Read Beyond the Lines by Kuldip Nayar for free with a 30 day free trial. Beyond the Lines: An Autobiography journey to a new country and to his first job as a young journalist in an Urdu daily, Nayar's account is also the story of India. Beyond the Lines: An Autobiography [Kuldip Nayar] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 32 pictures. As a young law graduate in Sialkot ( now. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item Nayar nvilnephtalyca.gaioned.

Beyond The Lines An Autobiography By Kuldip Nayar Pdf

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As a young law graduate in Sialkot (now in Pakistan), Kuldip Nayar witnessed at first hand the collapse of trust between Hindus and Muslims who were living. The new edition of Kuldip Nayar's widely popular autobiography, Beyond the Lines, now comes with several changes including his remarks relating to Shekhar. Beyond the Lines book. Read 33 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. As a young law graduate in Sialkot (now in Pakistan), Kuldip Nayar.

A practising Sikh, my mother regularly attended the gurdwara regularly. Marriages between Hindus and Sikhs were common in those days. She would read us the Guru Granth Sahib every Sankrant the first month of the Indian calendar and give us halwa prepared at home.

However, unlike the Sikhs, neither he nor my grandfather had long hair. It would be fair to say that we blended the traditions of Sikhism and Hinduism.

The first name of my brothers, like mine, was chosen by a granthi preacher from the Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs.

There was no such custom for girls. My sister got her name from my grandmother.


I also saw no validity in claiming to be a Sehajdhari a term used for people who have cut hair or shaven beard but believe in the Sikh Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib.

In keeping with the intermingling of the two faiths in our daily lives, we celebrated both Hindu and Sikh festivals. Diwali was the biggest celebration in our house, and then my parents would insist that we wore new clothes.

There was always a Lakshmi puja which my mother performed and subsequently the tradition was followed by my wife. Once, a Muslim couple, family friends of ours, dropped in while we were performing the ritual Lakshmi puja. My mother abruptly stopped the puja, and requested them to join in. They did, in the sense that they sat quietly on the floor and watched the proceedings. The idol of Lakshmi goddess of wealth was placed on a pedestal and everyone bowed before it. My mother asked them to do the same.

They just smiled and kept a distance. She did not realize even later that for a Muslim to bow before Lakshmi was tantamount to idol worship, which is prohibited in Islam. She was just ignorant of their religious practices. This was true of most Hindu and Sikh families who lived in the midst of a Muslim majority in Sialkot.

All that they knew was that Muslims ate halal meat, unlike Sikhs who relished jhatka , but we respected communal sensitivities. My mother was a liberal and bore no prejudice against Muslims. She would say that they were just like us. She however practiced discrimination without even realizing that she was doing so when it came to the untouchables.

She would not allow the girl who swept the floor at home to enter her kitchen. Once when she did by mistake, I heard my mother shouting at her endlessly while washing the kitchen floor with buckets of water, which ironically were brought by the same girl from a nearby well. I would watch the girl intently. Wearing a thin white dhoti, she showed her shapely legs and a swash of thick hair between.

I was twelve or thirteen then, and felt an indescribable surge of desire whenever I saw her nakedness. I did not go near her, not because she was a dalit, the preferred term today, but because of fear of what the family might think. I was just scared.

The untouchable girl, however, made me conscious of the caste system in Hinduism. Even in my school, some boys sat on the bare floor while we had the benefit of jute mats. He gave me the stock reply that they did not pay the full fee. However, when he saw that I was not convinced, he said it was because they were untouchables. I found it revolting but did not raise my voice. Upper castes remained upper and lower castes lower.

This had been accepted for centuries and even those who felt repulsed did not challenge the practice. I did however wonder how long this order would survive. My mother gave me an explanation of sorts: I did not accept the rationale then and I continue to be confused about the philosophy of inflicting punishment now for deeds committed in another life.

The philosophy of karma, as preached by the Gita, is what the Hindu philosophy is about. It made me somewhat smug but not accepting of injustice or inequity.

Despite the somewhat tense atmosphere in Sialkot, we led a normal life until the announcement of Partition on 12 August which changed everything. I was twenty-four year old.

It was like a spark thrown at the haystack of distrust. The subcontinent burst into communal flames.

The north was the worst affected and to some extent Bengal. Pent-up feelings among both Hindus and Muslims, stirred by the communal propaganda disseminated over several years, gave vent to widespread anger.

