Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Sikhs and 1947

The Eyewitness. On this point, the witness Niranjan Singh, a Sikh, testified. Singh, a few weeks ago a prosperous merchant in the Montgomery district of the Punjab, now moves about New Delhi on crutches. He said:
"I shall never rest until revenge is taken upon the Moslems for all the wicked atrocities they have perpetrated upon innocent people. Moslems killed my old father, abducted my young daughter, slew my son and maimed my foot. No mercy whatsoever should be shown to them. I've always treated my Moslem laborers with kindness but the dirty swine have repaid me with brutality.
"I smelled trouble in my village when Moslems began gathering at the mosque every day for long conferences. One morning Moslems from all neighboring areas gathered around our village and attacked it. But although we were outnumbered, we held them for eight hours. We had only our kirpans [swords] and a few old rifles. They had modern weapons. When finally they broke through, there was not one among us who had not sustained some injury or other. The brutes killed my 90-year-old father and when my young son rushed to his defense, they speared him to death. I had been injured on my forehead and gushing blood had made me partly blind. A young, cowardly Moslem attacked me from behind with a hatchet, injuring my foot. Before I fell and fainted, I saw some Moslems carrying away my 16-year-old daughter, who put up stiff resistance.

Jinnah is far too easy a villain: conceivably an obsessed child of Mohamed conceivably a man seized in his declining years by that most dangerous form of satyriasis which longs for naked power alone, Jinnah has beyond question done more than any other man in India to exacerbate the sores of communalism and to tease and torment their rawness; and this purely to secure his nation, and a torn body for India.

Tara Singh gave this grisly forecast an algebraic twist. He pointed out that fleeing Sikhs (who are richer) had left six million acres of land, while an equal number of fleeing Moslems had left only two million acres. His proposal: drive enough Moslems from their farms to balance the property exchange.

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