Tag Archives: partition

KHUSHWANT SINGH

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    Khushwant Singh (born Khushal Singh, 2 February 1915 – 20 March 2014) was an Indian author, lawyer, diplomat, journalist and politician and. His experience in the 1947 Partition of India inspired him to write ‘Train to Pakistan’ in 1956 (made into a film in 1998), which became his most well-known novel. He is one of the prime English authors of India.

    Born in Punjab, Khushwant Singh was educated in New Delhi, and studied law at St, Stephen’s College, Delhi, and King’s College London. After working as a lawyer in Lahore Court for eight years, he joined the Indian Foreign Service upon Independence of India from British Empire in 1947. He was appointed journalist in the All India Radio in 1951, and then moved to the Department of Mass Communications in UNESCO at Paris in 1956. His last two careers encouraged him to pursue a literary career. As a writer, he was best known for his trenchant secularism, humour, sarcasm and an abiding love of poetry. His comparisons of social and behaviour characteristics of Westerners and Indians are laced with acid wit. He served as the editor of several literary and news magazines, as well as two newspapers, through the 1970s and 1980s. Between, 1980-1986 he served as Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India.

    Khushwant Singh was bestowed with Padma Bhushan in 1974. But he returned the award in 1984 as a protest against Operation Blue Star in which the Indian Army raided Darbar Sahab in Amritsar. In 2007 he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of India.

    Khushwant Singh was born in Hadali, Khushab District, Punjab (which now lies in Pakistan), into a Sikh family. He was the younger son of Sir Sobha Singh and Veeran Bai. Since births and deaths were not recorded in those times, his father simply made up 2 February 1915 for his school enrolment at Modern School, New Delhi. But his grandmother Lakshmi Bai asserted that he was born in August, so he later set the date for himself as 15 August. Sobha Singh was a prominent builder in Lutyens Delhi. His uncle Sardar Ujjal Singh (1895–1983) was previously Governor of Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

    His birth name, given by his grandmother, was Khushal Singh (meaning a “Prosperous Lion”). He was called by a pet name “Shalee”. At school his name earned him ridicule as other boys would mock at him with an expression, “Shalee Shoolie, Bagh dee Moolee” (meaning, “This shalee or shoolee is the radish of some garden.”) He chose Khushwant so that it rhymes with his elder brother’s name Bhagwant. (He declared that his new name was “self-manufactured and meaningless”. But he later discovered that there was a Hindu physician with the same name, and the number subsequently increased).

    He entered Delhi Modern School in 1920 and studied there till 1930. There he met his future wife, Kawal Malik, one year his junior. He continued higher education at Government College, Lahore, St. Stephen’s College Delhi, and King’s College London, before reading for the Bar at the Inner Temple.

    Khushwant Singh started his professional career as a practising lawyer in 1939. He worked at Lahore Court for eight years. In 1947 he entered the Indian Foreign Service for the newly independent India. He started as Information Officer of the Government of India in Toronto, Canada. He was a 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; and also The Illustrated Weekly of India, a newsweekly; and two major Indian newspapers, The National Herald and the Hindustan Times. During his tenure, The Illustrated Weekly became India’s pre-eminent newsweekly, with its circulation raising from 65,000 to 400000. 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 entered 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 Padma Bhushan in 1974 for his service to the 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. As a public figure, Khushwant Singh was accused of favouring the ruling Congress Party, especially during the reign of Indira Gandhi. He was derisively called an ‘establishment liberal’. Singh’s faith in the Indian political system was shaken by the anti-Sikh riots that followed Indira Gandhi’s assassination, in which major Congress politicians are alleged to be involved; but he remained resolutely positive on the promise of Indian democracy and worked via Citizen’s Justice Committee floated by H.S. Phoolka a senior advocate of Delhi High Court.

    Singh was a votary of greater diplomatic relations with Israel at a time when India did not want to displease Arab nations where thousands of Indians found employment. He visited Israel in the 1970s and was impressed by its progress.

    Khushwant Singh was married to Kawal 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 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.

    Khushwant Singh was a self-proclaimed agnostic, as the title of his 2011 book suggests: ‘Agnostic Khushwant: There is no God explicitly revealed.’ He was particularly against organised religion. He was evidently inclined towards atheism, as he once said, “One can be a saintly person without believing in God and also a detestable villain while 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 the 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 is survived by his son and daughter. 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 Bahai 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.

