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Diary entry by Nathu in the novel Tamas by Bhishma Sahni

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Introduction

Diary entry by Nathu in Tamas I once heard my mother recite the tale from Ramayana in which Goddess Sita, the consort of Lord Rama, called for mother Earth to engulf her in order to salve her from any more adversities she might have to confront in human life. I too wish that the land had parted under my feet. But I am no Sita, an emblem of truth and purity; and in the deep recess of my heart, sinner as I am, I cannot dare to harbour any hope of forgiveness and redemption.?Farewell remorse:all good to me is lost; evil be thou my good.? How happy I was till yesterday, eking my humble livelihood by skinning the hides of the dead animals, in my scrimpy shack made snug by my loving wife! But the malignant fate had something else in store for me. As Satan knew well that Eve was the best means of wreaking vengeance on God, that profligate Murad Ali knew that I was the easiest stooge available to him to forge his fiendish designs. Curst greed of gold, what crimes thy tyrant power has caused. And how degraded of me it was to sell my soul, like Faustus, to the devil for a mere sum of Rs. ...read more.

Middle

At dawn, I came by the prabhat pheri team of Congress activists going round the town, and noticed an argument between them and the Muslim League supporters. But as I saw Murad Ali there, I gave a slip from the place. With my body fatigued with the arduous task of killing the pig, and my pocket filled with money, I had nothing on my mind but to eat kabab, drink wine, and buy a garland of flowers for the prostitute Motia. I was lost in gorging on material world never for a moment realizing the infernal world that I had wrought around. It was only when I reached home that my wife told me that the presence of a dead pig on the steps of a mosque had caused great tension in the Muslim community. My blood coagulated in my guilt and the sky unfolded on me. In inkling I perceived everything, and the satanic plan of Murad Ali was flashed before my leaden eyes. Still I did not confide in my wife that I was the one who had slain that pig, thinking that she would blurt the secret out, thereby endangering his life. I wanted to go to the janitor and enquire of him as to where he had delivered the pig that morning. ...read more.

Conclusion

I only know that the deep scars left by the riots will remain forever without being healed. What would have happened if instead of a pig I had killed a man? Probably a few years imprisonment-that?s all. But killing of a mere pig can bring the sky down to the earth. It can lead to the end of humanity by making man worse than animal. Man has become so dehumanized that religious bigotry has got the better of humanity. Is it the same man that god made to rule the fish and fowl? He forgets that Fanaticism obliterates the feelings of humanity, and that it is only one step away from barbarism. I do not know what is in store for us tomorrow. I may not be alive tomorrow but I hope the Indians will learn the concept of unity and fraternity lest it should be too late. I know that my posterity will curse me for my heinous role in the history of India, but I will die happily praying to god that my children and grand children may live in that India where humanity was superior to religion. May they remember,? "Theological religion is the source of all imaginable follies and disturbances; it is the parent of fanaticism and civil discord; it is the enemy of mankind!." ...read more.

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