Thursday, 13 December 2012


A village of  Punjab  (Pakistan) situated in  tehsil Kallar Syedan is  identified as dera khalsa. The name was given by the  administration of Sub continent of this region during 18th century on demand of Sikh  community. This name is still used to refer this village. Presently entire population of this village is Muslims, having strong religious believes and 95% of existing families are migrated from Jammu in 1947.   

History of dera khalsa

 This is a historical village and during Sikh,s rule on Punjab in the 18th Century it was a kind of religious center of Sikhism. In 1855 this  village was  entirely a Sikh village and  in the later days of the Sikh rule in the Punjab, this village was the head quarter of  Sikh Sardars. There was a Sikh Dhara-mshala where all strangers and preachers could come and stay and enlighten the village people who gather every morning and evening to listen to the holy chanting of the Great Gurus’ hymns of Sikh religion. In the early fifties and sixties of the eighteenth century, the dominant personality of this village were  sons of the Malik Sardar family. Even after termination of Sikh rule in Punjab, members of this family remain prominent personalities of this village till 1930.
This village was attacked by an epidemic disease Plague in 1906 and turned  many lives in to dead , almost all the survivor  left this village and scattered at great distances all over the country to save their lives.  

 The saint Attar Singh a famous Sikh preacher visited Dera Khalsa in early 20th century for propagation of Guru message. Saint Attar Singh who almost remained away from his family during his religious activities, Dera Khalsa is a place where Matta ji (Bholi Ji) mother of saint Attar Singh met him after a long time. When Attar Singh met her mother he bowed his head and humorously asked ,,mother am i engaged in some bad work? Matta Ji replied innocently, No my dear son, You are doing a very good work.
Professor Puran Singh was a famous Sikh poet and scientist of Sub continent in early 20th Century. He was born  at  Salhad, Abbottabad on 17th  February 1881 when his father Kartar Singh was posted there during his service in revenue department. Puran Singh belonged to  an Ahluwalia Khatri family of Dera Khalsa therefore, his ancestral home was in the village of dera khalsa. He had considerable achievements in the field of poetry and science. He died on 31st  March 1931.
An other Sikh leader Master Tara Singh and Bhai Guru Singh administered Amrit(religious oath) by Santiji at Dera Khalsa. Tara Singh was also a famous leader of Sikhs during 1947. He is remembered for two things one steering Sikhs towards opting for India in 1947 and second to campaign for the state of punjab in independent India.Tara Sing vigorously campaigned against demand of Pakistan. Tara Sing during his middle education at Rawalpindi, whenever he came home (Harial Rawalpindi) on some holidays he along with several others went to have darshan of Attar Sing at Dera Khalsa. During the violence in 1947 the Sikhs opted for India and left Dera Khalsa on 08 March 1947. This was the last day of Sikhs at Dera Khalsa.  

A view of dera khalsa and surrounding areas during 1860 to 1930  (History In the words of Malik Jay Singh of Dera Khalsa)

