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Jack Thompson
Jack Thompson

Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan: A Masterpiece of Historical Fiction that Depicts the Horrors of the Partition (PDF Download Link)

Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh PDF Free Download: A Review

If you are looking for a historical novel that depicts the horrors and human dimensions of the partition of India in 1947, you should read Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh. This classic novel, published in 1956, tells the story of a fictional border village called Mano Majra, where Sikhs and Muslims have lived together peacefully for centuries. However, when the creation of Pakistan is announced, the village is plunged into chaos and violence, as religious fanatics try to drive out the Muslims and stop the trains carrying refugees. The novel also follows the lives of three main characters: Jugga, a Sikh outlaw who loves a Muslim girl; Iqbal, an educated outsider who tries to stop the bloodshed; and Nooran, a Muslim girl who is pregnant with Jugga's child.

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In this article, we will review Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh and show you how you can download the PDF version of the book for free. We will also summarize the plot and analyze the themes and style of the novel. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of why Train to Pakistan is considered one of the best novels about the partition of India.


What is Train to Pakistan about?

Train to Pakistan is a historical novel by writer Khushwant Singh, published in 1956. It recounts the partition of India in August 1947 through the perspective of Mano Majra, a fictional border village. Instead of depicting the partition in terms of only the political events surrounding it, Khushwant Singh digs into a deep local focus, providing a human dimension which brings to the event a sense of reality, horror, and believability. [1]

Why is Train to Pakistan important?

Train to Pakistan is important because it is one of the first and most influential novels that deals with the partition of India, which was one of the most traumatic and violent events in modern history. The partition resulted in the displacement of millions of people and the death of hundreds of thousands. It also sparked communal riots and massacres that left deep scars on both sides of the border. Train to Pakistan captures the impact of these events on ordinary people who had no role in creating them. It also shows how religious hatred can destroy centuries-old bonds of friendship and harmony. Train to Pakistan is a powerful and moving testimony to the human cost of partition.

How to download Train to Pakistan PDF for free?

If you want to read Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh online or offline, you can download the PDF version of the book for free from various websites. However, before you do that, you should be aware that downloading copyrighted books without permission may be illegal in your country. Therefore, we recommend that you buy a legal copy of the book from a reputable online store or a local bookstore. Alternatively, you can borrow the book from a library or a friend.

Summary of Train to Pakistan

The setting of Mano Majra

The novel is set in Mano Majra, a small village on the bank of the Sutlej river, near the border of India and Pakistan. The village is home to about 70 families, mostly Sikhs and Muslims, who have lived together peacefully for generations. They share a common culture, language, and lifestyle. They also have a common enemy: the British colonial government, which has exploited and oppressed them for decades. The villagers are mostly illiterate and ignorant of the outside world. They are unaware of the political turmoil and violence that is engulfing the country in the wake of the partition.

The characters of Jugga, Iqbal, and Nooran

The novel focuses on three main characters, who represent different aspects of the society and the situation. They are:

  • Jugga: He is a Sikh outlaw, who is notorious for his crimes and violence. He is also in love with Nooran, a Muslim girl from the village. He is loyal to his lover and his village, but he is also a victim of his circumstances and his reputation. He is often arrested and tortured by the police, who suspect him of being involved in every crime that happens in the area.

  • Iqbal: He is an educated and idealistic social worker, who comes to Mano Majra from the city. He is a member of a communist party, which opposes the partition and advocates for a secular and socialist India. He tries to organize the villagers and prevent them from participating in the communal violence. However, he is also an outsider, who does not understand the local culture and customs. He is also mistaken for a Muslim by the police, who arrest him for being a spy.

  • Nooran: She is a Muslim girl, who is the daughter of the local mullah (religious leader). She is pregnant with Jugga's child, but she keeps it a secret from everyone. She loves Jugga, but she also fears for her life and her family's safety. She leaves the village with her father and other Muslims, when they are told to board a train to Pakistan for their protection.

The plot of Train to Pakistan

The novel begins with a robbery and murder at the house of Lala Ram Lal, a wealthy Hindu moneylender in Mano Majra. The robbers are a gang of Sikh dacoits (bandits), who are led by Malli, a rival of Jugga. While fleeing Ram Lals house, the robbers pass by the home of former robber Juggut Singh, known as the most dangerous man in Mano Majra and often called Jugga. One of the robbers throws stolen bangles into Juggas courtyard to implicate him in the crime.[2]

The next day, Iqbal arrives at Mano Majra by train. He is met by Meet Singh, the headman of the Sikh temple (gurdwara), who offers him hospitality and accommodation. Iqbal tells Meet Singh that he is there to work for the welfare of the villagers, but he does not reveal his political affiliation or his real name.

