1. Rajmohan Gandhi, ‘Punjab-A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten’, Aleph Delhi, 2013, pages 432, price Rs. 695/
It took more than a month to read this book, a good history of Punjab of about two and half hundred years. Book is dedicated to Khushwant Singh, Mubasir Hussain and Pyare Lal Nayar. It is divided into 11 chapters along with Preface, Introduction, Note, Bibliography and Index.
In Preface written in 2012 end, Rajmohan refers to his 11-12 years age in 1947, he remembers 1945 trial of three INA Punjabis-Hindu, Muslim and Sikh. He visited Lahore fifty years later for first time, where he found similarities between Lahore and Delhi. Born in 1935 Delhi, which was not Punjabi city and which almost became after 1947, though from 1858 to 1911 it was part of Punjab province. Mother Laxmi Devi of Rajmohan was C Rajgopalacharya daughter. Father was Devdas Gandhi editor HT.
References to contacts are Javed Akhtar, class fellow son of later Pakistan Prime Minister Ch. Mohd. Ali, Principal Mahndernath Kapoor, Amtus Salam from Rajpura, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Gulzari Lal Nanda and NMML Balram Nanda. From Lahore references are of Ishtiaque Ahmad book, Anarkali archives, Babar Ali of LUMS etc.
In introduction Rajmohan has answered question-Why Punjab History? In 2012, six innocent Sikhs killed by shoot out in Wisconsin. Pakistan Punjab population more than Egypt or Turkey. Punjabiyat defined by Amrita Pritam, Faiz, Manto and Khushwant Singh, Kundan Lal Sehgal, Noor Jahan, Mohd. Rafi, Nusrat Fateh < Nargis, Devanand, Rajkappor, Rajesh Khanna, Sunil Dutt. Panchnad and Panj Aaab-five rivers, Do-ab river between rivers-Chej between Chenab and Jhelum, Rachna between Ravi and Chenab, Bet between Beas and Sutlej, Bari doab between Beas and Ravi, Sindh Sagar doab between Jhelum and Sindh. Five Divisions of Punjab-Multan having Montgomery, now Sahiwal, Lyallpur now Faisalabad, Jhang, Dera Ghazi Khan, Jullundur, Ambala, and Lahore and Rawalpindi. Rawalpindi, Lahore and Multan had Muslim majority ad Jullundur/Ambala others. Book starts with 1707 demise of Aurangzeb, 1739-Nadir Shah Attack, 1758-Adina Beg Governor, 1799-1846-Khalsa raj, 1849-1947-British raj. Gandhian nationalist Congress movement failed in Punjab-1919-1947. So writer moves to the chapters.
In Bibliography the important books on Punjab history referred are-
1. Ali Imran-Punjab under Imperialism (1885-1947)
2. S M Latif-History of the Punjab, 1889 ed.
3. S M Burke-Akbar: The Greatest Moghul, 1989
4. Ishtiaque Ahmad, Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed, 2011
5. Malcom Darling-Punjab Peasant in Prosperity and Debt, 1947
6. Lepel Griffin, Punjab Chiefs,
7. Prakash Tandon, Punjabi Century
8. Denzel Ibbetson, Punjab Castes
9. H.A.Ross, Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of Punjab
10. Ian Talbot, Punjab and the Raj (1849-1947), 1988
11. Ian Talbot, Khizar Tiwana: The Punjab Unionist party and partition of India,
12. Sujan Rai Bhandar, Khulastae-Twarikh, 1696
The first chapter of the book-Punjab Until Aurangzeb’s Death-gives an overview of Punjab history from its inception. It was seat of ancient Harappan civilization. Persians ruled it in sixth century BCE and two centuries later Alexander forayed. Chandergupt Maurya-Kautilya ruled. Taxila grew as seat of learning. Panini, the Grammarian, was born in Attock in 4th century BC.
