Monday, May 14, 2012

1947 Partition: The Day India Burned.

As I looked at him I thought of Train to Pakistan and tried to imagine the murderous frenzy that overtook Punjab following Partition as Sikhs and Hindus massacred Muslims and Muslims massacred Sikhs and Hindus and a huge transfer of population took place to and from the Indian and Pakistani parts of the Punjab as the land of the five rivers got bloodily divided. I was looking at him and thinking how it would have been for him to witness that genocide of Punjabis by Punjabis and how aptly he described it in Train to Pakistan. As if he had sensed my thoughts he said to me, “Do you know the Sikhs are now rebuilding mosques destroyed during the violence of Partition? In one village of the Indian Punjab the local Sikhs have rebuilt a demolished mosque, handed it over to the Muslims and now Sikhs stand guard outside the mosque as Muslims pray inside. Do get hold of this week’s Outlook and read the wonderful article by Chander Suta Dogra.” I got it the same evening. It turned out that “around 200 mosques across Punjab have been repaired, rebuilt or built from scratch with the help of Sikhs and Hindus in the last 10 years… In the months after Partition, some 50,000 mosques across present day Punjab, Haryana and Himachel Pardesh were destroyed, burnt or converted into temples, gurdwaras, homes, even. Today, Muslims just comprise 1.5 per cent of Punjab’s population, mostly migrant labour from UP and Bihar… in addition to small pockets of Muslims, such as those belonging to Malerkotla, who did not go to Pakistan in 1947”. The article further informs the reader that the Malerkotla chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami (Hind) has also been rebuilding mosques through the active help and co-operation of local Hindus and Sikh landlords. I told Khushwant Singh about the large Gurdwara in Sargodha that is now called the Ambala Muslim High School. Sargodha was the district headquarters of the district Shahpur of which Khushab was a tehsil. In 1947 the population of Sargodha city was 36,000 with only 6,000 Muslims and a very large Sikh presence. All Hindus and Sikhs went to India as post-Partition violence erupted and the city was taken over by Muslim refugees from the east Punjab city of Ambala. The large Sikh Gurdwara located in the city centre was converted to a school for boys. There was an exceedingly deep and sad look on his face as he thought of the horrors he had witnessed. REFERENCE: Pakistan’s best friend By Asim Awan Published: August 3, 2010

Forced Migration and Ethnic Cleansing in Lahore in 1947 by Ishtiaq Ahmed

India & Pakistan Partition BBC Special Presentation 1 of 6

The special train left Amritsar at two in the afternoon and reached Mughalpura eight hours later. Many of the passengers were killed on the way, many were injured and a few were missing. When Sirajuddin opened his eyes the next morning, he found himself lying on the cold ground of a refugee camp. There was a seething crowd of men, women and children all around him. Bewildered by it all, he lay staring at the dusty sky for a long time. There was a lot of noise in the camp, but old Sirajuddin was deaf to it. He didn’t hear anything. Anyone who saw him, would have assumed that he was in deep and agonised thought about something. His mind, however, was blank. Sirajuddin lay gazing absent-mindedly at the dusty sky, till he suddenly caught sight of the sun. The warmth of the sun’s rays penetrated every nerve of his body. He woke up with a start. A nightmarish vision rose before his eyes – flames, loot… people running… a station… firing… darkness and Sakina. Overcome by fear and anxiety, he began searching for Sakina in the crowd like a demented person. For three long hours he called out “Sakina… Sakina.” He looked for her in every corner of the camp, but found no trace of his young and only daughter. There was an uproar all around – some of the refugees were searching for their children, others for their mothers; some for their wives and others for their daughters.

Dejected and tired, Sirajuddin sat down, and tried to recall exactly where and how he had lost Sakina. Suddenly, the nightmarish vision of his wife’s body flashed before his eyes – he saw her lying on the ground with her entrails hanging out. After that his mind went blank. Sakina’s mother was dead. She had been killed before his very eyes – but where was Sakina? Before closing her eyes for ever, Sakina’s mother had urged him, “Don’t worry about me – run, take Sakina away at once…” Sakina was with him – both of them had run barefoot. Sakina’s dupatta had slipped to the ground. She had screamed at him when he had tried to pick it up, “Let it be, Abba!” But he had picked it up. As soon as he remembered that, he put his hand in his coat pocket and pulled it out. He still had Sakina’s dupatta… but where was Sakina? Sirajuddin tried to think, but he couldn’t. Had Sakina managed to reach the station with him? Had she boarded the train with him? Had he fainted when the rioters had attacked the train? Had they abducted her? He could find no answers to any of his questions. Sirajuddin needed help and sympathy, but then everyone around him needed help and sympathy. He wanted to cry, but he could shed no tears. He had lost the capacity to moan. A few days later, Sirajuddin pulled himself together and talked to some people who were willing to help him. They were eight young men who owned a truck and were armed with guns.

He showered them with his blessings, and described what Sakina looked like. “She is fair and very beautiful – takes after her mother, not me – She has large eyes, black hair and a big mole on her right cheek. She is my only daughter. If you bring her back, God will bless you.” Those self-appointed social workers reassured Sirajuddin, with a great deal of confidence and sincerity, that if his daughter was alive they would find her and bring her back in a few days. The young men tried their best to find her. At the risk of their lives, they went to Amritsar. They managed to rescue many men, women and children and helped them locate their families. But even after ten days of searching, they couldn’t find Sakina. One day, as they were returning to Amritsar to help a few more refugees, they saw a girl standing by the roadside. The moment she heard the truck, she began to run. The social workers stopped the truck and ran after her. They caught her in a field – she was beautiful and had a large mole on her right cheek. One of the young men said to her, “Don’t be frightened. Is your name Sakina?” Her face became even paler. She didn’t reply. The other young men reassured her, only then did she admit that she was indeed Sirajuddin’s daughter The eight young men were very kind to Sakina. They fed her, offered her milk, helped her into the truck – she didn’t have a dupatta and felt rather awkward. She tried to cover her breasts again and again with her hands. Many days passed – Sirajuddin received no news about Sakina.

