It is a place, Khushwant Singh goes on to tell us at the beginning of this classic novel, where Sikhs and Muslims have lived together in peace for hundreds of years. Then one day, at the end of the summer, the 'ghost train' arrives, a silent, incredible funeral train loaded with the bodies of thousands of refuges, bringing the village its first taste of the horrors of the civil war. Train to Pakistan is the story of this isolated village that is plunged into the abyss of religious hate. It is also the story of a Sikh boy and a Muslim girl whose love endures and transcends the ravages of war.
By Pushpendra Acharya,
Khushwant singh dared to write on the most brutal episode of the history, India-Pakistan partition when millions of men, women and children were killed and millions were displaced from their homes and beloveds. In “Train to Pakistan” Khushwant Singh shows the human dimension of the momentous event of partition. The story is of a small village in Punjab Mano Majra is on the railway line near Sutlej River. The villagers are Sikh farmers and their Muslim tenants. There is no violence in the village. But things get worse when a train stops at Mano Majra and that was full of dead bodies. Then there are many stories of hindu and sikh refugees, the massacre and bloodshed. The characters are ordinary and we can identify them easily. This is sad when you read about trauma and pain that all the people went through during Partition and how a nation was torn apart. Khushwant Singh’s details and his love of the people shine through in his descriptions. I am impressed with the power of Singh’s timeless narrative. This is really a great book infused with compassion and humanity. The book is itself a classic and one of the finest on this subject.
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