Dera Khalsa  is a tiny village of about one hundred mud-houses mostly belonging to the Sikh  farmers and petty traders, the mud houses providing an open terrace on their roofs when a few houses fall in groups on both sides of the narrow lane running through the whole village. Dera Khalsa has no roads about it for miles but for those that the feet of the inhabitants, or the hoof of the cows and horses and mules and similar other natural influences. Such as the flow of rain water etc had made for them and from my infancy upward to my old age, the village has not changed; it is the same old Dera Khalsa. The mud walls of these houses absorb in an extra-ordinary manner the orders of ripe corn, and maize and wheat which are stored-in air-tight mud-walled vertical chambers with a circular aperture at the bottom hung up with a tight stop-cock made my putting together a lot of rags. It seems these walls serve as great purifiers of the inner air by diffusing gases through their porous surfaces. And there are other advantages such as the protection afforded to the dwellers from the extremes of summer and winter temperatures.
There is a small hillock at the back of the village which is called Mahal or the Palace, possibly the ruin-heaps of some former palace, where the cow-herd boys find, now and then, the old coins. So far Indian archaeological department has neglected it, apparently for want of funds. To find old treasures one has to spend new treasures and this business too like all other business has its own risks. In short, the Mahal is, to the simple village people, Just a hill; and it is a beloved hill, for when the villagers go out to the cities of Jhelum and  Rawalpindi; on their return, it is at the sight of the Mahal, from a distance of about three miles that they cry with joy, there is their beloved village, the Dera Khalsa. The expectant brides get on the top and shading their eyes with their right hand, they stain them to recognize the riders that are seen far in the distant horizon coming towards the village. Standing on the top of the Mahal, now thickly overgrown with dwarfed acacias, one has the magnificent sight of a water tank on its left, a hollow basin about four furlongs long and about one furlong wide in which collects water in the rainy season, and the tankful lasts the village for a whole year for general purposes such as washing clothes, bathing themselves and their cattle and teaching their children the art of swimming etc. On the edge of this tank, there is a grove of huge Bunyan trees whose shades cover the whole length and breath of the tank, in whose-rippling surface, the red Bunyan berries and green leaves fall and float for a while, then sink to the bottom. These shades provide a king of pleasant summer resort for the villagers, for under these Bunyan’s, there blows, for most of the year, a cool breeze touched by which they enjoy their midday siesta. In addition to this magnificent luxury of almost having the  temperatures of an Indian hill station without the latter’s cost, the good deep wells of drinking water, there being on each a magnificent pipal  tree standing as a guardian angel of the water below. One well is quite close to the village and the other, the old one about J” alf a mile away toward the hillside on an elevation, and it is reported that the water of the latter old well has many curative properties to take advantage of which Dera Khalsa, many a time, has the honour to entertain guests from far and near who come for water treatment for their different ailments. And towards the Southern extremity of the village which is situated on a kind of slope, flows the Kas a little streamlet which in Sawan becomes full and turbulent, but throughout the year, it flows in its own volume of wate that irrigates much of the land of dera khalsa the lies about it. The villagers dig temporary wells near this streamlet and irrigate their land by lifting water by means of a lever consisting of a long pole at one end of which is fastened a bucket with string and at the other end a heavy weight, The pole is drawn downward from its resting position by hand and the bucket allowed to fall into water, and as it gets filled, it is lifted up automatically by the excess of weight attached on the other end of the pole, when released by lifting off the pressure of the hand. And at two prominent places there are irrigation wells in which are fitted up the Persian wheels for lifting water. And around the cracking sing –song music of the Persian wheels drawn by a pair of bullocks, the people assemble for eating radish and carrots by washing them in the water falling from the red clay water-pots fastened to the wheel that goes down empty and comes up filled with water worked by a crude wooden rack and pinion arrangement. At about two miles down  the course of this little streamlet, the people of Dera Khalsa have a great waterfall, this very streamlet falling down a high rock making a very beautiful deep-blue lake of water below in which there is a good deal of fishing. On the Hindu New Year's day  and for the Baisakhi  and other festive occasions, all those surrounding the water, gather at this lake and around the waterfall, called Kumbikyali. And there is all fun of a big fair, where they have sports, cock-fights and quail fights and a little betting on the latter.
 Thus the village of Dera Khalsa is country in itself, having many advantages of natural aspects all so inviting, made still further beautiful by irrigation wells having around them kitchen and fruit gardens which provide an oasis to the eye in an otherwise rugged country, torn by ravines and having the appearance of a piece of cheese nibbled by rats.
The deep cool shades of Dera Khalsa Bunyan’s and pipals in summer and curative water of its wells and a little fishing place at the lake and waterfall of Kumbikyali gibe Dera Khalsa a distinction of Pothohar, the ravine torn country between the pass of Margalla towards Peshawar side and the River Jhelum on the Lahore side. The people of this side of Margalla pass are mostly small land holders who till their own soil and labour hard on the field and they live in comparative ease.
The modern knowledge has not till today penetrated to Dera Khalsa, otherwise it would be a very simple thing for these enterprise-ing  people to harness the Kumbhikyali waterfall and get electricity to light their mud housed and run a little flour mill, for they have still to go a long way to get their wheat milled into flour. The elements of electrical engineering ought to be in this age a matter of common country knowledge, but our alien government is too busy with devicing methods to keep the people down and their ammunition of intellect is exhausted in trying to preserve in hypnotic atmosphere of Anglo-Saxon superiority under which the people may just pass their days; they should neither die nor live, just exist. Otherwise Dera Khalsa could have electric light and fan.
As regard their oil mills, they have their wooden presses and the oil men, and in that respect the village is quite self contained. They have their own blacksmith, carpenter, shoemaker and all. On the whole, the people, so far, have been quite well off and comparatively happy and lucky, as they have enough strength to oppose the usual official tyranny with a visible effect and the official world just passes by Dera Khalsa  doing its routine work causing not much vexation to the people.


(1)   History of sikh,s in punjab
(2)   History of sikh,s in pothohar 
(3)   Professor Puran singh,s books 

Sunday, 2 October 2011

History of Muslim-Sikh,s in Punjab

1. Relations at Rawalpindi and other areas  of Punjab

 The Muslims and Sikhs enjoyed harmonious relationship throughout the rural Punjab. They had been living for centuries door to door as good friends though they had an antagonistic historical past more deep-rooted than the Hindu-Muslim enmity. Hindu and the Muslim heroes had different regions and times while the Muslim rulers and the Sikh heroes were contemporary and in the same land. Therefore, we see a direct clash between the Muslim rulers and the Sikh religious personalities. Both the communities sought the way to live together and ostensibly they were living with the Muslims on the basis of social inter-action and interdependence. The other factors may be summarized as:

    * Saints and legacy of their teachings
    * Conversions within caste
    * Communitarian dominance
    * Feudal structure of the rural society based on economic prosperity
    * Poverty
    * Punchayat system/ village administrative system
    * Absence of political and publishing activities
    * Fear of Revenge as a mode of deterrence
    * Pure nature of friendship/brotherhood
    * Folklore

Punjab is blessed with the saints who are still esteemed by all the communities. Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims equally respect the saints like Bulleh Shah, Baba Farid Ganj-i-Shakar, Hazrat Mian Meer, Guru Nanak Dev, Shah Husain etc. The Muslim saints had much regards among all the communities who had got huge conversions to Islam and you know the issue of conversion put the Punjabi communities into an unremitting fight during the Mughal era but even then the respectable position of the Muslim saints had never been questioned in the Punjabi society. Their message of love and humanity won over the people who continued this harmony in the coming period.
The Muslims and Sikhs used to enjoy the folk stories of Heer Ranjha, Sassi Punu, Sohni Mahinwal, Mirza Sahiban, etc, sitting together sometimes for whole night. Every village had one place of sitting where all the interested people gathered and had pranks for whole night. The non-Muslims mostly joined the Muslims on the Moharram processions and other occasions like marriage or death ceremony.
The folklore of the Punjab contributed a lot to the harmonious relations between the Muslims and the Sikhs. Mahya, Tappa, Bolian, waran, jugni, Chhalla and other folk songs were owned by both and on any cultural event all the Punjabis enjoyed these folk songs together and with equal fervent.
The conversions within caste mainly the Jatts proved blessing. The Jat Muslims were sympathetic towards the Jat Sikhs who were the relatives by blood. They had changed their religions but still were brothers. It shows that the land of five rivers originally had been a liberal society and we see no persecutions or clash at the time of conversions. The cultural traditions overrode the religion in some areas of life. For example, there is no caste system in Islam and Sikhism and both believe that all human beings are equal irrespective of caste, status or colour. But both could not get rid of the traditional culture and no Jat liked (even today) to marry his daughter with a kami. The Muslim and Sikh Jatts had deep adherence to their religions but naturally were influenced more by the culture than the religions.  