Each morning, he visited different camps and offices looking for Sakina. He failed to get any information about her. Each night, he prayed for the success of those young social workers, who had promised him that if his daughter was alive, they would bring her back to him in a few days. One day, he saw the social workers in the camp. They were sitting in their truck. The truck was about to leave. He ran up to them and asked one of them, “Son… Have you found my Sakina?”  “We’ll find her, we’ll find her,” they said simultaneously, and drove off. Sirajuddin again prayed for the success of the young men, and felt a little relieved. That evening there was some commotion in the camp very near the place where Sirajuddin was sitting. Four people, walked past him, carrying someone. When he inquired, he learnt that they had found a girl lying unconscious near the railway tracks and had brought her to the camp. He followed them. They handed the girl over to the hospital. Sirajuddin stood leaning against a pole outside the hospital for sometime. Then he slowly walked into the hospital. There was no one in the room. Only the body of a girl lay on the stretcher. He walked up closer to the girl. Someone suddenly switched on the lights. He saw a big mole on the girl’s face and screamed, “Sakina!” A The doctor, who had switched on the lights, asked, “What’s the matter?” He could barely whisper, “I am… I am her father.” The doctor turned towards the girl and took her pulse. Then he said, “Open the window.” The girl on the stretcher stirred a little. She moved her hand painfully towards the cord holding up her salwar. Slowly, she pulled her salwar down. Her old father shouted with joy, “She is alive. My daughter is alive.” The doctor broke into a cold sweat. REFERENCE: KHOL DO BY Late. Saadat Hasan Manto (Translated by Alok Bhalla)

India & Pakistan Partition BBC Special Presentation 2 of 6

Soon as Eesher Singh entered the room, Kalwant Kaur got up from the bed, stared at him with her sharp eyes and locked the door. It was past midnight and a strange and mysterious quietness seemed to have gripped the entire city. Kalwant Kaur sat on the bed yoga-style and Eesher Singh, who was probably unraveling his thoughts, stood there with a dagger in his hand. A few moments passed in complete silence. Annoyed with the silence, Kalwant Kaur moved to the edge of the bed and started dangling her legs. Eesher Singh still didn’t say anything. Kalwant Kaur was a well-built woman with wide hips, large and juggling upright breasts, sharp eyes and voluptuous grayish lips. The structure of her chin signified a strong woman. His tight headgear loosened, Eesher Singh stood quietly in the corner. His hand that held the dagger was trembling. From his built one could tell that he was a perfect man for a woman like Kalwant Kaur. Kalwant Kaur finally broke the silence, but the only words she could utter were “Eesher darling.” Eesher Singh looked at Kalwant Kaur but unable to bear the heat of her piercing eyes, looked the other way. “Eesher darling,” Kalwant Kaur shrieked but immediately controlled her tone, “where were you all these days?” “I don’t know.” Eesher Singh moved his tongue over his dry lips. “What kind of answer is that?” asked Kalwant Kaur angrily. Eesher Singh dropped his dagger on the floor and lied in bed. It seemed as if he had been ill for many days. Kalwant Kaur looked at the bed that was now filled with Eesher Singh and felt sorry for him. “What’s the matter with you, darling?” Covering Eesher Singh’s forehead with her palm Kalwant Kaur asked lovingly. Eesher Singh, who was staring at the ceiling, looked at Kalwant Kaur and gently stroked her familiar face. “Kalwant.”

His voice had deep pain. Kalwant Kaur hugged him hard and, biting on his lips, said, “Yes darling?” Eesher Singh took his headgear off, looked at Kalwant Kaur as if he were looking for support, spanked her wide hip, shook his head and mumbled to himself, “this girl is crazy.” His long hair fell open when he shook his head. Kalwant Kaur ran her fingers through his hair and asked affectionately, “Eesher darling, where were you all these days?” “Grandma’s house,” said Eesher Singh squeezing her breasts. “I swear to Waheguru, you are a real woman.” Charmingly hitting his hand to move it away, Kalwant Kaur said, “You swear on me and tell me where you were. Went to town?” “No,” said Eesher Singh folding his hair and making a knot. “You went to town, looted a lot of money and now are not telling me.” Kalwant Kaur was very annoyed with him. “I’m not son of my father if I tell you a lie.” Kalwant Kaur was quiet for a minute, then she suddenly started yelling, “But I don’t understand what happened to you that night. You were fine lying with me and had me wear all that jewelry you had looted the other day. You were kissing me all over then I don’t know what came over you that you suddenly got up, got dressed, and left.” Eesher Singh turned pale. Kalwant Kaur immediately noticed it. “See! Eesher darling, I swear to Waheguru, I smell a rat.”

“I swear there’s nothing wrong.” There was no life in Eesher Singh’s voice. Kalwant Kaur was now even more suspicious. Holding her lips tight and emphasizing each word, she said, “What’s the matter with you, Eesher darling? You are not the same person you were eight days ago.” Eesher Singh got up quickly as if someone had assaulted him. He held Kalwant Kaur in his strong arms and ran his hands all over her body. “Darling, it’s the same old me. I’m gonna hug you so hard that heat will be coming out of your bones.” Kalwant Kaur did not resist but kept complaining. “What happened to you that night?” “Grandma’s fever!” “You aren’t gonna tell me?” “There’s nothing to tell.” “Burn me with your hands if you lie.” Eesher Singh put his arms around her neck and pressed his lips hard against hers. His mustache hair got into her nostrils, she sneezed, and both started laughing. Eesher Singh took his jacket off, looked at Kalwant Kaur amorously, and said, “Lets play cards.” Kalwant Kaur’s lips moistened, she rolled her eyes charmingly and said, “Get lost!” Eesher Singh pinched her buttock. Kalwant Kaur moved away painfully, “Don’t do that Eesher darling, it hurts.” Eesher Singh sucked on her lips and bit on it. Kalwant Kaur melted like hot wax. He threw his shirt off. “So lets deal the cards.” Kalwant Kaur’s lips quivered. Eesher Singh peeled her clothes off as skin off a goat. He stared her at naked body, pinched her arm, and said, “I swear to Waheguru, you’re some woman!” Kalwant Kaur glanced at the red mark on her arm left by his pinch. “You’re so cruel, Eesher darling.” Eesher Singh smiled underneath his thick black mustache, “Let the cruelty begin.” He began his cruelty by kissing her lips and biting on her ear lobes. He squeezed her breasts, spanked her buttocks red, kissed her cheeks, and sucked her nipples wet. Kalwant Kaur started to boil like a hot pot on a blazing stove. But in spite of all that foreplay Eesher Singh could not get it up. Like a skilled wrestler, he used all the tricks in the book but none worked. Kalwant Kaur, who was brimming with sexual intensity, was getting irritated with his unnecessary moves. “Eesher darling, that’s enough. Just throw the trump card.” She moaned.