    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:

    We regret to announce the sudden death of Sardar Khushwant Singh at 6 pm last evening. He leaves behind a young widow, two infant children and a large number of friends and admirers. Amongst those who called at the late sardar’s residence were the PA to the chief justice, several ministers, and judges of the high court.

    He also prepared an epitaph for himself, which runs as follows:

Here lies one who spared neither man nor God;
Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod;
Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun;
Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun.

He was cremated and his ashes are buried in Hadali school, where a plaque is placed bearing the inscription:

IN MEMORY OF
SARDAR KHUSHWANT SINGH
(1915–2014)

A SIKH, A SCHOLAR AND A SON OF HADALI (Punjab)
‘This is where my roots are. I have nourished them with tears of nostalgia.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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INTERESTING FACTS & QUOTES-18

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The difference between an enemy and an adversary. An adversary is someone you want to defeat, an enemy is someone you have to destroy. Our political leaders have started treating their adversaries as enemies which is sad.

What does the expression mutually exclusive mean: If two events are mutually exclusive, it means, that they cannot occur at the same time. For example, the two possible outcomes of a coin flip are mutually exclusive; when you flip a coin. It cannot land both on heads and tails simultaneously.

A rat’s ass: I don’t give a rat’s ass means a minimum degree of interest. The phrase is considered vulgar. Generally meaning minimum amount or degree of care or interest—usually used in the phrase don’t give a rat’s ass.

The boom barrier (also known as the boom gate) fell on gate no. 28C, of the Chunar-Chopan, railway crossing near Khairahi railway station, 180km from Allahabad, in the recent past. With this the last unmanned level crossing on Indian Railway’s 67,300-km track comes to an end.

The founder of the Brahma-Kumaris taught seekers not to renounce hearth and home, nor worldly responsibilities to get spiritual salvation but to attain it by balancing material life with the spiritual, through regular practice of soul-consciousness.

To be fair the British Raj did impoverish India. In this regard there are credible estimates available, from the leading British economist Angus Maddison that shows India’s share of world GDP shrunk from 24.6% to 3.8% between 1700 and 1952. However, Maddison also notes that in terms of per-capita GDP, India has consistently lagged behind several European nations even 2,000 years ago. By 1700, per-capita income of countries like the Netherlands and Britain was double or thereabouts that of India.

Ancient India had its time under the sun, but that is over. The modern world, led by China, is now playing a completely different ballgame. Today, China is known as the world’s factory.

The UAE launched in 2009 an ambitious 10-year plan to teach English to locals to prepare them for a future without oil, attracting English teachers from all around the world to come and teach local children. Meanwhile, the English-speaking population of the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka has already taken over India’s burgeoning BPO industry. So, India needs to wake up fast.

A huge tusker was crossing a wooden bridge. A fly was perched on his left earlobe. After they got across, the fly said, ‘Hey didn’t we really shake up that bridge?’ That sums up the human attitude today. Though we are a microscopic speck in the cosmic scale, we delude ourselves that we are the centre of creation. We think the planet is in peril when only human existence and their well-being are truly imperilled.

Though John Maynard Keynes was one of the most influential economic policy makers of the 20th century. Keynes did not actually have a degree in economics. In fact, his total professional training came to little more than eight weeks. All the rest was learnt on the job.

Despite the Rs 1.6 lakh crore annual PDS (public distribution system) subsidy.  India ranks at 103 out of 119 countries in the world Hunger Index, and 21% of Indian children between 0-5 years are malnourished. India’s touted demographic dividend could partly turn out to be a demographic time bomb.

India with the world’s youngest workforce, comprising, nearly a fifth of the world’s millennial is struggling to keep pace with changing times. Millennial or Generation Y, comprising 34% of India’s population are already 45% of the Indian workforce and by 2025 this number is expected to reach 75%.

According to a 2016, millennial survey by Deloitte, 16.8% of millennial evaluate career opportunities by good work-life balance, followed by 13.4% who look for opportunities to progress, and 11% who seek flexibility. Companies where millennial talent is a significant part of the workforce are implementing initiatives like relaxed dress codes and flexi-timing to attract and retain talent. Living in the gig economy, key skill for millennial is preparedness to move across industries and roles.

 There are 1.3 million Anganwadi centres across India. Anganwadi is a type of rural child care centre. They were started by the Indian Government in 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services Program to combat child hunger and malnutrition. Anganwadi means “courtyard shelter” in Indian languages.

