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The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned And Cleansed (Paperback)
Preface To 'The Punjab - Blooded, Partitioned And Cleansed' By Ishtiaq Ahmed
I cannot say with certainty when the idea of researching the partition of the Punjab first occured to me, but it was something that whetted my curiosity form early childhood. I grew up listening to elders, who would describe some of the events that took place on Temple Road, Lahore, where I was born. That canvas expanded over time as I went around Lahore on my bike, I was deeply in love with my city of birth and always thirsted for more knowledge about its past. The bike rides inevitably took me to localities which were once Hindu-Sikh majority areas, but from where virtually all traces of Hindu-Sikh presence were now gone. Even as a teenager, I could figure out that such people would not have left their homes and localities happily. Only in the famous shopping locality of Anarkali, almost entirely studded with shops owned the Hindus before the Partition, did Beli Ram and Sons continue as major dispensers and chemists till the 1970s. They left for India after the breakup of pakistan in 1971. It is still a mystery how that shop and its Hindu owners survived so long.
Post-Partition Lahore also had many examples of Muslim suffering. My earliest memory of it is associated with an old man who lived in a small shop in front of our house. He has no proper home. He was a refugee from the other side of the old Punjab. He spoke a rough type of Urdu; an accent I later learned was typical of what is now Haryana. Prior to Partition, its constituted the eastern most portion of the united Punjab. Every evening, he would start cursing and abusing the whole world. Street urchins would taunt him and knock at his door. When he came out , they would run away. He was known as Chacha Churanji Lal, suggesting that he was a Hindu. Actually he was a Muslim. Some said his real name was Lal Din; others, Lal Mohammad.
I learnt that he had married late, his wife had died at childbirth and he had brought up his only son all by himself. That boy was killed in front of him during Partition violence. The trauma rendered him a mourner forever, but also obviously led to some serious mental problems. In 1953, when sectarian disturbances against the Ahmadiyya community took place, curfew was clamped on Lahore. Every evening, soldiers sitting in trucks would patrol Temple Road. The vehicles moved very slowly. They had guns ready to shoot at miscreants. It was a scary scene. However, elders of the area intervened just in time and told the soldiers about his grief and sorrow. Thereafter, they ignored him. Eventually, he died. In 1947 the lives of millions of Punjabis were shattered. Perhaps those who survived paid a heavier price. I am not sure how much suffering can be fathomed or measured.
Introduction To 'The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned And Cleansed' By Ishtiaq Ahmed
This book is a definitive, path-breaking account of the partition of the Punjab in 1947. Its chronicles how East and West Punjab were emptied of unwanted minorities. Besides shedding new light on the events through secret British reports, it contains poignant accounts by eyewitnesses, survivors and even participators in the carnage, from both sides of the border. These exclusive accounts present Partition through the eyes of those who were a part of it, and the effect it has had on their lives up to the present day. The interviewees from both sides of the border, the book aims to give a balanced account of Partition, and shows how religious differences are no bar to peaceful coexistence, unless highlighted by divisive forces. It will be of immense interest to anyone even remotely curious about the happenings of the most traumatic event in recent Indian history.
About The Author Of 'The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned And Cleansed'
Born in Lahore on 24 February 1947, Ishtiaq Ahmed holds a PhD in Political Science from Stockholm University, and was Senior research Fellow and Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.
He is now Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University and Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. His research interests cover diverse fields like political Islam, ethnicity and nationalism, human and minority rights, and partition studies.
Table Of Contents For 'The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned And Cleansed' By Ishtiaq Ahmed
|Chronology of Events during 1947||xxix|
|Governments of Punjab (I January-31 December 1947)||xxxi|
|1||A Theory of Ethnic Cleansing||1|
|2||Pre-colonial and colonial Punjab||24|
|3||Genesis of the Punjab Partition: 1900-1944||62|
|Stage I: The Punjab Bloodied|
|4||Punjab Election and Coalition Government: 1945-1946||91|
|5||Direct Action: 24 January-26 February 1947||134|
|6||The March Riots: Lahore||160|
|7||The March Riots: Amritsar and Jullundur||178|
|8||The March Riots: Multan||197|
|9||The March Riots: Rawalpindi and Adjoining Rural Areas||209|
|Stage 2: The Endgame Unfolds|
|24 March 1947-14 August 1947|
|10||British Policy on the Punjab: 24 March-30 June 1947||251|
|11||The Battle for Lahore and Amritsar: 1 April-30 June 1947||282|
|12||Partition Machinery and Proceedings: 1 July-14 August 1947||316|
|13||The Punjab Disintegrates: 1 July-14 August 1947||351|
|Stage 3: Ethnic Cleansing|
|15 August-31 December 1947|
|Exodus from West Punjab|
|16||Multan Division and Bahwalpur State||476|
|Exodus from East Punjab and Princely States|
|17||Amritsar and the Three Tahsils of Gurdaspur||515|
|19||Ambala Division and Delhi||579|
|20||Eastern Punjab Princely States||603|
|21||Analysis and Conclusions||656|
|Punjab Legislative Assembly: 21 March 1946 to 4 July 1947||701|
|List of Members of Punjab Legislative Assembly till 4 July 1947||702|