Paash and Milkha Singh
Paash’s father Mr Sohan Singh Sandhu on how Paash wrote Milkha Singh’s autobiography FLYING SIKH MILKHA SINGH
It was April, 1, 1974 that a railway strike at all India level had been declared by railway employees. Pash and Tarsem Purewal, Editor ‘Des Pardes’ England, who was in India at that time, planned to attend the Anniversary of Shiv Kumar at Batala, Punjab. But on May 18, 1974, Pash was arrested by Police thinking that he might incite the strike employees. I was also at home at the time of his arrest. When being taken by Police Pash told me that I should inform Tarsem Purewal about his arrest and tell him that he should proceed to Batala alone.
On meeting Purewal we decided to go to Chandigarh to meet some high Police officer about the arrest of Pash when he did not know even about the rail strike. In that context I stayed with Milkha Singh. Milkha Singh asked me to convince Pash to write his biography. This was already conferred between Purewal and Milkha Singh and Pash was asked to do this favour. Purewal wanted to help Milkha Singh to get his biography published so that he could get financial befits from the sale of the book. Milkha Singh was director of Sports, Punjab and a well-known person in official circles (Police, Education directorate and other Punjab civil Secretariat officers) and thus could get his book approved easily for the schools and other city libraries in Punjab. This idea was mooted out by Tarsem Purewal to help his friend Milkha Singh. When Pash was released from Police detension, he was given task of writing the book from the notes given by Milkha Singh to his Steno. After the publication of book, a copy of book was in our house. I read the book and to my surprise, the book was an autobiography by Milkha Singh himself. Pash’s name was mentioned briefly saying that that he helped him to write the book, whereas it was completely written by Pash in his own beautiful language. Milkha Singh visited our home many time just to request Pash to hurry up to complete the book.
This is the true story of the book ‘Udna Sikh, the Flying Sikh.
Any other questions regarding this could be clarifed, I shall be happy to answer all querries.
Sohan Singh Sandhu