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Kushwant Singh

Kushwant Singh

Kushwant Singh

He is one of the most prominent figures in Punjab politics.How has been the experience of writing the biography of Captain Amarinder Singh?

It has been an amazing experience to account the life of Captain Amarinder Singh a multifaceted personality.. I was lost in discovering another life. The book has been much appreciated by the readers and has gone for reprint in just 20 days. The book talks about many crucial events and decisions of his life. It was collecting such a vast repertoire of information, corroborating it, chaffing fiction from fact, which was more challenging. For me, it has been a fascinating learning experience.

What are the paramount traps to avoid while writing a biography?

Trust and objectivity!I had to talk to innumerable people to understand his life history and present a perspective. In an authorized biography, there is always a fear that it will be compromised. Nothing of that sort happened here.

Please take us through the inception of writing the biography of Captain Amarinder Singh?

I was approached by Hay house in 2012 to write his biography. It was also in 2012 that he had lost two elections. I asked his permission to which he replied, who’s going to read it but in a matter of seconds it was decided that we would do the book. The book presents an honest account of his life and journey.

How much time did you put in researching the life story of Captain Amarinder Singh?

It took me five years of research, innumerable interviews with people who have known him at a personal level, learning about his passions and interests and 100 hours recording with him to finally present it to the readers. The book is brutally honest with revealing behind the scenes plots and counterplots, Operation Bluestar and its repercussions that have been objectively recorded.

How has this biography impacted you?

Every book you write leaves an imprint on you and this one is significantly special. While writing his biography, I have picked up one of the numerous qualities he has, which is not to react but to respond. I am a changed person after completing this book.

Please tell us a bit about your foray into writing. How did it happen?

I was born into a leading farming family in Punjab, I started developing writing as an alternate career at the age of twenty-four. My initial endeavors include Sikhs Unlimited, a travelogue from the UK to the USA featuring extraordinary Sikhs, Turbaned Tornado, a biography of Fauja Singh, the world’s oldest marathon runner and best-selling novel Maharaja in Denims, a story set in Chandigarh.

Did you feel the pressure of writing such a high profile authorized biography?

It’ is with great responsibility and humility that I brought this book to the public. It has been a challenge and an expedition, but a fascinating one. I was lost in discovering another life. My subject never asked for any insertion or omission, and never controlled or directed the biography, which is one of the main challenges in an authorized biography. In fact, he has set himself as a model for a dispassionate political biography, which many political leaders will find hard to emulate.

How would you describe Captain Amarinder Singh?

He is quite belligerent as a person if he has decided something,it’s very difficult to convince him to let it go. He is a man who is very particular about his personal space, about protocol and conduct in the public space. After his election as chief minister he has proved that he truly is “People’s Maharaja”.

About the Interviewee:

Born on 11 July 1972, in a leading farming family of Punjab, Khushwant Singh developed writing as an alternate career at the age of twenty-four. He is the author of best-selling Sikhs Unlimited, a travelogue from UK to USA featuring extraordinary Sikhs, Turbaned Tornado, biography of Fauja Singh, the world’s oldest marathon runner and best-selling novel Maharaja in Denims, a story set in Chandigarh. His column Punjabi by Nature in the Hindustan Times has earned him the title of being a chronicler of Punjab the new century. His latest book that was released in February 2017 is an authorized biography of Capt.Amarinder Singh titled 'The People's Maharaja' will also be featured at Valley of Words:International Literature and the Arts Festival 2018