On Khushwant Singh and his father’s role in Bhagat Singh’s death
In last two weeks, I have read three articles (two in HT and one in Ajit newspaper) by Khushwant Singh and all of them are about ‘clearing the air on his father’s – Shoba Singh – role in the testimony of Bhagat Singh.’ i.e. Sobha Singh identified and testified against Bhagat Singh in Lahore court. Khushwant Singh has already many a times denied that his father’s testimony led Bhagat Singh to death.
The recent controversy came into picture when Khushwant Singh asked to name one of the roads in the Delhi after his father’s name. In the recent article, he has again said almost on the same lines and asked ‘is speaking a truth crime?’ and in another article he as emphasized his father’s role in building the Connaught Palace of Delhi, hospitals, schools, pingalwara in Amritsar and many more buildings and trusts. (Yes, his father was builder and people used to say he owns half the Delhi). In another article he said his father was sitting in the court where Bhagat Singh and his friends planted bombs and police arrested his father also. His father’s role was to identify the persons who blasted in-front of him and his father did the same. There is another fact that his father was ‘Knighted’ after almost 15years of the Bhagat Singh’s death and some people believe that his father got it for testifying against Bhagat Singh. I didn’t know the fact about the testimony till last week but I’ve seen many “Sikhs” don’t like Khushwant Singh and I was naive to think that Sikhs dislike him because Khushwant Singh supported ‘Emergency’ and because of his Sardar jokes! But here was another reason – his father’s testimony against Bhagat Singh – that might have led Sikhs to dislike him. I don’t understand why people consider his father responsible for the death of Bhagat Singh. Records have shown that Bhagat Singh himself have pleaded guilty then where is the question of Khushwant Singh’s father’s testimony? Also, when from the childhood we Indians teach our kids not to lie then why people are demanding any explanation for speaking the truth? I believe Khushwant Singh’s writings against the saffron people have led him into all these controversies.
I’m very much fond of Khushwant Singh’s writings and first time I’m seeing him helpless in his writings – defending his father. I’ve read many books written by Khushwant Singh such as ‘Gods and Godmen of India’, ‘Company of Women’, ‘Train to Pakistan’, Joke Books etc and many articles written by him for various newspapers. I’ve never seen such a pain in his articles as I read in last three. I want old ‘mischievous’ man be spared from all these controversies and people should recognize him as one of the best writers of Indian history. His father was visionary and a great contractor, builder –who build the Delhi. Give them the due credit!
(Written on 18/08/2011 at 9:15am)
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