That night, Jugga sneaks out of his house to meet Nooran at the bank of the river. They make love under a tree and exchange vows of loyalty. Nooran tells Jugga that she is pregnant with his child, but he does not believe her. He promises to marry her anyway, but he also tells her that he will never leave Mano Majra.

The next morning, Jugga is arrested by Hukum Chand, the local magistrate and deputy commissioner, who suspects him of being involved in the robbery and murder. Iqbal is also arrested by mistake, as he is mistaken for a Muslim by Sub-Inspector Muhammad Ali Khan, who thinks he is a spy sent by Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Mano Majra witnesses its first sign of partition: a train full of dead bodies arrives from Pakistan. The train is stopped at Mano Majra station by Hukum Chand's order, who wants to avoid panic and violence in the nearby town of Chundunnugger. The villagers are shocked and horrified by the sight of thousands of corpses piled up in the train. They do not understand why anyone would kill innocent people on such a large scale.

Hukum Chand decides to release Jugga and Iqbal from jail, as he has no evidence against them. He also hopes that they will help him maintain peace and order in Mano Majra. However, before they can leave, another train arrives from Pakistan with more dead bodies. This time, the train is set on fire by some Sikh fanatics from outside the village.

Analysis of Train to Pakistan

The theme of partition and violence

One of the main themes of Train to Pakistan is the partition of India and the violence that accompanied it. The novel shows how the partition was not only a political event, but also a human tragedy that affected millions of lives. The novel exposes the brutality and cruelty of the communal riots and massacres that took place on both sides of the border. It also questions the logic and morality of dividing a country on the basis of religion, when people of different faiths had coexisted peacefully for centuries. The novel suggests that the partition was a result of the manipulation and exploitation of the masses by the politicians, religious leaders, and colonial powers, who had their own vested interests and agendas. The novel also criticizes the role of the police and the army, who failed to protect the innocent civilians and often participated in the violence themselves.

The theme of love and sacrifice

Another theme of Train to Pakistan is the love and sacrifice of Jugga and Nooran, who represent a ray of hope and humanity in the midst of darkness and hatred. Their love transcends the barriers of religion, caste, and social status. They are willing to risk their lives for each other, even when their families and communities are opposed to their relationship. Their love also challenges the stereotypes and prejudices that are prevalent in their society. Jugga is not a typical hero, but a flawed and complex character, who has a criminal past and a violent temper. However, he also has a soft heart and a sense of honor, which make him capable of compassion and courage. Nooran is not a passive or submissive woman, but a strong and independent one, who defies her father and her religion to follow her heart. She also has a dignity and a resilience, which enable her to endure hardship and pain. Their love culminates in a heroic sacrifice, when Jugga single-handedly stops a group of Sikh fanatics from attacking a train carrying Muslim refugees, including Nooran.[3]

The style and language of Khushwant Singh

The style and language of Khushwant Singh are remarkable for their simplicity, clarity, and realism. He uses plain and direct words to convey his message, without any unnecessary embellishments or decorations. He also uses local dialects and idioms to capture the flavor and authenticity of the rural setting. He avoids sentimentalism or sensationalism, but rather relies on facts and details to create a vivid picture of the events and characters. He also uses irony and humor to highlight the absurdity and hypocrisy of some situations and people. He does not take sides or pass judgments, but rather presents different perspectives and opinions on the issues. He leaves it to the reader to draw their own conclusions and interpretations.


What are the main takeaways from Train to Pakistan?

The main takeaways from Train to Pakistan are:

  • The partition of India was a tragic and violent event that affected millions of people.

  • The partition was caused by the selfishness and greed of the politicians, religious leaders, and colonial powers.

  • The partition was not justified by any rational or moral grounds.

  • The partition destroyed the harmony and friendship that existed between different communities.

  • The partition showed the worst and best aspects of human nature.

  • The love and sacrifice of Jugga and Nooran were examples of hope and humanity in a hopeless and inhuman situation.

What are some similar books to Train to Pakistan?

Some similar books to Train to Pakistan are:

  • Azadi by Chaman Nahal: This novel also depicts the partition of India through the eyes of a Hindu family that migrates from Sialkot (now in Pakistan) to Delhi.

  • Ice-Candy-Man by Bapsi Sidhwa: This novel also portrays the partition of India through the perspective of a young Parsi girl who lives in Lahore (now in Pakistan).

  • Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie: This novel also explores the history and consequences of the partition of India through the lives of two boys who are born at midnight on August 15, 1947.



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