The ‘sardar in the lightbulb’ signs out suddenly

Seventy years after he started needling readers and 42 years after he wrote his first column, the “sardar in the lightbulb” will shine no more. Khushwant Singh, the dirty old man of Indian journalism, says he is now too old (and maybe just a little less dirty) to dish out malice towards one and all any more.

“I’m 97, I may die any day now… I’ll miss the money, and the people fawning over me to write about them in my columns,” Singh says in on his self-imposed exile into silence, in Outlook* magaqzine.

Singh began his career as a journalist in1940, writing for The Tribune, contributing book reviews and profiles under the byline ‘KS’. His first regular column appeared in the planning commission journal Yojana.

Editor’s Page, in the Illustrated Weekly of India under his now famous sardar-in-lightbulb logo, first appeared in 1969. The column migrated with Singh to National Herald, and in 1980, to the Hindustan Times. The now-defunct Sunday Observer was the first to buy the rights to it in 1981.

After he left Hindustan Times in the mid-’80s, Khushwant began syndicating his column. His two columns appeared every week without fail for the last 30 years in a dozen national dailies and translated into 17 languages.

* Disclosures apply

Also read: Khushwant Singh on his last day at Weekly

Why Khushwant Singh fell out with Arun Shourie

Barkha Dutt tarred by pure malice: Khushwant

Khushwant Singh stands up for Barkha Dutt, again


  1. Ram

    How much more cynical you Bangalore journalists can get? He didn’t ‘sign out’ suddenly. He has been ill for the last couple of weeks (if you didn’t know), and illness at 97 can’t be taken lightly. Since 2006, he has been saying he may stop writing any time. Today he stopped. And what is with the post title? When a Mysore journalist is about to ‘sign out’ do we write ‘Kannadiga on the elephant’s back’ signs out suddenly?

    Homework: Find out who rides the elephant there?

    1. Ravan

      Dude that’s a curse of an empire and for an emperor. The way he was disciplined can only indicate a deeper medical complication and not what you think.
      neither you can hide most jat’s impotency ( dhiren bhagat’s confession ) with that nor can you hide wife-swapping culture trying with many in himalayan cold.
      The famous patiala king was roaming naked infront of british wives is a testimony to sikh culture .
      better ask for more education and we will provide you freely and fairly – that may atleast put an end to the north indian disorder with the border.

  2. Kushwant Singh has long overstayed. In India people stay on till they are not missed at all when they sign off. In any case his columns were cut and paste jobs for several years now!

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