Renowned author and journalist Khushwant Singh was very popular amongst readers of all genre. Son of a wealthy contractor he was educated at the Government College, Lahore and at King's College, Cambridge University, and the Inner Temple in London. Singh was married to Kawal Malik. A Padma Vibhushan recipient he authored several books and collection of short stories. He died on on 20 March 2014 at his Delhi-based residence, at the age of 99.
A Padma Vibhushan recipient, and internationally renowned author and journalist Khushwant Singh was known for his deep passion for writing. During his lifetime he authored several books and collection of short stories. His books like Train to Pakistan, Delhi: A Novel, The Portrait of a Lady were very popular almost readers. He was known for portraying stories in such a beautiful manner that they appear quite realistic. His death on 20 March 2014 at the age of 99 was mourned by many including eminent personalities from all walks of life.
Born on 2 February 1915 at Hadali now a part of Punjab in Pakistan he was son of Sir Sobha Singh, a civil contractor and a prominent builder of Lutyens' Delhi and Sardarni Vira Bai (Varyam Kaur, Lady Singh). He had two brothers and one sister. Singh was educated at the Government College, Lahore and at King's College, Cambridge University, and the Inner Temple in London. For a brief period he joined Ministry of External Affairs in 1947. While studying at King's College London, he came across his future wife Kawal Malik with whom he tied knot soon after. They had a son, named Rahul Singh, and a daughter, named Mala. Son of a wealthy contractor his residence in "Sujan Singh Park", near Khan Market New Delhi, was first apartment complex, built by his father in 1945, and named after his grandfather.
Both actress Amrita Singh and Tisca Chopra is related to him. While the former is the daughter of his brother Daljit Singh's son - Shavinder Singh and Rukhsana Sultana, the latter Tisaca Chopra is his grandniece. A self-proclaimed agnostic, he died of natural causes on 20 March 2014, at the age of 99 in Delhi.
Khushwant Singh during initial years of his life practiced law at the Lahore High Court. Then after he entered Indian Foreign Service for the newly independent India. In 1951 he joined the All India Radio as a journalist. The following years between 1954 and 1956 saw his association with Department of Mass Communications of UNESCO at Paris. His was founder-editor of Indian government journal Yojana (1951-1953), editor of the Illustrated weekly of India (1979-1980), chief editor of New Delhi (1979-1980), and editor of the Hindustan times (1980-1983). How can one forget his Saturday column "With Malice Towards One and All" in the Hindustan times which was most read during those days.
He was member of Rajya Sabha from 1980 to 1986. In protest to Operation Blue Star which saw storming of Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar, Singh returned the Padma Bhushan award. In 2007, the Indian government awarded Khushwant Singh the Padma Vibhushan. Often levelled as a moderate supporter of Congress regime he aftermath anti-Sikh riots of 1984 worked via Citizen's Justice Committee floated by H. S. Phoolka who is a senior advocate of Delhi High Court. He supported the cause of Israel which was contradictory to the union government stand.
In his long span career Khuswant Sigh authored number of books. Many of these later set a benchmark for other waiters of the era. Some of his famous works are mentioned below:
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, 1959
The Sikhs Today
The Fall of the Kingdom of the Punjab
A History of the Sikhs
Ranjit Singh: The Maharajah of the Punjab
Ghadar 1915: India's first armed revolution
A History of the Sikhs, 1966 (2nd edition)
A Bride for the Sahib and Other Stories
Black Jasmine, (Short Story) 1971
Tragedy of Punjab, 1984
Delhi: A Novel, (Novel) 1990
Women and Men in My Life
Honours and Awards
Padma Bhushan, 1974
Honest Man of the Year, Sulabh International 2000
Punjab Rattan Award, (2006)
Padma Vibhushan, Government of India (2007)
Sahitya Akademi (2010)
'All-India Minorities Forum Annual Fellowship Award' (2012)
Lifetime achievement award by Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest in 2013
Fellow of King's College London on January 2014
Singh died on 20 March 2014 in Delhi at the age of 99 and was cremated at Lodhi Crematorium in Delhi. With his roots in Hadali, Pakistan he wished his ashes to be scattered in this part which was fulfilled by his family members.
Condolence and Messages
Famous for his books such as 'Train to Pakistan' and 'I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale', Khushwant Singh was a living legend. His death saw a range of reactions on Twitter.
Dr Manmohan Singh: PM condoles the passing away of Mr Khushwant Singh: "A gifted author, candid commentator and a dear friend. He lived a truly creative life."
Shashi Tharoor: Mourning the passing of the irrepressible, inimitable Mr Original himself. A great loss for the world of ideas&letters. Khushwant Singh RIP.
Shobhaa De: Khushwant Singh. End of an era. Only KS could say 'There's no condom for a pen." And prove it!
Rajdeep Sardesai: Khushwant Singh 99. RIP
Amitav Ghosh: Khushwant Singh speaking at the release of my first book in Delhi, 1986. I will always be grateful for his generosity pic.twitter.com/1syWPo3Ubt
Shah Rukh Khan: Oh no Khushwant Singh is no more. He made our lives so much richer by his literary contributions. “With Malice towards one and all” RIP
Spouse: Kawal Malik
Children: Rahul and Mala
Relatives: Tisca Chopra and Amrita Singh
(FAN OF Shri KHUSHWANT SINGH)
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