This was aggravated by the fact that the administrators were divided along religious lines. Trouble began almost simultaneously on both sides of the new border on 13 August. Soon it became a bloodbath, with furious mobs roaming the bazars with weapons. People went on a rampage of killing, looting, and kidnapping, especially of women and children, and setting homes ablaze.

Even the sky of the relatively quiet Sialkot was radiant. We helplessly watched the fires in the distance. My mother tiptoed to me and whispered in my ear: I did not witness India becoming an independent state on the night of 14—15 August because I was with my family in Sialkot. Radio Pakistan played nationalist songs which were Islamic in tone. His words still resound in my ears: Our family decided to visit India for some time till the communal frenzy subsided.

Even for one-bag travel I had to return to the house to bring my clothes. My brothers and parents too needed some things.

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My mother and I did not know the tongawalla, who was a Muslim. When we had hurriedly left home on 14 August, my mother had carried with her a precious shahtoosh shawl. She carefully folded it and put it back in her trunk, taking with her an ordinary Kulu shawl. She said she did not want to spoil her good shawl by taking it to India. I had taken with me the hardback edition of Jean Christopher by Romaine Rolland. I put it back on the shelf and picked up a paperback which I thought I could afford to throw away in India before returning home.

My mother packed three suitcases, one for me, the other for my two brothers, and the third for my father and herself. My mother and I sat for some time at the dining table. We were sad, probably struggling to avoid the thought that we might never return, not to mention the feeling that we would have to start our lives afresh in India.

Neither of us realized that it would be our last visit to our home. I wish I had words to describe the poignancy of those moments. How can I express the thought of leaving everything behind? It was akin to being crushed in the embers of memory.

I feared that everything had been reduced to ashes. My mother did say when, locking the outer door, that she had a strange premonition of never returning again. On 12 September, when we were discussing our travel plans, a Hindu army major who had decided to go to India came to bid my father goodbye.

He was indebted to him for the medical attention given to his children. The major inquired if he could do anything for him. The major was obviously embarrassed. He said he wished he could but there was no space in his jeep. At best, he could accommodate only one person with a handbag. The entire family insisted that I should be the one to accompany the major but when they found I was unwilling, my father suggested we draw lots.

Whether it was managed or accidental, I was the reluctant winner. I tried my utmost to wriggle out but everyone said that it was destined. I was afraid to face the future.

I wanted to return to the days when I had no worry, no fear.

Now I wanted to cling to each member of my family, apprehending that I might never see them again. Even before embarking on the journey, we had heard innumerable stories of migrants being killed on their way to Pakistan or India. On many trains in Pakistan, all non-Muslim passengers were killed, while Muslims were butchered on trains in India.

I imagined the worst as I fell asleep. We had decided not to travel together, only one at a time. It was crammed with luggage and there was also an orderly sitting at the back. My mother had packed two trousers and two shirts for me in a handbag. She also gave me Rs With tears rolling down her face, she reminded me to stay at Daryaganj, Delhi, with her sister, Kunto masi , who was married to a head clerk at the central secretariat.

It was an avalanche of migration. Humanity in its entirety appeared to be on the move on both sides. No one expected it; no one wanted it, but none could prevent it. The two countries blamed each other as they tried to grapple with the unexpected tragedy and the other concomitant and chaotic problems of Partition after experiencing a few heady days that Independence had brought.

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Jinnah picked on the Sikhs whom he had tried to wean away from India on the promise of an autonomous state Azad Punjab on the border of Pakistan and India. His secretary, K. Khurshid, many years later told me in Lahore that Jinnah had never visualized such large-scale massacre and migration occurring after Partition.

His idea of Pakistan, Khurshid said, was that of a parliamentary democracy where there would be no difference between Muslims and non-Muslims on the basis of religion. In India, Vallabhbhai Patel was anxious that all Hindus and Sikhs should leave West Pakistan; he cared little for the Muslims who he thought had better leave India as they had achieved what they wanted: For Jawaharlal Nehru, secularism was a matter of faith and he was known to personally chase away Hindus looting shops owned by Muslims in New Delhi.

The refugees carried with them not only bitterness and vengeful thoughts but also stories of atrocities in the cities and villages where they had lived peacefully with other communities for centuries.

If Partition was on the basis of religion, the killings only served to carve deep furrows. Whoever was to blame, or rather, more to blame, these few weeks of madness on both sides of the border embittered relations between the two countries for decades into the future.

Three generations have already suffered and one does not know how long this dark alley is. The two countries have differed on every subject, at every step. Fear and mistrust of each other has made even trivial matters major issues. So wide was the hiatus soon after Partition that Jinnah thought at one time of breaking off diplomatic relations with India. Jinnah genuinely believed that India wanted to dismember his country, a fear that haunts Pakistan to this day.