First three centuries CE, were ruled by Kanishka and Kushan , Buddhism had a sway in Punjab areas. Gupta king followed, Harshvardhan ruled in seventh century. Early eighth century Sindh was captured by Arabs. Ghazni Mahmud ran over it, resisted by Anang Pals. Punjabi old tribes included-Gakhars, Khokhars, Syals and Bhattis. Multan was business city. Data Ganj Baksh died in 1070 AD, writing Kashful Mahjub. Ghori-Prithviraj fought in Bathinda.-Aibek first Sultan and Iltutmish followed. Persian became court language. Ali Qalandar, Panipat-1209-1324,
Farming castes-Arain, Awan, Jatt, Kamboj, Rajput, Saini
Punjab Muslims mostly Sunnis
Amir Khusro poet
Jasrat Khan Gakhar stood up to Timur. Lodhis ruled, defeated by Moghuls-Babar in 1526 at Panipat. Akbar ruled for fifty years-1556-95, Lahore his third capital .Four great Sufis-Baba Farid-1266 died Pakpattan , his master Qutabdin Kaki, died in 1236, Farid disciple-Nijamudin Auliya died in Delhi 1335, Kaki master Moindin Chisti-died Ajmer 1233.
Deception, war, fratricide, murder, blinding’s of close relative rivals marked every succession in Moghul sultanate
This chapter has Sikh Gurus history as well.
Badshahi mosque built in Lahore between 1671-73, for 300 years, world‘s largest mosque..
In 1707, Aurangzeb died at 88 years in Aurangabad. Guru Teg Bahadur executed under Aurangzeb orders. Arjun Dev under Jahangir orders.
Second chapter is 1707-1757-Collapse of Authority Aurangzeb 63 year old son Muazzam, known as Shah Alam or Bahadur Shah1, proclaimed himself as emperor at Aurangzeb’s death. Challenged by two brothers, defeated/killed. 38 year old Kashmiri Rajput became Madho Das Bairagi and in 1708 Guru Gobind Singh turned him into Gurbax Singh , who became known as Banda Bairagi. Guru stabbed by Afghan Jamshid Khan, related to Sirhind Nawab Wazir Khan. In 1709, Banda descended on Samana with his forces and massacred 10 thousand plus Muslims in the town. Some other killed Wazir Khan too and razed Sirhind to ground. Banda took wife from hills and held on in Lohgarh, later sixty six year emperor Bahadur Shah, whose mother Bai Begum was Punjabi, tried to locate Banda, who hid in hills.In June 1716 Banda and thousands Sikhs executed, tortured badly in Delhi, near Qutab tomb, four year old son of Banda also killed. 18 year old Muhammad Shah was installed as emperor in 1719, who ruled for 3o years. Guru Gobind Singh companion Bhai Mani Singh took care of Golden Temple affairs. Governor Samad Khan moved to Multan, his son Zakariya took over and fought Sikhs. Jat Raja Suraj Mal ruled near Delhi in 1722, Zakariya Chief Minister was Lakhpat Khatri, who served his father too. Iran ruler Nadir Shah raided Punjab in 1739, executed 1007 prisoners, Delhi citizenry to the extent of 20 thousand massacred. Nadir attack in Sikh history is known as Chhota Ghallughara. Bulle Shah born around 1680, Adina arose around 1710, became Adina Beg Khan, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia confronted him. Afghan Ahmad Shah Abdali made ten invasions of India, from 1748. By 1757, Moghul authority ceased to exist in Punjab. England’ East India company got trading licenses in Surat 1612, Bombay 1638, and Madras 1639. From 1690, they held Fort William fort Calcutta. By 1757, Britain obtained Bengal, Afghans annexed Punjab, Sindh and north west, Punjab had no ruler. Chapter 3-1757-1799: Adina Beg Khan, Afghans and Sikhs.