As if Eesher Singh’s entire deck of cards fell hearing that. He loosened his grip and fell next to Kalwant Kaur panting. His forehead was sweating bullets. Kalwant Kaur tried very hard to get it up for him but to no avail. Disappointed and infuriated, Kalwant Kaur got off the bed, picked the chador hanging on the nail on the wall and wrapped herself. Her nostrils expanded, she said furiously, “Eesher darling, who’s that bitch you’ve spent all these days with who has sucked you dry.” Eesher Singh kept lying in bed panting without saying a word. Kalwant Kaur was steaming. “I asked who’s that whore?” “No one, Kalwant, no one.” Eesher Singh sounded very tired. Kalwant Kaur put her hands on her wide hips and said with utter determination, “Eesher darling, I must know the truth, I swear to Waheguru. Is there another woman?” Eesher Singh tried to say something but Kalwant Kaur cut him off. “Before you swear, you should know that I’m the daughter of Nihal Singh. I’ll cut you to pieces if you lied. Now, swear to Waheguru. Is there another woman?” Eesher Singh shook his head sadly but affirmatively. Kalwant Kaur went berserk. She picked up the dagger from the floor, removed its cover like a banana-peel, and stabbed Eesher Singh in the neck. Blood gushed forth from Eesher Singh’s neck. In a frenzy, Kalwant Kaur kept stabbing him and cursing the other woman. “Let go, Kalwant, let go,” Eesher Singh said with his voice weakening. He had deep sadness in his voice. Kalwant Kaur pulled back. Blood was jetting to Eesher Singh’s mustache. He looked at Kalwant Kaur with the mixed feeling of gratitude and protest. “My darling, you acted too quickly. But it’s for the better.” Kalwant Kaur’s intense jealousy raised its head again, “Who’s she? Your mother?” Blood was now reaching Eesher Singh’s mouth. He tasted it and his whole body shivered. “And I…and I…killed six people with this same dagger.” “I asked who’s that bitch?” There was no other thought on Kalwant Kaur’s mind. Eesher Singh’s listless eyes sparkled for a brief moment, “Please don’t curse her.” “Who’s that bitch?” yelled Kalwant Kaur. “I’ll tell you.” Eesher Singh’s voice was breaking down. He touched his neck, felt the blood and smiled. “Man is so weird.” “Get to the point.” Furious Kalwant Kaur was waiting for an answer. Eesher Singh smiled again underneath his blood-filled mustache. “I’m getting to the point. You’ve slit my throat.

I’ve to tell it very slowly.” Cold sweat ran down his forehead as he began to recount. “Kalwant, my life, I cannot begin to tell you what happened to me. When the riot broke out in the city, like everyone else I also participated. I gave you the loot but did not tell you one thing.” Eesher Singh groaned with pain. Kalwant Kaur had no feelings for him and paid no attention to his suffering. “What was it?” Blowing on the blood-cot forming on his mustache, Eesher Singh said, “The house I attacked had seven people in it. I killed six of them, with the same dagger you stabbed me with. There was a beautiful girl in the house. I took her with me.” Kalwant Kaur was listening intently. Eesher Singh once more tried to blow the blood off his mustache. “Kalwant darling, I cannot tell you what a beautiful girl she was. I would’ve killed her too. But I said to myself, no, Eesher Singh, you enjoy Kalwant Kaur every day. Taste a different fruit.” “Oh” was the only word out of Kalwant Kaur’s mouth. “I put her on my shoulder and got out. On the way…what was I saying…oh, yes…on the way, near the river, I lay her down by the bushes. First I thought deal the cards. But then I decided not to…” Eesher Singh throat was completely dry. “Then what happened?” gulped Kalwant Kaur. “I threw the trump card…but…but…,” Eesher Singh’s voice was now a mere whisper. “Then what happened?” Kalwant Kaur shook him. Eesher Singh opened his tired and sleepy eyes and looked at Kalwant Kaur whose whole body was trembling. “She was dead, Kalwant, it was a dead body…a cold flesh…please hold my hand.” Kalwant Kaur put her hand over his. His hand was colder than ice. REFERENCE: THANDA GOSHT By Saadat Hasan Manto Translated from Urdu

India & Pakistan Partition BBC Special Presentation 3 of 6

KASAULI, India — Just days before the official birth of independent India and Pakistan in August 1947, Khushwant Singh, a lawyer then practicing in the High Court in Lahore, drove alone across what would soon become a bloody frontier and arrived here at his family’s summer cottage in the foothills of the Himalayas. From here, along nearly 200 miles of eerily vacant road, he would drive on to Delhi and, on its outskirts, encounter a jeep full of armed Sikhs, who would boast of having slain a village full of Muslims. In the face of such ghastly swagger, Mr. Singh, also a Sikh, would realize that he would never return home to Lahore, for what he had just heard was a chilling echo of what he had heard on the other side of the soon-to-be border, except that there Sikhs and Hindus were the victims. That solitary drive would also give shape to “Train to Pakistan,” Mr. Singh’s slim, seminal 1956 novel whose opening paragraphs contain one of its most unsettling lines: “The fact is, both sides killed.” An estimated one million people were killed during the partition, and more than 10 million fled their homes: Hindus and Sikhs pouring into India, Muslims heading in the other direction, to Pakistan. The novel tells the story of an uneventful border village that gets swept up in that violent storm. Now, in a new edition of the novel, Roli Books in New Delhi has paired his story with 66 unflinching black-and-white photographs of the Partition era, some never before published, by the American photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White. This new incarnation of “Train to Pakistan,” which Roli hopes to find international distributors for at the Frankfurt Book Fair next month, has given the book what its author happily calls “a new lease on life.” It has also given Mr. Singh, who at 91 has borne witness to several rounds of carnage in his country, an occasion once again to warn against forgetfulness.

