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Khushwant Singh

historian , journalist , writer

Singh Khushwant is a significant post-colonial writer in the English language. He is known for his clear-cut secularism, wit and a deep passion for poetry. A regular contributor to various national dailies, Singh is also famous for his novel 'Train to Pakistan' published in 1956.

Background

Singh was born in Hadali District Khushab, Punjab (which now lies in Pakistan), in a Sikh family. His father, Sir Sobha Singh, was a prominent builder in Lutyens' Delhi. Singh was educated at the Government College, Lahore and at King's College, Cambridge University, and Later the Inner Temple in London. From 1980 through 1986, he was a member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament. He was also honored with the Padma Bhushan award in the year 1974 for service to his country, but he returned the award in protest against the siege of the Golden Temple by the Indian Army in 1984. Khushwant Singh published his first volume of short fiction in 1950, three years after India's independence, and since then has become one of the country's best known writers in English.

Education

Government College, Lahore, King's College, and Inner Temple, London.

Career

Singh started the magazine 'Yojna', an Indian government journal, 'The Illustrated Weekly of India', a newsweekly; and two major Indian newspapers: 'The National Herald' and the 'Hindustan Times'. During his tenure, 'The Illustrated Weekly' became India's pre-eminent newsweekly. From 1980 through 1986, Singh was a member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament. His works range from political commentary and contemporary satire to outstanding translations of Sikh religious texts and Urdu poetry.

Achievements

  • Singh's weekly column, 'With Malice towards One and All', carried by several Indian newspapers, is among the most widely-read columns in the country. He is also widely known as an author of 'Train to Pakistan'.

Works

  • book

    • The Mark of Vishnu and Other Stories

    • The History of Sikhs

    • Train to Pakistan

    • The Voice of God and Other Stories

    • I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale

    • The Sikhs Today

    • The Fall of the Kingdom of the Punjab

    • Ranjit Singh: The Maharajah of the Punjab

    • A Bride for the Sahib and Other Stories

    • Black Jasmine

    • Tragedy of Punjab

    • Not a Nice Man to Know: The Best of Khushwant Singh

    • We Indians

    • Burial at the Sea

    • Paradise and Other Stories

    • Death at My Doorstep

    • The Sunset Club

Politics

Singh's faith in the Indian political system has been shaken by events such as anti-Sikh riots that followed Indira Gandhi's assassination, in which major Congress politicians are alleged to be involved. But he has remained resolutely positive on the promise of Indian democracy and worked via Citizen's Justice Committee floated by H. S. Phoolka who is a senior advocate of Delhi High Court.

Interests

  • Writers

    Aldous Huxley

Connections

father:
Sobha Singh - India
Sobha Singh - father of Khushwant Singh

Sir Sobha Singh was a civil contractor and a prominent builder of Lutyens' Delhi and real estate owner of Delhi.

uncle:
Sardar Ujjal Singh

son:
Rahul Singh

daughter:
Mala Singh