Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism


Teja Singh Samundari

Teja Singh Samundri was born in 1831 at village Rai Ka BM).
District Amritsar. His father, S. Deva Singh, was a Sikh Jan and a recoEpuad Akali and Congress leader. When new land was granted at Sannmdri in District Lyallpur, the family shifted there and hence the sufSs Ssmundri came to be attached to his name. Teja Singh was appointed Headman of the village after the death of his father. lie received some education in his childhood and later when he grew to manhood, he joined the Indian Army in Risala No. 22 where he was
trees pecenoxed to the position of Instructor. But he did not like to serve
in the Army and resigned after three years. Then he joined the Chief
Kltalsa Dtwan and established at his own village a branch of it called
KJulsa Diwan Sannwsdii and engaged himself zealously in propagating Sikh religion. Shortly after, he set up the Khalsa Divan Bar which was larger organizations with similar aims and objects. Being deeply interested in education, he helped in building up a number of institutions, for instance : Middle School. Rat Ka Burj. Khalsa High School. Lyollpir; Khalsa Hot School, Sarhali, District Amritsar. and Khaki College. Lyallpur. He was President of Use Khaki high School, Lyallpur and Manager of Klialse High School, Sarhali
lie activity participated in the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj agitation in 1914. He organized divans at Patti, Lahore and in the Bar and delivered anti-Government speeches in this connection. Disillusioned about the
role of the Chief Khalsa Diw n in the matter, he severed his connection
with it and became a radical leader.
lie was one of the founders of the rebel Sikh newspaper, Akali and donated generously towards its funds. He was also one of the
major organiser of Atari and Pardisr After the Nankana Sahib tragedy
on February 20, 1921 be joined the SGPC and devoted himself whole¬heartedly to the Gurdwara Reform MovcmenL Ile was arrested in eonneaion with the Keys Morcha at Ajanala in 1921. After butt release, he took active part in the Guru Ka Bagb MorcJta in 1922 and sent many forhas to participate in it. About this time he became member of the Congress Party as well and was elected member of the Punjab Provincial Congress committee. In 1923 he was elected member of AIl.India Congress Committee. In the same year he was elected Vice-President of the Shirarnani Akali Dal. He was arrested in October 1923 in connection with the Jaito Morcla and alter trial on a charge of sedition was confined in the Anuitsr Jail. From there he was transferred after a year to the Lahore Central Jail. After the Gurdwara Act of 1925 was passed, be rehised to give any undertaking demanded by the Government and Preferred to remain in Jail rather than secure his release on condition. He died in Jail on July 17, 1926.

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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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