Train to Pakistan

904 Words4 Pages
Title In the book Train to Pakistan, author Khushwant Singh recalls the brutal and unfortunate times when Muslims were being forced out of Mano Majra. They, along with the Hindu and Sikh population, were living in relative peace. But when there had to be change, chaos ensued. There were several key individuals that shared the total responsibility of the expulsion of Muslims from Mano Majra; Even though some had purer motives than others, they all took stock in the unfortunate process. Hakum Chand was one of the characters of the book responsible for the expulsion of Muslims. He didn’t actively involve himself in an expulsion of Muslims; he wanted to remove them to keep the peace. His intentions were never laced with malice, but rather complacency. He encouraged Muslims to submit to the commands of the police. His philosophy was that even if you feel strongly about a topic, you should keep silent on the matter. In situations where it is better to speak up like this one, Hakum Chand gave the dangerous advice to keep silent and take what life threw at you. Another character responsible for the expulsion of the Muslims was the boy refugee at the end of the novel. It wasn’t so much the boy himself that drove the Muslims out of Mano Majra, but how he was an allegory for the broader ideologies of the incoming Sikh and Hindu refugees. In Mano Majra, Muslims were considered brothers with the Sikh and Hindu population, and they got along well. But to the refugees from Pakistan who witnessed the atrocities put on them by the Muslims, they were hardened individuals with a vendetta. They were no longer rational beings, but crazed and bloodthirsty. The Muslims of the village knew that because of this, it was imperative that they leave the v... ... middle of paper ... ... worst of all, they saw evil around them, and didn’t even attempt to stop it. This is analogous to SS officers during Hitler’s reign. When some officers were tried for war crimes, their defense was that they were acting under orders. It was an invalid defense in that case, as well as in this case. The police were aware of what wrong they were doing, and didn’t try to stand up and stop the hostility. Many different people, and groups, were responsible for the expulsion of Muslims. And while all didn’t have bad intentions, or negative feelings, their actions directly influenced the course of events that lead the Muslims to leave Mano Majra. Maybe if Iqbal would have spoken up, or Hakum Chand would have put up a fight against his personal philosophy, the fate of the Muslims of Mano Majra would have been a little better of, and they would continue to leave in peace.
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