The position of the Muslims and Sikhs varied in the two parts of the Punjab . The eastern areas were non-Muslim dominated while the western were the Muslim majority areas. In the eastern part, most of the Muslims were poor and if someone had a chunk of land even then he was not effective in the areas as the Western Muslim landlords were. They were psychologically under stress because by adopting the pure religious ways of life, they could be aloof from the mainstream of the social life. On the other hand, the Sikhs in the Muslim dominated areas had a fertile land in the canal colonies and were living with a sound status. They were in business, trade and the services as well. They were not Kamis here in the western parts so they had more sound position as compared to the eastern Punjabi Muslims. Anyhow, the Sikhs had been kind enough to the Muslim Kamis and the poor villagers irrespective of their religious affiliation. The financial dependence or support sometimes bound them to support the political party which the landlords liked. For example, Odham Singh of Kakkar Gill (Sheikhupura) was a pious man who used to help the Muslims and Hindus. All the communities living in his village loved him but even then all the Sikhs and the Hindus were staunch supporters of the Indian National Congress under the influence of an active Congress member Amar Singh. The Muslims impressed by the individual benign personality of Odham Singh mostly voiced for the Congress. Sidhu Sikhs of the Kundal village in Tehsil Abohar (district Ferozepore) had the same position.
The socio-economic interdependence further encouraged tolerance. Being in the same streets, mandis, fields, cultural functions and other economic activities both were bound to the mutual interests. The Chaudhri and Sardar of the villages used to help their poor village fellows irrespective of their religious affiliation. Baba Jewna recalls that Odham Singh being a wealthy zamindar of the area, used to protect honour of all the Hindu and Muslim communities of his village. For these qualities, he was called “Bapu,” by the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.  He had pledge to bear all expenditure of the marriage party called Barat of the poor families because he owned all the girls of the village as his real daughters. Sometimes he paid the land revenue of the poor cultivators whenever they were unable to pay the same. During the month of Ramazan (the Islamic month in which the Muslims observe fasts) he arranged Sehri and Iftari for the people who were not stable financially. He regularly attended the Eid address and appreciated the good points. According to Niamat Ali from Sikhan Kanwan Wali (Kartarpura), the Sikhs of that village were mostly Jatts and Nihangs. They were encamped into two rival groups. The Sikh Chaudhris always rendered their financial and moral support to the Muslims whenever they needed particularly on the occasion of the marriages of their sons or daughters.
The political identity and constitutional rights hit the traditional arrangements particularly in the urban areas and they observed disputes on the religious festivals but the rural areas had an ideal and peaceful life. The tradition of revenge and blood feuds of the rural Punjab kept them away from the communal violence that acted as a kind of deterrence. There was also mutual forbearance which limited conflict. Minorities tended to defer to majority community wishes in the rural setting. Unlike in the towns, conflicts over such things as music before mosques or cow slaughter were not pushed so far as to disturb the rural economic interdependence.
The Panchayat composed of the eminent persons of all the communities of a village moreover had a full and an independent decision-making authority. During the British rule, all the prominent families were declared as zaildars and numbardar/lambardars which were given administrative and judicial powers. People were satisfied as their own people were making decisions and there was no involvement of the police and courts. Any dispute between the Muslims and the Sikhs was confined to the village and due to the non-availability of publishing activities the dispute was never supposed to travel to the other cities, villages and political parties. Chaudhri Khadim Hussain Chahal recalled that once the Muslim youth humiliated the Granthi on the way which infuriated the non-Muslims but the Punchayat resolved the issue and placated the non-Muslims within an hour. Such folly was never to be quoted and repeated in future. This shows the integrity and morale of the Panchayat, the implementation of its decision and its respect among the villagers.
The tradition of ‘exchange of turbans’ was a symbol of brotherhood or friendship. Pagg (turban) was a sign of honour for all Punjabis and could end enmity even after some bloody fight. If two men of any castes or religions had exchanged their paggs (turbans) then their relationship would become stronger than the blood relations. Each could sacrifice property and even life for each. This tradition also played an important role in securing the peace of the rural Punjab .  The communitarian dominance under the religious values affected the minority life characteristics in the Punjab . The Sikhs women used to observe pardah strictly. The communitarian dominance conspicuously maintained the writ or authority of one community. The weak could not challenge the powerful. Furthermore, poverty kept the rural Punjabis engaged in the earning activities. Prosperity moves people to invest money, energies and time to the pursuits like political and civil society organizations while poverty does not let the people think above their daily needs. Therefore, the poverty kept the people busy in their own problems.

