NEW DELHI (AP) — Khushwant Singh, the self-proclaimed “dirty old man of Indian journalism”, a journalist, editor and one of the country's best-known as well prolific
writers for more than six decades,whose work ranged from serious histories to joke collections to
one of post-Independence India's great novels, died Thursday at his New
Delhi apartment. He was 99.
He received the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award.
His wife died in 2002. He is survived by his daughter Lata and a son Rahul.
His self-written epitaph says humorously, “Here lies one who spared
neither man nor God; Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod.”
"we look at some of his most important works - a difficult task given the immense body of work he leaves behind.
Train to Pakistan (1953)
the summer of 1947 when India is being partitioned, the hamlet of Mano
Majra comes to terms with the new reality of India and Pakistan, Hindus
and Muslims. The truth is brought home when a ghost train arrives in the
isolated village, carrying bodies of hundreds of refugees. It is left
to a boy and a girl, from different religions, to rise beyond this abyss
of religious hatred.
I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale (1959)
in British India, Kushwant Singh's second novel is about a magistrate
loyal to Britishers and his nationalist son who believes in using the
gun to drive out the Britishers. The son is arrested and the father is
given two choices - either the son betrays his comrades or get hanged.
A History of Sikhs (1963)
This two-volume book is considered the most comprehensive and authoritative book on the Sikhs.
Based on solid research, it is written in a way to be accessible to even the lay reader.
The Company of Women (1999)
work of fiction, Khushwant Singh wrote this novel at the age of 84. A
comment on hypocrisy in the Indian society, the book tells the story of
Mohan Kumar who believes "lust is the true foundation of love". The book
was talked about for its unbridled sexuality and brazen views on
Truth, Love and a Little Malice (2002)
image was not something Kushwant Singh was ever overtly concerned
about. His autobiography which delves into his personal life and all
those he met during the journey was controversial yet true to its title.
Right from his first relationship to important political events he
witnessed to his familial roots - all find a place here and are handled
unabashedly and truthfully.
Why I Supported the Emergency (2004)
bold and thought provoking collection of essays on India's Emergency
explained the reasons why Khushwant Singh supported the proclamation on
June 25. In the book, he goes to point out the mistakes which were made
then and which, he says, must be avoided the next time conditions
require suspension of democratic norms for the preservation of law and
order. The book was edited by Sheela Reddy."