Tahil Singh, Bhai
One of the Nankana Sahib Martyrs (1875-1921)
Was born in 1875, the eldest son of Bhai Chanda Singh and Mai Rukko, Kamboj residents of Nizampur village in Amritsar district. On the opening of the Lower Chenab Canal Colony in western Punjab (now Pakistan), the family moved, in 1892, to Chakk No. 38 Nizampur Deva Singhvala in Sheikhupura area.
In 1902 Tahil Singh went abroad to Malaya (now Malaysia) where he worked as a watchman in Kuala Lumpur. He came back to India in 1909 but left again after two years. In 1915 he finally returned home on his father’s death. He began associating himself with progressive and reformist movements. He enlisted as a volunteer for the Rikabganj agitation, preached reformists’ policies and programmes in the surrounding villages, cook an active part in the political conference held at Dharovali on 1-3 October 1920, participated in the liberation of Gurdwara Babe di ber, Sialkot, Gurdwara Khara Sauda, Chuharkana, and Sri Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran.
On 19 February 1921, he marshalled 20 volunteers from his own village and joined the jatha led by Bhai Lachhman Singh Dharovali proceeding to liberate Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib. As the jatha approached the shrine in the early morning of 20 February, Chaudhari Pal Singh Lyallpuri, a local leader, happened to meet them and informed them about the Shiromani Committee’s decision to postpone action and advised them to go back. At this Bhai Tahil Singh pushed forward and declared that they had said their ardas and pledged their word to the Guru not to turn their back on their resolution and that any retreat at that stage was unthinkable. At this the entire jatha went at a sprint and entered the compound of Gurdwara Janam Asthan where the hired assassins of Mahant Narain Das, already alerted and equipped with lethal arms and material for a mass pyre, butchered them en masse.