“The wounds of partition have healed,” he likes to say as often as he can. “The poison is still in our system.” Bourke-White, known equally well in India and Pakistan for her portraits of Gandhi at his spinning wheel and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founder, sitting straight-backed in a chair, was among the most effective chroniclers of those wounds. The photographs reproduced in the book are gut-wrenching, and staring at them, you glimpse the photographer’s undaunted desire to stare down horror. There is a street littered with corpses, an audience of vultures looking down from a roof. There is a dead man in a hand cart, his open eyes staring through the spokes of the wheel. There is an old man, only skin and bones, leaning on his pile of bedding, vacantly staring at the sky. Two years before Bourke-White shot these pictures, she photographed the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald. She was the first woman the United States Army accredited as a war correspondent during World War II. The photographs were displayed recently at the posh shopping center Khan Market, near Mr. Singh’s home in Delhi; Khan Market was once known as a “resettlement” hub, where refugee traders from Pakistan were offered storefronts. The only thing more astonishing than the images blown up large as life was the number of shoppers who seemed not to register them, marching on instead to inspect the latest running shoes or stem crystal. There was at least one passionate response. Pramod Kapoor, the publisher of Roli, recalled a sweeper at the market telling him that he felt like tearing up the pictures. Today there is not a single memorial to the partition in India, Mr. Kapoor points out, let alone a museum. It is only remembered, or forgotten, by the people who lived it.

Mr. Singh, whose father constructed much of Delhi, a city reinvented by the flow of partition refugees, is among the last survivors of the era. For his generation he is unusual for wanting to speak of that horror, again and again. He reminds in words what Bourke-White’s photographs seem to scream on the page. “People should know this thing happened,” Mr. Singh insists. “It did happen. It can happen again.” India has been reminded of the bloodshed of partition many times over its 59 years of independence by further episodes of violence, and Mr. Singh has chronicled them all. In 1984 there was the massacre of Sikhs, in Delhi and elsewhere, after the assassination of the prime minister, Indira Gandhi, by two Sikh bodyguards apparently avenging an attack by the Indian Army on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Sikhs’ holiest shrine. In 1992 a mob of Hindu radicals tore down a 400-year-old mosque in the north Indian town of Ayodhya with its bare hands, sparking Hindu-Muslim clashes across India. In 2002 a fire consumed 50 Hindu pilgrims on a train in western Gujarat state — whether it was an accident or arson remains in dispute — fueling a burst of killings and rapes against Muslims. Even in recent months homemade bombs have been planted inside houses of worship, both Hindu and Muslim. The police say they are designed to spark Hindu-Muslim violence; they have not, or not yet.

“You kill my dog, I kill your cat” is how Mr. Singh described India’s history of tit-for-tat violence. “It’s a childish and bloody game, and it can’t go on.” Mr. Singh says he is not a believer, though he has a weakness for religious music, and his claws are sharpest with those who inject religion into politics: from Islamist religious radicals in next-door Pakistan to the Hindu-nationalist leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who led India’s coalition government until they were ousted in elections two years ago and continue to serve as the principal opposition party. (They are not his fans either.) “That’s what bothers me about India the most, the resurgence of fundamentalism,” he said on a recent morning in the shade of his porch here in Kasauli. He blames the carnage on a competition for precious resources. “Any excuse to get rid of your neighbor who doesn’t share your faith is a good enough excuse,” he grumbled. Perched on a hill, with a view of snow and cloud, the house in Kasauli, a former British cantonment town, shows off Mr. Singh’s affinities. His study contains a framed photograph of Gandhi. Next to a large statue of the Buddha in the living room is a pile of empty whiskey bottles.

Mr. Singh’s critics point out an important omission in his record of outspokenness. In 1975, when Mrs. Gandhi imposed emergency rule, drawing the country into one of the most repressive periods in its history, Mr. Singh endorsed the move. He now says he did so because of the chaos that preceded the emergency, and because he thought it would be short-lived. It was not. It went on for two years and ultimately resulted in voters’ ousting Mrs. Gandhi in the next elections. Mr. Singh is a servant to routine, and he is anything but idle. He says he rises by 4 every morning, reads and writes after breakfast, rests in the afternoon and receives visitors in the evening at home in Delhi, at exactly the same hour (7 p.m.) and for exactly one hour, during which he drinks two pegs of whiskey. Mr. Singh goes through an average of five crossword puzzles daily. He writes two newspaper columns a week. He is at work on a book, a collection of his favorite verses and quotes in the five languages he knows: English, Hindi, Persian, Punjabi and Urdu. One of the verses he likes to quote is from an Urdu poem, and it reveals the old man’s sardonic wit. “The truth is good, but if somebody else dies for the truth, it is better.” REFERENCE: Author Bears Steady Witness to Partition’s Wounds By SOMINI SENGUPTA Published: September 21, 2006

India & Pakistan Partition BBC Special Presentation 4 of 6

Courtesy: The partition of India and retributive genocide in the Punjab, 1946–47: means, methods, and purposes PAUL R. BRASS

The Partition of India and Retributive Genocide in the Punjab

India & Pakistan Partition BBC Special Presentation 5 of 6

India from 1900 to 1947 Markovits, Claude Tuesday 6 November 2007

India From 1900 to 1947 Mass Violence

India Pakistan Partition BBC Special Presentation 6 of 6

Reference: The Global World of Indian Merchants, 1750-1947: Traders of Sind from Bukhara to Panama (Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society) Claude Markovits

In Sind the Sikh population was not large, though the Hindus formed about 30% of-the population of the province. Out of the total non-Muslim population of 14 Lakhs, now1 only about 2 lakhs are left in Sind, the rest having come to India as refugees. The turning out of non-Muslims from Sind is very amply illustrative of the naked policy of turning out of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan, for no other reason whatever except that they were not Muslims. There was a policy of systematic terrorization of Hindus. Their business premises were looted, their womenfolk molested, and the avenues of normal respectable life entirely closed to them. Thus, through terror and intimidation, within the period of less than a year twelve lakhs out of the fourteen lakhs of Hindus in Sind have been forced to migrate to India. This has happened in spite of the fact that in the words of Shri Mansukhani, Secretary, Sind Congress Refugee Relief Committee, New Delhi, “not one single Muslim lost his life at the hands of Hindus in any act of retaliation or self-defence, not to talk of any act of aggression; but where from the first day of the birth of Pakistan, Hindus have been systematically done to death, by the knife, by the bullet. by the throwing out of the windows and doors of running trains. The object has been one and the goal clear. Pakistan has desired that it should be a theocratic state in the sense that all its citizens should be Muslims. This battle has been remorselessly waged on one long front of Western Pakistan.”

