Classic fiction. Set in a small-town frontier province in 1947, just before Partition, Tamas tells the story of a sweeper named Nathu who is bribed and deceived by a local Muslim politician to kill a pig, ostensibly for a veterinarian. The following morning, the carcass is discovered on the steps of the mosque and the town, already tension-ridden, erupts. Enraged Muslims massacre scores of Hindus and Sikhs, who, in turn, kill every Muslim they can find. Finally, the area's British administrators call out the army to prevent further violence. The killings stop but nothing can erase the awful memories from the minds of the survivors, nor will the various communities ever trust one another again.
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