Abdali 11 year old son Timur given authority. Sikh chief Ala Singh of Patiala entrenched forces in Sirhind town. 2 lkh Maratha forces got support from Sikhs, Adina celebrated Maratha victory in Lahore on 12th April 1758, Adina Beg conferred Nawab title by Raghunath Rao. British defeated French in Buxar in 1757, by 1764, East India Company claimed revenue of Bihar and Odisha as well. Shah Alam2 was recognised as emperor in Delhi, but without power. First Sikh rupee minted in name of Jassa Singh in November 1761, withdrawn quickly. Abdali stayed in Punjab to subdue Sikhs in 1762, Hindu Kabul Mal made Lahore Governor .Ala Singh bought Sirhind ruins for 25 thousand rupees. Abdali invaded again in 1766. Sikh Misals and not Punjabi Muslims filled the power vacuum. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Gujjar Singh Bhangi and Charhat Singh Shukarchakia like warriors resisted Afghan attacks. Racially Punjabi Sikhs and Muslims were same, both had farming profession. Sikh rural society was more egalitarian. In same period in South 1760-90, father-son duo-Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan defied British rule in Mysore.
Quest for power in Sikh misals increased. Maha Singh Shukarchakia led missal after death of his father Charhat Singh, it dominated other misals. 18 year old Ranjit Singh succeeded his father Maha Singh as Shukarchakia missal chief. In 1799, Zaman Khan forced to leave Lahore and Ranjit Singh occupied it.
Chapter four-1799-1849-Ranjit Singh and his successors.
Born in Gujranwala or close to Jind, his Nana of Kanhaiya missal was Jind chief. With pit of smallpox on face, Ranjit had dark skin, and short in stature, left eye blinded, never learnt to read or write. Ugly looking Ranjit loved horses, married Mahtab Kaur daughter of Sada Kaur of Kanhaiya missal, he took another wife Raj Kaur from Nakai missal. Willing to become king at early age, earlier Ala Singh was designated king by Abdali. Kharak Singh was his first son from Raj Kaur. Wishing to be people’s monarch, Ranjit sat in a chair or on a carpet, while giving audience to people, not sitting on a throne. His govt. was called Khalsa Sarkar and court as Khalsa Durbr ith clear Hindu-Sikh imprint. Paid homage at two mosques-Badshahi and Wazir Khan Masjid. City kotwal was Muslim.
East India company ruling from 1750 onwards by 1800, took over much of India, including South with killing of Tipu in 1799. A rogue adventurer George Thomas proclaimed himself as ruler of Hansi in 1797. Ranjit Singh engaged Sufi Fakir Azizudin Bukhari as minster and confidant. French mission also had diplomatic engagement with Ranjit. Kangra ambitious king Sansar Chand gave some territory to Ranjit mother-in-law Sada Kaur. Ranjit triumphed Amritsar and more territories. In 1802, three year old Kharak was betrothed to Kanhiya girl and Ranjit fell for attractive Muslim courtesan Mohran, whom he apparently married and got a coin in her name.
Agreement with Fateh Singh Ahluwalia and British, kept away from Jaswant Rai Holkar. In 1807, twins born to Mahtab-Sher Singh and Tara Singh, rumour galore, but Ranjit attached to Sher Singh. In 1809, Ludhiana became British controlled, Union Jack flown. In 1818, Multan brought to knees, Sawan Mal made governor. Kapurthla king Fateh Singh Ahluwalia also subdued, who tried get British support, failed and went ton knees to Ranjit, got back and died in 1837. In 1821 biggest wins-Kashmir, Multan and Peshawar, annexed hill states of Bilaspur, Chamba and Kullu. In 1831, Ranjit ruled over 14-15 million people out of which Sikhs were only 1.5 million or so, just 