2.  Conflict between Muslims and Sikhs
Under the natural arrangements, the position of the Muslims was hit severely because the Hindus and the Sikhs were sound financially. Religiously and socially they were much close to each other. They had no deep-rooted differences in social life as they could inter-dine, inter-marry, etc. while the Muslims were financially weak and isolated in the mainstream of life. This reality marked division of the society into two rival camps on the basis of the religious adherence.
The religion kept the two communities distinctive always far away from each other throughout the history. The concept of halal-haram, antagonistic memories, issue of Jhatka, Azan, route of religious processions, music before mosques, etc. moved them ultimately to the bitter past. The Sikhs never allowed the Muslims to touch their pots because, to them, this touch would make them religiously impure (Bhitt jana). Comrade Bishan Singh smiled and said “sometimes the Muslim class fellows deliberately touched our lunch in the school just to eat the better lunch and we had to be hungry for whole day.” Although such issues mainly hit the urban areas but the issue of Shahidganj and the Muslim demand for a separate state on the basis of religion attracted the rural masses gradually through the political conferences organized by the Shiromani Akali Dal and the all-India Muslim League which consequently influenced the rural Punjab as well.
The year 1947 brought bloody riots and the migrations started. Some Muslims and Sikhs helped the migrants while some condemned the Sikhs and mourned about what they lost during the bloodletting moves while crossing the rival community areas. None of the people (who were interviewed) called it ‘partition’ rather dangey or lutmaar. The accounts reveal the Muslims and Sikhs who were linked by the blood relationship, friendship, agricultural or business partnership, etc. did help each other and felt pains on the departure of their fellows. Mostly they requested the people of the rival community not to leave them and the village. The accounts also disclose that the people from humble background, non-Indian castes and Kamis were mainly involved in the killing and plundering. They intimidated the rivals so that they would provide them an opportunity to take away their precious belongings. Professor Khizar Virk told that they sent their Kammi to Sardar Mangal Singh Virk, head of their Sikh relatives to come to their village but they fled away to the Indian the same night. It was revealed latter when both met in the Atchison , Lahore that the Kammi said to Sardar Mangal Singh, “their Virk relatives have sent to him to give the Sikh Virks two options, accept Islam or get ready to be massacred.” Mangal Singh said that they could expect such treatment from them but under the violent wave we thought it truth and fled away.” The brutality by the non-martial castes inflicted upon the Sikhs and Muslims cannot be overlooked. The accounts sometimes show that the Muslim and Sikh hooligans attacked the women under the sexual lust. A Sikh in a village of Kasur said to the Muslim friends weeping loudly, “O brothers…. I allow my daughters to become Muslims….. For God sake, marry with my daughters…… I listen that the Muslim hooligans are raping girls…. My gherat does not allow me to move with my daughters….” Same stories are quoted by the Muslim migrants on the other hands. The Muslims most of the time don’t disclose what actually happened with their sisters and daughters so that these painful stories may not be repeated and quoted by the other people. The factors caused bloodshed can be summarized as the violent statements of the political leaders through press and the conferences, clashes between Muslims and Sikhs on the religious issues, material rapacity, exaggerated stories or rumours by the peoples and killing under the hostage theory. By the hostage theory, after listening stories of killing of the co-religionists, the rivals started killing the rivals in their areas who were not directly responsible of the killing. Many times, even friends in the rival communities became victim under this situation. A Muslim of an Arab caste from Hadyara Burky in the Lahore district told that the Sikh friends felt pain on their departure and escorted their families but when they found dead bodies of the Muslim women, children and youth on the way, the young men of the caravan decided to take revenge. When their parents came to know about their intentions they resisted but in the night dark, they went back to the same village and killed many people.
The Muslims helped the Sikhs and Hindus during the difficult time mostly by the Jat Muslims because they had been relatives. They did not like the decision of the partition but were unable to change the decision. They tried to facilitate the departing friends thinking it their moral duty. Ch. Akbar Ali Chahal from Kanganpur (district Kasur) himself escorted a poor Hindu family up to the river Satluj who in return helped many Muslims in crossing the river. When the Muslims tried to offer some money etc. to the mahtam, he refused flatly and requested them to convey his regards to Chaudhri Akbar Ali. By this, he wanted to convey a message of love and compensation. It was another picture of the partition.
The poor migrants faced mostly physical loss while the rich families lost property and the social status. The partition brought a major shift in restructuring the social status of the families in both the Punjabis. An interesting discussion I had with Sardar Ajmer Singh Sidhu and Narvair Singh. Narvair Singh expressed his feelings that MA Jinnah, Nehru and Gandhi, all were non-Punjabi, no pain they could feel on the bloodshed of the Punjabis? This statement indicates towards a major problem of leadership crisis of the region. The leadership crisis historically hit the Punjab society. The region had been victim of the incessant foreign rule which should have motivated the locals to launch a movement or leadership to awake the locals up for protest but under the peculiar situation as mentioned above none could unite the communities on the Punjab question. Consequently, no leadership parallel to Quaid-i-Azam, Nehru and Gandhi the Punjab could produce. The Punjabi leadership during the freedom movement seemed dependent on the central commands which proved catastrophic to the Punjab . The Punjab Muslim League and the Shiromani Akali Dal could not take an independent course in the crucial phase of the Indian politics.

3. Situation of Rawalpindi and other areas during Partition 1947 Non Muslim,s  perspective
Doctor Kirpal Singh in his biography  has described the situation of partition 1947.
          The trouble for the non-Muslims in general, and for the women in particular, started in March, 1947. Whatever may be the causes of the Rawalpindi and Multan riots, it is admitted that these were of terrific nature Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, after visiting district Rawalpindi reported to the British Government in England, "The whole of the Hindu-Sikh part is an absolute wreck, as though it

Saturday, 1 October 2011

True History of Partition 1947

  1. Sacrifices of Jammu Muslims during partition
  2. Out break of violence
  3. Launch of terror on Jammu Muslims
  4. Massacres on Jammu Muslims 
  5. Number of Jammu Kashmir refugees setteled in Punjab 
  6. Refrences 


1. Sacrifices of  Muslims during partition of Sub   continent in 1947

The inter-religious violence that occurred in Jammu and Kashmir against the backdrop of the 1947 Partition of India and its aftermaths included a possible ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Jammu’s Muslims. One million Kashmiri Muslim refugees were uprooted and an estimated 2,500,00 to 300,000 were massacred in the Jammu region alone in August-October 1947. Violence was directed in the main by the Dogra Hindu state troopers aimed at driving them out from fear of death. Despite the grwoing concerns of the ‘new history’ of Partition, until recently it has been dominated by the Punjab experience of violence and mass migration. This has been to the detriment of other regions such as Jammu which experienced a similar pattern of disruption, one that was equally profound. It reflects on the circumstances which led to the mass killings and the empting of Jammu’s Muslims in the region at the Partition of Indian subcontinent. It draws on original sources to explain the scope, motivation and purpose of the localized acts of violence.

