Indo-Pak Partition Tragedy: The Real Story Of Boota Singh, The Man Whose Story Inspired Gadar

Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, one of the featured films in Indian cinema, The film starring Sunny Deol, Ameesha Patel
, and Amrish Puri tells the story of a truck driver, Tara Singh, who falls in love with a Muslim girl, Sakina. 

A Glance From Gadar : Ek Prem Katha

 During the Partition of India, the film tells the story of a truck driver, Tara Singh (Sunny Deol), a Sikh, who falls in love with a Muslim Pakistani girl, Sakina ”Sakku” Ali (Ameesha Patel), belonging to an aristocratic family.The story begins with Sikhs and Hindus being attacked by Muslims in Pakistan when trying to migrate to India by train from the railway station in West Punjab, Pakistan. In response, Sikhs and Hindus retaliate by killing Muslims who were migrating to Pakistan from East Punjab, India. 

During the Hindu-Muslim riots that erupted soon after the Partition, Tara also plans to kill Muslims but stop after recognizing Sakina at railway station, from the little Taj Mahal antique in her hands. He then saves and protects her from a murderous mob chasing her because she failed to get onto the train with her family members after being lost in the crowd. 

As the mob attempts to brutally murder her, Tara Singh defends Sakina by applying blood (implying sindoor) to her forehead to make her his Sikh Wife. However, this film was mainly inspired by the real-life story of a man named Boota Singh.

Boota Singh: The Real Hero

Boota Singh, was a Sikh ex-soldier of the British Army who served at the Burma front under the command of Lord Mountbatten during World War II. He is very well known in India and Pakistan for his tragic love story with Zainab, a Muslim girl he rescued during the communal riots in the time of partition of India in 1947.Both fell in love and got married and they soon had two daughters – Tanveer and Dilveer Kaur.Almost a decade after Partition, the Indian and Pakistani governments decided to return the women separated from their families Later, being a Muslim, Zainab with her elder daughter deported and sent to the newly formed Pakistan.

Now with Her family she settled at a small village called Nurpur, near the border of Lahore. Boota Singh went to Delhi where he tried to get the authorities to bring back his wife and child.When he was unsuccessful, and without many other options, he decided to convert to Islam and enter Pakistan to get his wife and daughter back.That is how he Crossed the border illegally, and reached Nurpur. However, Zainab’s family members beat him up and handed him to local police authorities. During Legal hearings Zainab refuse to go back with Boota Singh, she also requested the court to take away her younger daughter who had been living with her.This all happened due to her family pressure.

Tragic End OF Love Story:

Later Boota Singh commits suicide by jumping before an upcoming train near Shahdara station in Pakistan along with his daughter but she survived.In his suicide note, Singh expressed his last wish to be buried in Barki village where Zainab’s parents resettled after partition. The autopsy of Singh’s body was conducted in a hospital in Lahore and was taken to the village on 22 February 1957 for burial but the villagers did not allow that and Singh was buried at Miani Sahib, the largest graveyard of Lahore.

The love story of Singh’s life is widely adapted in films and books on both sides of the border. A Punjabi film Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Boota Singh (1999) is entirely based on the story. Ishrat Rahmani wrote a novel, Muhabbat, based on the story. The story also influenced many other films including a 2007 Canadian film Partition and a 2001 Bollywood film Gadar and the 2004 Bollywood film Veer Zaara.



HinduKranti is an online e-magazine, which Provides Updates on News, Politics, History, Religion and Temples. Its main aims are to present the true facts of Indian glory which is not mentioned in our textbook.

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