- Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh ( _pa. ਖ਼ੁਸ਼ਵੰਤ ਸਿੰਘ, IPA2|xʊʃʋən̪t̪ sɪ́ŋg; born
2 February, 1915in Hadali, Punjab, which now lies in Pakistan) is a prominent Indian novelist and journalist. 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.
Indo-Angliannovelist, Singh is best known for his trenchant secularism, his humor, and an abiding love of poetry. His comparisons of social and behavioral characteristics of Westerners and Indians are laced with acid wit. He served as editor of several well-known literary and news magazines, as well as two major broadsheet newspapers, through the 1970s and 1980s.
Life and career
He is cool.Singh was educated at Government College, Lahore and
St. Stephen's Collegein Delhibefore reading for the Bar at King's College, Cambridge. His father, Sir Sobha Singh, was a prominent builder in Lutyens' Delhi.
In August 1947, days before the partition of India and Pakistan, Singh, then a lawyer practicing in the High Court in Lahore, drove to his family's summer cottage at
Kasauliin the foothills of the Himalayas. Continuing on to Delhialong convert|200|mi|km of strangely vacant road, he came upon a Jeepfull of armed Sikhs who boasted that they had just massacred a village of MuslimsSengupta, Somini, "Bearing Steady Witness To Partition's Wounds," Arts, " The New York Times", September 21, 2006, pages E1, E7] . Such experiences were to be powerfully distilled in Singh's 1956 novel "Train to Pakistan". (The 2006 edition of Train to Pakistan, published by Roli Books in New Delhi, also contains 66 photographs by Margaret Bourke-Whitethat capture the partition's violent aftermath.)
Singh has edited "Yojana", 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.Fact|date=April 2007 After Singh's departure, it suffered a huge drop in readership [ [http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/003653.html Khushwant Singh's Journalism: The Illustrated Weekly of India] ] .
From 1980 through 1986, Singh was a member of
Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament. Awarded the Padma Bhushanin 1974 for service to his country, in 1984 he returned the award in protest against the siege of the Golden Temple by the Indian Army. Undeterred, in 2007 the Indian government awarded Singh an even more prestigious honor, the Padma Vibhushan.
A self-proclaimed agnostic, lover of fine scotch whiskey and admirer of female beauty, he nonetheless leads a very disciplined life, waking up at 4 am each day and continuing to write his columns by hand. His works range from political commentary and contemporary satire to outstanding translations of
Sikhreligious texts and Urdupoetry. Despite the name, his column "With Malice Towards One and All" regularly contains secular exhortations and messages of peace, brotherhood and tolerance. In addition, he is one of the last remaining writers to have personally known most of the stalwart writers and poets of Urduand Punjabi languages, and profiles his recently deceased contemporaries in his column. One of the most striking aspects of his weekly writings is his outright honesty; he will openly admit to his weaknesses and mistakes, along with an acceptance of his declining health and physical abilities in more recent times.
As a public figure, Singh has been accused of favoring the ruling Congress party, especially during the reign of
Indira Gandhi. He is better viewed as an establishment liberal. Singh's faith in secular forces has been shaken by events such as anti-Sikh riotsthat followed Indira Gandhi's assassination, in which major Congress politicians were alleged to be involved. But he has remained resolutely positive on the promise of Indian democracy [Singh, Khushwant, "Oh, That Other Hindu Riot Of Passage," Outlook Magazine, November, 07, 2004 , available at http://www.countercurrents.org/comm-khushwantsing071104.htm] ] .
Honors and awards
Padma Bhushan, Government of India (1974)
* "Honest Man of the Year",
Punjab Rattan Award, The Government of Punjab (2006)
Padma Vibhushan, Government of India (2007)
The Mark of Vishnu and Other Stories", 1950
The History of Sikhs", 1953
Train to Pakistan", 1956
The Voice of God and Other Stories", 1957
I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale", 1959
The Sikhs Today", 1959
The Fall of the Kingdom of the Punjab", 1962
A History of the Sikhs", 1963
A Bride for the Sahib and Other Stories", 1967
Black Jasmine", 1971
Tragedy of Punjab", 1984
We Indians", 1993
Women and Men in My Life", 1995
*"Uncertain Liaisons; Sex, Strife and Togetherness in Urban India", 1995
The Company of Women", 1999
Truth, Love and a Little Malice"(an autobiography), 2002
With Malice towards One and All"
The End of India", 2003
Burial at the Sea", 2004
Paradise and Other Stories", 2004
Death at My Doorstep", 2005
*"The Illustrated History of the Sikhs", 2006
* [http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4089 Essay on Khushwant Singh on Literary Encyclopedia]
* [http://allaboutsikhs.com/person/khushwantsingh.htm About Khushwant Singh on AllAboutSikhs]
* [http://sikhtimes.com/bios_021503a.html Interview with Khushwant Singh]
* [http://www.india-today.com/itoday/19990830/cover2.html India today Interview: "We've Had So Many Donkeys as PM"]
* [http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20051017&fname=FInterview+Khushwant&sid=1&pn=1 Outlook India Interview: "I Don't Know One Editor In India Who Is Well-Read" ]
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