Train to Pakistan


Khushwant Singh

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Mahatma Gandhi Character Analysis

An Indian lawyer, politician, writer, and social activist known for his successful use of civil disobedience, or non-violent protest. In 1920, he became a leader in the Indian National Congress and used his political clout to promote Indian nationalism. Gandhi argued that Indians remained under British colonial rule not so much out of fear of British power and weaponry, but due to their own flaws. Gandhi started boycotts of British businesses and institutions in India, though this initial effort was unsuccessful in getting the British to relinquish power over the then-colony. In 1942, fed up with what he perceived as a dishonest offer from the British to transfer power to Indians, and upset, too, with their encouragement of discord between Hindus and Muslims, Gandhi demanded that the British immediately withdraw from India. In the same year, Gandhi was imprisoned in the Aga Khan Palace (now the Gandhi National Memorial), as part of the British effort to crush the Congress Party. He was released in 1944. By 1945, a series of negotiations between the newly-elected Labor Party in England, the Indian National Congress, and the Muslim League led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, resulted in the Mountbatten Plan—an agreement to partition British India into the separate states of India and Pakistan. Gandhi sorely regretted his inability to help create a united, independent India. To protest the communal riots which broke out between Hindus and Muslims from 1946-1947, Gandhi went on hunger strikes. His fast in September 1947 helped end riots in Calcutta. On January 30, 1948, while walking to an evening prayer meeting in Delhi, he was shot and killed by Nathuram Godse, a young man who was a Hindu fanatic.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes in Train to Pakistan

The Train to Pakistan quotes below are all either spoken by Mahatma Gandhi or refer to Mahatma Gandhi . 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:
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Mahatma Gandhi Character Timeline in Train to Pakistan

The timeline below shows where the character Mahatma Gandhi 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
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...government’s talk about stamping out corruption. The subinspector scoffs at their hypocrisy, believing that the “Gandhi disciples are minting money” while pretending to be “as good saints as the crane.” (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
...the British have left and that the country has been partitioned. Some may know who Gandhi is, but he doubts that anyone knows Jinnah. Chand is happy to hear this and... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...white British people, including the “Big Lord” and his daughter, at a prayer meeting with Gandhi. The priest uses this example to say that even the English respect men of faith.... (full context)