While the orchestra at Lahore’s Falett’s Hotel played quietly for dancing, European guests drank cocktails on the moonlit terrace. Beyond earshot of the music, whole blocks of buildings lay gutted. Streets were bare and silent. Over the deserted railroad station the smell of corpses hung.
One-seventh of Lahore, capital of the Punjab, had been destroyed. Scores of nearby towns and villages had been razed. War—or rather, competitive massacre—between Moslems and Sikhs had reached a pitch of horror that made the Indian Mutiny of 1857 look like a mere street brawl. In two weeks, between 40,000 and 150,000 people had been killed in the Punjab. Most of the bodies were too hacked and charred to be recognized. At least a million were homeless. Click here to read remaining article.