Saturday, October 01, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism


Ram Singh, Captain

Soldier and Akali Politician (1864-1949)


Was born the son of Nattha Singh of Sunam, now in Sangrur district of the Punjab. His father had served in the army of the Sikh rulers of Lahore and later in the British Indian army. Born in 1864, Ram Singh spent his early life in his native village where he received his early education. As he grew up, he enlisted in the Patiala state army, but soon left it to join 15th Sikh Battalion of the Indian army on 15 April 1882. He served meritoriously in the Sudan campaigns of 1884-85 and 1897-98 and on the North-West Frontier of India, rising steadily in rank and becoming a Subedar Major and Honorary Captain by the time he retired in 1908. He was also awarded Order of the British India (O.B.I.) and the title of Sardar Bahadur, and granted 125 acres of land in the Sargodha canal colony in Shahpur district (now in Pakistan).

Captain Ram Singh was a devout Sikh. While serving as aide-de-camp to the Governor-General of India towards the end of his army career, he had taken initiative to establish a gurdwara at Shimla. After retirement he helped raise a gurdwara in Chakk No. 127, close to his estate in Sargodha, and rebuild a historical shrine, Gurdwara Pahill Patshahi, at Sunam. He also took active part in the Akali agitation of the 1920's. A member of the first Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committe, he was elected its vicepresident on 27 November 1921 following the arrest of the former incumbent in connection with the campaign for the recovery from the British of the keys of the Golden Temple treasury. He himself, along with 50 others, was arrested on the night of 13-14 October 1923, following the government declaration of 12 October outlawing the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and the Shiromani Akali Dal, and was released on 26 January 1926. He continued to take active interest in Sikh affairs till the end which came on 29 December 1949

Source: TheSikhEncyclopedia.Com

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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