Bhisham Sahni’s epic work Tamas (Darkness, Ignorance 1974) is a novel based on the riots of 1947 Partition of India which he witnessed at Rawalpindi. Tamasportrays the horrors of senseless communal politics of violence and hatred; and the tragic aftermath – death, destruction, forced migration and the partition of a country. It has been translated to English, French, German, Japanese and many Indian languages including Gujarati, Malayalam, Kashmiri, and Manipuri. Tamaswon the 1975 Sahitya Akademi Award for literature and was later made into a television film in 1987 by Govind Nihalani. Two of his masterpiece stories, ‘Pali’ and ‘Amritsar Aa Gaya Hai’, are also based on the Partition.
Sahni’s prolific career as a writer also included six other Hindi novels: Jharokhe (1967), Kadian (1971), Basanti (1979), Mayyadas Ki Madi (1987), Kunto (1993) and Neeloo, Nilima, Nilofar (2000)., over hundred short stories spread over ten collections of short stories, (including Bhagya Rekha (1953), Pahla patha (1956),Bhatakti Raakh (1966), Patrian (1973), Wang Chu (1978), Shobha Yatra (1981), Nishachar (1983), Pali(1989), and Daayan (1996) ; five plays including ‘Hanush’, ‘Kabira Khada Bajar main’, Madhavi’, ‘Muavze’, ‘Alamgeer’, a collection of children’s short stories Gulal ka keel’.1 2 3 4 5