Tamas by Bhisham Sahni is a novel about the riots in Pakistan preceding the Partition of India. Based on Sahni’s first-hand experience, Tamas (Hindi for. Tamas By Bhisham Sahni Online. Book Details: Language: English Published Original Language Unknown, Edition: 1, Isbn: , Tamas [Bhisham Sahni] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Tamas is a book by Bhisham Sahni that depicts the communal violence that took .

Author: Goltijinn Maukazahn
Country: Bahrain
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Love
Published (Last): 3 February 2010
Pages: 427
PDF File Size: 10.74 Mb
ePub File Size: 3.68 Mb
ISBN: 948-2-90621-762-1
Downloads: 97458
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kazrakazahn

Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. He went to school there, and then went to Government College, Lahore, from where he took a Master’s degree in English Literature. He returned to Rawalpindi to join his father’s import business but, finding the job too taxing, decided to teach at a bhjsham college.

At the same sahbi he also became involved in the activities of the Indian National Congress. After partition in — his family opted to settle in India and Bhisham Sahni took the last train to India — he settled down in Delhi and began to teach at a Delhi University college.

He returned to India in and resumed teaching in Delhi. He edited a literary journal, Nai kahaniyan, from and began working on Tamas, a novel based on his experiences as a young man, in So far he has published five novels, eight bihsham of short stories, three plays and a biography of his late brother, the actor and writer Balraj Tamaas. Many of his bhiham have been translated into various languages. Bhisham Sahni is married and has two children; He lives with his wife and daughter in New Delhi.

Jai Ratan was born in Ludhiana in Sahno is a founder member of the Writer’s Workshop, Calcutta. He has translated extensively from the Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi and, has also edited and been published in several anthologies.

Jai Ratan lives in New Delhi. Once, during the event or immediately following it and again after a lapse of time, when the event has found its corner in the collective memory of the generation that witnessed it.

The initial response tends to be emotionally intense and personal in character, even melodramatic. On the other hand, when the event is reflected upon with emotional detachment and objectivity, a clearer pattern of the various forces that shaped it is likely to emerge. Tamas is the reflective response to the tamxs of India bhsiham one of the most tragic events in the recent history of the Indian sub- continent.

Bhishamji witnessed the tamaas of the period as an adult. That was a period of intense turmoil — people sacrificing their lives for the freedom of the country, people dying fighting. The unprecedented communal violence provoked by the callous manipulation of religious sentiments of different communities by the elements who chose to use religion as a weapon to achieve political objectives heightened his sensitivity towards human suffering and also strengthened his commitment to secularism.

Tamas had to wait twenty-three years after partition to be bom. Perhaps, because the initial response was shock and numbness. As a tammas, Bhishamji is rarely given to a sentimental and dramatic response to immediate events.

His creativity is characterized by deep reflection upon and understanding of the complexities and nuances of reality. As a novel Tamas is episodic in structure, which, from the bhisgam of view of literary craftsmanship may not exactly be considered flawless.

Yet, as a piece of atmas it reveals the vision of one detached yet passionate, quietly reflective yet emotionally intense. A work of fiction with an immediate historical event as a backdrop invariably invites questions like how far does the work reflect true history?

In the case of Tamas, the question becomes all the more delicate because it involves three different religious communities who were either the victims, or the aggressors, in different parts of the country, during partition. In when the novel was first published, surprisingly, no such questions were raised. Why dig up old graves of tragic memories when the country was constantly tense with apprehensions of communal violence? A petition was moved in the Bombay High Court praying for the discontinuance of the telecast on the plea, among others, that No one was going to sanhi anything from Tamas and religious slogans would poison the minds ssahni the young.


Tamas is an anatomy of that tragical period. It depicts how communal violence was generated by fundamentalists and extremists in both communities, and how innocent persons were duped into serving die ulterior purposes of fundamentalists and communalists of both sides; how an innocent boy is seduced to violence resulting in his attacking both communities; how extremist elements in both communities infuse tension and hatred for their own ends at the cost of inter-communal hannony, how realization ultimately dawns as to the futility of it all, bjisham finally how inherent goodness in human nature triumphs and both communities leam to live in amity.

They have learnt it the hard way. Tamas is in equal measure against fundamentalists and extremists of both communities, and not in favour of hatred towards any one particular community. Both communities are treated equally for blame as they are-for praise. The message is loud and clear, directed as it is against the sickness of communalism. Awareness in proper light is a first step towards that realization.

It is true that in certain circumstances truth has to be avoided. Tamas takes us to a historical past — unpleasant at tsmas, but revealing and instructive.

In those years which Tamas depicts, a human tragedy of great dimensions took place in this sub- continent — though 40 years ago it has left lasting damage to the Indian psyche. It has been said by Lord Morley in On Compromise that it makes all the difference in the world whether you put truth in the first place or in the second place.

