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Tamas

Tamas

Sahni Bhisham
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‘Tamas drove the point home that ordinary people want to live in peace’ -The GuardianSet in a small-town frontier province in 1947, just before Partition, Tamas tells the story of a sweeper named Nathu who is bribed and deceived by a local Muslim politician to kill a pig, ostensibly for a veterinarian. The following morning, the carcass is discovered on the steps of the mosque and the town, already tension-ridden, erupts. Enraged Muslims massacre scores of Hindus and Sikhs, who, in turn, kill every Muslim they can find. Finally, the area’s British administrators call out the army to prevent further violence. The killings stop but nothing can erase the awful memories from the minds of the survivors, nor will the various communities ever trust one another again. The events described in Tamas are based on true accounts of the riots of 1947 that Sahni was a witness to in RawalpPBI – Indi, and this new and sensitive translation by the author himself resurrects chilling memories of the consequences of communalism which are of immense relevance even today.

Imprint: India Penguin Modern Classics

Published: May/2008

ISBN: 9780143063681

Length : 240 Pages

MRP : ₹399.00

Tamas

Sahni Bhisham

‘Tamas drove the point home that ordinary people want to live in peace’ -The GuardianSet in a small-town frontier province in 1947, just before Partition, Tamas tells the story of a sweeper named Nathu who is bribed and deceived by a local Muslim politician to kill a pig, ostensibly for a veterinarian. The following morning, the carcass is discovered on the steps of the mosque and the town, already tension-ridden, erupts. Enraged Muslims massacre scores of Hindus and Sikhs, who, in turn, kill every Muslim they can find. Finally, the area’s British administrators call out the army to prevent further violence. The killings stop but nothing can erase the awful memories from the minds of the survivors, nor will the various communities ever trust one another again. The events described in Tamas are based on true accounts of the riots of 1947 that Sahni was a witness to in RawalpPBI – Indi, and this new and sensitive translation by the author himself resurrects chilling memories of the consequences of communalism which are of immense relevance even today.

Select Preferred Format

Sahni Bhisham

Bhisham Sahni (1915-2003) was an iconic writer who transformed the landscape of Hindi literature. His oeuvre encompassed novels, plays, short stories and essays. Tamas, his best known novel, won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1975 and was subsequently adapted into a National Award-winning film by Govind Nihalani. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1998, and the Shlaka Award, the Delhi government's highest literary prize, in 1999.

Daisy Rockwell is a renowned artist, writer and translator. She paints under the alias Lapata (Urdu for 'missing') and has shown her artwork widely. She has a PhD in South Asian literature and has written extensively on literature and art. Most recently, she translated Upendranath Ashk's Falling Walls to widespread acclaim.

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Tamas

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