Essay Sample on Partition Experience in The Writings of Indian And Pakistani Novelists

Published: 2022-11-21
 Essay Sample on Partition Experience in The Writings of Indian And Pakistani Novelists
Type of paper:  Research proposal
Categories: Writing Literature India
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 2035 words
17 min read

Partition encompasses the division of a given territory peacefully and efficiently. The Partition of India in 1947 led to a holocaust. In the Holocaust, one million persons from the Northern India region were killed brutally and primitively. Many people were uprooted and transformed into refugees (Mufti 55). Surprisingly, little fiction has been written on the Partition, which is proportionate to the effects it had on the lives of different people. The novelists had the problem to write about the issue of Partition that is an enormous issue in history. This paper will major on the experiences of novelists on the borders of Pakistan and India. The paper will look into the losses that came about on the emotional front and the delineation of such losses.

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During the Partition of India, religious frenzy and bigotry occupied the Indian subcontinent. People became mad and acted as beasts as they could slaughter their fellow beings based on religion. Individuals from Pakistan and India killed one another. One of the novelists who wrote about the trauma brought about by the Partition and the agony that the Indian people experienced was Faiz Ahmad Faiz. He lamented about the atrocities, which emanated from the Partition and how different people went through various brutalities (Mufti 58). The Muslims who lived in India had to migrate to Pakistan while the Hindus who were living in the Pakistani region were forced to move to India and left behind all their belongings. They left ancestral homes, culture, as well as tradition. Women were the most considerable sufferers as they were sexually assaulted, abused, tortured and even abducted by men who came from the opposite communities (Purohit 92).

The writings of Ahmad embody the sufferings of various people that was caused by the partition. Another novelist who wrote about the Partition was Khushwant Singh. One of the well-known novels of Singh is Train to Pakistan, which he wrote in 1956. In this novel, Singh talks about the Muslims and Sikhs who used to live together in peace for long periods. It is based on the riots between the Hindu and Muslims that occurred in 1947 following the Indian Partition (Dar 21). The Train to Pakistan shows the bitter truth of the Indian independence. Singh gives information regarding the religious practices of Muslims and those of the Sikhs in the rural area of India. The practices also included the day life of those individuals. One of those practices for both the Muslims and Sikhs that Singh names in his novel are prayer.

The main character in the Train to Pakistan is Mano Majra, which is a fictional village found on the Indian and Pakistan border. The village has a railway station that made many people know it. The novel is about a man who fights against own thoughts on whether it is correct to be in front of fifty men who are armed and are waiting to kill several own species. He is undecided to stop since they are going to engage in some immoral acts. In the novel, Lala Ram Lal that was the only Hindu family is murdered by the Malli gang. Another gang planned to attack the train, which was taking the Muslims of Mano Majora to Pakistan (Dar 22). The gang was planning to kill the passengers. The magistrates and the police were not capable of stemming the rising tide of violence. They intended to save the train but feared for their lives. The novel shows how the themes of religion and love can make people do the unthinkable like actions that heartbreak.

The people of Mano Majra were thrown into a system in which people value the lives of others based on religious beliefs, political affiliations, and the caste systems. The novel depicts that love exists in different religions and does not have any other language. These could have been used to prevent the tragedy of murder, but most people could still lose their lives. Additionally, Amrita Pritam was also a novelist of the Partition. She is the first woman poet and novelist who wrote in the Punjabi language on the border of India and Pakistan. Her works were translated into foreign languages and the Indian language (Virdee 50). One of her works was the Pinjar or The Skeleton in which Pritam talked about violence against the females and how people lost their lives during the Partition. The memorable character in this novel is Puro who was an example of the violent acts against humanity in the border of India and Pakistan.

In the novel, Puro, who is a Hindu girl is abducted by Rashid who is a Muslim male. However, the parents fail to recover the girl when she successfully runs back to the parents from the home of Rashid. Eventually, the Hindu girl was forced into marriage and lived in a new country away from her home. After the forced marriage, Puro gets pregnant but becomes depressed since she conceived from rape. Even though she miscarried, she learned that Rashid loved her and even repented his evil deeds. In the novel, it is evident that thugs kidnapped Lajjo and Puro is informed of the situation (Virdee 52). When Puro finds Lajjo, she joins hands with Rashid to help her escape. As such, the novel narrates the partition riots and the sufferings women faced at that time. The sufferings were experienced both in India and Pakistan.

