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Home > Reference > Indian Literature > Indian Literary Personalities > Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh, Indian Writer
Khushwant Singh, a post colonial novelist and journalist of India was best known for his biting secularism, sharp wits and abiding love for poetry. The demise of this gem on 20th March 2014 caused a great loss to the world of literature.
 
More on Khushwant Singh, Indian Writer (5 Articles)
 Khushwant Singh, Indian WriterKhushwant Singh was an illustrious storywriter, historian, political writer, essayist biographer, translator novelist and journalist. Since independence he has been the country`s most well- known English writer. In Indian literary history Khushwant Singh`s name is bound to evolve as one of the finest historians and novelists, a forthright political commentator, and an outstanding observer and social critic. He is attributed with freethinking. Kushwant Singh`s comparisons of social and behavioural characteristics of Indians and Westerners are the examples of his acid wit. He brought history to our doorsteps and quite ideally therefore India describes him as "The Capital`s best known living monument". Apart from his literary works, his roles as a lawyer, diplomat, critic, journalist, novelist, humorist, naturalist and politician made Khushwant Singh a man larger than life.

Early Life of Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh was born on 2nd February, 1915 at Haldi in Punjab. This place is presently in Pakistan. His father, Sir Sobha Singh was a prominent builder in Lutyens` Delhi. He took his early education from The Modern High School and St. Stephen`s College, New Delhi. Khushwant Singh, Indian WriterHe passed his graduation from Government College, Lahore and then became barrister from King`s College, London. While he was practising in the Lahore High Court in 1947 he had to come to his family`s summer cottage at Kasauli in the foothills of the Himalayas following the partition of India and Pakistan.

Career of Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh was practicing law in the High Court in Lahore before the partition of India and Pakistan. He joined the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in 1947. After that he began a distinguished career as journalist with All India Radio in 1951. Since then he had been founder-editor of Yojana from 1951 to 1953, editor of the Illustrated weekly of India from 1979 to 1980, chief editor of New Delhi from 1979 to 1980 and editor of the Hindustan Times from 1980 to1983. He had written for all most all the major national and international newspapers in India as well as abroad. His Saturday column "With Malice towards One and All" in the Hindustan Times has been one of the most popular columns. He also served UNESCO in Paris. From 1980 to 1986, he was a member of Rajya Sabha. Although it covers a very small period of time yet it reflects his courageous spirit.

Literary Works of Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh`s literary works strongly reflected contemporary satire and political commentary. Many of them are also the translations of Urdu poetry and Sikh religious texts. The experience of his journey to his family`s summer cottage at Kasauli in the foothills of the Himalayas later reflected into his write ups. He had narrated his arrival at Kausali in a jeep of armed Sikhs who were talking in a self-admiring way about the massacred of a Muslim village by them. His experience also resulted in the novel "Train to Pakistan" in 1956. He distilled his experience in the novel powerfully. This book won him the international fame and the Grove Press Award in 1954. His work "Maharaja Ranjit Singh" reflects the secularist view of his. His comments on Bhagwat Gita also revealed his secularist view. Other best-known novels of Singh are "Delhi" and "The Company of Women". He was also amongst the last remaining writers who personally knew the stalwarts of Urdu and Punjabi literature.
Khushwant Singh, Indian Writer
Personal Life of Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh was married to Kawal Malik and the couple was blessed with a son, Rahul Singh, and a daughter Mala. He dwelled in Sujan Singh Park in Delhi, which is credited as the first apartment complex and was constructed in 1945 by his father. It was named after his grandfather.

Death of Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh breathed his last on 20th March 2014, at the age of 99, at his Delhi residence. He was suffering from breathing trouble.

Awards and Honours of Khushwant Singh
Awards and Honours Year
Rockfeller Grant, 1966
Padma Bhushan, Government of India (He returned the decoration in 1984 in protest against the Union government`s siege of the Golden Temple, Amritsar) 1974
Honest Man of the Year, Sulabh International 2000
Punjab Rattan Award, The Government of Punjab 2006
Padma Vibhushan, Government of India 2007
Sahitya academy fellowship award by Sahitya academy of India 2010
‘All-India Minorities Forum Annual Fellowship Award by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav 2012


Books Written by Khushwant Singh
Books Year
Ghadar 1915: India`s first armed revolution 1966
A History of the Sikhs, (2nd edition) 1966
A Bride for the Sahib and Other Stories 1967
Black Jasmine, 1971
Tragedy of Punjab 1984
Delhi: A Novel 1990
Sex, Scotch and Scholarship: Selected Writings, 1992
Not a Nice Man to Know: The Best of Khushwant Singh 1993
We Indians 1993
Women and Men in My Life 1995
Uncertain Liaisons; Sex, Strife and Togetherness in Urban India 1995
Declaring Love in Four Languages, by Khushwant Singh and Sharda Kaushik 1997
The Company of Women 1999
Truth, Love and a Little Malice (an autobiography) 2002
With Malice towards One and All (Weekly Column)
The End of India 2003
Burial at the Sea 2004
Paradise and Other Stories 2004
A History of the Sikhs: 1469-1838 2004
Death at My Doorstep 2005
A History of the Sikhs: 1839-2004 2005
The Illustrated History of the Sikhs 2006
Why I Supported the Emergency: Essays and Profiles 2009
The Sunset Club 2010
Agnostic Khushwant Singh, There is no GOD 2012
The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous, (Co-authored with Humra Qureshi) 2013


Short Stories by Khushwant Singh
Short Stories
The Mark of Vishnu and Other Stories
The Voice of God and Other Stories
A Bride for the Sahib and Other Stories
Black Jasmine
The Collected Stories
The Portrait of a Lady
The Strain
Success Mantra
A Love Affair In London


(Last Updated on : 21/03/2014)
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