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Mar 20 2014
Khushwant Singh Passes Away At 99....

Khushwant Singh, an eminent journalist writer and a poet, passed away in New Delhi at his residence at Sujan Singh Park. He was suffering from respiratory ailments.  

Khushwant Singh was a literary scholar of India- a man whose intellect, humor, straight talk and penmanship made his writings popular among the people. He was a brilliant humorist & historian. Although, his devil-may-care attitude often landed him in controversies, he was much loved for his ability to laugh at self too (yes, he was known for his sardar [Sikh] jokes- remember his one quote on similar lines- "One Sikh may argue with one Sikh. One Sikh must never argue with two Sikhs- certainly not after the dark."). He was most known for his weekly column "With Malice Towards One and All" and his classic books like 'The Train To Pakistan' and 'I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale’. As all of the leading Indian and international dailies carried the news of the demise of this legendry writer, here we compile five interesting facts about him, for those who don't have the time and/or the inclination to look up several different sites-

#1.  He was born in 1915 in Hadali (now in Pakistan).He had done his schooling at Modern School in Delhi and later studied at St Stephen's College here before moving to the Government College in Lahore. He also studied at King's College in Cambridge University.

#2.   He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974 but returned the decoration in 1984 in protest against the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar by the Army. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan.


#3. In July 2000, he was conferred the "Honest Man of the Year Award" by the Sulabh International Social Service Organization for his courage and honesty in his "brilliant incisive writing."

Khushwant Singh

#4. The Library of Congress has ninety-nine works on and by Khushwant Singh. He has written several novels, the best known of which are Delhi, Train to Pakistan, and The company of women. His other published literature includes classic two-volume history of the Sikhs and a number of translations and non-fiction books on Delhi, nature and current affairs. 


#5. As a journalist he had edited the now defunct Illustrated Weekly of India (1979-1980) and later the Hindustan Times (1980-83). His weekly column 'With Malice Towards One and All' was very popular and was syndicated in many dailies. He was also founder-editor of Yojana magazine (1951-1953), an Indian government journal.

As for his personal life, according to Indian Express, he had married Kawal Malik in 1939 and has son- Rahul and daughter- Mala. His wife had died in 2001.

 

In his article, 'How to Live and Die' in Outlook, he writes that years ago, he had written his own epitaph-

“Here lies one who spared neither man nor God
Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod
Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun
Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun.”

RIP Mr. Khushwant Singh. Your death is a big loss to the literary world. Your candid commentary, political satire and insightful & free-spirited writings will be hugely missed. You leave behind a legacy of free-spirited writing.

gone never forgotten

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