12.5%. Persian was official language of Khalsa durbar.French military officers in Ranjit army. Hari Singh Nalwa, governow of Peshawar moved closer to Kabul in 1834, died in war. In 1837, seventeen year old Victoria became queen of England. Kunwar Naunihal Singh, son of Kharak Singh and grandson to Ranjt grew..Ranjit died on 27th June 1839, four of his Ranis including Raj Devi daughter o Sansar Chand of Kangra and seven slave girls mounted funeral pyre with him. Ten years later Sati was banned by British. Kharak Singh anointed King. Some wanted his son Naunihal to be king. Crowning ceremony on 1st September 1839 by Dhian Singh, Chet Singh was murdered On 5th November both Kharak Singh and Naunihal died, Khark of disease(poisioned) and Naunihal in accident. Six princes in line for succession-Sher-Tara twins, Sada Kaur grandson in 30’s Peshaura, Kashmira and Multana in 20’s and two year old Duleep from Rani Jindan, youngest wife of Ranjit. 9th November 1840 Sher Singh proclaimed king. Chand Kaur widow of Kharak wanted to act a Regent and Naunihal son in his wife’s womb to be proclaimed king. Gulab Singh with Chand Kaur. Army divided. Dhian Singh manipulated abortion of Naunihal child and murder of Chand Kaur. Sandhawalias switched to Sher Singh and then killed him on 15th September 1843. Sher Singh son Pratap was also killed simultaneously by Sandhawalias. Dhian Singh also killed. Dhian Singh widow demanded Sandhawalias heads before cremation of Dhian Singh, got next day of both Lehna and Ajit. All burnt together including widow going on pyre. Dhian Singh son Hira became Sher Singh faction leader. Six year Dalip named king, Jindan Regent and Hira became wazir. Hira and his uncle Gulab tried to kill Princes Peshaura and Kashmira, as his other uncle Suchet claimed wazir seat, he was also killed by Hira. Pandit Jalla made insolent remarks on Rani Jindan and Hira/Jalla and 1000 army all killed. By 1845, 1 lakh 20 thousand military was costing 50% more than in 1839,
Jindan brother Jawahar, Fakir Nurudin, brother of late Azijudin and Diwan Dinanath ran show. Prince Peshaura revolted killed at Jawahar order then Jawahar killed and his four wives mounted pyre, cursed end of Khalsa raj.Two wars with company in 1845-46 and in 1848-49 extinguished the raj.
Ranjit Singh in his regime took no life. Company lost in Afghanistan got compensated in victory of Sindh in 1843.Dalhousie became governor-general in 1848. Lal Singh and Tej Singh of Khalsa army betrayed to hand over Khalsa raj to British. Gulab Singh made wazir, war in Sabraon Sham Singh Attariwala the hero of defeated Khalsa army, 10 thousand Sikhs and 2400 Britishers killed in Sabraon war on 10th February 1946, Gulab Singh rewarded with Jammu state, Dalip Singh now eight became protectorate of British. Rani Jindan removed as Regent, banished from kingdom. Shah Muhamad Jangnama..Punjab and Hind warring parties..Chillianwala on 14th January 1849, worst defeat of Britishers loosing 3000 men. On 13th March 16000 Sikh army laid down arms. On 29th March ten year boy king signed document renounced kingdom, all property including Kohinoor jewel. All of Punjab annexed that day. Dost Muhmmad ceded Peshawar
British had four armies in India. Smallest was purely British ‘Queen’s regiment’, other three racially mixed ‘presidencies’ armies of Bengal, Bombay and Madras. In 1840, three armies contained 40 thousand whites and two and half lakh Indians. No white served under any Indian and the highest paid Indian earned less than lowest paid Britisher. More than half of Bengal army had high caste Hindus from Awadh, 1/3 Muslims from UP/Bihar.