It is bhlsham that a writer or a preacher should cling to truth and right, if the very heavens fall. This is a universally accepted basis. Yet, twmas practice, all schools alike are forced to admit the necessity of a measure of accommodation in the very interests of truth itself. Fanatic is a name of such ill repute, exactly because one who deserves to be so called injures good causes by refusing timely and harmless concession; by irritating prejudices that a wiser way of urging his own opinion might have turned aside; by making no allowances, respecting no motives, and recognizing none of those qualifying principles that are nothing less than necessary to make his own principle true and fitting in a given society.

This is also the lesson of history that naked truth in all times will not be beneficial but truth in its proper light indicating the evils and the consequences of those evils sahnk instructive and that message is there in Tamas There cannot be any apprehension that it is likely to affect public order or it is likely to incite the commission of any offence. On the other hand, it is more likely that it will prevent incitement to such offences in future by extremists and fundamentalists.

In the midst of the raging controversy Doordarshan, the India’s State-controlled television network, stood by its decision to complete the telecasting of all the six episodes. It has also been condemned as ‘simplistic’, ‘overdrawn’, ‘inflammatory’, ‘irrelevant’, ‘a distortion of history’ and ‘exploitative commercial cinema’. This was to be expected. A subject as potentially explosive as partition will always raise strong emotions. All I can personally say about tamss TV version of Tamas is that it refocused the attention of the public on the grim consequences of communal politics and the significance of secularism to preserve our democratic system and national unity.

Bhishamji is a committed secular humanist. In Tamas, as in all his major works, he provides an insight into the contradictions of gamas nature, the complexities of a fanatic mind, the subversive nature of communal politics, the terror of religious fundamentalism, the undercurrents of faith and hope in the midst of the most violent of tragedies.

When I read the novel for the first time, I was deeply moved by its simplicity of expression, its honesty of observation, and the deep compassion of his secular vision. As a film-maker, I only made a humble effort to retain these qualities in my film version of Tamas.

Follow the Author

For me, who has deep impressions of the holocaust of partition, my first memories of fright, panic and blood are from that periodTamas is more than just a mini-series or a film, it is an act of faith. As a novel Tamas is more than a work of literature. It is a grim reminder of the immense tragedy that results whenever the religious sentiments of communities are manipulated bhissham achieve political objectives.


It is a prophetic warning against the use of religion as a weapon to gain and perpetuate political power.

Its tiny flame drooped and again winked back into life. Two bricks had fallen from the wall where it joined the roof, making a hole in bhiwham. As the wind blew in through the hole the lamp would waver, casting lurid shadows on the wall. Then the little flame would straighten up on its own, sending up a thin column of soot which, after licking the arch of the alcove, dissipated itself in the air. Nathu was breathing hard, his chest heaving like a bellows. He suspected it was his breathing that made the lamp flicker.

As Nathu sat there, his back resting against the wall, his eyes again turned towards the pig. The pig squealed and, rushing up to the slimy garbage heaped in sanni middle of the room, feverishly started rummaging through it with its purplish snout, its small, beady, red-rimmed eyes fixed intently on the heap.

For the last two hours, Nathu had been trying hard to overpower the beast. Three times its snout had fastened on his leg and a searing pain had shot through his flesh. Its eyes fixed on the floor, the pig would trot along the wall as if searching for something.

तमस [Tamas] by Bhisham Sahni

Then it would suddenly squeal and move away. Its small tail curled over its back like a whiplash. Rheum, oozing from its left eye, had trickled down to tamaas snout. As it walked, its belly swayed heavily from side to side. By constantly trampling over it, the pig had scattered the garbage and now the stink of rotting bbhisham, the foul breath of the pig and the acrid smoke of the lamp hung in the damp room.

There were clots of blood on the floor but no signs of injury on the pig’s body. It was as if Nathu had been plunging his knife into water or sand, He had succeeded several yamas in sticking his knife into the animal’s belly or under its shoulder; as the knife came out a few drops of sxhni would trickle out and fall on the floor. But that was all: Every now and again with an angry grunt, the pig would lower its head and aim its snout at Nathu’s leg.

Then it would resume walking along the wall or attack the garbage again, Nathu cursed his fate. What a sinister brute had fallen to his lot to tackle; ugly, big-bellied, with a jungle of bristles on its belly and white hair bhosham its snout, thick and stiff like a porcupine’s.

Nathu had heard somewhere that the easiest way to kill a pig was by pouring scalding water over its body. But where could he get boiling water at this time? Once, when tanning a hide, Nathu’s companion, Bheku, the tanner, had told him in passing that one should go for a pig’s hind legs and twist them, making the animal roll over.

While it was struggling to get back to its feet, one should tamad open its jugular vein. The pig would die. Nathu had attacked the pig, time and again, using all bhizham devices that he could think of. All to no avail. Instead, he had hurt his own knees and ankles. It was one thing to tan a hide and quite another to kill a pig. He cursed the evil moment when he had agreed to take the job in hand.

Even now, had he not taken the money in advance, he would have pushed the animal out of the door. Nathu had been washing his hands under the tap, after finishing the aahni work, when Murad Ali had appeared.

Entice one of them into your room and kill it.