Riyadh, March 21:
Expatriate Indians in Saudi Arabia mourned the death of noted Indian journalist and author Khushwant Singh, many lauding his secular views and defiant ‘humour’ on diverse subjects.
Sibi George, who heads the Indian embassy in Saudi capital Riyadh, termed Khushwant Singh as the mark of Indian unity in diversity and one of India’s best known satirists, the Arab News reported Friday.
“He was loved by people irrespective of caste, creed or gender,” George said.
Khushwant Singh believed that parties based on religion would destroy the country.
Shakeel Zaidy, an engineer, noted that Khushwant Singh would be remembered for enlivening writing in India.
“He was never hated, although there were people who did not like him going overboard or being overenthusiastic about his views on freedom of expression,” he said, adding that the nonagenarian was never boring.
Zaidy said Khushwant Singh was bold enough to make stereotyped jokes on Sikhs.
Mohammed Quaiser, president of Tanzeem Hum Hindustani, a non-profit organisation of overseas Indians in that, pointed out that Khushwant Singh was best known for his trenchant secularism, his humour, and an abiding love of poetry and will be greatly missed.
“Very sad to hear of Singh’s death,” Mohammad Nasim Akhtar, vice-president of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association in Riyadh, said.
The writer had spoken at a function of the organisation in Riyadh in the past.