Khushwant Singh is one of the major Indian English novelists of our times. He is non merely a novelist but besides a short narrative author, a editorialist, a journalist, an editor. He has five novels to his recognition besides a big figure of plants on other topics. He is a reputed societal realist. He is a sensitive creative person who has used pragmatism so as to show his humanistic vision of life. He is really acute to research the worlds of life. He has a sensitive apprehension of the jobs of modern-day Indian society. His intimate cognition of rural and urban India life is an out semen of his infinitesimal observation of life.
He is a merchandise of western instruction and civilization but he is at bosom a Sikh and an Indian. Realism is a singular characteristic of Indian English novel in which Indian esthesia is expressed through a foreign linguistic communication. T. Anganeyulu justly says:
Realism shows existent life, facts in a true manner. It omits nil that is ugly and painful and idealizes nil. The term ‘realism ‘ agencies ( 1 ) a theory of authorship in which the familiar ordinary facets of life are depicted in a affair of fact, directly frontward mode designed to reflect life as it really is, ( 2 ) intervention of capable – affair in a manner that presents careful descriptions of every twenty-four hours life, frequently the lives of alleged center or lower-middle categories. Realism which refers to both the content and technique of literary creative activity has been apparent in literature from its really beginning.
Indian novelists show a passionate consciousness of life in India – the societal waking up and protest, the poorness and hungriness of the provincials, assorted dimensions of the battle for independency the calamity of divider, societal and political alterations along with interior life of the sensitive, suffering persons. Different Indian English novelists have treated different facets of societal life.
Khushwant Singh, like other Indian novelists, explores societal, political worlds of modern-day Indian life. His chief concern is the adult male and the world. He has established himself as a distinguished author of societal pragmatism with the publication of his first novel, Train to Pakistan. The term societal pragmatism means the word picture in literature of societal world in its true colors. The outgrowth of societal – realistic novel in Indian fiction in English is due to the rise of Chauvinistic Movement. The novelists who have been influenced by this motion roused the feelings of patriotism in common adult male through their plants. They besides tried their custodies to do the people socially and economically witting.
Most of Khushwant Singh ‘s critics have talked about his realistic portraiture of sex and force, they have non to the full apprehended the expensive range of his vision of humanitarianism. Khushwant Singh is, no uncertainty, a author of societal novels but non merely sex and force. He does non maintain the surface world. Unlike the other societal authors Khushwant Singh selects his stuff from the perplexing assortment of life and his vision is genuinely comprehensive.
In determining the emotional universe of an creative person the societal surroundings is one of the finding factors. The more profoundly he reflects on the basic tendencies of society and the more sensitive he is to its procedures, the more important is his work.
Khushwant Singh ‘s particular part lies in the portraiture of political life in India. Sexual activity, force are non the lone realities Singh ‘s societal novels transcend this ideological boundary and show the existent image of society, embracing the broader humanity. Through his characters he enlivens the modern-day Indian life. He portrays adult male objectively in relation to society without doing him a mouthpiece of any preconceived political orientation.
Khushwant Singh ‘s fictional universe indicates the profusion and deepness of his apprehensiveness of world. He deals with assorted facets of societal world. He is the oldest life memorial of Delhi. He himself is history. He is the informant of pre-partition national motion, post-partition, Independence, and the modern complex universe. He is much interested in human relation. His East-West instruction and rural-urban life assist his fictional universe to enter modern-day socio-political tensenesss. He, therefore, presents a bird’s-eye position of Indian life.
The relation between literature and society is built-in and ageless. The automatic value of literature though of import, can non be the exclusive footing of measuring literature. The angle of vision with which the creative person undergoes the experience besides shapes the image of world presented in his work.
Khushwant Singh ‘s work has socio-religion-political context, but he is non ever in the temper of iconoclastic choler. He is non a committed author in the narrow sense of being bound up with an political orientation or a school. There is no didacticism or moralizing in his novels. He neither uses his art for allowed propaganda, nor professes indulgence in art for art ‘s interest. He is the creative person ‘s withdrawal with a humanistic footing.
