Author: Khushwant Singh
Translator(s)/ Edito: Prem Gopal Mittal
Publisher: Modern Publishing House
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Train to Pakistan with its fine descriptions of village and river, and its study of characters under stress, is an exciting novel, both intellectually and emotionally. Theauthor makes his readers share the individual problems of loyalty and responsibility facing the principal figures in his story, and to understand the human implicationsof a momentous historical event.
Khushwant Singh made his literary reputation with his very first novel, Train to Pakistan, which indeed is a powerful book. The backdrop is summer of 1947, the partition of Pakistan from India has just taken place. A moving account of India's partition, this book is also the love story of a Sikh boy and Muslim girl that bridges the age-old obyss of religious hate.
The Backdrop is 1947 - A country is divided, and a ghost train the last link.
Tensions run high near the border of British India which is about to be partitioned with a new country called Pakistan. Sikhs living in this border town have heard numerous stories of Muslims killing, rapping, and looting other Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians, and many of whom are their friends and relatives. Enraged at the loss of law and order, they plan their own attack on a train full of Muslims leaving British India. The train is overcrowded with tens and thousands of migrating passengers, who are even perched on the windows and seated on the roof of this train. The plot is to tear the bridge down when the train is on it, and no one will dare stop these men to carry out this horrific task
The fact is, both sides killed. Both shot and stabbed and speared and clubbed. Both tortured. Both raped. By the summer of 1947..ten million people - Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs - were in flight. Almost a million of them were dead.