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Train to Pakistan Hardcover – 10 Oct 1975

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; New edition edition (10 Oct. 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0837182263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0837182261
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,489,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

An Authentic Version on Partition Manomajra, a tiny villages slumbers without much din of the urbane suddenly comes alive with fanaticism takes hold of the innocent villagers. The amity and goodwill give place to rancour and so the majority, the Sikhs on knowing the horrors let loose by Muslims in Pakistan on their brethern Sikhs, would like to let out their rages on their fellow villagers- Muslims. It is cast against a love story between a Sikh and a Muslim girl for whose sake the rustic makes a sacrifice thereby allowing her and the rest of the Muslims on their journey to the Promised Land, Pakistan. --Dr V Pala Prasada

read Train to Pakistan years ago, right back when I was in college. I can still never forget the novel, which is undoubtedly one of my favourite Indian novels in English. Khushwant Singh is a daring story-teller. He manages to remain one of the few who refrain from much of the linguistic pomp, glamour, and political pretense that dogs Indian English writers. His language is simple; his message is startling. The novel is based on the time when India won independence, and when the partition took place. Singh blends satire and compassion with heart felt anger: at the hypocrisy and cowardice of social activists, and at the bureaucracy and corruption that permeates Indian politics. The climax of the novel is the message of the story: action is never political; it is only personal. Nobody is going to get up and do a thing for anyone else unless it's for someone they love, unless it's something that comes from the heart. This book is an absolute must read for every single person who cares about Hindu-Muslim harmony. --Supriya Thanawala Nov 19, 2011

Khushwant at his best... A must read for all english prose readers... read this book many years back.. but still i remember each and every character of the novel... Gud narration, story set in the backdrop of partition of india.. describes love,lust,burtality of humans in a simple way.. --Santhosh Tarikere Devananda Dec 2, 2011 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Khushwant Singh is India s best-known writer and columnist. He has been founder editor of Yojana, and editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India, the National Herald and the Hindustan Times. He is also the author of several books which include the novels Train to Pakistan, I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale, Delhi, The Company of Women and Burial at Sea; the classic two-volume A History of the Sikhs; and a number of translations and non-fiction books on Sikh religion and culture, Delhi, nature, current affairs and Urdu poetry. His autobiography, Truth, Love and a Little Malice, was published in 2002. Khushwant Singh was a Member of Parliament from 1980 to 1986. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974, but returned the decoration in 1984 in protest against the storming of the Golden Temple by the Indian Army. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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THE summer of 1947 was not like other Indian summers. Read the first page
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Aug. 2002
Format: Hardcover
There are a number of excellent factual books on Indian Independence, but relatively little fiction, at least available in the UK. 'Train to Pakistan', however, more than makes up for the shortfall.
Set in the Punjab, it charts the descent of a community of Sikhs and Muslims into mutual fear and hatred as a result of the decisions of politicians, and events elsewhere, over which they have no control.
The construction of the book is masterful, instilling at the outset a genuine sense of forboding before building up to a climax that encompasses the futility, waste and despair of the violence of partition.
This is a book I read in one sitting, firstly because it is short, but mostly because it is one of the most compelling books I have read in a long time. Highly recommended, it is a snapshot of a momentous and harrowing period of the Indian subcontinent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By boingboing on 7 April 2012
Format: Paperback
The Train to Pakistan is a fictitious account of the impact of Partition in a small country town called Mano Majra which sits beside the railway line which connects the new country of Pakistan to India. All the events described are based in fact but delivered as fiction. It's fair to say that you couldn't make it up if you tried - nobody would believe this if it wasn't documented, photographed and proven to be true.

My copy of The Train to Pakistan is the 50th Anniversary Special Edition in which Kushuvant Singh's classic story is illustrated with the photographs of American photographer Margaret Bourke-White. Pramod Kapoor (who wrote the introduction to the edition) had the creative idea to bring together the words of Singh and the photographs of Bourke-White, correctly identifying that the synergy between the two would create a stunning and very moving tribute to both and to those killed during the events that form the focus of the book. It's worth noting that the anniversary referred to is that of the original publishing of the book and not of the events themselves.

Kushuvant Singh is widely recognised as one of India's finest historians and writers, yet even he took a long time to assimilate the horror of Partition before finally publishing The Train to Pakistan nine years later. Singh was living in Lahore and his Sikh family had little choice but to head for India, leaving their home and valuables in the care of a trusted Muslim friend who protected both and later sent everything to his friends - even the half-drunk bottles of alcohol in the drinks cupboard.

Margaret Bourke-White was sent to India in 1946 by Life magazine to document the fall of the British Empire.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DOGG on 13 May 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a superb,concise account of the partition of India in 1947. Every page of this novel was almost perfect, the balance,the narrative,the message.

Khushwant Singh has managed to convey the horror of 1947 in the Punjab with clarity and venom as the communal violence spreads along the borders of the new states. He uses the voices of his characters to give some account of the bloodletting and violence that caused peaceful communities to implode. The trains in the novel are at the centre of the message as they carry refugees back and forwards past a little Punjabi village by the banks of the Sutlej river.

New Delhi seems a world away from the chaos enveloping the region, the neat incisions of the political cartographers are revealed as gaping wounds. The Sikhs and Muslims in this novel are the victims of the horror,Singh portrays the inter-faith traditions of the village and the difficulties that result as their awareness of the horror in Pakistan is revealed.

The stories of the local bad boy Juggat Singh and a party worker back from england are woven into the fabric of tragedy and terror. The martial Sikhs facing daily murder and violence,the muslims who don't want to go to Pakistan,there are many confused people here as the new order comes into being.

A lot of the blame for this horror lies with the unhealthy speed at which the British pulled out of India and the obvious danger of splitting a religiously mixed region (the Punjab) into two different nations. The Sikhs possibly suffered worst during that summer of 1947 but nobody living along that border will ever forget the communal hatred and massacres that burst upon them and scarred the creation of Pakistan for ever. 5 stars.
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Format: Paperback
Krushwant Singh's novel concerns the awful summer of 1947, when India both gained its independence from British rule, and partitioned itself into two separate countries, based largely on religion. Pakistan was created as a "homeland" for Muslims, and in those days had both an eastern and western section. As Singh says at the commencement of this excellent novel on that tragedy, ten million people were in flight to join their religious confreres in their zones of plurality, and as the subject line indicates, a tenth of them did not make it. The enduring image of the partition is entire trains filled with the corpses of men, women and children, Muslim or Hindu or Sikh, who had been hacked to death.

Six years after the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War, and only six months before the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war (which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh), I walked across the border between Pakistan and India, in the Punjab. Indeed, one HAD to walk the 500 meters across the "no-persons" land. No trains, buses or taxis made the crossing. In terms of conflicts, I was "running between the raindrops," though the monsoons had not commenced in the Punjab, and I recall simply the stifling heat. One could clearly feel the tension on the border, but in my very formative knowledge of the Indian subcontinent, I was largely oblivious to the background. So, shortly thereafter, in New Delhi, I purchased two books by Singh, who was neither a Muslim nor a Hindu, but a Sikh, another religion I knew almost nothing about. My copy of this work cost Rs. 3.50, about 30 cents at the prevailing "black market" rates of time.

The novel takes place in Mano Majra, a tiny village near the Sutlej River, the largest one in the Punjab. Only three brick buildings: the Hindu moneylender, the Sikh temple, and the Mosque.
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