Sadhu Singh Bhaura, Jathedar
Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib (1905-1984)
Sikh missionary who rose to be the Jathedar or high priest of Sri Akal Takht, Amritsar, was born the son of Bhai Ran Singh and Mai Atam Kaur, on 6 June 1905 at Chakk No. 7, a village in Lyallpur district (now in Pakistan). After matriculating from Khalsa High School, Lyallpur (where Master Tara Singh, later a leading figure in Sikh politics, was the headmaster), he joined police service and served at Quetta from 1923 to 1925 before resigning to take part in the Akali agitation for Gurdwara reform.
From 1926 to 1928, he studied at the Shahid Sikh Missionary College, Amritsar, to train as a missionary. From 1928 to 1964, he headed the Sikh preaching centres at Aligarh and Hapur, in Uttar Pradesh, where he is said to have initiated nearly half a million persons according to Sikh rites, among them mostly Vanjara Sikhs of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. He was a member of the executive committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal from 1955 to 1960 and took part in several of the political agitations launched by the party.
He was Jathedar of Takht Sri Kesgarh, Anandpur Sahib, from 1961 to 1964. In 1964, He was elevated to the position of Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht, the highest seat of religious authority and legislation for the Sikhs. He attracted wide public notice when, on 10 June 1978, he issued a hukamnama or edict calling upon all Sikhs to boycott socially the neo-Nirankari sect. In 1980, Jathedar Sadhu Singh Bhaura, in an effort to avert a vertical split in the Akali Dal, formed a 7-member committee of senior party leaders to function as collegiate executive, but soon after himself resigned on health grounds and retired to live with his sons in Jalandhar where he died on 7 March 1984.