Train to Pakistan

by

Khushwant Singh

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The Muslim League Term Analysis

A political party founded in 1906 to protect the rights of Muslims in India. The organization received support from the country’s colonizer, Great Britain, until 1913. In that year, the party began to push for the prospect of Hindu-Muslim unity, in favor of gaining independence from Britain. Its most notable leader was Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who initially supported the alliance but, in 1940, joined the rest of the league in calling for a separate state for Muslims, which became Pakistan. To reflect the change, the party later called itself the All Pakistan Muslim League.

The Muslim League Quotes in Train to Pakistan

The Train to Pakistan quotes below are all either spoken by The Muslim League or refer to The Muslim League. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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:
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:
4. Karma Quotes

He felt a little feverish, the sort of feverishness one feels when one is about to make a declaration of love. It was time for a declaration of something. Only he was not sure what it should be. Should he go out, face the mob and tell them in clear ringing tones that this was wrong—immoral? Walk right up to them with his eyes fixing the armed crowd in a frame—without flinching, without turning, like the heroes on the screen who became bigger and bigger as they walk right into the camera. Then with dignity fall under a volley of blows, or preferably a volley of rifleshots. A cold thrill went down Iqbal’s spine. There would be no one to see this supreme act of sacrifice. They would kill him just as they would kill the others … They would strip him and see. Circumcised, therefore Muslim.

Related Characters: Iqbal Singh, Meet Singh
Related Symbols: Bangles
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Muslim League Term Timeline in Train to Pakistan

The timeline below shows where the term The Muslim League 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
...to Hukum Chand he says that he is sure that Iqbal is a member of the Muslim League and he uses Iqbal’s being circumcised as proof that he is a really a Muslim.... (full context)
2. Kalyug
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 League r Iqbal” was doing in Mano Majra before his arrest. The head constable is confused,... (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
...or talked to “a young Mussulman babu called Mohammed Iqbal who was a member of the Muslim League ?” The lambardar is surprised by the question, for, when they met, he remembers Meet... (full context)
4. Karma
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...said to be a political agitator of some sort, whom the subinspector still identifies with the Muslim League . Chand asks for blank official papers for orders. The subinspector hands them over and... (full context)