Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Khushwant Singh, born 2 February 1915 in Hadali, Punjab is a prominent Indian novelist and journalist. He is one of the most well-known and widely read authors in India. 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. An important Indo-Anglican novelist, 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. From 1980 through 1986, Singh was a member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 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. However in 2007 the Indian government awarded Singh an even more prestigious honor, the Padma Vibhushan. The Padma Vibhushan is India's second highest civilian honour and consists of a medal and a citation which is awarded by the President of India.