The Partition of India was one of the bloodiest and most distressing massacres in history. It not only divided India and Pakistan, but also changed the fate of the people. The partition of India announced by Lord Mountbatten led to riots and bloodshed among people. It gave birth to authors like Amrita Pritam, Bipsa Sadhwi, Khushwant Singh etc. They saw the partition through their eyes and represented it in the form of literature to the world. One such author was Amrita Pritam. She was sufferer of the partition. She saw everything through her eyes. One such famous novel of hers is PINJAR. It was originally written in Punjabi which was translated later by Khushwant Singh. Through Pinjar, she showed the situation of women at that period. Women were ‘raped’, ‘murdered’ and sometimes ‘converted’ for marriage. Women had to suffer double than men. 

The story revolves around a Hindu girl named ‘PURO’ who was going to marry a man named Ramchand. She was abducted by a Muslim guy named Rashid who did it because of family dispute. This depicts that during partition of India women were abducted by the men of other religions. Sometimes it was for family disputes and sometimes it was for sexual pleasure. The story moves on with emotional twists. Puro manages to escape, but she is rejected by her family. During that time, it was thought that if women returned from abduction, she was thought to bring ‘dishonor’ to the family. Not only Puro but her sister in law Lajo also had to suffer this. She was also abducted by a man. Puro didn’t want Lajo to suffer like her so with the help of Rashid she manages to break her free. The story ends with Puro converted into Hamida and accepting Rashid and Lajo reuniting with the family. Amrita Pritam has written this story with courage, passion and full devotion. This work shows us that Amrita Pritam was herself one of the eye-witnesses of the partition. She depicts the picture of male-centered society and its ethical codes of conduct. Pinjar is a loaded comment on the threat that communism has posted for women in the past, especially during the days of post-partition riots when violence became the order of the day and there was harsh damage caused by the erection of geographical and emotional barriers between the religions.

Whole significance of story comes at a point that at the time of independence, women were treated as a toy, a source of pleasure. Whole story tells about how women had to sacrifice their everything for the sake of society. 

There is a line in book by Puro which says ‘EK OR PINJAR` which simply means one more skeleton. This line depicts the amount of pain and suffering women had to go through at that time as they were treated only as a collection of bones which has no feelings inside. Women at that time were filled with loneliness and there was no one who stood by and for them. This story inspires a lot of women to stand out as Puro did and helped other women to prevent her from suffering what she suffered. 

Categories: Book Reviews