Hindus’ houses were forcibly occupied, in Karachi and everywhere else, their property and land snatched from them, and no option left for them but to, seek a safer life free from unbearable indignities, in India.

Other portions from Shri Mansukhani’s article, quoted above. are: -

“Soon after August 15, 1947, was organised the ousting of Hindus and Sikhs from their residences and business premises, from their agricultural lands and industrial concerns.

“No Hindu’s house was his castle, he had to retreat at the point of the dagger and run away from the back-door. The Police of the Province and the War-time established Rent Control Department helped ‘legally’ to throw out the members of the minority community.

Traces of Hinduism Erased

“It is not an uncommon phenomenon for prominent Hindus who are sticking on to the soil of Sind to be accosted while going about even on the main streets by Muslims and threateningly asked to either embrace Islam or go out of Pakistan.

“Hindu passengers can travel by railway only for short journeys and during day time and that too at great risk of their lives.

Our Shrines

“Our Gurmandir in Karachi became lately the residence of Sydney Cotton, the smuggler of arms to Nizam’s Hyderabad of yesterday. Most of our religious places, shrines, temples and Gurdwaras have been occupied by Muslims. The scriptures have been destroyed and the valuables have been pilfered and safely appropriated. Some of these places have also been turned into mosques where the Faithful congregate and read their Friday prayers to Allah. All educational institutions are similarly occupied and converted into the Schools and Colleges for Muslims.” (“The Tribune”-January 16, 1949)

As for the Sikhs, their elimination and extermination began at about the same time as in West Punjab. By August all Sikhs in large towns had left Sind, and came over to the Punjab. It was not infrequent for trains carrying these Sikh refugees to be attacked on the way. On the 2nd of August, Sikhs were attacked in several villages in Nawabshah District. On the 1st September, 1947 one train was stopped at Nawabshah, and the Sikh passengers attacked. Of these 15 were killed, and 17 injured. The only Sikhs in Sind after August, were those in the interior-small tradesmen, pedlars and craftsmen. These began to be evacuated. Their condition was described in news agency reports as being extremely miserable and pitiable, as they could not ply any trade, and were in the last stage of destitution. So much were the Muslims indoctrinated with the gospel of hate preached over years by the Muslim League, that on the 6th January, 1948, long after killing had stopped in East Punjab, a terrible massacre of evacuee Sikhs, awaiting embarkation for India occurred at Karachi. That this was no isolated incident of its kind in Pakistan is witnessed by the terrible Gujrat massacre of the 11th January, 1948, and the Parachinar massacre of the 23rd January, 1948. These three huge massacres of Sikhs and Hindus occurred in such quick succession at a time when all attacks on the Muslims in Indian territory had ceased three months before. Certain details of this above mentioned Karachi massacre are of interest as revealing the conspiracy, cynicism and heartlessness of the Government of Pakistan, in the matter of getting Sikhs murdered.

As for the details of the massacre, the District Magistrate’s report from Karachi is reproduced below:

“Communal trouble started in Karachi today when 184 Sikhs arrived from Shikarpur by the morning train. From the station they went to a Gurdwara near Ratan Talao. A mob of nearly 8,000 gathered on the arrival of the Sikhs and surrounded the Gurdwara and set fire to it, and started stabbing and killing and a number of persons2 were killed,” In the town of Karachi ‘there was looting in several quarters and there were four cases of arson.”3 There was looting on the next day as well, in the houses of Hindus. The situation was described in ‘an appeal’, issued by the Editors of several Karachi newspapers as ‘appalling’ while admitting that some Muslims gave shelter to ‘the Hindu victims of mob frenzy.’ In the Gurdwara, where the massacre took place, women and children were also killed, as admitted by the Sind Premier in his statement.
The result of the disturbances of January 6 was described in ‘The Civil and Military Gazette’ in these words:

“There was negligible loss of life suffered by the minority community (Hindus) compared to the looting that took place throughout the city…… The lives of members of the minority community (Hindus) were saved at the expense of their property.” About 10,000 Hindus had to be kept in refugee camps, and Hindus had to be evacuated early to India, to save them from being murdered by Muslims. Looting went on uninterruptedly. So bold and open was this loot, that police and employees of the Chief Court of Sind openly participated in it. The Chief Court building was used as a dump for this loot. The Chief justice, an Englishman, his patience exhausted, had at last to intervene and stop the loot from being stacked at least in the Chief Court Building.

This was the limit of the collapse of the law and good government in Pakistan.
Further facts in the situation are:

(1) About 800 Sikhs were killed in Karachi and not 184, as stated in the Pakistan communique.

(2) Not a word of regret was expressed by any responsible person in Pakistan over this tremendous loss of Sikh life. The Sind Premier made only the insulting statement that the sight of these Sikhs ‘provoked’ the Muslims and only added the still more insulting directive that Sikhs be not brought to Karachi ‘in open carriages.’ The Premier’s statement also makes it clear that no police precautions were taken for the protection of these Sikhs, whose lives were evidently so cheap that any one was at liberty to take them without the Pakistan Government moving its little finger.