Khushwant Singh ‘s angle of vision is besides shaped by his devotedness to human involvement. As for illustration Train to Pakistan shows the unconquerable spirit of adult male in the face of mighty forces of evil and savageness. The fresh implies Khushwant Singh ‘s optimistic and affirmatory positions and his digesting religion in the values of love and humanity. As V.A. Shahane observes Khushwant Singh ‘s pragmatism:
Is non an effort at a book-keeping of being, but an artistic enterprise to exceed the existent, asseverating the self-respect of single stimulations and showing the tragic luster of adult male ‘s forfeit for adult female.
( Khushwant Singh 347 )
It is a inexorable narrative of persons and communities caught in the holocaust of divider of the sub-continent into two provinces India and Pakistan in 1947. Train to Pakistan is a societal, realistic novel. Its societal pragmatism is found in characters scenes and linguistic communication.
As D.Prempati says:
What kind of societal pragmatism does one discovery in Train to Pakistan? The expression which got this novel its good deserved popularity was: A sincere belief in traditional moral and societal criterions of Indian society and a charming narrative skillaˆ¦ . It is, hence, obvious that Train to Pakistan is a documental novel with no claims whatsoever to the artistic technique and excess artistic doctrines of societal pragmatism and naturalism.
( Three Contemporary Novelists 113-114 )
The scene of the first three novels, Train to Pakistan, I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale, Delhi is in the context of some historical model. Khushwant Singh at the same clip plays the function of a author every bit good as historian. They have an intrinsic quality and ability to look beyond his clip. As a novelist he is most antiphonal to the call of equality, freedom and human rights. It is the author Khushwant Singh whose composing make the common people socially, politically and culturally witting. He designed the novels non merely to give penetration into a period of history, but are model ; he illustrates action and are ideal in the sense of attesting the cosmopolitan signifier of human action. Like the other Indian authors, Khushwant Singh responded to these occurrences with a sense of horror. A big figure of novels were written on freedom motion and on the subject of divider. The novelists skilfully records the reign of force and the complete devastation of human values.
Literature is the contemplation of life. Assorted events and experience find representation in books. Not all are good, pleasant or profitable. It is the concern of a author to keep a mirror to life. In making so he may paint some ugly images. Who can label these images ugly and why if he has comprehended literature? There is nil good or bad in literature. The author espies a individual or observes an event and enter his sentiment in a linguistic communication and manner known to him. It all scribes were to subscribes their positions identically, English would be reduced to swerve ‘Arithmetic ‘ .
Khushwant Singh really expeditiously portrays the existent image of the modern-day society and the societal, political and spiritual behavior of the people. As we find in Train to Pakintan, the original images of the small town Mano Majra before and after divider, the love narrative of Nooran and Jugga, the greedy people, decease and force. Khushwant Singh depicts the peaceable co-existence of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh in a multi-religion society. It has merely three brick edifices, one of which is the place of Hindu money loaner Lala Ram Lal. The other two are the Sikh Temple and the Mosque. Their common sharing of the ‘ big pipals tree ‘ is unmistakably the rich common heritage shared by different communities in India. Here life is regulated by the trains which rattle across the close by river span. Lala Ram Lal is murdered by Mali and his pack. Suspicion falls on Juggat Singh, the small town mobster, who is transporting on a clandestine matter with Muslim miss Nooran, A western educated Communist is besides involved. A train comes full of dead Sikhs. Some yearss subsequently the same thing happens once more, and the small town becomes a battleground of conflicting truenesss, and neither magistrate nor constabularies can stem the lifting tide of force.
