Train to Pakistan

by

Khushwant Singh

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A wealthy Hindu in Mano Majra. Juggut Singh describes him as the village “banian,” or moneylender. After being beaten and robbed by Malli and his gang, Ram Lal dies from a stab wound to the stomach. In jail, Juggut tells Iqbal Singh that he could not be so cruel as to kill Ram Lal, for he had given Juggut money once to pay lawyers while his father, Alam, was in jail.

Lala Ram Lal Quotes in Train to Pakistan

The Train to Pakistan quotes below are all either spoken by Lala Ram Lal or refer to Lala Ram Lal. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of Train to Pakistan published in 1956.
1. Dacoity Quotes

“Yes, the Englishmen have gone but the rich Indians have taken their place. What have you or your fellow villagers got out of independence? More bread or more clothes? You are in the same handcuffs and fetters which the English put on you. We have to get together and rise. We have nothing to lose but these chains.” Iqbal emphasized the last sentence by raising his hands up to his face and jerking them as if the movement would break the handcuffs.

Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
2. Kalyug Quotes

“Toba, toba! Kill my own village banian? Babuji, who kills a hen which lays eggs? Besides, Ram Lal gave me money to pay lawyers when my father was in jail. I would not act like a bastard.”

“I suppose they will let you off now.”

“The police are the kings of the country. They will let me off when they feel like it. If they want to keep me in, they will trump up a case of keeping a spear without a license or going out of the village without permission—or just anything.”

Related Characters: Juggut Singh / Jugga (speaker), Iqbal Singh (speaker), Alam Singh, Lala Ram Lal, Malli
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:

It was not possible to keep Indians off the subject of sex for long. It obsessed their minds. It came out in their art, literature, and religion … One read it in the advertisements of quacks who proclaimed to possess remedies for barrenness and medicines to induce wombs to yield male children. One heard about it all the time … Conversation on any topic—politics, philosophy, sport—soon came down to sex, which everyone enjoyed with a lot of giggling and hand-slapping.

Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:

“The mem-sahibs are like houris from paradise—white and soft, like silk. All we have here are black buffaloes.”

Related Characters: Juggut Singh / Jugga (speaker), Iqbal Singh, Lala Ram Lal, Malli
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
3. Mano Majra Quotes

Muslims sat and moped in their houses. Rumors of atrocities committed by Sikhs on Muslims in Patiala, Ambala and Kapurthala, which they had heard and dismissed, came back to their minds. They had heard of gentlewomen having their veils taken off, being stripped and marched down crowded streets to be raped in the marketplace … They had heard of mosques being desecrated by the slaughter of pigs on the premises, and of copies of the holy Koran being torn up by infidels. Quite suddenly every Sikh in Mano Majra became a stranger with an evil intent … For the first time, the name Pakistan came to mean something to them—a haven of refuge where there were no Sikhs.

Related Symbols: Railway Bridge
Page Number: 120-121
Explanation and Analysis:

The Sikhs were sullen and angry. “Never trust a Mussulman,” they said. The last Guru had warned them that Muslims had no loyalties. He was right. All through the Muslim period of Indian history, sons had imprisoned or killed their own fathers and brothers had blinded brothers to get the throne. And what had they done to the Sikhs? Executed two of their Gurus, assassinated another and butchered his infant children; hundreds of thousands had been put to the sword for no other offense than refusing to accept Islam; their temples had been desecrated by the slaughter of kine; the holy Granth had been torn to bits. And Muslims were never ones to respect women. Sikh refugees had told of women jumping into wells and burning themselves rather than fall into the hands of Muslims. Those who did not commit suicide were paraded naked in the streets, raped in public, and then murdered. Now a trainload of Sikhs massacred by Muslims had been cremated in Mano Majra.

Related Symbols: Railway Bridge
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lala Ram Lal Character Timeline in Train to Pakistan

The timeline below shows where the character Lala Ram Lal appears in Train to Pakistan. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Dacoity
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
...Majra is tiny. The town has only three brick buildings (the home of the moneylender Lala Ram Lal , a Sikh temple, and a mosque), and the rest of the village is mud... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
...for Nooran and telling them that it is time to go to the home of Lala Ram Lal . Once there, the leader pounds on the door with the butt of his gun,... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
...who calls. The leader demands that she let them in, but she tells them that Lala Ram Lal is not in. Inside, two women sit “crouching” in one corner of the room, while... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
The older woman tells the man that Lala Ram Lal is out, but one of the robbers separates the boy—the woman’s grandson—from her lap and... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
Upstairs, they find the moneylender, Lala Ram Lal , hiding under a charpoy. The robbers drag him out and demand the keys to... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
The robbers continue to beat Lala Ram Lal . They smash two of his teeth and he spits blood, but he still will... (full context)
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
...up to take a walk. When he goes out, he sees that the door of Lala Ram Lal ’s house is open. He sees women crying outside of the house. Iqbal walks in... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...Chand also orders him to say that more information is expected to come in regarding Lala Ram Lal ’s murderers. He orders them to beat Juggut to get the names of the other... (full context)
2. Kalyug
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Hukum Chand asks the subinspector what he is doing about Lala Ram Lal ’s murder. The subinspector says that Juggut Singh gave him the names of the culprits—former... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
...be in his former cell. Jugga is unsure but says that the police have arrested Lala Ram Lal ’s murderers. Iqbal is confused, for Jugga was arrested for the murder. Jugga smiles and... (full context)
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
...languages, such as Urdu, but he thinks that the truly educated know English. Besides, with Lala Ram Lal dead, the only person in the village who can read is Meet Singh. Jugga says... (full context)
3. Mano Majra
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...the Muslim gang went to Pakistan. The lambardar asks if this occurred before or after Lala Ram Lal was murdered and the villagers agree that the criminals were evacuated afterward. The villagers are... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...that they have no sense of loyalty. Then, there is the unsolved the murder of Lala Ram Lal . The stranger (Iqbal)—who has no turban or beard—has been hanging around the village. They... (full context)