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Much power in Khushwant’s words

What do you do when you get home after a hard day’s work and learn of what you think is the biggest news of the day? Switch on the TV, and try and get a fill of what happened, of course

What do you do when you get home after a hard day’s work and learn of what you think is the biggest news of the day? Switch on the TV, and try and get a fill of what happened, of course.

I was hoping to see all the tributes to Khushwant Singh, editor and litterateur-extraordinaire who passed away yesterday. Alas, what I got at 8 pm on the various English channels was the same ol’ political stuff. Except NDTV 24x7 with Nidhi Razdan anchoring the Left Right & Centre show. It was an interesting discussion with author William Dalrymple recalling how Singh hit upon his mother-in-law. And then David Davidar talked about how Singh considered him an equal even when he (David) was in his 20s.

I was then drawn to CNN-IBN for Karan Thapar’s ‘Face to Face’ interview of September 29, 1999. Singh, who revelled in being called the ‘Dirty Old Man of Delhi’, was delightful in this interview. And Thapar, for a change, didn’t put him on the grill, though asked him some probing questions.

On the various 9pm shows, there were tributes. I liked Rajat Sharma on India TV speak of how the very first ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ show 21 years back on March 31 had the naughty sardar in the dock.

Then on Headlines Today in the archives of ‘On the Couch with Koel’, when asked to name a Prime Minister who he would qualify as a donkey given a remark he had made some years back, Singh named HD Deve Gowda.

But the best tribute to the late journalist and writer was on CNN-IBN, hosted by Rajdeep Sardesai. Rahul Singh (Khushwant’s son), Vinod Mehta, Bachi Karkaria and Sadia Dehlvi were part of the panel and it was fun to hear each of them reminisce their days with the man. Rahul spoke of how a letter marked ‘Khushwant Singh, Bastard, India’ reached the house, Bachi remembered his instruction of having the TQ or Tit Quotient on the news page and Vinod Mehta putting his career in perspective. RIP, Khushwant Singh.

Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it. Twitter: @pmahesh E: noose@pman.in

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