Eminent columnist and writer Khushwant Singh who received the 'Punjab Rattan Award' on Thursday for his 'jewels in prose' said the award meant more to him than all the awards he got in his lifetime as it came from "my own people".
"It also becomes dear to me as it was given to me despite the fact that my mother tongue is 'Punjabi' but my writings are in 'English'," said Singh while receiving the third 'Punjab Rattan Award' at a glittering ceremony on Thursday evening attended by luminaries from both 'Punjabs'—India and Pakistan.
Reminding the gathering, from both sides of the border, that a common literature and culture binds 'both Punjabs', Khushwant Singh said it was up to us to keep that spirit and heritage alive.
"The relationship between the common man and the vocabulary has to be maintained and our 'cultural evenings' need to be converted to 'literary gatherings' to enrich and enliven the language that binds both sides."
Honouring Khushwant Singh with the 'Punjab Rattan Award' for "being a Sardar of men and a true man among Sardars", Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the honour was a 'humble token' by the people of Punjab to express how much the people of the state care for him.
"I feel proud to award this honour to a person who earns his respect and stature every day and who epitomises a generation of gentle goodness and generosity."
Lauding 'KS' for the "decades of writing" that inspired millions of Indians and for being the "artful chronicler of history that reads like literature", the Captain gave the "youngest 'elder' statesman of our times" the award, a citation and a pen—to perpetuate what he did best—writing.