Chapter Five-1849-1859-British Punjab and the 1857 Rebellion
Mogul ruled Punjab 156 years from Akbar’s 1556 to Shah Alam2 till 1712. Zakariya Khan, Mir Mannu, Adina Beg ruled during 18th century. British ruled 1846/49 to 1947 101/98 years. In 1848, Dalhousie was replaced by Hardinge as Governor General. Cornerstone of British rule-DC-Deputy Commissioner. Henry Lawrence/ John Lawrence two brothers. 1853-John Lawrence named Chief Commissioner of Punjab. 1857 Punjab had 36000 sepoys, by the end of revolt they had 58000 men, 11000 Europeans, 24000 Muslims, 13000 Sikhs and 10000 Hindus. Cooper got shot hundreds near Ajnala, 40 blown by guns in Peshawar, 870 shot in Jamrud. Gogena’s Ahmad Shah Kharal roused tribes against British, killed. Insurrection ended by November only, but 19 year old Duleep did not condemn revolt. Between May and 20th September 4000 British side killed, before Delhi was back in British hands. On 21st September Hodson brought Zafar, his wife Zeenat and son Jawan Bakht and imprisoned.. . Next day Hodson arrested from Humanyu tomb and shot dead three princes-Mirza Moghul, Mirza Khizr Sultan and Mirza Abu Bakar, twenty one other Moghul scions were hanged in few days and Moghul dynasty wiped out. Blood thrust had free paly in recaptured Delhi. In March 1858, a military court condemned Bahadur Shah Zafar to exile and life imprisonment, they were taken to Rangoon, where Zafar died in 1862, just four years later. In March 1858, Sikh soldiers plundered Lucknow. Nana Fadnavis and Hazrat Mahal ran to Nepal, never caught. British Parliament abolished Company rule and Queen Victoria assumed direct control,, Governor general became Viceroy. In February 1859, military rule ended in Delhi and it was made a district of Punjab.
Chapter six- 1859-1919-Imperial High Noon
Post 1857, British rulers decided-
• Separate Christianity from British rule
• Recognise aristocrat sensitivities
• Rule Punjab and India as superior race
• Focus on better quality of life through roads, railway, post/telegraph, canals., hospitals, education, law courts
• Cultivate farmer
• Recruit new soldiers ,keep them away from big weapons
• Make soldier agent of Empire in villages.
This strategy art of 1858 queen proclamation.
Canals built during 1860-1920 brought ten million acre land under irrigation. Schools/ educational institutions opened Lahore Govt. College in 1864. By 1900, Punjab supplied half of combatants of entire Indian army. Biggest grant to Baba Khem Singh Bedi from Nanak clan for canal colony in Montgomery
1907 land colonisation bill brought rebellion in Punjab. Ajit Singh, Lala lajpat Rai, Banke Dayal song. Umar Hayat Khan MLC also protested
Duleep and Harnam Singh Ahluwalia of Kapurthla converted to Christianity. Namdhari suppression, Singh Sabha and Dayanand Saraswati Arya Samaj movements, Qadian’s Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded Ahmadiya sect. 1881 launch of The Tribune in Lahore. Punjab Muslims inspired by Syed Ahmad Khan-1817-98, founder of Aligarh’s Anglo Oriental college in 1875.
Sir Ganga Ram-1861-1927 talented civil engineer, built Lahore, Amritsar Patiala historic buildings. Rudyard Kipling English poet lived in Lahore for five years-1882-87 as assistant editor of Civil and Military gazette. , father Lockwood Kipling founder curator/Principal of Lahore Museum/Mayo arts college. By 1905, Punjab had 263 journals/papers published. Contrast between Bengal and Punjab-Bengali common language with script of all Bengalis-Muslims and Hindus, Punjab-divided in Hindu-Hindi, Sikh-Punjabi/Gurmukhi and Muslims-Urdu. In 1909, first Bengali/Indian VC of PU Lahore P C Chatterjee tried for Punjabi to be language of instruction, failed. 1881 Multan ban on cow slaughter demand. Punjab communal situation worsened in March 1897, 40 year Arya Samajist Lekh Ram stabbed to death. DAV College Lahore started in 1888, Islamia College in Lahore in 1892 and Khalsa College in Amritsar in 1892. Lord Curzon 1859-1925 pushed land alienation act, he split Bengal into two in 1905-divide and rule policy given shape. Most of the Muslims in Bengal were happy at separate Muslim majority province. Shimla interaction of 1st October 1906, 35 member strong Muslim deputation led by Agha Khan. All India Muslim League founded in Dhaka on 30th December 1906. Bengal partition annulled in 1911 for 36 years only. Bihar, Orissa and Assam became separate provinces. Undoing of Bengal partition shocked Muslims in Bengal and elsewhere in India. Muhammad Ali Jinnah joined Congress in 1906-1876-1948. In 1908, Jinnah defended Tilak in court, his closest friend was Gokhale. He won Muslim seat in assembly in 1909, he joined Muslim League in 1913. In 1916-Congress-League pact first time after 1857, demanded common things. Maulana Zafar Ali-1873-1956, editor Zamindar-foremost Urdu daily of Punjab. . Mohd. Ali’s English Comrade and Urdu Hamdard both from Delhi, Maulana Azad’s Al Hilal from Calcutta all opinion makers. Mohd. Iqbal- Turkey’s Khilafat issue was in centre focus. Fazal Hussain, Punjab Congress President and General Secretary of Punjab Muslim League.
