Really loves Pakistan Sikhs

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From the English and with comments by Axel Monte. The idyll in the village of Mano Majra near the border is still perfect. Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs live here peacefully with one another, the residents have coordinated their everyday lives with the passing trains. Every now and then, Jaggat, the village thug, causes excitement. The men have respect for him, if only because of his stature, which they speak reverently about. Jaggat keeps going to prison, and his father and grandfather were even hanged as criminals. Although he belongs to the Sikh religion himself, he has a secret love affair with a Muslim girl. One day, at an unusual time, a train stops in Mano Majra. Something ominous, something eerie emanates from him: the train is full of corpses of murdered Sikhs. The horror has also reached Mano Majra, now the only thing that counts here is who belongs to which religion.

Review note on Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 24.09.2008

Reviewer Claudia Wenner was very happy about this, in her opinion long overdue, new translation of the classic "Train to Pakistan" by Khushwant Singh. Above all, she writes about the strengths of the novel, which for her is a masterful contribution to the dispute over the division of British India. Khushwant tells of the "logic of madness" that triggered the momentous political event in a small village on the Pakistani border. The murder of a Hindu serves as the starting point for the plot, which then overturns, while Khushwant suspects the psychology of the villagers and the unpredictability of external influences. In a larger sense, the book is an expression of the collective trauma of Indians and Pakistanis. Khsuhwant, according to Wenner, tells vividly and conveys precisely the subtleties that "couldn't be understood through photos." That is why Wenner also praises the publisher's decision to publish the German edition, unlike the Indian one, without documentary photos of the mass exodus. The horror of the images would have been too much, the novel needs the space to unfold, says Wenner. She is also satisfied with the German translation by Axel Montes, which is "more knowledgeable" than the one from 1957, which was long out of print.

Review note on Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 26, 2008

When reading this novel, which was first published in 1957, Burkhard Müller is confronted with a whole lot of historical and regional knowledge. There are many, many footnotes that explain some details and some Hindi expressions. Of course, Müller finds it helpful, if not necessary, an introduction and / or an afterword would have been helpful. But then he dug his way into the story of a village on the Indian-Pakistani border, which reflects the great story of separation. Or not: because the villagers of different religions have been living as peaceful neighbors for a long time and do not really want to join the murders that are raging around them. How it comes to that, almost at least, describes Singh's novel, which Müller read with increasing tension the longer it went on.
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Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 9th, 2008

Martin Kämchen is pleased to finally have this classic of the Indian Partition Literature in his hands in German. First published in 1956, Khushwant Singh's book is for him a skilfully arranged social and political moral painting of the year 1947 in India. However, Kämchen also admits that the book is not a big hit. Too little credibility, too little interest in individual fates. The reviewer suggests that this does not stand in the way of a startling reading experience, including a shudder at the flowers of violence that Singh has preserved.
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