I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale is appreciated for important portraitures of the Sikh life and traditions in the yearss of pre-Independence India. Buta Singh and Wazir Chand both the magistrates cherish pro-British political orientation. Their boy Sher Singh and Madan are anti British in their attitude. The womenfolk of Buta Singh ‘s household and of wazir chand ‘s household are non bothered about the political life of the state. They are chiefly concerned with the security of household life and comfy life. Sabhrai, married woman of Buta Singh happens to be a really spiritual lady who believes in the holiness of Granth Sahib and the domination of Guru Govind Singh. Champak represents the clandestine matter of the modern-day high society lady. The illicit relationship between Shunno and Peer Sahib is depicted as a antagonistic portion to the personal businesss between ( the upper category ) Madan and Champak. Khushwant Singh tells us that sexual and animal impulses are really common in all categories of society. Mundoo represents the hapless status of child labors in pre-Independence India. Buta Singh ‘s relationship with Taylor speaks about the behavior of British swayers with Indian functionaries.
The fresh Delhi is full of Muslim imposts and rites. The novel is non a coronach Sung over lost imperiums. It is a jubilation of the alone power of a civilization and civilisation, the power to bring forth some of the finer values of life ; the power to guarantee the endurance of these values in the face of a state ; corporate adulteration, and above all, the power to guarantee that when all is lost, an consciousness of loss remains. It is superb in its coarseness and countless immoralities of contrariness. It is besides brilliant in symbolism of the Indian society, its contradiction, balances, caste and spiritual communalism, racial and cultural discord, the spirit of integrity in diverseness.
The trio-Musaddi Lal Kaysatha, Nihal Singh and Jaita Rangreta in their soliloquies make a rational appraisal of societal and political state of affairs and predicament of the people in general. Musaddi Lal in his weakness compares himself with a hijda, ; as is the instance of Bhagmati, a symbol of Delhi, for their built-in qualities to accommodate themselves to any fortunes. The author depicts every sort of sexual brush expeditiously.
The Company of Women is besides based on man-woman relationship. The fresh begins with its hero Mohan Kumar, a successful Delhi ‘s man of affairs, interrupting off with his married woman and his everlasting ‘lusty ‘ attempt to put up more flexible agreement for calming of his physical demands. The novel besides provides in-between category aspirations, the construct of ordered matrimonies in India, which are frequently kindred to concern deals and the desire for disgraceful chitchat of the urban elite. The fresh chronologically presents the adult females with whom the hero beds, including his married woman. Here Singh seems to hold been widening the thought that love and sex know no caste, category and community saloon.
Violence is another cardinal facet in Khushwant Singh ‘s novel. But his concluding purpose is non merely to foreground communal force decease, catastrophe, hatred, and blood feud but besides to demo the way of humanitarianism. Singh ‘s protest against force, bloodshed and hatred is non simply a physical phenomenon but a uninterrupted procedure of human civilisation. In Train to Pakistan the Hindu – Muslim and Sikh – Muslim public violences, decease, force, upset, pandemonium are elaborately depicted non merely at the political degree but besides at the personal degree. At the terminal Khushwant Singh intimations at the ultimate humanitarianism through the love narrative of Nooran and Jugga. Love has great impact in human life and it seems to be the lone resisting human power against all cold evil forces. In the yearss of communal public violences, the human relationship among the Hindus – Sikhs and Muslims determines the human values ; adult male – adult female love relationship has greater power than the other evil forces. No evil force can repress love in regard of clip or society as the author nowadayss in the novel.
In I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale, Khushwant Singh is once more preoccupied by the subject of the antithesis between force and right moral behavior and the impression that the lone redemptional characteristic of a state of affairs which justifies pessimisms, or cynicism of mentality depends on a individual presentation of personal forfeit, honestness and moral consistence. In the fresh Buta Singh and Taylor represent non merely two different communities but besides two different nationalities. At the terminal Mrs. Taylor and Sabhirai transcend all narrow ideas of traditional and spiritual belief. The kernel of humanitarianism is in ‘love ‘ non in hatred and this we find in a micro degree in the novel.
