Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 7 July 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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Reflections on Partition Literature -
A Comparative Analysis of
Ice Candy Man and Train to Pakistan

Umar ud Din, M. Kamal Khan and Shahzad Mahmood


The subcontinent was turned into a diabolical region in August 1947 when the British announced the division of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan. Wickedness, violence, and pure evil erupted into powerful mass that soared out of control and consumed everyone that came in its path. Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan and Bapsi Sidhwa's Ice Candy Man describe the monstrosity of the events with such artistry that the tragedy comes alive.

The two novels were published with the gap of three decades. Still they share a lot of details while retaining their individuality as well. Instead of depicting the events in political terms, the novelists have provided human dimensions which bring to the event a sense of reality, horror and believability.

Bapsi Sidhwa narrates the story of upheaval of the 1947 partition of India through the eyes of a young Parsee girl Lenny growing up in Lahore. The character of Ayah is introduced to refer to several millions of displaced, looted and raped Hindus and Muslims during one of the harshest political phases in the history of the subcontinent.

While on the other hand, Train to Pakistan not only records man's bestiality, but it also proves that man is essentially humane and sincere. Even society's marginalized characters like Juggat Singh can be a ray of hope and life for the depressed and distressed souls.

Key Words: Partition fiction, communal violence, trauma, abduction, intolerance


August 1947 marks the end of the British Raj in the Subcontinent. The departure of the British from the subcontinent led to the creation of two independent states, Pakistan and India. The division was based on two 'nation theory' with the argument that the Hindus and the Muslims cannot live together as one nation since both have distinct social, cultural and religious identities. The Muslim majority regions of Punjab and Bengal were divided, with west Punjab and east Bengal forming West and East Pakistan, and India in the middle of the two (Hassan: 1993). This resulted in massive and violent migration of the people across the divide. Muslims moved into Pakistan, and Sikhs and Hindus moved into India with the prospects of peaceful and better living, with their own religious as well as ethnic identities.

Ironically, this mass scale migration entailed crimes of unprecedented violence, murders, rapes and bestiality. It is very difficult to give an exact account of the people who became the victims of the partition trauma but its "impact can be compared to that of great war on Britain or the second world war on Japan and France" (Roy: 2009). Describing the monstrosity of the situation, Urvashi Butalia (1998) says that the partition left one million dead, 75000 women abducted and raped, and turning twelve million displaced into refugees status.

Unfortunately, the split between Pakistan and India served to heighten each other's hostilities instead of bringing peace in the region. Civil tension continued mounting for months: thousands of families were split apart, homes burnt down and villages abandoned. Some women were so embarrassed of the sexual humiliation that they refused to return home and opted for suicide. The destruction of families through murder, suicide, and kidnapping caused grievous partition trauma.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

EAT Expressions in Manipuri | Learning from Movies - 'Slumdog Millionaire' and Language Awareness | Maternal Interaction and Verbal Input in Normal and Hearing Impaired Children | Role of L2 Motivation and the Performance of Intermediate Students in the English (L2) Exams in Pakistan | Problems in Ph.D. English Degree Programme in Pakistan - The Issue of Quality Assurance | Using Technology in the English Language Classroom | Teaching Literature through Language - Some Considerations | e-Learning of Japanese Pictography - Some Perspectives | Is It a Language Worth Researching? Ethnographic Challenges in the Study of Pahari Language | Using a Reading Material for Interactive Reading | Importance of Task-Based Teaching in Second Language Acquisition - A Review | Skill Enhancement Techniques - The Necessary Tools for the Indian Management Students | African American Literature and Ishmael Reed's Novels - Hoodism | Instances of Code Switching in Indian Television Serials | The Role of Compounding in Technical English Prescribed for Engineering Students in Tamilnadu | Polite Request Strategies as Produced by Yemeni EFL Learners | Manju Kapoor's Difficult Daughters - A Saga of Feminist Autonomy and Separate Identity | Reflections on Partition Literature - A Comparative Analysis of Ice Candy Man and Train to Pakistan | Mother Tongue! The Neglected Resource for English Language Teaching And Learning | Breaking the Good Mother Myths - A Study of the Novels of Amy Tan | Effect of Teachers' Academic Qualification on Students' L2 Performance at the Secondary Level | What Is Most Important? Fluency or Accuracy? Is Learning a Second Language a Conscious Process? | Let Us Learn from Our Standard 1 Textbook, Again! - A Brief Note on the New Standard 1 Tamil Textbook in Tamilnadu | Eugene O' Neill's The Hairy Ape - An American Expressionistic Play | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JULY 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of July 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Umar-ud-Din, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Participant (Applied Linguistics)

Muhammad Kamal Khan, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Participant (Applied Linguistics)

Shahzad Mahmood, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Participant (Applied Linguistics)

Department of English Language and Literature
UMT, Lahore
Punjab, Pakistan
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