         The outbreak of event was West Punjab communal disturbances from March 1947 onwards to the subsequent development of Jammu violence in August- October that year. The Muslims of Jammu were geographically economically and ethnically linked with the West Punjab’s cities and towns and this proximity proved significant as it enabled displaced persons to flow easily into and out of Jammu province. By the end of 1947, over 300,000 Kashmiri refugees had arrived in Gujranwala and Sialkot.

2. Outbreak of violence
         The March 1947 violence in the Punjab followed on from growing tensions that had accompanied the previous year’s provincial elections. On the second March 1947, the ‘precipitating event’ for the outbreak of widespread violence in the Punjab was the fall of the Khizr Hayat Tiwana coalition Unionist government which was formed without the Muslim League’s participation were accompanied by mass agitation that turned violent the leading cities of Punjab. The disturbances began in Lahore but spread rapidly Rawalpindi, Attock and Multan.
          The worst violence occurred in Rawalpindi division where serious rioting began during the first week of March. The raiders, some of whom were from the North West Frontier Province, but also included local Punjabis not only burned and looted many non-Muslim villages in the region but also looted and gutted ‘Murree hill stations’ which were used by British troops during the hot weather.
         A particular facture of the March violence was ‘the genocidal aspect’ of violence. There was a general agreement that these attacks on Hindus and Sikhs were ‘carefully planned and carried out’ and reportedly led by some retired Muslim army officers.
         According to an official estimate, by mid-March more than five thousand Hindus and Sikhs were killed in these raids, and more than fifty thousand took shelter in the hurriedly established camps of Wah Attock and Kala Rawalpindi. The gravity of growing tension can be gauged by a fact that the special armoured trucks and tanks were sent to Rawalpindi and Attock to defuse the situation. In the aftermath of the Rawalpindi killings, Hindus and Sikhs of the Punjab demanded the division of the province along with the division of India.
In such a climate of fear and uncertainty, by April 1947, non-Muslims from the violence in the Rawalpindi division were arriving in other parts of the Punjab and the Kashmir region, expecting to return after the violence ceased. With in a week of the killings, ‘a large flock’ of the Hindus and Sikhs from Rawalpindi division started migrating to neighboring Kashmir region.

3. Launch of Terror on Jammu Muslims
            The embittered Sikh and Hindu refugees’ tales of violence raised animosities wherever they settled. They planned revenge and produced and circulated wildly inflammatory pamphlets and brochures. Their horrified tales of the Muslim perpetration circulated widespread and served as an occasion to launch a reign of terror on the Jammu Muslim population. Shortly flight and violence went hand in hand. Violence Jammu was increasingly locked into an all-India pattern, as killings in one part of the country were justified as retribution for violence in another part. Jammu’s Muslims were to pay a heavy price in September-October 1947 for the early disturbances in the West Punjab.
         At the time also the Dogra Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh’s own preference was that the State should remain independent or accede to India, knowing that majority of the State’s populace was inclined to link its future with Pakistan. In order to maintain his stranglehold, the Maharaja had initiated systematic tyrannical campaign against the ‘dissenters’ as early as the outset of May.
       By the mid-August, the state administration had not only demobilised a large number of Muslim soldiers serving in the state army but also the Muslim police officers, whose loyalty was suspected, had also been sent home. The State’s Muslim majority contagious to the Punjab, particularly in Poonch, started organizing resistance forces in the border districts, There were regular reports of ‘persecutions’ and ‘mass murders of Muslims in Poonch’.
           The violence sparked off an exodus and Muslim refugees flowed in the opposite direction. A large number of Kashmiri Muslim families from Poonch started pouring into the border districts of Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Gujrat and Sialkot.
        The refugees related harrowing tales of massacres by the state Dogra troopers. This image of Kashmir inflamed the Punjabi Muslims and, in particular stirred up the movement of tribes of North-West Frontier Province.
          The Muslim Pukhtoon tribes of North-West Frontier Province stirred up the movement . The raiders who numbered about 20,000 crossed the border and smuggled arms into Kashmir. They, along with the Muslim army deserters from the state forces and retired army men, came to help rouse the peasantry of Poonch. Indeed around 60,000 Poonchis and other ‘hill men’ had served in the British Indian Army during the Second World War. There were also rumours of the Pakistan Army’s assisting to the ‘Provisional Government’ of North Frontier Province in such raids. Their activities grew into a full-scale revolt against the Dogra rule and culminated in the form of the ‘liberation’ of an area in western Jammu and Kashmir and proclaimed the independent ‘Azad’ Kashmir on 24 October 1947. On 26 October the Maharaja fled from Srinagar to Jammu as the threat of ‘liberation’ armed activists poised to capture the city. In the backdrop of the revolt, the ‘hill men’ (raiders) besieged Kotli for nearly a month and Poonch for half month, killing many non-Muslims ruthlessly. They particularly made ‘a practice of killing the leading banias (shopkeepers) and then inviting local villagers to join in looting their property’. They also specifically targeted the state officials to drive them out of the areas. Krishna Metha provides a rambling account of her days in and around Muzaffarabad at the time of tribes’ raids in the Kashmir province. She writes her husband was escorted by the tribesmen who ‘drew their guns at him and shouted, You kafir, [infidel] go on your knees and prostrate before us, we represent Pakistan. He stood motionless. Tell us if you are a Hindu or a Mussalman? they demanded. When he said he was a Hindu, they all fired at him one after the other’.
           In less then two months, a large stream of Hindus and Sikhs was forced to migrate to the ‘other’ part of Kashmir. Many thousands took refuge in the state garrisons which had not received food from outside since the attacks began. Because of the difficult terrain, worse than in the North-West Frontier- and the poor conditions of the roads, the movement of refugees was very slow. Many who strangled in the mountains were killed and fortune ones took shelter in the army state run Yol Camp, where they had to wait years for their departure to India. The last batch of 900 Hindu and Sikh Kashmiri refugees and over 250 former employees of the Dogra state administration, were ‘repatriated’ to Amritsar in January 1951.     A survivor Sardar Inderjit Singh recalls of his family’s migration from Kashmir to Amritsar: ‘Father had put me on his shoulders while crossing the river. He dropped me, saying now you run up the mountain and I will come after you. There was gun fire…my father could not be found’