Hindu-Muslim public violences, Sikh Hindu public violences, Jaliwanawala Bagh slaughters and blackwash of Indira Gandhi are expeditiously depicted in the fresh Delhi. The anti-Hindu feeling that has prevailed of all time since the first Muslim encroacher came in is emphasized throughout the novel. The haughtiness of the Islamic leaders, their dreams of uprooting Hinduism and their belief that they are the lone race capable of salving the Hindus comes through a figure of characters like Taimur, Augangzeb, and Nadir Shah.
Sufi idealism is depicted here as the manner of humanitarianism. The Sufi manner of life, its doctrine, is imparted to the readers through saint Nizamuddin in his long discourses with Sultan Ghiasuddin Balban. Bhagmati is a symbol of Delhi and from the beginning to the terminal displays non-communal attitude and has an intrinsic impulse to protect the Sikh storyteller.
Ultimately, Khushwant Singh tries to set up his vision of humanitarianism as an counterpoison against force and communalism. Bing a humanist, he can non assist talking from the point of position of the common adult male. He warns us that we should halt allowing the politicians use faith to take advantage of the sentiment of the multitudes. This lone leads to bloodshed, enormous loss of life and belongings. Singh really aptly analyses the usage of faith by the swayers from the earliest times. He indicates the politicians and holds them responsible for the ailments that plague our society. Alternatively of turn toing the existent issues like economic disparity, the people in power are merely concerned with consolidating their ain places.
He besides makes the readers aware of mountebanks in our society who prey upon unsuspecting people in the pretense of faith. He does this in a really affable, good-natured and humourous mode. He does non seek to ache the sentiments of any peculiar spiritual community in any of his Hagiographas. Neither does he mock at those for whom belief in their peculiar faith is something holy and sacred. Rather, he reveals the positive facet of faith besides in I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale. It is the intense religion of Sabhrai that provides relief to her household and holds it together in the face of crisis. Religion besides provided comfort to the minorities and the down trodden as is seen in the instance of Mussadi Lal and Jaita Rangreta, in Delhi. Down the ages, faith was exploited by consecutive swayers to beef up their ain place. Of these, it was the English who exploited it to the upper limit to further dissentious inclinations. After they left, the national leaders ignored discontent among the multitudes. Over the old ages this dissatisfaction was channeled into communalism, once more by leaders purpose on procuring power for themselves. This led to farther disaffection between the different communities. This is the baleful side of faith, and Singh tries to do one aware of this. Indian history is full with illustrations of faith being used as a tool by swayers to procure additions for themselves. Khushwant Singh has urgently tried to expose this unpalatable fact through all his plants, specially Train to Pakistan and Delhi. He exhorts people to see through the uses of the leaders in the name of faith, and to halt being used as miserable pawns by them. He writes of this so brightly that the reader can non assist being moved.
In India there is an grim nexus between faith and political relations. Khushwant Singh being a journalist and a sociologist of kinds has taken note of this fact.
Khushwant Singh is able to compose so feelingly about faith and political relations because he has been personally involved with the topic. His earliest memories are those of his grandma declaiming transitions from the Granth Sahib and the Sukhmani. Old ages subsequently he was a witness to the horror unleashed by the divider. He was besides a informant to the awful calamity of the anti-Sikh public violences. It is his close association with these topics that has enabled him to compose so affectingly about them. Get downing with Hadali and his grandma, both of whom have been immortalized in his Hagiographas, Singh has written about every topic that has touched him. His friends, household, and his individuality as a Sikh ; all find a topographic point in his fiction. Apart from this, he writes feelingly about the divider and the metropolis of Delhi that has been home to him of all time since he left Lahore. His authorship has been enriched by the significant autobiographical note which is all permeant in his fiction. In fact, two chapters in Delhi, “ The Builders ” and “ The Dispossessed ” have been fashioned through the history of his ain household. There has been a growing in the autobiographical content in Khushwant Singh ‘s plant. This is apparent in Delhi where he is non afraid to talk his personal positions and the inside informations of his life. This reveals the maturing and unconditioned honestness of the author, whereby he is every bit comfy with the squalid, every bit good as the fantastic facets of his life.