Explain who Boota Singh was.
In World War II, Boota Singh, a Sikh trooper, fought on the Burma front under Lord Mountbatten.
During the chaotic partition, Boota Singh is remembered for saving many lives in East Punjab by rescuing those ensnared in the ensuing sectarian violence. Boota Singh stepped in to save a Muslim girl named Zainab from a group of rioters.
This essay by Haroon Rashood, titled “Shaheed-e-Mohabbat,” describes the romance between Boota Singh and Zainab. Rashood claims that two Sikhs kidnapped Zainab as she tried to cross the border. After hearing her screams, Boota Singh found her and immediately fell in love with her. He paid Rs 1,500 to have her released, took care of her, and the two eventually decided to be married because of their growing love for one another. Tanveer Kaur and Dilveer Kaur are the names of the couple’s two beautiful kids.
Now living in Pakistan, Zainab
Nearly a decade after the split, however, the governments of India and Pakistan signed the Inter-dominion Territory agreement to facilitate the return of women on both sides.
Indian officials located Zainab at her hometown with help from Boota’s nephews, who had reported seeing a Pakistani lady in the area. Zainab and her younger daughter Tanvir were forced to leave India despite her pleading to stay.
Boota met her when she was in camp, but they lost touch once she returned to Pakistan.
To attract Zainab, Boota converts to Islam.
Zainab’s life was difficult in Punjab. Her uncle pressed her to give serious thought to a marriage proposal from her cousin. She asked her next-door neighbor to write Boota Singh a letter from Pakistan, pleading with him to come to her aid.
After receiving the letter, Boota went to New Delhi to ask for help from the Indian government in locating his wife and daughter. After being rejected for help, he decided to go to Pakistan on his own.
Boota to the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, where he changed his identity to Jamil Ahmed and converted to Islam in order to reconnect with Zainab and their daughter.
A sad ending
Boota was turned over to Pakistani authorities after being rejected by Zainab’s family. The legal proceedings Boota initiated at a Lahore court were unsuccessful. Zainab’s testimony against returning to India and in favor of her daughter’s repatriation with Boota Singh was influenced by family pressures.
The incidents left Boota feeling dejected and hopeless, so he committed himself rather than face more public disgrace. His five-year-old daughter was there as he tragically leaped in front of a Shahdara train on February 16, 1958.
Three suicide notes were found on Boota’s person by the police. In the first letter, they gave Zainab full custody of their young girls. In the second, he left his fortune to a mosque and in the third, he requested that his remains be interred in the hamlet of Nurpur.
It was only possible to grant the second desire. However, due to opposition, he was ultimately laid to rest at Pakistan’s biggest Muslim cemetery, Miani Sahib.
Remembering and leaving a mark
Boota Singh, afterwards renamed Jamil Ahmed, is buried at the Miani Sahib cemetery. His admirers tried to build a shrine to honor his memory out of cement, but the buildings were destroyed when they met resistance.
Boota Singh’s burial is now located in Pakistan. Several Indian movies, including the box office hits Gadar (2001) and Gadar 2 (2023), were inspired by his life.