The Greeks probably invented the idea of organised competitive sports. Where, organised team as well as individual sports came mostly from the British.

Lights are very tricky. See how they behave. When blue green and red lights combine, they produce a white light. On the other hand, intersection of magenta, (purplish red) yellow and cyan, (greenish blue) leads to black that absorbs all colours. So be careful with lights.

Two-third of the paddy procurement in India is just from 5 states led by Punjab.

US confirms 90% of addicts experience a relapse shortly after undergoing de-addiction treatment. Around 22.5% of the world’s population is tobacco-dependent and 4.9% people have alcohol use disorder.

Over 80% of India’s workforce is employed in the unorganised and informal sector.

When over 18.6 million adults remain unemployed in India, what is the reason India still employs over 10 million children.

Fascism arose in Europe as a reaction to communism.

No Hindu worships the primary God of the Vedas today. Have you seen a temple of Indra today?

In 1934, the AICC passed a resolution prohibiting Congress members from also being members of the RSS, Hindu Mahasabha or the Muslim League.

14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities are in India.

India Pakistan partition of 1947 was an event that displaced around 15 million and killed a million.

Interesting lines & quotes:

I think Mark Twain sums it up pretty nicely: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do then by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

  Whoever, fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster—FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, German philosopher, poet and cultural critic.

Words on the street is that elections are already over, only the polling is left.

Mahatma Gandhi once said—’there is no way to peace, peace is the way.’

 Misery is the by-product of a lazy mind. Happiness is the by-product of an alert mind. Stop kicking yourself with regrets and guilt feelings. Give up feelings of being guilty. You will find yourself happy—SWAMI SUKHABODHANANDA

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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WATCH BOOK TALK: ‘TRAIN TO PAKISTAN’ by Khushwant Singh

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SHORT STORY: THREE REFUGEES … lessons of life

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lesson 2 lesson lesson3

SHORT STORY: THREE REFUGEES … lessons of life

    Once upon a time during the partition of India there were three refugees who landed up in Calcutta. They had walked for many miles over the days and were tired and hungry. They were looking for alms as they had no money to buy food.

    As tired souls they looked around the streets, markets and even nearby colonies but no one provided them with either money nor food. Tired, they filled their stomach with some tap water, after which, they walked across the road, and entered a park, to rest under a tree.

    They had not even, adequately, befriended themselves, even when, they were together for the last couple of days, because their focus was on rest and food as they were tired, hungry and even sick. For them crossing the border, organizing food, water, shelter and survival was the immediate priority during the days that they had traveled together, and not so much befriending themselves.

    Their hunger was now reaching a burst point. When a group of people from a charitable organisation came up to their rescue, having realised they were refugees. They gave them a dozen bananas each. Upon receiving the bananas they were thrilled, and they started jumping in joy as if they had recovered a lost fortune.

    Soon, the first refugee who appeared the most hungry had all the bananas in a go and burped loudly, and then decided to rest.

    The second refugee had six out of them and kept the balance six bananas close to his chest and decided to take some rest.

    The third refugee, after having six bananas got up and told the remaining two, that he is going up, to the nearby market and will return soon.

    Now see what happens:

    The first refugee who had finished all the bananas was rather puzzled at the banana-behaviour of the balance two refugees. As hitherto, they were cribbing, they were extremely hungry and could even finish a man, but when they got bananas to eat, they didn’t finish it. By now about half-an-hour had passed when he saw the third refugee walking back without bananas in his hand. Upon seeing the third refugee without bananas, number one’s inquisition started tickling him. He couldn’t resist anymore, so without waiting for third refugee, he suddenly asked the second one.

   ‘Arrey yaar, you were so hungry but you didn’t finish all the bananas. Why are you keeping these six bananas with you?’

    The second refugee replied, ‘I have kept it for the evening. For who knows in this unknown city you might not get any charity again, so as a precaution I have kept it for my dinner.’

    ‘And, what about you? You had gone out with six bananas but now you have none with you.’ The first refugee asked the third refugee.

    ‘Well … well I ate six and sold six and now I have money for two more meals.’ Replied the third person.

    The story conveys a smart worldly message. The first refugee ate all the bananas thinking some other Good Samaritan or God perhaps will not let him go hungry. The second refugee showed a streak of saving and cautiousness for the rainy day so he ate six and kept six for dinner but the third refugee had that entrepreneurial drive so he ate six and sold six.

    Introspect, what would you have done under the circumstances?

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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