Out of 683149 combatants recruited in 1914-18, sixty percent 349688 were from Punjab. Titles given to Sir-Umar Hyat, Sir Khem Singh Bedi, Rai Saheb Chhotu Ram.
Reference to Hardyal and Ghadar movement in Half page, ends with Gandhi’s rise.
Chapter seven-1919-22: Together for Freedom
Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915, in 1917, Champarn Satyagrah took place. Following year Textile workers in Ahmedabad and Kheda farmer’s demands. Gandhi turned fifty in 1919 was aiming for deeper Hindu-Muslim alliance. He befriended Delhi’s Hakim Ajmal Khan, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari who was league President in 1918. Rowlett act made a strong movement, Jallianwala happened. Between 10th and 13th April, British writ did not run in Lahore. On 11th April, 35 thousand strong rally with 2/3 Muslims held at Badshahi mosque. Swami Shrdhanand 1856-1926, Munshi Ram-both friends with Charles Andrews. Shradhanand became famous with baring chest on 30th March 1919 to be shot during Delhi protest.
August 1921, Moplah protest in Kerala, February 1922-Bardoli satyagraha in Gujarat, Chauri Chaura occurring in February 1922, Gandhi withdrew non-cooperation Satyagrah, inviting seventy page indictment from Lala Lajpat Rai, who acknowledged that during 1919-21-Hindu-Muslims were fairly united.
Chapter 8-1922-42: Collaboration and Separation Call
Unionist party raised in 1923-Fazal Hussain and Chhotu Ram energies combined for interests of Punjab landed peasantry. Elections in 1923 gave clear majority to Unionist party in legislature assembly. Lala Lajpat Rai, member of Central assembly, writing in The Tribune in November/December 1924 proposed Punjab/Bengal partition in Muslim and Hindu Majority portions. Many Congress Hindus moved to Hindu Sabha. After 1926 elections, Manohar Lal, Cambridge educated became education minister. Fazal as revenue minister tussled in 1928 for Land revenue act. In December 1926, Shradhanand for his Shudhi movement was stabbed to death in Delhi by a Muslim, In 1927 publisher Rajpal acquitted by court for publishing pamphlet on prophet Mohamad. Later killed by Ilm din in December 1927, who was hanged in October 1929.
RSS formed in 1925 ith Maharashtra Brahmin group initiative.
During 1927-29, Fazal influenced Delhi privately through men like Feroze Khan Noon, Sikandar Hyat Khan, Chaudhary Zafarulla and Ahmad Yar khan, from 1930, he had direct influence through Viceroy council member. Bhagat Singh story is wound up in just two pages-304/305, showing of no consequences. Only information worthi afer Jatin Das death in hunger strike Gopi Chand Bhargav and Dr Mohd Alam resigned from Punjab council.
In 1931 agitation for democratic rights in Kashmir aginst Hari Singh by Muslim peasant did not get Congress support. A Simon commission gave 18% seats to Sikhs in Punjab council as against 30% demand, Dr. Satya Pal did not protest with Sikhs alienated from Congress party. In 1930, Iqbal expressed separation wish and in 1933, Chaudhary Rehmat Ali drafted Pakistan demand, he was born in Balachaur of Hoshiarpur district. P-Punjab, A-Afghania or North West-Kashmir, S-Sindh and Tan-Baluchistan. Bhai Parmanand wanted Hindu majority area of Punjab to be joined with Delhi or UP!
