. The mullah of the town is half blind Imam Baksh and her daughter Nooran is in love with Jugga and carries two months old baby of Jugga in her womb. The novel is about one man who is fighting against his own thoughts whether it is correct to stand in front of 50 armed men waiting to kill hundreds of their own species or to stop because what they are going to do is immoral.