The Governor-General of Pakistan, Mr. Jinnah, who sent a message of sympathy for the sufferers, did not so much as mention the Sikhs, who had been killed in overwhelming numbers. All that he said was that he had sympathy for the Hindus in their losses. This was symptomatic of the attitude of the Pakistan Government, which did not regard Sikh life as worthy of any kind of protection and as meriting any sympathy. The masses in Pakistan knew very well what their Government thought of any attack made on the Sikhs. Jinnah’s statement was, furthermore an attempt to create a rift between Hindus and Sikhs, which the Muslims have been trying to, by posing to dislike the Hindus less than the Sikhs. All these happenings occurred at a time when in India, Mahatma Gandhi undertook his last fast to get better treatment for the Indian Muslims. That was the response in Pakistan to the Mahatma’s gesture, and the faithfully carrying out of the Mahatma’s instructions by Hindus and Sikhs. Exactly when Delhi was being made safe for Muslims, in Karachi 800 Sikhs were massacred, and all Hindus looted and despoiled, had to move into refugee camps. REFERENCE: SIND
The Politics of Commensuration: The Violence of Partition and the Making of the Pakistani Stateby Tahir Naqvi


ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that it was a criminal negligence to bring changes in the documents like Objectives Resolution as former president General (retd) Zia ul Haq tampered with the Constitution in 1985 however, the sitting parliament had done a good job by undoing this tampering. At one point Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that the word ‘freely’ was omitted from the Objectives Resolution in 1985 by a dictator, which was an act of criminal negligence, but the then parliament surprisingly didn’t take notice of it. He said the Constitution is a sacred document and no person can tamper with it. The chief justice said credit must go to the present parliament, which after 25 years took notice of the brazen act of removing the word relating to the minorities’ rights, and restored the word ‘freely’ in the Objectives Resolution, which had always been part of the Constitution. The chief justice further said that the court is protecting the fundamental rights of the minorities and the government after the Gojra incident has provided full protection to the minorities. “We are bound to protect their rights as a nation but there are some individual who create trouble.” - DAILY TIMES - ISLAMABAD: Heading a 17-member larger bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry termed as criminal negligence the deletion of a word about the rights of minorities from the Objectives Resolution during the regime of General Ziaul Haq in 1985. Ziaul Haq had omitted the word “freely” from the Objectives Resolution, which was made substantive part of the 1973 Constitution under the Revival of Constitutional Order No. 14. The clause of Objectives Resolution before deletion of the word ‘freely’ read, “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to ‘freely’ profess and practice their religions and develop their culture.” DAILY DAWN - ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Tuesday praised the parliament for undoing a wrong done by the legislature in 1985 (through a constitutional amendment) when it removed the word ‘freely’ from a clause of the Objectives Resolution that upheld the minorities’ right to practise their religion. The word “freely” was deleted from the Objectives Resolution when parliament passed the 8th Amendment after indemnifying all orders introduced through the President’s Order No 14 of 1985 and actions, including the July 1977 military takeover by Gen Zia-ul-Haq and extending discretion of dissolving the National Assembly, by invoking Article 58(2)b of the Constitution. After the passage of the 18th Amendment, the Objectives Resolution now reads: “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their culture.” The CJ said: “Credit goes to the sitting parliament that they reinserted the word back to the Objectives Resolution.” He said that nobody realised the blunder right from 1985 till the 18th Amendment was passed, even though the Objectives Resolution was a preamble to the Constitution even at the time when RCO (Revival of Constitution Order) was promulgated. REFERENCES: CJ lauds parliament for correcting historic wrong By Nasir Iqbal Wednesday, 09 Jun, 2010  - CJP raps change in Objectives Resolution * Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says deletion of clause on rights of minorities was ‘criminal negligence’ * Appreciates incumbent parliament for taking notice of removal of clause by Gen Zia’s govt in 1985 By Masood Rehman Wednesday, June 09, 2010\story_9-6-2010_pg1_1  CJ lauds parliament for undoing changes in Objectives Resolution Wednesday, June 09, 2010 Says minorities’ rights have to be protected; Hamid says parliament should have no role in judges’ appointment By Sohail Khan 

"Religion did not mix well with the state. He said talk of ijtihad was meaningless because there was no guarantee that any Muslims would accept it. He said every time someone did ijtihad it gave birth to a new sect. He said the two-nation doctrine was no longer valid in Pakistan. The concept of ummah was equally irrelevant." end quote of Mr Mubarak Ali [PhD (on Mughal Period, India) from Ruhr University, Bochum,Germany] - Religious ‘scholars’ who could not even agree on the definition of a Muslim when they were questioned by Justice M. Munir and Justice M. R. Kayani in the court of inquiry into the Punjab disturbances of 1953. The inquiry was launched after the campaign against the Ahmadis initiated by the then Jamaat-e-Islami chief Maulana Mawdudi. 

Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan and Mr. President Herry Truman leaving the airport together in Mr. President's car. -


The Munir Commission Report (Lahore, 1954) states:

“Keeping in view the several definitions given by the ulema, need we make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental? If we attempt our own definition, as each learned divine has, and that definition differs from all others, we all leave Islam’s fold. If we adopt the definition given by any one of the ulema, we remain Muslims according to the view of that alim, but kafirs according to everyone else’s definition.” The report elaborated on the point by explaining that the Deobandis would label the Barelvis as kafirs if they are empowered and vice versa, and the same would happen among the other sects. The point of the report was that if left to such religious ‘scholars’, the country would become an open battlefield. Therefore, it was suggested that Pakistan remain a democratic, secular state and steer clear of the theological path.

Unfortunately, this suggestion was not heeded and, consequently, the exact opposite happened. Pakistan became hostage to the mullahs and is now paying a heavy price. Our politicians played into the hands of these fanatics for expedient political reasons and overlooked the diminishing returns from such an unwise overture.

The journey of politicising Islam began with the Objectives Resolution. Jinnah envisioned a secular Pakistan, but Liaquat Ali Khan made the mistake of adopting the Objectives Resolution in 1949 that stated, “Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust.” This stipulation gave the mullahs the chance they were looking for, a chance to flash their religious card and put fear in the heart of the ignorant masses. After moving the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly, Liaquat Ali Khan said, “As I have just said, the people are the real recipients of power. This naturally eliminates any danger of the establishment of a theocracy.” Although he believed in the power of the people and aimed for a secular, democratic rule, yet by bringing the name of religion into the Objectives Resolution, he gave an edge to the mullahs who later claimed it as their licence to impose the Shariah. And so began the rise of the fanatics.

