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The South Asian Literary Recordings Project

Khushwant Singh, 1915-


Image of Khushwant Singh, 1915- (photo credit: Gaurav Sharma)

Select page numbers to listen or LCCN to display the bibliographic record.


  1. A history of the Sikhs.
    New Delhi : OUP, 1999.
    (LCCN: 63007550. LC has different edition).
    Realmedia excerpt: pp. 324-325
    MP3 excerpt: pp. 324-325
  2. Train to Pakistan.
    Karachi : OUP, 1998.
    (LCCN: 75015688. LC has different edition).
    Realmedia excerpts: pp. 9-10, pp. 108-110
    MP3 excerpts: pp. 9-10, pp. 108-110
  3. Delhi.
    New Delhi : Penguin Books, 1990. (LCCN: 91154182).
    Realmedia excerpt: pp. 1-2
    MP3 excerpt: pp. 1-2

Khushwant Singh, one of the best -known Indian writers of all times, was born in 1915 in Hadali (now in Pakistan). He was educated at the Government College, Lahore and at King's College, Cambridge University, and the Inner Temple in London. He practiced law at the Lahore High Court for several years before joining the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in 1947. He began a distinguished career as a journalist with the All India Radio in 1951. Since then he has been founder-editor of 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). His Saturday column "With Malice Towards One and All" in the Hindustan times is by far one of the most popular columns of the day.

Khushwant Singh's name is bound to go down in Indian literary history as one of the finest historians and novelists, a forthright political commentator, and an outstanding observer and social critic. 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." At the award ceremony, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh described him as a "humourous writer and incorrigible believer in human goodness with a devil-may-care attitude and a courageous mind." The Indian external affairs minister said that the secret of Khushwant Singh's success lay in his learning and discipline behind the "veneer of superficiality."

Among the several works he published are a classic two-volume history of the Sikhs, several novels (the best known of which are Delhi, Train to Pakistan, and The company of women), and a number of translations and non-fiction books on Delhi, nature and current affairs. The Library of Congress has ninety-nine works on and by Khushwant Singh.

Khushwant Singh was a member of the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Indian Parliament) from 1980 to 1986. Among other honors, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974 by the President of India (he returned the decoration in 1984 in protest against the Union Government's siege of the Golden Temple in Amritsar).

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October 6, 2010
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