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In Memoriam: The Fallen Air Warriors
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Partition, Jihad & Peace Rs.795.00/-

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The author, Subhash Chopra, has drawn inspiration from the story written by the late writer Sadat Hasan Manto which in a way showed how useless was the chasm that came about by putting Muslims and Hindus asunder. Even more attractive is the account of Chopra’s own visit to his native town in Pakpattan, once on the banks of river Sutlej, where he was greeted as a long-lost son. If there is hope for India and Pakistan coming nearer, as he states like America and Canada, it is from this chapter. The rest is old history recounted by men and women going through ups and downs of at least India wanting to do Pakistan some good . It has not been explained to the people of Pakistan what good it can do them by living in a state of war of whatever means with India. The hope lies only in the hearts melting away in love on both sides of the border.

Yet, even after going through that experience on the banks of the Sutlej, he has sorrowfully and mindlessly gone back to the old story of L. K Advani and Jaswant Singh coming back from Pakistan to recount that Jinnah was a secular leader. To say that of a leader whose policies contributed to uprooting of a million people in the subcontinent is doing grave injustice to the lakhs of dispossessed, orphaned and raped people going to safety on the roof of a train, a sorrowful picture used in this book. .It is only when the hearts of the children of these men and women melt in love that we can think of peace. But when will that happen? We should not let much water to flow down the Sutlej for the people of these two countries to live in peace.
AN Dar, Kasmir Times

"Partition memory is remembrance of brutality past. Brutality born of the animus of division of the Indian sub-continent and the speed with which the division was carried out by the departing British imperial power, still defies imagination," the author comments. And, goes on to say, "It might have been heaven to be alive in that dawn of freedom for most Indians in 1947, but for millions from Punjab and Bengal it was hell in all its different shades. Those uprooted or about to be uprooted from their hearths and homes, could not see the multi-coloured rainbow but a dark cloudy sky with blood red patches."

In the book, the author has recounted with great detail and clarity, the past and present relationship between India and Pakistan , along with historically documented incidents which led to the partition. He also talks of the present state of Pakistan, the terror groups, and how all this affects the secularity of India. "Pakistan has been reluctant to abandon the denial mode about the involvement of its ‘non-state’ or ‘state-less’ operators from its soil ... Persistent stone-walling tactics run the risk of worsening the chances of peace."
Nidhi Mathur, Organiser Weekly, New Delhi

"A seminal book…For nearly 300 pages, Chopra leads a massive assault, marshalling his facts, keeping the heavy weaponry for political history engaged without losing sight of the other relevant aspects of such an account… In bringing six decades of the subcontinent's history into reader's grasp, Subhash Chopra has written one of the best general studies of the subcontinent."
Mahbub Husain Khan, The News Today, Dhaka

"It (Chopra’s book) is particularly critical of Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy, for his rewriting of Prime Minister Attlee’s 3 June 1947 Indian Independence plan and advancing or reducing Britain’s pullout period by nearly 300 days. The Raj or the empire that was built over 200 years was dismantled in a mere 10 weeks from 3 June to 15 August 1947.

The retention of a common Governor-General and a common administration under the departing rulers over a 12-to-15-month interim period, Chopra firmly believes, would have largely prevented the holocaust that the subcontinent went through."
Prakash Nanda, The Statesman, Calcutta

"The writer talks of Pakistani rulers’ “recurrent itch” against India and attributes this to the gross misinterpretation of the two nation theory by the successors of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Had the Quaid-e-Azam lived long enough, writes the author, a veteran journalist, he would not have allowed Pakistan to become a narrow, theocratic Islamist state. So what do we have here? Another book dedicated to Jinnah? No. Chopra gives Jinnah the benefit of doubt as he is passionate about India-Pakistan entente and this reflects in the writing. The author’s inspiration is Sadat Hasan Manto, the great short story writer and author of the Partition classic Toba Tek Singh."
Rakesh Joshi, The Asian Age

"After giving us his potted history (of mistrust and bitterness between India and Pakistan), he (Chopra) goes on to offer hope by pointing out the progress made by Europe through the agency of the European Union. An alliance of former bitter enemies, he rightly describes it, and points out that trade and economic factors were the motive forces which brought Europe’s former enemies together. So can it be for the sub-continent..."
Tom Deegan, Asian Affairs, London

"Given the baggage of the turbulent history of the sub-continent, it (Chopra’s belief in people-to-people relations and peaceful cooperation) must remain a possibility rather than a probability."
The Northern Echo, Darlington

“This book makes us think, this book pushes us to find solutions and while this book reminds us of our gory past, it also tells us what not to do in future. Partition, Jihad and Peace is a very realistic take on the issues at hand and the masterful telling of the tale keeps the whole subject alive, long after the book is put down.”
Subhojit Sanyal, Political and Business Daily, New Delhi

About the book

National relations between countries are often a victim of manipulation of people’s sentiments by the de facto rulers of the countries. None more true than for Pakistan and India. Pakistan for most of its 60-odd years since 1947 has been under ‘one-party’ (military) rule which for its own survival and hegemony over political parties has kept up the anti-India pot boiling in the name of national existence, liberation of Kashmir, Islam and the Ummah (the global nation of Islam).

India has been ruled by successive secular, civilian parties for most of its first 60 years since independence. Paradoxically enough even during the brief six years of the coalition government led by the half-secular Bharatiya Janata Party under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, anti-Pakistani sentiments were at one of their lowest levels. Indeed there was an upsurge of people-to-people bonhomie — 1999 Kargil war and 2002 Gujarat pogrom notwithstanding.

Pakistan’s de facto rulers (Army and its intelligence arm ISI) have for long taken their allies, the USA and Saudi Arabia, for a ride and convinced them that India constitutes a threat to Pakistan’s very existence. Such an existential threat, if ever there was one, had become forever neutralized with Pakistan’s acquisition of the nuclear bomb, courtesy China. Not satisfied with such a powerful guarantee, Pakistani rulers still thought it fit to launch the Kargil war besides numerous aided and abetted attacks like Mumbai 26/11 on India. Clearly the so-called existential threat is a cover for the real objective which is to protect and promote the Army’s power-perch in Pakistan’s polity.

Notwithstanding the twists and turns of history and politics, peace between India and Pakistan is very much achievable.

Author: Subhash Chopra
ISBN: 9781935501176
Pages: 276
Features: Black/White Photos & Maps
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 18 November, 2009.
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