Controversial author, journalist and columnist Khushwant Singh passed away on March 20. He was 99. Acclaimed for works like Train to Pakistan, which was also made into a film, Singh was a prolific writer, thinker and an intellectual.
He was known for his alleged liaisons with women but had revealed in his book Absolute Khushwant that it was his unhappy married life that had made him so. Singh was awarded the Government of India’s Padma Bhushan in 1974, which he had returned in 1984 after the Golden Temple siege. He was later honoured with Padma Vibhushan (2007). He had received the Rockfeller Grant in 1966, among several other recognitions.
Twitter is abuzz with the RIP messages, especially by Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, but first by his friend and another controversial author-columnist, Shobhaa De. She said, “Khushwant Singh. End of an era. Only KS could say ‘There’s no condom for a pen.” And prove it!”
Shahrukh Khan: “Oh no Khushwant Singh is no more. He made our lives so much richer by his literary contributions. “With Malice towards one and all” RIP”
Vir Das: “#KhushwantSingh was a huge influence in my life. His history books were the inspiration for my HOI show. A brilliant humorist & historian.”
Vir Das: “We lost a national treasure in every sense of the word today. Go out and get a #KhushwantSingh book. It just might change your life.”
Harsha Bhogle: “so khushwant singh goes,like we all must. what a life led! a 100 would have been excellent but he gave us 99 & we must be thankful for that.”
Ashwin Mushran: “Don’t feel sorry that #KhushwantSingh is no more… Sit back this evening, pour a fine Whiskey and raise your glass to the man.”
Narendra Modi: “My condolences on the passing away of noted author & journalist Khushwant Singh. May his soul rest in peace.”
Renowned journalist Tavleen Singh and award-winning author Amitav Ghosh also tweeted condolences and credited Singh for their success as writers.
Tavleen Singh: “Khushwant Singh RIP. You will be remembered for long by writers like me who may not have been writers without your support.”
Amitav Ghosh: “Very sad to hear of the death of Khushwant Singh – great historian, novelist, editor, columnist, and a wonderfully kind, generous man.”
Amitav Ghosh: “Khushwant Singh speaking at the release of my first book in Delhi, 1986. I will always be grateful for his generosity.”
Our condolences to Khushwant Singh’s family, including Bollywood actress Amrita Singh who is his niece.