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The 'lecher' is dead; long live 'lecher' Khushwant Singh
Writer and journalist Khushwant Singh is no more. The man who had no qualms of calling himself a 'lecher' has passed away recently at the age of 99. He was born in 1915 in what is now the Punjab province of Pakistan.
He studied at Modern School, Delhi and St. Stephen's College, Delhi and did Bar at Law from England. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth as he was the son of a rich contractor, Sir Shobha Singh.

His father had given witness against Shaheed Bhagat Singh and somebody called Khushwant, a traitor's son but Khushwant Singh replied that whatever his father had told the Court was the truth.

He practiced at the Lahore Bar but had to flee Lahore in the wake of partition and came to India. Thereafter he served in the Indian Embassies in UK and Canada. Soon, he became a writer and journalist. He edited the magazine, Illustrated Weekly of India for a decade from 1970 to 1980 and raised its circulation manifold.

Thereafter he was editor of the daily, the Hindustan Times from 1980 to 1983. He wrote many novels and short stories but was famous for his weekly column, "Malice Towards One and All" which appeared in the daily, Hindustan Times.

He had a raw sense of humour and wrote candidly. In his own words, "My first short story was published by a magazine in Canada and thereafter, there was no going back and whatever nonsense I wrote, was published".

He candidly admitted that he was a lecher who treated women of all ages as objects of lust. So, the lecher is dead, Long live the lecher. Once an irate Canadian Khalistani wrote him a very abusive letter in Gurmukhi with the address in English which read: "To bastard Khushwant Singh, India" and it did reach him prompting him to remark that envelope with full addresses written on them do not reach their destination but this nonsensical address reached as if he was the only bastard in India.

He wrote jokes on Sikhs called Santa Banta jokes. When SGPC threatened to take action against him, he simply wrote back to them, "Go to hell". He was full of humour and had no fear for his life. My salute to him.

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