After 1937 elections, Sikandar Hyat Khan succeeded Fazkl Hussain, Jinnah-Sikandar pact was formed Out of 175 Punjab seats, Muslim league won only two, Congress got 28, Hindu Sabha 11, different Sikh groups 24, independents 19. Unionist party wining 95 seats formed govt under Sikandar Hyat with Chhotu Ram, Manohar Lal, Khizar Hyat, son of Umar Hyat Tiwana as minister. In 1939 Congress ministries resigned against war situation, Jinnah and Ambedkar celebrated 22nd December as Deliverance day. Khalistan was demanded by Sikhs in 1940. In March 1942 Cripps came to India called Cripps mission for India’s future plans. Congress rejected his federal structure plan proposal, Jinnah was willing to accept. Rajgopalacharya wanted agreement with empire and Muslim League. SIKANDAR Khan died on 26th December 1942 at 50 years only.
Chapter Nine: 1942-47: Independence and Trauma
Sikandar succeeded by 43 year old Khizar Hyat Khan as Punjab Premier. Within Unionist party, he faced lot of problems, many siding with Jinnah. Nawab Mamdot’s residence was Jinnah abode during his Punjab visits. Chhotu Ram died in 1945. A leftist Punjab Congress chief Iftikhardin went over to League. In 1945-46 elections Muslim League won 75 of 86 seats in 175 member house. Congress got 55, Sikhs and Unionist party 21 each. In March 1946, Khizar Hyat became Premier again with Congress and Akali support, taunted as Sardar Khizar Singh.
On 15th March 1946, Premier Attlee told British parliament to leave India. Stafford Cripps with Pethik Lawrence sent again for future plans. All three spent three months in India, proposal of three tier India with fedral structure. Jinnah was ready to accept, but Nehru-Patel rejected. It was called 16th May scheme. On 6th June League formally accepted. Nehru replaced Maulana Azad as Congress President. Interim Govt. under Nehru took shape, Liaqat Ali Khan joined as finance minister from League. Baldev Singh, defence minister, Patel home. Raja Ghaznafar Ali another Punjabi but league representative in cabinet. Jinnah direct action call for 16th August caused tensions. Khizar wanted independent multi-faith independent Punjab, day dream was late many a year, nor pursued by Khizr. Both Bengal and Punjab feebly tried for independent status, both failed. Master Tara Singh unleashing his sword at the gate of Punjab assembly brought destruction in communal flare up. Labh Singh killed while pacifying in Jullundur. Saifudin Kitchlew stripped to see being a Muslim. Raj reluctant to check violence, even though Jinnah asked for shooting rioters, even if Muslims. Gandhi became back number since 1945. 3rd June plan by Mountbatten more devastating, to leave before June 1948, but left in three months! RSS involved in Hindu attacks in Lahore lesser than Muslim guards. Punjab Boundary force under T W Rees od-f 9 thousand soldiers was incapable of controlling riots. On 14th October two Punjab’s decided to exchange their minorities formally.
Chapter Ten: Insaniyat amidst Insanity
There are ample examples of humanity as happens everywhere in the world. Rajmohan noted some, but can’t be all. Ahmad Hayat Khan of Sargodha, Ch. Mohd Hayat of Gujrat. Three part report of Lahore visit published in The Tribune.
Chapter 11-Divided Punjab and the future of Punjabiyat
Reference to literature of Amrita Pritam, Faiz, Manto etc. During 1955-57, Dr. Khan Saheb functioned as Chief Minister of single West Pakistan, then he was assassinated. In 1969, old provinces came back. Saraiki movement referred. APNA website referred, focus on promoting Punjabiyat.
While reading it appeared good book, during taking notes, looked weak in presentation of historic facts and interpretation also not very objective. But there is a sense of objectivity and non-biasedness.