Hindustan Times is an Indian English-language daily newspaper. Inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1924, it played integral roles in the Indian independence movement as a nationalist and pro-Congress daily. The newspaper is owned by Shobhana Bhartia. It is the flagship publication of HT Media, an entity controlled by the KK Birla family.
- We do not know why Mr. Ghulam Mohammad thought it his duty to anticipate the verdict of history regarding the responsibility of Lord Mountbatten for the tragedy of the Punjab. He is reported to have stated at a Press Conference in London that when the history of the events of this dark chapter comes to be written ‘a part of the blame-would rest on Lord Mountbatten.’ He has made two specific charges. The last British Viceroy was aware of a deep laid conspiracy by the Sikhs and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh “to throttle Pakistan by eliminating Muslim” and refused to take action. The other charge is that Lord Mountbatten forced partition too quickly. The British Commonwealth Relations Office has repudiated both charges. It has pointed out that it was the then Governor of Punjab who had proved himself to be an avowed partisan of Muslim League, and had looked on impotently while sanguinary riots organized by the Muslim League and the Muslim National Guards took place in North Punjab in March and April 1947. It may be convenient for Mr. Ghulam Mohammed to forget that what happened in August 1947, was a mere continuation of the bloody chain of reaction which was set in motion by the Muslim League at Calcutta in August 1946. In March and April 1947, Sikhs had been brutally massacred and looted and they were abused as cowards because they had not reacted at once with violence. As a matter of fact Lord Mountbatten yielded to his pro-Muslim advisers and stationed the major portion of the Punjab Boundary Force in East Punjab with the result that there was no force to check or control the terrible massacres of Hindus and Sikhs that occurred in Sheikhupura and other places. We should certainly like an impartial investigation into the events of those days and we have no doubt it will be found that while, on the Indian side, it was the spontaneous outburst of a people indignant at what they considered the weakness and the appeasement policy of their leadership, on the Muslim side, the League, the bureaucracy, the police and the army worked like Hitler’s team with the tacit if not open approval of those in charge of the Pakistan Government.
- But the systematic manner in which Pakistan leaders are attempting to paint the people of this country as demons out to destroy innocent Muslims, while hiding, it not defending, the horrible outrages perpetrated by members of their own community from Calcutta to Sheikhupura is nothing but an attempt to defame this country and throw dust in the eyes of the outside world regarding the crimes committed by their co-religionists. They also know, as does everyone in this country, that the Punjab disaster was but the culminating act of the tragedy which began with the unprincipled campaign of communal hated and violence which they and their party leaders had been preaching for years as the only means of securing the ambition of their heart, namely, the separation of a part of this country where they could play the role of rulers, even though at the cost of unexampled suffering and misery to their own co-religionists both in Pakistan and India.
- Complete lawlessness prevailed in the walled city, on the other side of the Circular Road. Starting from Railway Road, running along the circular Road in a remarkable continuity. One could see semi-circle of smoke which persisted throughout this period and has involved the entire old city. Numerous places of worship belonging to Hindus and Sikhs have been burnt, of which one finds no record in the daily papers. Coming to the loss of human lives, I am afraid I cannot put a definite figure. I have a solid example which gives me a pretty good idea of the rate of killings. I have followed these details with scientific leanings On the 13th I happened to visit Mayo Hospital. Outside the mortuary, which must apparently be full, I saw 300 to 350 stiffs, dumped in various lanes leading to the mortuary I waited for the papers next morning wanting to know the figures of killed given by them. I got a pretty good idea when I found them giving the news as 40 killed and 100 injured. I fixed up a scale to calculate the actual casualty figures from those given in the papers. During this period, not a single day passed when we did not see three or four lorry loads of stiffs crossing our house.
“The lawlessness there was so official as you probably would not believe. The military actually helped the murderers. The people trying to escape out of the burning houses were mercilessly shot, and their bodies were roasted. The Lahore Station was for days beyond the reach of Hindus and Sikhs. No ignorant person who left for the Station survived. A Tribune employee staying with us met the same fate. It was a perfect picture of lawlessness. We had the greatest difficulty in escaping out of Lahore, via the Lahore Cantonment Station. In fact that is the only way out for the victims.
