Train to Pakistan, published in the year 1956, is an historical novel by Khuswant Singh. The theme swirls around the much debated partition of India for two nations. Mr. Singh has able-handedly thrown light on the gruelling circumstances and abject suffering of innocent people which they went through during the tragic partition. The novel is true, more in the right way, for covering the changing outlook of people assembling from different communities and religions, the way they lost trust over one-another, and the inevitable massacres.
Both sides (two nations) received equal damage by employing many ways of inhuman agonies. Mr. Singh writes less about the ‘Nehru-Jinnah’ politics involved and responsible for the partition; he instead dealt with the local feelings.
During the summer of 1947 when the news of partition came, over 10 million people doomed to move and seek refuge. They were living together but under the heat of partition they got involved into mass killing and other atrocities. It was a civil war and the whole of Northern India was under it.
The only safe hideouts are the far-off, remote villages. So, Mr. Singh takes the story to Mano Majra, a small village where Sikhs and Muslims live together in communal harmony. As the proceedings of the partition begin, the village receives a train full of corpses for a clandestine funeral. Eventually, the communal harmony is ravaged and people take the partition as a tool for escapism and a reason to practice brutality.
Train to Pakistan is a compelling tale of tragedy, violence and civil war.