4. Massacres on Jammu Muslims     

The situation was much the same in Jammu. The danger for Muslims multiplied ‘every hour’ as hordes of Hindu and Sikh refugees started pouring into Jammu from areas that were going to become Pakistan. In April, the first trickle of refugees had already arrived in Jammu followed the March 1947 violence in Punjab Rawalpindi, Attock, Murree, Bannu and Hazara. The daily flood peaked in late 1947 when an estimated 160,000 population of Hindus and Sikhs migrated from the western districts of Pakistan. By that time, majority of the non-Muslim population of Sialkot had fled to Jammu during the partition-related disturbances. Sialkot and Jammu were nothing less than twin cities. The north-eastern part of Sialkot was principally inhabited by the Dogras inhabitants. They were closely linked culturally and linguistically with the Hindu Dogras of Gurdaspur on the one side and Jammu on the other. As the Punjab boundary award was announced and the disturbances worsened, about 100,000 Hindu and Sikh refugees from Sialkot migrated to Jammu.
         In Jammu city alone, by mid- September, they numbered 65,000. Their arrival brought the communal tension to ‘the breaking point’. They carried with them harrowing stories of Muslim atrocity, which were retold in the press and given official sanction by the state media. For example, a Jammu based Hindu paper boasted that ‘a Dogra can kill at least two hundred Muslims’ which illustrated the communal level to which the media and parties had sunk. This further intensified the Muslim killings and exodus. Almost immediately, the disgruntled Dogra refugees backed by their relatives from Jammu started a general clearing of the Muslim population. They were provided arms and ammunition by the state officials. Sikh deserters of the Sialkot Unit, who migrated in Jammu and also had taken away with themselves rifles and ammunition now utilised them.
          The daily Telegraph of London journalist reported on 12 January 1948: ‘Yet another element in the situation is provided by Sikh refugees from the West Punjab who have sized Muslim lands in Jammu… they originated the massacres there last October to clear for themselves new Sikh territory to compensate for their losses in Pakistan and to provide part of the nucleus of a future Sikhistan’.
          To make an explicit assessment of Jammu’s Muslim massacre by the State-sponsored bid to change demographics in 1947, it is necessary to look at the composition of the population in the region at time. According to the Census of 1941, the eastern half the Jammu province, cutting across small strip of Punjab plain was inhabited by 619,000 non-Muslims, including 10,000 Sikhs and 305,000 martial Dogras Rajputs and Brahmins, and 411,000 Muslims. Forming 40 per cent of the population of this whole area, to the north and astride the Chenab Muslims were in a majority in the Riasi, Ramban, and Kishtwar areas and nearly attained parity in Bhadrawah. Within the province, the position of the majority of Muslims and Hindus in part explains their differing aspirations for the future of the state. At the same time, it contained elements of segmented and precarious society, theorized by Leo Kuper, which were likely to explode into ‘genocidal violence’ during a crisis.
          It is important to point out here that the Muslim population of Jammu province largely consisted of the Punjabi speaking. The Muslims of western Jammu had well-established geographic, historic, economic ethnic and cultural connections with the West Punjab’s cities and towns. They had strongly favoured joining Pakistan. Unlike the Kashmiri speaking Muslims of the Valley supported the secular leadership of Sheikh Abdullah. Within Jammu province, the location of the majority of Muslims and Hindus partially explains their differing aspirations for Jammu and Kashmir. Overall, the Dogra Hindus formed a narrow minority in Jammu province, though they formed a majority in its eastern districts such as Udhampur, Kathua and the Chenani Jagir. Seventy-five per cent of Jammu’s Hindus lived in these four districts which were contiguous to Hindu-majority districts of Punjab such as Gurdaspur, which was incorporated into India in 1947. The majority of Muslims in Jammu province lived in the western districts of Mirpur, Reasi and Poonch Jagir and they were contiguous to the towns and cities of the Punjab. Their proximity to Punjab proved significant as they enabled refugees to flow approachably into and out of Jammu province at partition. Communal division was much stronger in these areas. Both the RSS and Jammu Muslim Conference of Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas dominated here. Almost all the communal violence took place in Jammu province. Hundred of thousands were killed and fled to the border cities of Sialkot, Gujrat and Jhelum. The level of destruction was worst in Jammu city where Muslims were in minority. Their concentration was in Ustad da Mohalla, Pthanan da Mohalla and Khalka Mohalla. The latter was much larger than the other two combined. These Muslim localities presented a picture of destruction by mid-September 1947. Hundreds of Gujars were massacred in mohalla Ram Nagar. Village Raipur, within Jammu cantonment area was burnt down. The killings and dispersal of the Muslims from Jammu city were a clear example of the ethnic cleansing of a locality. By mid September, Jammu city’s Muslim population was halved.
             By late November, hundred of thousands Kashmiri refugees had arrived in the border towns of Sialkot, Gujrat and Jhelum. The Dogra state troops were at the forefront of attacks on Muslims. The state authorities were also reported to be issuing arms not only to local volunteer organizations such as RSS, but to those in surrounding East Punjab districts such as Gurdaspur. G. K. Reddy, a Hindu editor of the Kashmir Times said in a statement, ‘I saw the armed mob with the complicity of Dogra troops was killing the Muslims ruthlessly. The state officials were openly giving out weapons to the mob’. The state administration had not only demobilised a large number of Muslim soldiers serving in the state army, but Muslim police officers, whose loyalty was suspected, had also been sent home. In Jammu city, the Muslim military were disarmed and the Jammu cantonment Brigadier Khoda Box replaced by a Hindu Dogra officer. There were also reports that the Maharaja of Patiala was not only supplying weapons, but also a Sikh Brigade of Patiala State troops were also operating in Jammu and Kashmir. The state authorities intended to create a Hindu majority in the Jammu region. The Dogra troopers ejected the entire population of Muslims of Dulat Chak on 28 November, claiming it was a part of the state. The troops of a Sikh Brigade raided the bordering villages and forced the Muslims there to evacuate and go beyond the old Ujh river bed.
          The daily Times of London reported the events in Jammu with such a front page headings: ‘Elimination of Muslims from Jammu’ and pointed out that the Maharaja Hari Singh was ‘in person commanding all the forces’ which were ethnically cleansing the Muslims.
        After the closure of Sialkot-Jammu railway line, the Muslims started concentrating in a camp from isolated pockets to the large enclaves within the Jammu Police Lines. They sought assistance from the Pakistan government to take immediate steps to ensure their safety.
         In the first week of November, the Pakistan government despatched many buses to Jammu city to transport the refugees into Sialkot. When the convoy arrived at Jammu-Sialkot road, Dogra troopers, RSS men and many armed.
        Sikhs attacked the caravan and killed most of the passengers and abducted their women. The fortunate ones managed to escape to reach Sialkot. According to a statement of a well-educated Muslim refugee who had fled from Jammu to Sialkot, ‘Thirty lorries carrying Muslim evacuees out of Kashmir State were attacked by Dogra troops at Satwari in Jammu. Most of the male members were massacred, while the women abducted. He concluded that the official proclaimed there that ‘there was no place for Muslims in Kashmir State and that they should all clear out’