“In short, Lahore is the city of the dead and a complete picture of hell. Those in charge of this hell are so perfect in their jobs and carry out the various items of their jobs with efficiency which is unprecedented.
- This is the story of what happens when the raiders retreat from a town. I am writing it just as it has occurred in the old Moghul town of Rajori, known as the “Granary of Jammu Province”, and where Emperor Jehangir died on his way back from Srinagar. Our guns are still firing intermittently in the distance and the raiders are still carrying out desultory snipping and mortaring, in the nearby hills and ridges. This is the story of the death of a town-of a horrible and ghastly tragedy which the advancing Indian troops, in spite of their best efforts, have been unable to prevent and of which they are mere helpless spectators. Here is its sequence:
First, the raiders and their officers order the inhabitants of the town to collect in the public square together with all their movable belongings and cattle....
But the townmen have no choice. Those who don’t want to collect in the town square are made to do so by the raiders at the point of the bayonet.... Next, Muslim inhabitants are ordered to separate themselves from the non-Muslims.
As soon as this is done, the Muslims are ordered to flee into the interior along a particular route taking their movable belongings with them in bullock carts, and the non-Muslims are ordered to form themselves into a line.
Then begins a systematic massacre of all males except those between 25 and 35 who are healthy and strong. These are formed into a slave labour gang and ordered to dig new positions for the raiders on nearby hills and ridges. The women and their belongings are distributed by the tribesmen among themselves. Then starts the application of the scorched earth policy to the town. ...
The troops are making superhuman efforts to reach Rajori as quickly as possible, because they know that every second is precious now, every minute counts and every quarter of an hour may mean all the difference between life and a sordid death to many innocent inhabitants of the town. But they are unable to make any substantial advance until the morning. The gods seem to have conspired against them; darkness, terrain and an unknown route have caused the delay. When they enter Rajori, they are just too late. The town has been razed to the ground and all that can be seen are a few mutilated corpses, including some of women and children which lie scattered. During the last week that I have been following the advance of the Indian troops in this sector, mile by mile, yard by yard, I have seen this story repeated on a smaller and less dramatic scale in half a dozen places.
- No country in the world has been host to so many refugees as a 'shrinking and shrunken' India has been since the Partition in 1947... According to the estimate of the Government of India, 7.30 million people entered India between 1947-51 from the two wings of Pakistan. Except a few thousand Hindu families in Sindh, almost the entire Hindu and Sikh population were forced to leave their homes... In East Pakistan, the process was slow and systematic. Between 1947-51, the total number of people moving into India was estimated at 2.55 million... While West Pakistan was cleansed of its Kafirs except for a microscopic minority - being reduced from 23% in 1947 to 3% at present, the non-Muslim communities of East Pakistan/Bangladesh were reduced from 29% to 12% of the population.
It is estimated that another 2.5 million Hindus fled the eastern wing of Pakistan during 1951-61... One finds that 90% of the total who fled East Pakistan in course of the liberation war of Bangladesh were Hindus... The extent of the missing Hindu population is estimated around 1.22 million during the last inter-censal period of 1981-91... In the Indian subcontinent, wherever the Kafirs become a minority, they are bound to become refugees, a fate which is in store for the Hindus in West Bengal, the north-eastern states and possibly Ladakh and Jammu.
- Saradindu Mukherji, Flow of Hindu refugees from Pakistan/Bangladesh to India, Hindustan Times, 13-10-1996, reproduced in Muslim india, Jan 1997, p. 36. , also in in Elst, K. (2010). The saffron swastika: The notion of "Hindu fascism". p 814.
- The article was controversial, e.g. in a letter dd. 14-8-1996 to the Press Council, Syed Shahabuddin demanded "appropriate action" against the article as it "vilifies Islam as a religion to generate feelings of hatred and revenge against Muslim Indians and thus to aggravate communal tensions..." (Muslim india, Jan 1997, p. 36, also Elst, K. (2010). The saffron swastika: The notion of "Hindu fascism". p 814.)