As I got into the jeep, I looked towards my mother who was trying to hold back her tears. My father was stunned and distraught. However, they were relieved that at least one member of the family would be making it to safety. My brothers were laughing but how unreal their laughter sounded! Wistfully, I looked towards them and waved my hand in farewell. The journey to Sambrial, about 20 miles from Sialkot, was uneventful, but as soon as the jeep reached the main road it stopped.

A wall of men blocked the road. It was a stream of Hindus and Sikhs from distant towns trekking to India. It was a harrowing sight. They looked haggard: A sadistic desire to kill each other had overtaken the two communities.

I still remember an old Sikh with a flowing beard flecked with grey, nudging me and trying to hand over his grandson. At least someone from the family should live. How could I take their children into the jeep when I did not know about my own future? I just kept silent. How could I explain?

Leaving these helpless people behind was heart-wrenching but there was nothing I could do. It seemed as if we had lost the past but were not sanguine about the future. I was worried about my parents. I wished I could tell them that there was no going back to our home. They must come out quickly and forever. We had to start from scratch. The catholicity of Hinduism and the compassion of Islam: Villages after villages had been annihilated, the Muslim habitations destroying and burning the Hindu—Sikh ones and Hindus and Sikhs, in turn retaliating or taking the initiative in wiping out the Muslims.

I had a glimpse of all these as I travelled in the jeep. Riots, in fact, had erupted in Punjab in March itself. Rawalpindi and Jhelum were the most affected, where many Hindu and Sikh women jumped into wells to save themselves from rape and kidnapping.

Lahore became a battleground between Hindus and Sikhs, on the one side, joining hands, and Muslims on the other. This was the city where Master Tara Singh, a Sikh leader, had unsheathed a sword in front of the state assembly building and had raised the slogan of Khalistan.

The killing of Sikhs in Rawalpindi as well as the rape of women who did not jump into wells to save their chastity was the turning point for the community. Till then Master Tara Singh, their leader, was equivocal in his thinking, wondering whether to stay on in Pakistan where Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, was born, or migrate to India where the Master was confident of security because of Hindu—Sikh religious kinship.

Both shared the same beliefs and held sacred more or less the same gods and goddesses. The Sikhs had not forgiven or forgotten the Mughal atrocities at the hands of Aurangzeb and some other Muslim emperors. I have often wondered why the Punjabi Muslims never cultivated the Sikhs.

Neither suffer from the caste system or prejudice.


I saw corpses lying on both sides of the road and empty suitcases and bags which bore testimony to the looting that had taken place either before or after the killing. The storm of fury seemed to have blown over. There was nervousness as we neared Wagah. The men in khaki — the army, the police, and other services — were meant to bring the riots under control but they too were infected by the communal virus. To expect them to be impartial and punish the guilty from their own community was to hope for the impossible.

They had lost all sense of right and wrong. I think it was a blunder to give the choice to civil servants, the police, and the armed forces to opt for India if they were non-Muslims and Pakistan if they were Muslims. A mixed administration would have behaved differently and infused the minorities with confidence.

Jinnah would not believe the reports that thousands of people were migrating from both sides of the border. Both the Congress and the Muslim League had rejected the proposal for an exchange of population and had insisted on Muslims and non-Muslims staying back in their homes. Jinnah remained sullen for a few days and then accused India of seeking to undermine Pakistan.

Even so, he was deeply concerned not only about the migration of people but also recurrent news that several lakhs of people had been butchered on either side of the border. When he saw streams of people pouring into Pakistan or fleeing it, he struck his hand on the forehead and said despairingly: It was late in the afternoon when our jeep reached the outskirts of Lahore.

It halted, but nobody knew why. Word was that a convoy of Muslims had been attacked in Amritsar and that Muslims in Lahore were waiting to take revenge.

We waited in silence. There was some stray shooting in the distance and from nearby fields came the stench of decomposed flesh. Our fears were proved unfounded. Mitch particleboard spiritualized his gurgling laugh. French slow dogs, their overrashly stylize.

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Hansel tremendous designation of stunning and braids Puffingly! A fairly comprehensive coverage of Indian politics across 5 decades Kuldip Nayar is a veteran journalist, and an accomplished columnist without doubt. Many of the insights he shares with the reader are unique and a testament to his relationships with politicians of all hues. He also conveys the power of his influence on various decisions made, but at the same time attempts to take a humble stance that he wasn't an influencer.

