Books 4 You: Punjab, Punjabis & Punjabiyat: Reflections on a Land and its People

Editor | Non-Fiction

Punjab, Punjabis & Punjabiyat (Aleph, edited by Mala Dayal, Pages 208, Price Rs 499) brings together Khushwant Singh’s best writings on Punjab, Punjabis and the Sikhs. Divided into three parts, the book deals with various aspects of the region—its geography, climate, history, culture, religion, politics, language and literature. Part I of the book delves into Punjab’s history, culture, language and Sikhism. Part II covers the burning issues that affected the state during Khushwant Singh’s lifetime, including the pains of Partition, the Khalistan movement, Operation Blue Star, the anti-Sikh riots, and more. Part III is a collection of profiles of well-known Punjabis—poets, politicians, activists, friends and family.

The pieces in the book celebrate the culture, determination and spirit of the people of Khushwant Singh’s native land, a place he identified deeply with. Taken together, they give us a peerless portrait of Punjab and its people.

About the author

Born in 1915, Khushwant Singh was among India’s best-known and most widely read authors and journalists. He was founder-editor of Yojana, and editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India, Hindustan Times and National Herald. He published six novels, including Train to Pakistan and Delhi: A Novel as well as several books of short stories. Among his other books are Unforgettable Khushwant Singh: His Finest Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry & Humour, The Freethinker’s Prayerbook, A History of the Sikhs; an autobiography, Truth, Love & a Little Malice: a biography, Ranjit Singh: Maharaja of the Punjab. In addition, he published translations of Hindi and Urdu novels, short stories and poetry.

Khushwant Singh was a 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.

Khushwant Singh died in 2014.

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