Ulema did not wait long to demand their share of power in running the new state. Soon after independence, Jamat-i-Islami made the achievement of an Islamic constitution its central goal. Maulana Maududi, after the creation of Pakistan, revised the conception of his mission and that of the rationale of the Pakistan movement, arguing that its sole object had been the establishment of an Islamic state and that his party alone possessed the understanding and commitment needed to bring that about. Jamat-i-Islami soon evolved into a political party, demanding the establishment of an Islamic state in Pakistan.

It declared that Pakistan was a Muslim state and not an Islamic state since a Muslim State is any state which is ruled by Muslims while an Islamic State is one which opts to conduct its affairs in accordance with the revealed guidance of Islam and accepts the sovereignty of Allah and the supremacy of His Law, and which devotes its resources to achieve this end. According to this definition, Pakistan was a Muslim state ruled by secular minded Muslims. Hence the Jamat-i-Islami and other religious leaders channeled their efforts to make Pakistan an "Islamic State."

Maulana Maududi argued that from the beginning of the struggle for Pakistan, Moslems had an understanding that the center of their aspirations, Pakistan, would be an Islamic state, in which Islamic law would be enforced and Islamic culture would be revived. Muslim League leaders, in their speeches, were giving this impression. Above all, Quaid-i-Azam himself assured the Muslims that the constitution of Pakistan would be based on the Quran.

This contrasts to his views about the Muslim League leaders before independence: Not a single leader of the Muslim League, from Quad-i-Azam, downwards, has Islamic mentality and Islamic thinking or they see the things from Islamic point of view. To declare such people legible for Muslim leadership, because they are expert in western politics or western organization system and have concern for the nation, is definitely ignorance from Islam and amounts to an un-Islamic mentality. On another occasion, Maulana Maududi said it was not clear either from any resolution of the Muslim League or from the speeches of any responsible League leaders, that the ultimate aim of Pakistan is the establishment of an Islamic government.....Those people are wrong who think that if the Muslim majority regions are emancipated from the Hindu domination and a democratic system is established, it would be a government of God. As a matter of fact, in this way, whatever would be achieved, it would be only a non-believers government of the Muslims or may be more deplorable than that.

When the question of constitution-making came to the forefront, the Ulema, inside and outside the Constitutional Assembly and outside demanded that the Islamic Shariah shall form the only source for all legislature in Pakistan.

In February 1948, Maulana Maududi, while addressing the Law College, Lahore, demanded that the Constitutional Assembly should unequivocally declare:

1. That the sovereignty of the state of Pakistan vests in God Almighty and that the government of Pakistan shall be only an agent to execute the Sovereign's Will.

2. That the Islamic Shariah shall form the inviolable basic code for all legislation in Pakistan.

3. That all existing or future legislation which may contravene, whether in letter or in spirit, the Islamic Shariah shall be null and void and be considered ultra vires of the constitution; and

4. That the powers of the government of Pakistan shall be derived from, circumscribed by and exercised within the limits of the Islamic Shariah alone. On January 13, 1948, Jamiat-al-Ulema-i-Islam, led by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, passed a resolution in Karachi demanding that the government appoint a leading Alim to the office of Shaikh al Islam, with appropriate ministerial and executive powers over the qadis throughout the country. The Jamiat submitted a complete table of a ministry of religious affairs with names suggested for each post. It was proposed that this ministry be immune to ordinary changes of government. It is well known that Quaid-i-Azam was the head of state at this time and that no action was taken on Ulema's demand. On February 9, 1948, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, addressing the Ulema-i-Islam conference in Dacca, demanded that the Constituent Assembly "should set up a committee consisting of eminent ulema and thinkers... to prepare a draft ... and present it to the Assembly.

It was in this background that Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, on March 7, 1949, moved the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly, according to which the future constitution of Pakistan was to be based on " the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam."

While moving the Resolution, he said: "Sir, I consider this to be a most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance only to the achievement of independence, because by achieving independence we only won an opportunity of building up a country and its polity in accordance with our ideals. I would like to remind the house that the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, gave expression of his feelings on this matter on many an occasion, and his views were endorsed by the nation in unmistakable terms, Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of this sub-continent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam, because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that Islam provides a panacea to the many diseases which have crept into the life of humanity today."

The resolution was debated for five days. The leading members of the government and a large number of non-Muslim members, especially from East Bengal, took a prominent part. Non-Muslim members expressed grave apprehensions about their position and role in the new policy.

Hindu members of the Constitutional Assembly argued that the Objectives Resolution differed with Jinnah's view in all the basic points. Sris Chandra Chattopadhyaya said: "What I hear in this (Objectives) Resolution is not the voice of the great creator of Pakistan - the Quaid-i-Azam, nor even that of the Prime Minister of Pakistan the Honorable Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, but of the Ulema of the land." Birat Chandra Mandal declared that Jinnah had "unequivocally said that Pakistan will be a secular state." Bhupendra Kumar Datta went a step further: ...were this resolution to come before this house within the life-time of the Great Creator of Pakistan, the Quaid-i-Azam, it would not have come in its present shape...."

The leading members of the government in their speeches not only reassured the non-Muslims that their position was quite safe and their rights were not being impaired but also gave clarifications with regard to the import of the Resolution. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the Deputy Leader of the House, while defending the Resolution said: "It was remarked by some honorable members that the interpretation which the mover of this Resolution has given is satisfactory and quite good, but Mr. B.C. Mandal says: "Well tomorrow you may die, I may die, and the posterity may misinterpret it." First of all, I may tell him and those who have got some wrong notions about the interpretation of this resolution that this resolution itself is not a constitution. It is a direction to the committee that will have to prepare the draft keeping in view these main features. The matter will again come to the House in a concrete form, and all of us will get an opportunity to discuss it."

