|Height:||170 cm (5' 7'')|
|Birth Day:||February 2, 1915|
|Death Date:||20 March 2014(2014-03-20) (aged 98)
New Delhi, India
|Birth Place:||Hadali, British India (now in Khushab District, Punjab, Pakistan), India|
As per our current Database, Khushwant Singh died on 20 March 2014(2014-03-20) (aged 98)
New Delhi, India.
He entered Delhi Modern School in 1920 and studied there till 1930. There he met his future wife, Kanwal Malik, one year his junior. He studied Intermediate of Arts at St. Stephen's College in Delhi during 1930-1932. He pursued higher education at Government College, Lahore, in 1932, and got his BA in 1934 by a "third-class degree". Then he went to King's College London to study law, and was awarded an LL.B. from University of London in 1938. He was subsequently called to the bar at the London Inner Temple.
Khushwant Singh started his professional career as a practicing lawyer in 1939 at Lahore in Chamber of Manzoor Qadir and Ijaz Hussain Batalvi. He worked at Lahore Court for eight years where there are so many his friends and fans including Akhtar Aly Kureshy Advocate and Raja Muhammad Arif Advocate. In 1947 he entered Indian Foreign Service for the newly independent India. He started as Information Officer of the Government of India in Toronto, Canada. He was Press Attaché and Public Officer for the Indian High Commission for four years in London and Ottawa. In 1951 he joined the All India Radio as a journalist. Between 1954 and 1956 he worked in Department of Mass Communication of the UNESCO at Paris. From 1956 he turned to editorial services. He founded and edited Yojana, an Indian government journal in 1951 -1953; The Illustrated Weekly of India, a newsweekly;The National Herald. He was also appointed as editor of Hindustan Times on Indira Gandhi's personal recommendation.
In 1943 he had already written his own obituary, included in his collection of short stories Posthumous. Under the headline "Sardar Khushwant Singh Dead", the text reads:
During his tenure, The Illustrated Weekly became India's pre-eminent newsweekly, with its circulation raising from 65,000 to 400,000. After working for nine years in the weekly, on 25 July 1978, a week before he was to retire, the management asked Singh to leave "with immediate effect". A new editor was installed the same day. After Singh's departure, the weekly suffered a huge drop in readership. In 2016 Khushwant Singh enters Limca Book of Records as a tribute.
From 1980 to 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. In 2007, the Indian government awarded Khushwant Singh the Padma Vibhushan.
Khushwant Singh was married to Kanwal Malik. Malik was his childhood friend who had moved to London earlier. They met again when he studied law at King's College London, and soon got married. They were married in Delhi, with Chetan Anand and Iqbal Singh as the only invitees. Muhammad Ali Jinnah also attended the formal service. They had a son, named Rahul Singh, and a daughter, named Mala. His wife predeceased him in 2001. Actress Amrita Singh is the daughter of his brother Daljit Singh's son - Shavinder Singh and Rukhsana Sultana. He stayed in "Sujan Singh Park", near Khan Market New Delhi, Delhi's first apartment complex, built by his father in 1945, and named after his grandfather. His grandniece Tisca Chopra is a noted TV and film actress.
Singh was a self-proclaimed agnostic, as the title of is 2011 book Agnostic Khushwant: There is no God explicitly revealed. He was particularly against organised religion. He was evidently inclined towards atheism, as he said, "One can be a saintly person without believing in God and a detestable villain believing in him. In my personalised religion, There Is No God!" He also once said, "I don't believe in rebirth or in reincarnation, in the day of judgement or in heaven or hell. I accept the finality of death." His last book The Good, The Bad and The Ridiculous was published in October 2013, following which he retired from writing. The book was his continued critique of religion and especially its practice in India, including the critique of the clergy and priests. It earned a lot of acclaim in India.
Singh died of natural causes on 20 March 2014 at his Delhi residence, at the age of 99. His death was mourned by many including the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister of India. He was cremated at Lodhi Crematorium in Delhi at 4 in the afternoon of the same day. During his lifetime, Khushwant Singh was keen on burial because he believed that with a burial we give back to the earth what we have taken. He had requested the management of the Baháʼí Faith if he could be buried in their cemetery. After initial agreement, they had proposed some conditions which were unacceptable to Singh, and hence the idea was later abandoned. He was born in Hadali, Khushab District in the Punjab Province of modern Pakistan, in 1915. According to his wishes, some of his ashes were brought and scattered in Hadali.
Currently, Khushwant Singh is 107 years, 7 months and 27 days old. Khushwant Singh will celebrate 108th birthday on a Thursday 2nd of February 2023.
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