Friday, September 30, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

1st October

1778 The mosque that was constructed on site of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara was destroyed by the Sikhs.
1873 Sri Guru Singh Sabha was first founded and its inaugral meeting at Manji Sahib, Amritsar.

Inaugral meeting of Sri Guru Singh Sabha was held at Manji Sahib, Amritsar. In 1872, the publication of Dr. Trumpp's translation of Guru Granth Sahib had emboldened his Hindu collaborators to openly attack Sikhism and castigate the Sikh Gurus. It were partly these unbecoming attacks on Guru Nanak by Sharda Ram Phillauri in his lectures at Guru ka Bagh in Amritsar, and partly the onslaught of Christian missionaries in securing converts from the Sikh youth, that made some of the prominent Sikhs to convene a historic meeting at Guru Ka Bagh, Amritsar. Here it was decided to form a society under the name of Sri Guru Singh Sabha with Sardar Thakur Singh Sandhanwala as President and Giani Gian Singh as Secretary. Other important members included Baba Khem Singh Bedi of Kullar, and Kanwar Bikram Singh of Kapurthala. This marked the birth of Singh Sabha Movement. The inaugral meeting attendance by Pujaris, Mahants, Gianis, Nirmalas, and prominent Sikh Sardars was significant. Hukamnamahs were obtained from the four Takhats and other historical Gurudwaras in support of the organization and pointed to its wider ramification.

It was duly registered and sttod for love of religion among the Sikhs, advocated the propagation of Sikhism and Punjabi. However, it scrupulously avoided and evaded political issues. But it soon fell a prey to dissensions due to the conservative ideology of its leading members.

-Ref. "The Sikhs in History" by Sangat Singh, 1995

1961 Master Tara Singh broke his fast.

Master Tara Singh broke his fast that started on Aug. 15, 1961 to protest against the discriminatory attitude of the government of India in not forming a Punjabi Speaking State demanaded by the Sikhs. Prime Ministers offer to appoint a commision of inquiry to look into the matter, prevailed upon Master Tara Singh to break his fast. Soon therefater, Government of India issued a notification which read:

"Various charges have been made abour discrimination against the Sikhs in Punjab. THis has culminated in Master Tara Singh, a veteran Akali leader, taking the extreme step of fast unto death. The Government is strongly of the opinion that in a democratic set up, such an extreme step is neither called for nor justified and therefore, the fast should be terminated immediately; however, in the present context of doubt and suspicion the Government has given thought to this matter and considered it adviseable in accordance with the announcement made by the Prime Minister in the Parliament to appoint a Commission.

This Commission may go into the general question of discrimination, and examine any charges of differential treatment or grievances of the Sikhs. The appointment of the Commission would naturally take some time, but propose to do so as early as possible."

This official notification clearly recognises Sikhs as a distict political group.

-Source. "History of Sikh Struggles, Vol. 1," By Gurmit Singh, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 1989. pp. 51

==> MASTER TARA SINGH: Master Tara Singh was born on 24 June, 1885, in Haryal in Rawalpindi district of North Western Province of undivided India. His mother, Moolan Devi, was a pious lady and his father, Bakshi Gopi Chand, was a patwari of the village and was a well known and respected person. Tara Singh's original name was Nanak Chand. In 1902 Nanak Chand embraced Sikhism and came to be called Tara Singh.

Tara Singh had a bright educational career and was a scholarship holder almost at all stages of his education. In 1907 he passed his B. A. examination from Khalsa College, Amritsar. Later Tara Singh joined as headmaster of Khalsa High School, Lyallpur, at an honorarium of Rs. 15 per month. Since then he came to be known as Master Tara Singh. His career as a teacher ended in 1921, following the Nankana tragedy.

He also edited two Akali newspapers, Akali (Udru) and Akali te Pardesi (Grumukhi) in which he forcefully put forward the aims and objectives of the Akali Dal.

He took an active part in national politics till his death on 22 November 1967.

-Ref. "Master Tara Singh, by Verinder Grover, Deep & Deep Publications Delhi, 1995.

1984 Indian Forces handed over the control Darbar Sahib complex to Singh Sahiban after Operation Bluestar. Giani Zail Singh, as President of India, flew back to Amritsar on this day and handed over the control of Darbar Sahib complex to Singh Sahibans. Jathedar Santa Singh Nihang Singh's Jatha ensured the departure of Indian forces from the complex.

-Ref. "Punjabi Tribune," May 5/1991



 

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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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