The Hindu Dogra Princely State’s main aim was to change the demographic composition of the region by compelling the Muslim population. The depopulation of the Muslim population in the Jammu region is evidenced clearly in the data of the 1961 Census of India. In Jammu province, for example, about 123 villages were ‘completely depopulated’, while the decrease in the number of Muslims in Jammu district alone was over 100,000. The Muslims numbered 158,630 and comprised 37 per cent of the total population of 428,719 in the year 1941, and in the year 1961, they numbered only 51,690 and comprised only 10 per cent of the total population of 516,932. Kathua district ‘lost’ almost fifty per cent its Muslim population.
 It is possible here to point out that the inter-religious violence that occurred in Jammu included a possible ‘genocide’ of Muslims in September-October 1947. The Maharaja of the Dogra Hindu state was complicit in the targeted violence against Kashmiri Muslims. Out of a total of 8 lakhs who tried to migrate, more than ‘ 237,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated by all the forces of the Dogra State, headed by the Maharaja in person and aided by Hindus and Sikhs’.
          in the Punjab was not comparable to the massacres of Jammu’s Muslims. What gives the Jammu massacres a special character from the Punjab partition is that they were mainly undertaken by the Hindu Dogra state of Jammu and Kashmir and involved the political motives to ethnically cleanse the Muslim population into an exodus to Pakistan so that the demographic hurdle of the state’s Muslim majority could be removed in Jammu region. Indeed, by the Census of 1951, Jammu province had made Hindu majority province.

5. Number of Jammu and Kashmir Refugees in the Punjab Towns, in 1950 
                 Sialkot                      11, 0,143
                 Gujrat                          37,474
                 Gujranwala                   4,625
                 Rawalpindi                   5,384
                 Lahore                          1,101
                 Total                       161,966

By late November more than three lakh Kashmiri refugees had arrived in the border towns of Sialkot, Gujrat and Jhelum. Over 200,000 Jammu refugees had arrived in Sialkot because of its geographical proximity with Jammu region. The city with a road and railway connection from Jammu was a logical destination for the refugees. Many Kashmiris drew on their because of their pre-existing business and kinship ties.

