Thursday, December 14, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

Banta Singh


A famous Ghadarite, Banta Singh was born in 1890 at village Sanghowal. District Jullundur. His father, Buta Singh, was a prosperous farmer and commanded great respect in the village. Banta Singh received his early education at the Bal Primary School and passed his Matriculation Examination from Anglo-Sanskrit High School,Jullundur. Having done that, he decided to go abroad. On the way to America. be came across some people of his acquaintance in Singapore and Hong Kong in dire distress and helped them out with money despite the fact that he himself badly needed every pice he had. When he reached Canada, he found his countrymen deeply involved in a national movement aimed at expulsion of the British from India. He felt instinctively drawn towards it and started working for the Ghadr, the party paper.

During the First World War, he returned to India in December 1912 and embarked on a well-thought-out programme of winning over Indian soldiers in military cantonments to the national cause. He was regularly visited by famous revolutionaries such as Harnam Singh Tundilat, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Munsha Singh Dukhi and Rash Bihari Bose. With a band of young men mostly drawn from his own village he tempered with railway lines and cut telephone wires near the Surarnsi Railway Station and committed a political dacoity in village Alawalpur. When arrests began to be made and a police post was set up in his village, he quietly slipped away. In his absence his father Buta Singh, his brother Santa Singh and two close relatives were detained. Later on. his father was released but his brother was sentenced to 14 year' and two relatives to 7 years' imprisonment each.

When he was working underground, he once went to Lahore to forcibly get hold of some firearm. There he was detected and two policemen attempted to arrest him and his companion Sajjan Singh_ He hit back and killed one of them. Having done that be escaped and boarded a railway train at Mughal Sarai. But a few policemen also followed him and succeeded in boarding the same train. Banta Singh jumped down from the running train and frustrated the designs of his pursuers. Soon after with the help of a few other revolutionaries he made a raid on the police chowti at Mannnwala and seized all their firearms, When they were chased by the police, all but Banta Singh were arrested. Undaunted by what had happened, Banta Singh continued his work as usual. He was declared an absconder and a prize of two squares of had and two thousand rupees was announced for anyone catching him. His own close relative. Partap Singh of village Joura in the Tanda Police Station, fell victim to the temptation and betrayed him into the hands of the authorities on 15th June. 1915. He was tried under Martial Law in the Central Jail Lahore and sentenced to death where he was hanged oa August 12. 1915. will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

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