When George Fernandes assumed the guise of 'Khushwant Singh'
Organiser   29-Jan-2019

Khushwant Singh narrated an incident when George Fernandes had assumed the guise of a Sikh man, 'Khushwant Singh' to evade arrest during Emergency.
Khushwant Singh, in his book, 'The Good the Bad and the Ridiculous', remembers the incarnations of George Fernandes. Khushwant Singh quoted George saying, "No politician in India has had more bones in his body broken than I. Nor perhaps has anyone been in as many jails as I have."
"I have always had a soft spot for George Fernandes. I have known him for almost 40 years in his many incarnations. He has everything I do not have. When I first saw him, he was a handsome, well-built young man with zest for life that attracted the most beautiful of women. I was a flabby, paunchy Sardar, more seeking than sought after. I recall my first sight of him on a hot summer afternoon on a small platform in Kala Ghoda Chowk in the midst of hundreds of Bombay’s cab drivers, exhorting them to fight for their rights. Later, on the same evening, I met him at a cocktail party reception given by Mota Chudasama. He was the centre of attention among all the bejewelled glitterati of Bombay’s elite society. He was just at ease chatting with them as he was talking to sweaty taxi drivers. The one thing we have in common is our disdain for all religions. George was born Catholic but was totally non-conformist," he added.
Khushwant narrated an incident when George Fernandes had assumed the guise of a Sikh man, 'Khushwant Singh' to evade arrest during Emergency:
"George was openly critical of Indira Gandhi. When she imposed the Emergency, the police went looking for him. He went underground. He grew a beard, learnt to tie a turban and passed off as a Sikh. When he travelled around the country by air, he booked himself under my name — for no better reason than he could not think of another Sikh name. When I questioned him later and said, “But you can’t even speak Punjabi and here many people know me,” he smiled and replied, “I said I was born and brought up in Canada. And no one ever asked me: are you Khushwant Singh?”
........ And... He knew only three Punjabi words: Sat Sri Akal!"
"However, the police got him. He was given the third-degree and even taken out to be shot in an ‘encounter’," recalled Khushwant Singh.