Sews Singh was hots in August. 1878 at village 7bikriwala. Patiala State. lit is well known as the real founder of the Pmja Mandel Movement in the Punjab and a giant among freedom fighters. His father, Dews Singh was an important official in the same state. When he grew up, Sews Singh also got appointment as a State official- But he did not allow his official position to come in the way of his interest in the educational and other programmes of the Singh Sabha Movemem. At 7bikriwala, his own village, he raised a big Gurdwara which afterwards became a prominent centre of Akali and Praja Mandal movements.
When the Aknli Movement started, Sews Singh was already counted among the leading Sikh leaders of the area. The Nankana massacre of 1921 and the deposition of the Raja of Nabha, Ripudaman Singh, moved his heart deeply and he began to play a leading role in the Sikh agitations regardless of Maharaja Bhupinder Sigh’s advice to him to the contrary. Soon after, he was arrested along with many other Akali leaders in the Akali Leaders’ Conspiracy Case and detained in the Lahore Central Jail. After the Gurdwara Act of 1925 was passed. the Punjab Government offered conditional release to the Akali prisoners. Sewn Sigh was one of those who refused to be released on any condition. Ultimately, the Government yielded and released him in 1926 without any condition.
But n soon as Sewa Singh stepped out of the Lahore Fort, be was arrested by the Patiala police and detained in the Patiala Jail. He was tried in the court of Anemia oo the charge of a minor theft (stealing of & Ranvi-a tiny round utensil) and though the charge could not be proved• he was not released. This act of high-handedness on the part of the state ruler led to a fierce agitation in the State. Baba Kharak Singh conducted a hurricane campaign throughout the State demanding nmmedmate release ofSewa Singh and condemning the State Government for its arbitrariness. Inside the Jail, Sewn Singh went on hunger-strike as
a P"er"t,’ against maltreatment by the Jail officials. When his condition grew central, he was released on August 24. 1928.
As soon as he was free, he threw himself headlong nto the Praja Mandal Movement of which he had been elected President a little earlier. In 1929 he attended the historic Congress Session at Lahore which declared complete independence to be the political goal of India. At the sane time, a Conference of States’ People was held in the BTadlaugh Ball. Sewa Sirtflt acted as Chairman of the Reception Committee on this occasion.
After some time. a conference of the Punjab Riasti Praja Mandal was held at Ludhiana under the leadership of Sews Singh. In 1930 he headed a deputation which waited upon the Viceroy at Delhi and submitted to him a memorandum regarding the atrocities of the Maharaja of Patiala. During the same year in October a big gathering of the All-India States Peoples’ Conference was held at Lothian. Here, Sewn Singh, as Chairman of ate Reception Committee, made a historic speech which landed him in a Patiala State Jail irnmedratcly after the Conference. After the mockery of a trial he was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine of ten thousand rupees. He was, however, released after four months by the Maharaja under pressure from the All¬India Praja Mandal leaders.
The Maharaja of Patiala started negotiations with Sewa Singh in 1931 when he saw the increasing popularity of the Praja Mandal Movement in the State. The negotiations. however, broke down over the demand of Sewn Single (or an elected assembly in the State. In July 1931 be went to Simla to attend the third conference of the Punjab Riasfi Praja Mandal. The conference could not be held on account of distuabance created by some hirelings of Patiala, but Sewn Singh utilized the occasion to have a discussion with Mahwna Gandhi on the problems of States’ people.
Earlier in January 1931 he had attended a mooting of die All-India Peoples’ Conference at Bombay. At this time he was also president of the Shiromani Akah Dal. In November 1932 he went to participate in a diwan to be organised at And by the Akalis of Sangrur. Tux diwan was banned and the particular gurdwara where it was to be held, war locked from outside. Sewa Singh was taken in police custody LKat was released shortly after. In die same year he was arrested and detained for a few months by the Malcrkotla Government for his participation in the celebration of the Kothala Day Anniversary. At this place ten peasants had been killed in police firing on July 17, 1927.
On May 15, 1932 be presided over an Akali Conference At Khudiats and made a powerful speech. In April 1933 he attended the fourth conference of tale Punjab Praja Mandal at Delhi and played an effective role in its proceedings. A month and a quarter later he took part in a meeting of Praia Mandal leaders at Amritsar where it was decided to send jathas of people to die office of the Lahore Political Agent. In cocuequence, Sewa Singh was served with orders to quit Ansrit5 sr for two months. After that when lie reached Tbikriwals, lie was arrested by the Patiala police on August 25. 1933. Several charges were levelled against him but he refused to defend himselff lie was sentenced to 3 ycars’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 500,’- in the Khudiala Akali Conference Case. tie died on January 20, 1935, while he was on hunger. strut against ill-treatment by the Jail authorities