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First published in 1963, this remains the most comprehensive and
authoritative book on the Sikhs. The new edition updated to the
present recounts the return of the community to the mainstream of
national life. Written in Khushwant Singh's trademark style to be
accessible to a general, non-scholarly audience, the book is based
on scholarly archival research.
"In the summer of 1947, when the creation of the state of Pakistan
was formally announced, ten million people--Muslims and Hindus and
Sikhs--were in flight. By the time the monsoon broke, almost a
million of them were dead, and all of northern India was in arms,
in terror, or in hiding. The only remaining oases of peace were a
scatter of little villages lost in the remote reaches of the
frontier. One of these villages was Mano Majra."
It is a place, Khushwant Singh goes on to tell us at the beginning
of this classic novel, where Sikhs and Muslims have lived together
in peace for hundreds of years. Then one day, at the end of the
summer, the "ghost train" arrives, a silent, incredible funeral
train loaded with the bodies of thousands of refugees, bringing the
village its first taste of the horrors of the civil war. Train to
Pakistan is the story of this isolated village that is plunged into
the abyss of religious hate. It is also the story of a Sikh boy and
a Muslim girl whose love endured and transcends the ravages of war.
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