17 September 2012

Tamas - The Darkness Prevails

3.92 of 5 stars
Kites shall hover, kites and vultures shall continue to hover for long…

Like the receding tide of the sea, the tide of the riots had subsided, leaving behind all kinds of litter and junk and garbage.

The above two quotes from the book summarise the before and after of the book clearly. Bhisham Sahni a master story teller sketches the darkness of partition through Tamas. This is not one story but multiple entwined stories creating a sequence of events building the partition saga - the Initiation test of Ranvir Singh, capture of Parkasho by Allah Rakha, conversion of Iqbal Singh to Iqbal Ahmed, Shah Nawaz and his sharp kick to Milkhi, Rajo saving Harnam singh and his wife, Jasbir and the women jumping into the well, killing of a pig by Nathu for Murad Ali and the list goes on.

Certain events are an outcome of human emotions, but some are pure hatred and evil. The fear and insecurity amongst people makes the worst come out of them with very low scope for kindness or brotherhood. People in large groups stop thinking as one but follow the loudest. We have heard the power of synergy for good, but the malignancy is also enhanced in a group. The mob mentality has been a recurring theme in all communal riots and racist acts since the beginning of times. Once the group breaks these same people get back to their life, with the acts justified as a group mentality, community service or for a larger cause.

You ask why partition happened, as much as I wonder it only confuses me more.. It probably has lot more than it seems, religion.. history.. politics.. economics.. they all came together into an ugly partition.. You ask who benefited most – the politicians, the landlords, the British .. but it was the common man who suffered.. You ask who suffered more... I don’t know who suffered more.. only the one who suffers can say.. whether it was the Hindus or the Muslims.. Hindus from Pakistan occupied areas to India or Muslims from India occupied areas.. suddenly a line was drawn and they were told you are out of line.. and either you leave now.. or face the consequences..

As per old scriptures Tamas means ‘form of ignorance (avidya)' that lulls the spiritual being away from its true nature’. Such events actually makes me wonder that DEVIL does exist, because God would never let such things happen. It seems like some kind of a mass punishment glorified with blood, murder, screaming, violence, leaving such ugly marks on the history and human mind. This can’t be an act of God.. or maybe there is no ‘One God’.. there are multiple Gods.. my God protects me and the ‘Others God’ wants to kill me.. in that case the‘Others God’ is the Devil.. Ha!! What a joke.. this thing is never ending.. like a vicious circle.. generations after generations are being burnt alive only to figure out – My God, My Religion, My Land.

Whenever the weather became hot and sultry, it was customary among young fellows in the town to fill a pitcher with cow dung and horse urine, and fling it into the entrance of some tight fisted mister of the locality. It was commonly believed that the act would induce a shower.

A few pebbles tied in a rag, along with an image made from kneaded dough and pierced through with wooden needles – A spell intended to transfer misfortunes on to someone else.


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