Born in Punjab’s Hadali village (now in Pakistan) in 1915, Khushwant Singh has acquired an iconic stature: he is, arguably, India’s best-known and most widely read author, columnist and journalist. He was founder-editor of Yojana, and editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India, National Herald and the Hindustan Times. His first book, The Mark of Vishnu and Other Stories, was published in 1950. The best known among these are the novels Train to Pakistan, I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale and Delhi; his autobiography, Truth, Love and a Little Malice; and the two-volume A History of the Sikhs.
Khushwant Singh was member of the Rajya Sabha from 1980 to 1986. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974; he returned the award in 1984 to protest the siege of the Golden Temple by the Indian Army. In 2007, he was awarded India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan.
He thinks that some of the best poetry is contained in The Bible.
Ghalib is one of the greatest poets, and certainly the greatest Urdu poet in his opinion.