        Majority had far less choice except to escape from violence. The Kashmiri refugee population not surprisingly became the most visible community in the city. The most fortunate occupied properties abandoned by the Hindus and Sikhs. Many others thronged camps, schools and military barracks platforms for many years. They squatted on railway platforms, footpaths and every conceivable space. The least fortunate were accommodated in the ‘most appalling’, ‘de-humanised’ and ‘like cattle’ condition in the evacuee factories. Water and sewerage arrangements were usually non-existent and unhygienic conditions caused health problems. Almost all 20000 Kashmir refugees in Sialkot’s Ghanda Singh School caught small-pox.
          Refugees recounted gruesome tales of brutal massacres by the state’s own troops and the burning of their homes and crops to a party of Englishmen who visited the city on 21 November. The harrowing images and stories of Muslim atrocities were retold in the press as well as in the sermons of Friday Juma prayer. The refugee’s frustrations in trying to find suitable accommodation and livelihood were exploited by radical groups such as the Ahrars and the newly established Anjaman-i-Jammu Muhajirian. They used the refugees’ frustration as a fertile recruiting ground for their brand of politics. Paper’s daily repeated provocations led to its being banned for a fortnight.
        Earlier there were reports that around a hundred trucks loaded with ‘tribesmen’ equipped with modern weapons and signalling system had entered the Kashmir.
       With the controversial accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India and the arrival of Indian troops, ‘the complexion of events’ changed in the region. In such a warlike situation, ‘a state of panic’ prevailed at the newly developed Sialkot-Jammu border. Now there were regular attacks ‘with automatic weapons’ on Sialkot-Jammu and Gujrat-Jammu borders, leaving behind several casualties on daily basis. This included over 17,000 Muslim corpses by the end of October 1947.
          Being a now border town, Sialkot saw a number of incursions from Jammu region in the early weeks and months of independence. In one such raid on a Sialkot border village, the Dogra troops killed about 60 Muslims and injured 12, and carried away 11 Muslim girls. They also burned and destroyed the crops of peasants in the border villages.
         On a few occasions, the state troopers encountered the local police and the newly created West Punjab Home Guard, while the former with their ‘automatic weapons’ outnumbered the latter’ who lacked the resources of arms and ammunitions. Such aftermath of Partition rarely finds its way in the standard texts, although the accounts on the territorial claims over the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan are well-documented. By the turn of 1948, both India and Pakistan was heading for a war over the territorial claims of the Kashmir region. On January 12 that year, the Indian District Liaison Officers who wished to recover ‘pocket clearance’ of abducted women and converts were banned from entering Sialkot, although their work continued in Gujranwala and other cities of the West Punjab. While the official activities could be controlled, the border between Sialkot and Jammu remained porous and free movement between both regions was possible.
Refugees who had managed to escape from violence to reach West Punjab cities and towns, their plight continued many years after their arrival. Even, the transitory period for the processing and settlement of Kashmiri refugees was sharply different from their counterparts from East Punjab and was much tedious and a lot longer. The delay was rooted in government policy. At the beginning, the West Punjab government preferred the ‘agreed areas’ refugees from East Punjab over the Kashmiri refugees in allocating evacuee properties. The government representatives pointed out that there were not enough evacuee properties to allocate the Kashmiri refugees and therefore a decision to prefer the Jammu and Kashmir refugees over their Muslim counterparts from East Punjab would ‘lead to great discontentment’.

          The continuing plight of Kashmiri refugees is brought home by the fact that even at the end of 1950 over 250,000 refugees were still subsisting on government rations in the various government–run camps, when almost all the camps of Muslim refugees from East Punjab had been cleared. Moreover, despite the Central government’s consideration that the Muslims of Jammu province had suffered ‘proportionally violence more than any other class of refugees’ and that they were targets of ‘real genocide’,

6. References

1. Joel E. Dimsdale (ed.), Survivors, Victims and Perpetrators: Essays on the Nazi Holocaust (Washington: Hemisphere Publisher, 1980); Norman Cigar, Genocide in Bosnia: The Policy of Ethnic Cleansing (Texas, Texas University Press, 1995); David Rieff, Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West (New York: 1995); Michael
N. Dobkowski (eds.), Genocide and the Modern Age: Etiology and Case Studies of Mass Death (New York, Syracuse University Press, 2000).
2. Paul Brass, ‘The Partition of India and Retributive Genocide in the Punjab, 1946-1947: Means, Methods, and Purposes’, in Journal of Genocide Research, 5:1 (2003): pp. 71-101; Anders Bjorn Hansen, Partition and Genocide: Manifestation of Violence in Punjab 1937-1947 (New Delhi, India Research Press, 2002); Ian Talbot, Divided Cities: Partition and Its Aftermath in Lahore and Amritsar (Karachi: Oxford Uuniversity Press, 2006).
3. Ian Copland, ‘The Master and the Maharajas: The Sikh Princes and the East Punjab Massacres of 1947’, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 36:3 (2002); Shail Mayaram, ‘Speech, Silence and the Making of Partition Violence in Mewat’, Subaltern Studies IX, (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997).
4. Mukherji Saradindu, The hidden story of Kashmiri refugees (Philadelphia, Oral History Association, 1996).
5. Seema Shekhawat, Conflict and Displacement in Jammu and Kashmir: the Gender Dimension (Jammu: Saksham Books International, 2006).
6. Cabeiri deBergh Robinson, Refugees, Political Subjectivity, and the Morality of Violence: from hijarat to jihād in Azad Kashmir (unpublished PhD dissertation, Cornell University, 2005).
7. Robert M. Hayden, ‘Schindler’s Fate: Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, and Population Transfers’, Slavic Review, Vol. 55, No. 4 (winter, 1996), pp. 727-748; Geroge. J. Andreopoulos (ed.), Genocide: Conceptual and Historical Dimension (University of Pennsylvania press, 1997); Leo Kuper,
Genocide (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981).
8. Ian Kerskaw, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems, Perspectives of Interpretation (London: OUP, 4th Addition, 2000). Particularly see the chapter 5, pp. 93-133.
9. Sumantra Bose, Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace (Harvard University, 2003); Prem Shankar Jha, The Origins of a Dispute: Kashmir 1947 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003; Mridu Rai, Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights, and the History of Kashmir (New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004); Chitralekha Zutshi, Languages of Belonging: Islam, Regional Identity, and the Making of Kashmir (New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004); Victoria Schofield, Kashmir in Conflict: India, Pakistan and the Unfinished War (London: 2000); Alastair Lamb, Incomplete Partition: the Genesis of the Kashmir Dispute, 1947-48 (Hertingfordbury, 1997).
10. For the background to both the agitation and to Punjab politics after the formation of the Unionist Party see, Ian Talbot, Khizar Tiwana, The Punjab Unionist Party and the Partition of India (London: Richmond, 1996), pp. 145-156.