Furthermore, Saadat Hasan Manto, a Pakistani novelist, writer and playwright had many writings about the Partition. He wrote about hard truths in the society that most people could not talk about. The trial for obscenity in India and Pakistan drove her to major his stories about the Partition. He chronicled the riots and chaos that happened in the Indian and Pakistani border. The works portrayed darkness in the society and the decline in humanist values, which was evident during the Partition (Purohit 94). Manto reflected on the innate impotence of humans towards the sense of darkness and showed the madness he saw when he lived. One of his novels is the Tamasha. The novel is about the Amritsar massacre that involved the Army comprising of the British Indians who fired rifles to the Indian civilians. The crowd was murdered when the civilians assembled to take part in a festival to commemorate the new year of Sikh. The festival also serves as a period for spring harvest (Purohit 96). The event signaled the start of nationalism in India. During his period, the revolts attacked Bengal thereby leading to disturbances in the region of Punjab. As such, the regional administration became paralyzed.

Importantly, Manto talked about the life in Bombay and the ugly beauty, which it showed. There was the unleashing of sectarian horrors on the streets. He experienced the eruption of communal violence in the region. He was fired by Bombay Talkies from the job of a screenwriter since he was a Muslim. The novelist feared for the safety of his family and was forced to flee the city where he lived to find refuge somewhere else (Tiwari 51). He moved to Lahore in Pakistan. He told stories of gangsters and pimps. The stories had some moral outrage for giving the voiceless a voice in the society. The stories led to his trial charges on six occasions. Manto had a deep empathy for the sex workers and women who lived on the societal margins even though other people could not write about those themes at that time.

Manto was a Muslim who lived in a cosmopolitan city whose population was made up of Sikhs, Jews, as well as Christians. In the city, workers in the textile industry huddled in cramped tenements. The city in which he lived was full of contradiction and contrast, which is still evident in the modern incarnation. The environment provided the novelist with anonymity, which allowed him to sculpt own identity, as well as escaping the moralization of busybodies (Tiwari 55). As the events of the Indian-Pakistani border intervened, Manto was forced to be defined by religious identity. The shock became immense to him due to the aspect of identity-based on the religion of an individual. The novelist did not shrink, to tell the truth, due to his sense of humanity, which is still evident in the contemporary world.

Additionally, Ismat Chughtai was a popular writer and novelist during the Partition period. Her extensive writings were about the sexuality of the females and femininity, as well as conflict among the social class. In her novel, Terhi Lakeer also known as The Crooked Line, Chughtai chronicled the lives of women who lived in the marginalized society. She explored the inner realms of the lives of those women (Hartnack 247). The novel gives the story of a lady called Shamman and the world in which she lived, as well as the women in her family. Those women comprise of the mother, her sisters, and even cousins. She fights inner battles and goes through a range of experiences as she grew up on the brink of independence of India. As Shamman grows up, the world of purdah where he lived is seen to disappear and depicts how women around men control them.

The characters that Chughtai uses traverse the identity paths in most cases. They search and break paradigms in own ways. In the case of this novel, Shamman sees the world change drastically both through her friend known as Alma and Bilqees who is the femme fatale surrounded by men. The novel brings out the theme of feminism and sexuality of the females. In her writings, Chughtai faced a trial for allegations of obscenity. One of the works that led to her trial is the Lihaaf. The story gives a terrifying memory of what an unnamed narrator experienced during her childhood (Steele 109). The narrator uses a quilt for covering herself during the winter when her memory of the sufferings pops up. The theme of sexuality is evident in the story as the narrator fights with her brothers and male friends of her brothers even though she is a woman.

The suffering of women is shown in the case of Begum Jaan who was married to a very old man known as Nawab. After the marriage, the old man tucked Jaan away in his house and ended up forgetting her. Even though the lady tried drawing the attention of the Nawab, he was not moved. She yearned for love but could not find it. During the partition in the border of India and Pakistan, that was the desire of the girls who were newly married, but the husbands could not fulfill their desires. In her work, Chughtai uses characters and images that remind people of the sufferings experienced during the Partition. In essence, women are used as protagonists to map their specific anguish as opposed to the males (Steele 112).

The rootedness of women's attachment to their families and ancestors was strong to the extent that they could be easily wrenched away across the borders of India and Pakistan. However, the reaction of most women was vehement as they did not want to leave their homes. For instance, in the story of Chughtai known as Jadein, Amma could not leave behind her haveli as the entire family had decided to migrate (Steele 114). Even though efforts were made, Amma was unable to budge from where she lived. She could not resist migrating anymore as she started thinking in distress about her loved ones hence was swayed by the distress. She could not be at peace even when she remains in the haveli since the family members had moved to a different place.

Munshi Premchand was an Indian novelist and writer who wrote about the Partition. His novels describe the problems that the poor and middle-class persons in India faced before and after independence. They also depict an outlook of rationalism in which the religious values of individuals are seen as aspects that make it easy for the powerful hypocrites in the society to exploit the weak. The major aim of the works was to arouse public awareness regarding colonialism, the feudal system, corruption, as well as the freedom of movement in India (Roy 78).

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