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A History of the SikhsVolume 2: 1839-2004$
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Khushwant Singh

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195673098

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195673098.001.0001

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Civil Strife, Exodus, and Resettlement

Civil Strife, Exodus, and Resettlement

(p.262) 17. Civil Strife, Exodus, and Resettlement
A History of the Sikhs

Khushwant Singh

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses another period of tensions in India, which occurred between the Hindu and Muslim communes in Punjab. It stresses that communal violence was considered to be mostly an urban than a rural event, and that communal riots are usually minor affairs. The communal riots of 1946–7, however, were nothing short of a general massacre. The killings were spearheaded by politicians and carried out by gangs who came from different sections in society. The Sikhs were noted in their attempts to be the mediators in the conflict, but their sympathy lay mostly with the Hindus. The sections narrate the initial periods of unrest in Punjab, beginning with the ‘Direct Action Day’ and ending with the migration and resettlement of the Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus.

Keywords:   civil strife, resettlement, communal violence, communal riots, Direct Action Day

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