Khushwant Singh was born in 1915 in Jadali, Punjab, India. He was educated in Lahore and in London. He practiced law for several years before joining the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in 1947. His diplomatic postings include Canada, London, and later Paris where he was assigned to UNESCO. Singh began his career as a journalist with All India Radio in 1951. He went on to become the editor of several Indian magazines and newspapers. Today he is India's best-known columnist and journalist.
Singh has also had an extremely successful career as a writer. His published works include a history of the Sikhs, several works of fiction, and a number of non-fiction books on Delhi, nature, and current affairs. Khushwant Singh was a member of Parliament from 1980 to 1986 and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974 by the President of India. He returned this decoration in 1984 in protest against the Union Government's siege of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Singh has been witness to all the major events in modern Indian history including Independence, Partition, the Emergency and Operation Blue Star. Having known many of the people who have shaped this history, he writes with candor of leaders like Nehru, Indira Gandhi,Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the talented painter Amrita Shergil, and everyday people who became butchers during the Partition.
When writing of his own life he remains forthright. He tells of his triumphs and failures as a lawyer, journalist, writer and Member of Parliament and of his disppointments in his marriage of over sixty years. He write of his phobia of ghosts, his fascination with death, the friends who betrayed him, and those whom he failed.
This report prepared by Judi Darst