In his elucidation of the implications of the Objectives Resolution in terms of the distribution of power between God and the people, Omar Hayat Malik argued: "The principles of Islam and the laws of Islam as laid down in the Quran are binding on the State. The people or the state cannot change these principles or these laws...but there is a vast field besides these principles and laws in which people will have free might be called by the name of 'theo-cracy', that is democracy limited by word of God, but as the word 'theo' is not in vogue so we call it by the name of Islamic democracy.

Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi further elaborated the concept of Islamic democracy: Since Islam admits of no priest craft, and since the dictionary meaning of the term "secular" is non-monastic -- that is, "anything which is not dependent upon the sweet will of the priests," Islamic democracy, far from being theocracy, could in a sense be characterized as being "secular." However, he believed that if the word "secular" means that the ideals of Islam, that the fundamental principles of religion, that the ethical outlook which religion inculcates in our people should not be observed, then, I am afraid,...that kind of secular democracy can never be acceptable to us in Pakistan.

During the heated debate, Liaquat Ali Khan stressed:

the Muslim League has only fulfilled half of its mission (and that) the other half of its mission is to convert Pakistan into a laboratory where we could experiment upon the principles of Islam to enable us to make a contribution to the peace and progress of mankind. He was hopeful that even if the body of the constitution had to be mounted in the chassis of Islam, the vehicle would go in the direction he had already chosen. Thus he seemed quite sure that Islam was on the side of democracy. "As a matter of fact it has been recognized by non-Muslims throughout the world that Islam is the only society where there is real democracy." In this approach he was supported by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani: " The Islamic state is the first political institution in the world which stood against imperialism, enunciated the principle of referendum and installed a Caliph (head of State) elected by the people in place of the king."

The opposite conclusion, however, was reached by the authors of the Munir Report (1954) who said that the form of government in Pakistan cannot be described as democratic, if that clause of the Objectives Resolution reads as follows: " Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone, and the authority which He has delegated to the state of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust." Popular sovereignty, in the sense that the majority of the people has the right to shape the nation's institutions and policy in accordance with their personal views without regard to any higher law, cannot exist in an Islamic state, they added.

The learned authors of the Munir Report felt that the Objectives Resolution was against the concept of a sovereign nation state. Corroboration of this viewpoint came from the Ulema themselves, (whom the Munir Committee interviewed) "including the Ahrar" and erstwhile Congressites with whom before the partition this conception of a modern national state as against an Islamic state was almost a part of their faith. The Ulema claimed that the Quaid-i-Azam's conception of a modern national state....became obsolete with the passing of the Objectives Resolution on 12th March 1949.

Justice Mohammad Munir, who chaired the committee, says that "if during Quaid-i-Azam's life, Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister had even attempted to introduce the Objectives resolution of the kind that he got through the Assembly, the Quaid-i-Azam would never have given his assent to it.

In an obvious attempt to correct the erroneous notion that the Objectives Resolution envisaged a theocratic state in Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan repeatedly returned to the subject during his tour of the United States (May-June 1950). In a series of persuasive and eloquent speeches, he argued that "We have pledged that the State shall exercise its power and authority through the chosen representatives of the people. In this we have kept steadily before us the principles of democracy, freedom equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam. There is no room here for theocracy, for Islam stands for freedom of conscience, condemns coercion, has no priesthood and abhors the caste system. It believes in equality of all men and in the right of each individual to enjoy the fruit of his or her efforts, enterprise, capacity and skill -- provided these be honestly employed."

The Objectives Resolution was approved on March 12, 1949. Its only Muslim critic was Mian Iftikhar-ud-din, leader of the Azad Pakistan Party, although he believed that "the Islamic conception of a state is, perhaps as progressive, as revolutionary, as democratic and as dynamic as that of any other state or ideology."

According to Munir, the terms of the Objectives Resolution differ in all the basic points of the Quaid-i-Azam's views e.g:

1. The Quaid-i-Azam has said that in the new state sovereignty would rest with the people. The Resolution starts with the statement that sovereignty rests with Allah. This concept negates the basic idea of modern democracy that there are no limits on the legislative power of a representative assembly.

2. There is a reference to the protection of the minorities of their right to worship and practice their religion, whereas the Quaid-i-Azam had stated that there would be no minorities on the basis of religion.

3. The distinction between religious majorities and minorities takes away from the minority, the right of equality, which again is a basic idea of modern democracy.

4. The provision relating to Muslims being enabled to lead their life according to Islam is opposed to the conception of a secular state.

It was natural that with the terms of the Resolution, the Ulema should acquire considerable influence in the state. On the strength of the Objectives Resolution they made the Ahmadis as their first target and demanded them to be declared a minority.

After the adoption of Objectives Resolution, Liaquat Ali Khan moved a motion for the appointment of a Basic Principles Committee consisting of 24 members, including himself and two non-Muslim members, to report the house on the main principles on which the constitution of Pakistan is to be framed. A Board of Islamic Teaching was set up to advise the Committee on the Islamic aspects of the constitution.

In the course of constitutional debates, a number of very crucial issues were raised that caused much controversy, both inside and outside the Constituent Assembly over specific questions such as the following:

1) The nature of the Islamic state: the manner in which the basic principles of Islam concerning state, economy, and society were to be incorporated into the constitution.

2) The nature of federalism: questions of provincial autonomy vis-a-vis federal authority with emphasis on the problems of representation on the basis of population and the equality of the federating units; the structure of the federal legislature -- unicameral or bicameral.

3) The form of government: whether it was to be modeled on the British or the U.S. pattern -- parliamentary or presidential.

4) The problem of the electorate: serious questions of joint (all confessional groups vote in one election) versus separate (each confessional group votes separately for its own candidates) electorate.

5) The question of languageboth national and regional. These very fundamental issues divided the political elites of Pakistan into warring factions that impeded the process of constitution-making.

Source for further reading: Report of the Court of Inquiry constituted under Punjab Act II of 1954 to enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953 (Lahore: Government Printing Press, 1953), pp. 201-235. Section numbers have been added by FWP. Paragraphs in the original text have been lettered for convenience in discussion, and then broken into shorter ones for ease in reading. Punctuation has occasionally been adjusted for clarity, and small errors have been corrected. All editorial annotations in square brackets are by FWP. All italicized transliterations are those of the original text. Selections from Part IV of the MUNIR REPORT (1954)


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