Train to Pakistan

by

Khushwant Singh

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The Subinspector / Inspector Sahib Character Analysis

A conniving Hindu official who works for the police and under Hukum Chand. He sees Iqbal Singh for the first time when the latter arrives at the Mano Majra train station the day after the dacoity, making it impossible for Iqbal to have been present during the robbery. He falsely imprisons Iqbal and Juggut Singh for the murder of Lala Ram Lal under orders from Hukum Chand, who wants the men to be held in jail so that they cannot make trouble in the village. The subinspector plots with the head constable to frame Iqbal and threatens Juggut with torture to get the names of those who committed the robbery.

The Subinspector / Inspector Sahib Quotes in Train to Pakistan

The Train to Pakistan quotes below are all either spoken by The Subinspector / Inspector Sahib or refer to The Subinspector / Inspector Sahib . 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.
2. Kalyug Quotes

“Sir, the Babu’s name is Iqbal Singh. He is a Sikh. He has been living in England and had his long hair cut.” The subinspector fixed the head constable with a stare and smiled. “There are many Iqbals. I am talking of a Mohammed Iqbal, you are thinking of Iqbal Singh. Mohammed Iqbal can be a member of the Muslim League.” “I understand, sir,” repeated the head constable, but he had not really understood. He hoped he would catch up with the scheme in due course. “Your orders will be carried out.”

Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Subinspector / Inspector Sahib Character Timeline in Train to Pakistan

The timeline below shows where the character The Subinspector / Inspector Sahib appears in Train to Pakistan. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Dacoity
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...house is cleaned, swept, dusted, and organized to receive an important guest. At eleven o’clock, the subinspector of police and two constables show up to inspect the house. They wear white uniforms... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Hukum Chand asks if there has been any communal trouble in Mano Majra. The subinspector tells him that trucks of Sikh and Hindu refugees from Pakistan have come through and... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Hukum Chand tells the subinspector how the Sikhs retaliated by attacking a Muslim refugee train and sending it back across... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Hukum Chand asks if there are any rich Muslims in the area. The subinspector says that there are not, for most of them are weavers or potters. Chand then... (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
Hukum Chand asks about the political situation in the village, and the subinspector says that people are barely aware that the British have left and that the country... (full context)
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...train is an hour late. Iqbal steps off of it. The stationmaster bows obsequiously to the subinspector , who has also returned to Mano Majra on the train, and opens the gate... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
When the police bring Juggut and Iqbal to the subinspector , the subinspector recognizes Iqbal from the train station the day before. The head constable... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
The subinspector goes to Hukum Chand to tell the magistrate about the two arrests. Iqbal is explained... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
When the subinspector goes back to Hukum Chand he says that he is sure that Iqbal is a... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
In the evening, the subinspector goes to Iqbal’s cell and says that Iqbal’s circumcised penis and his inability to declare... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
The subinspector then leaves abruptly and goes to Juggut’s cell. He asks where Jugga was on the... (full context)
2. Kalyug
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...slept with. Chand hears the sound of shuffling feet on the verandah and figures that the subinspector is visiting. He steps out onto the verandah and sees the subinspector reading a newspaper.... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
The subinspector tells Hukum Chand that he sent word to the lambardar, Banta Singh, that no one... (full context)
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... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
The subinspector suggests that they release Juggut and Iqbal after capturing Malli and the other robbers. Hukum... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
...that he heard that Muslims had been evacuated from her town. She tells him that the subinspector has permitted them to say, for “singers are neither Hindu nor Muslim.” When Chand asks... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
By midday, the rain lets up and the day brightens. The subinspector drives as fast as he can to the police station and file a report about... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
The subinspector arrives at the police station and asks the present officers if the head constable has... (full context)
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
The subinspector tells the constable that he is going to release Malli’s men, a decision which puzzles... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
The subinspector also tells the head constable to ask if anyone knows what “the Muslim Leaguer Iqbal”... (full context)
4. Karma
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...police station, Hukum Chand is indifferent to news of the plot. He only asks that the subinspector get help from other stations, to show that they did their best to prevent the... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Honor and Heroism  Theme Icon
The subinspector talks about the situation in Chundunnugger, which they evacuated the night before. He says that... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
The subinspector says that the magistrate may be right, but that Chundunnugger refugees are being taken on... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...asks if there are any Muslims, particularly “females,” who have refused to leave Mano Majra. The subinspector assures him that not one remains; everyone has left. Chand then asks about Nooran. The... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
The subinspector admits that Hukum Chand must be right and that he has seen Iqbal wearing the... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Back at the station, the subinspector looks at Juggut and Iqbal and tells them that they will find that Mano Majra... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Honor and Heroism  Theme Icon
Gender and Masculinity Theme Icon
The mention of Malli’s name riles Juggut’s temper. The subinspector smiles. He says that Malli and his men are armed and that many others have... (full context)