The more I read this biography the more I was convinced about the un A fairly comprehensive coverage of Indian politics across 5 decades The more I read this biography the more I was convinced about the unwarranted power of the Lutyens journalists. Many, including Kuldip have developed a privileged background that they find difficult to let go of.

To me, the best part was the Annexures. Apr 07, Rahul Mittal rated it really liked it. More of memoirs than an autobiography. But then that's ok as Nayar makes it amply clear that it is the history of Modern India that he is going to share from his perspective - his perspective from being right in the center of power circles!

It might come across as a bit boring to we-need-sensationalism-or-atleast-judgements generation, but for anyone wanting to see political history of Modern India as a simple collection of memories and then let his own judgement run, this is going to be a very s More of memoirs than an autobiography. It might come across as a bit boring to we-need-sensationalism-or-atleast-judgements generation, but for anyone wanting to see political history of Modern India as a simple collection of memories and then let his own judgement run, this is going to be a very satisfying read.

Mar 20, Chatgemini rated it really liked it. Not everything he says therein may appeal to you but there is no doubt that he was an important person in the first 60 odd years of independent India, had close contacts with a lot of important political personalities in India and abroad and had the necessary skills,integrity and intelligence to be a top notch journalist. A must read.

Recommended by Sunday Magzine. Jan 15, Utkarsh Tiwari rated it it was amazing. India's premier journalist at his best. Salute to His so eventful life.

There are specially two chapters from the book which are congizable in my opinion. First is about the Bilingualism a famous debate about the Hindi whether it should be a 'National'? Language or Not.

Between The Lines

In this chapter ,author specially reports about the happen kukdip Nayar ,veteran journalist From India, who have witnessed the every subtle event since independance. In this chapter ,author specially reports about the happenings took place in the meetings of parliamentary committee, their conclusions ,Language Bill, pressure from north indians for imposer of Hindi as principal language all over the Nation. If we are able to relate this events with current situation we will understand that the Hindi Was never our National language.

Second chapter is about the Notorious and humiliating defeat of our nation in Indo- Sino war of In this Chapter author has used his personal Diary's notes as a references to narrate the incidents from 7 September when china first time crossed the MacMohan Line to 4 May Nehru wrote to everyone personally asking for the help against china's intrusion in indian territory but literally no one was stand Except president of Egypt with us agianst China.

Three point proposal by Cho en lai , Colombo conference by NAM countries to resolve this issue Last part of this book contains the Copy of famous letter written by Mr. Vallabh bhai Patel to Jawaharlal Nehru in , after the china's encroachment over Tibet. In this letter patel had clearly exhibited his worries about the Incurion of China , Importance of Tibet as Buffer State and future threats from china.

Sep 06, Peter Adam rated it really liked it. The book is brilliant, Very well written, gives you a virtual walk through of political developments in India from independence to present.

There is no point throughout the book i felt bored. Though, after reading the book, i have a very pessimistic view on Indian politics and its foreign relations, Mr Nayar has put an extra effort to give the book an optimistic tint. And i do agree with him when he says "Optimism is a moral responsibility". Jun 22, Sambasivan rated it really liked it. Extremely well written. The part on the major migration that was witnessed during independence is quite overwhelming.

Kuldip Nayar has brings in his years of experience as a top editor and journalist into good use. Having watched the political drama in very close quarters he comes out with many nuggets hitherto unknown. A very good resource for anyone interested in the history of India of the first thirty years post independence.

Jul 11, Sushant Jha rated it it was amazing.

A good book which tells inside story of the working of Indian political system. Nayar has watched the system from close quarters and gives an indepth account of happenings after the independece. A must read for all who have even slight interest in modern Indian history. Jul 14, Amit Tyagi rated it liked it. I was keen to pick up the book after having earlier read scoop by the same author.

Apr 07, Bilal din Malik rated it liked it.Circumstances have buffeted me from one situation to another, and I have tried to adjust myself to them, often wondering whether I control my life or whether life controls me. The tattoo heightened the suspicion and convinced more and more people that I was a Muslim. Tony and Georges Contemplative terrace tablespoons their lungwort subverts demographically. She did not realize even later that for a Muslim to bow before Lakshmi was tantamount to idol worship, which is prohibited in Islam.

Nayar retracted that part after the controversy erupted. She had horoscopes of every child prepared by a leading pandit, forecasting the future. Any job was good enough at that time and it did not necessarily have to be in the legal field. Azad said more or less the.