Arjan Singh Gargajj
Revolutionary and Journalist (1905-1963)
Was born the son of Sundar Singh Ramgarhia, an artisan of Tarn Taran, in Amritsar district of the Punjab, in 1905. In 1919, when he was studying in class VI, young Arjan Singh was expelled from school for refusing to salute the Union Jack, imperial standard of the British rulers. Undaunted, he plunged into the Akali agitation launched in 1920. He left home soon after and took up residence in the office of the Gargajj (lit. thunderous) Akali Diwan established by Jathedar Teja Singh Bhuchchar. This earned him the epithet "Gargajj".
Arjan Singh was arrested in April 1922 on a charge of publicly reciting a seditious poem and sent to jail for six months the youngest Akali prisoner.
Again in 1923, after the Shiromani Akali Dal as well as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee had been outlawed in the wake of the Nabha agitation, Arjan Singh was taken into custody and awarded one-year imprisonment, but was not released until September 1926, when orders banning the Akali Dal were withdrawn. From the Akali Dal, he went across to Naujawan Bharat Sabha, an organization of young socialist revolutionaries. He became a member of the editorial staff of the Kirti, a professedly leftist magazine founded in February 1926 by Santokh Singh, a Ghadr revolutionary. He was imprisoned for his anti-government writings in 1929 and, again, in 1930.
Speech-making was banned for him in 1931, and in 1932 he was interned in the town of Tarn Taran. After briefly serving as sub-editor of the Babar Sher and chief editor of the Cartoon, he joined the Akili as a sub-editor in 1935.
He suffered imprisonment for his political convictions even after Independence and worked on newspapers such as Jahg-i Azadi and Nawah Zamana. His three published works, all in Punjabi, are Do Pair Ghag Turna, Shahid de Bol and Mera Apna Ap.
Arjan Singh Gargajj died on 10 March 1963