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Stories of Partition: The Letter

by Ashraf Ameer (Lahore)

Photo Source: Internet

Sometime back, two of my colleagues were exchanging opinions over the riots that took place during the 1947 partition. One of them was of the opinion that it were Muslims who were the ultimate victims of violence. He also justified violence committed by Muslims saying that “this was in retaliation to the train full of corpses that arrived at Lahore railway station”.

The other colleague had an entirely different story to share. He said,

“When the decision of partition was made final and everyone was almost certain that the partition is inevitable, a group of Hindu families in my ancestral village in Bahawalpur (southern Punjab) decided to migrate to India. Some Muslim inhabitants, planning to cause them harm, encircled them to ransack and plunder them of the very few belongings they were carrying. My great grandfather was a very respectable and resourceful person in the village community.”

My colleague also shared that when his grandfather came to know about these wicked plans, he made a public proclamation that “no one should dare harm the migrants. If anyone commits any harm, I will take it personal and will deal with him with all my might”. His grandfather personally ensured that the migrants embark the train to India, safely.

After some years of his death, his family received a letter from one of the members of the migrant group who was a 13-14 years old boy in 1947. He had written “I don’t know whether or not we would ever have been able to make it to India if you would not have stood by us. Anything could have happened to us and we’ll always be grateful to you and your family.”

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Photo Blog: Toba Tek Singh, a city and district in Pakistan named after Baba Tek Singh

by Umair Ahmad (Pakistan)

Toba Tek Singh is a city and district in punjab province of Pakistan. The place gets its identity from a saint named Baba Tek Singh who was known for his kindness and generosity. It is believed that he used to serve water from a garha (pot) to the thirsty travellers, irrespective of their identity.

The original spot where he is believed to have sat and served the thirsty travelers is situated near the railway station.

Here are some photos that capture the present of this historical place.

The Railway Station of Toba Tek Singh – Toba Tek Singh is an important train junction.

The Municipal Committee of Toba Tek Singh

Toba Tek Singh has many higher education institutes – Photo of Toba Tek Singh Campus of University of Agriculture, Faislabad. Agriculture remains to be an important occupation of residents of Toba Tek Singh.

Out and Around Toba Tek Singh of Today (Photos from Gojra City, Toba Tek Singh district)

Toba Tek Singh is also a popular place because it has featured in stories of popular authors. Among the most famous stories of legendary storyteller Saadat Hasan Manto is “Toba Tek Singh”, a story set in the time of partition. It revolves around a so-called “madman” named Bishen Singh who hailed from Toba Tek Singh.

Anything to add to this story? Share in comments.

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Umair Ahmad is from Toba Tek Singh. He is a peace activist and advocate. He is the Toba Tek Singh Co-ordinator of Aaghaz-e-Dosti.

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