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Khalsa Diwan Lahore
Singh Sabha Reform Organisation 1886

Formed on l I April 1886 by a group of Sikhs who following a schism had severed their connections with the Khalsa Diwan Amritsar. Bhai Attar Singh, chief of Bhadaur, was named president and Bhai Gurmukh Singh chief secretary. The Diwan was formally registered with the government on 19 February 1892. The membership comprised representatives of the Singh Sabhas affiliated to it as well as those from states where no Singh Sabhas existed.

Among the aims and objects of the Diwan were the restoration of Sikhism to its pristine purity, propagation of education especially among women, development of Punjabi language and publication of books on Sikh history and religion. The Diwan gained popularity among the Sikhs owing especially to the unremitting campaign launched by its leaders such as Bhai Gurmukh Singh, Giani Ditt Singh and Bhai Jawahir Singh. Through platform speeches and through newspapers and tracts they preached the reformist creed of the Singh Sabha and derided the Amritsar Diwan and its policies as conservative.

Gurmukh Singh had sponsored monthly Punjabi magazine Sudhararak in April 1886, followed by the weekly Khalsa Akhar which started publication from 13 June 1886. In the hands of Giani Ditt Singh the latter became a powerful spokesman of the Lahore Diwan and its ideology. The number of the Singh Sabhas affiliated to the Diwan soon rose to above 125. But the Diwan lost its verve and vigour with the death of Sir Attar Singh in 1896, of Gurmukh Singh in 1898 and of Ditt Singh in 1901. It was completely eclipsed after the formation of the Chief Khalsa Diwan in 1902.

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