|Master Tara Singh broke his fast. |
Master Tara Singh broke his fast that started on Aug. 15, 1961 to protest against the discriminatory attitude of the government of India in not forming a Punjabi Speaking State demanaded by the Sikhs. Prime Ministers offer to appoint a commision of inquiry to look into the matter, prevailed upon Master Tara Singh to break his fast. Soon therefater, Government of India issued a notification which read:
"Various charges have been made abour discrimination against the Sikhs in Punjab. THis has culminated in Master Tara Singh, a veteran Akali leader, taking the extreme step of fast unto death. The Government is strongly of the opinion that in a democratic set up, such an extreme step is neither called for nor justified and therefore, the fast should be terminated immediately; however, in the present context of doubt and suspicion the Government has given thought to this matter and considered it adviseable in accordance with the announcement made by the Prime Minister in the Parliament to appoint a Commission.
This Commission may go into the general question of discrimination, and examine any charges of differential treatment or grievances of the Sikhs. The appointment of the Commission would naturally take some time, but propose to do so as early as possible."
This official notification clearly recognises Sikhs as a distict political group.
-Source. "History of Sikh Struggles, Vol. 1," By Gurmit Singh, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 1989. pp. 51
==> MASTER TARA SINGH: Master Tara Singh was born on 24 June, 1885, in Haryal in Rawalpindi district of North Western Province of undivided India. His mother, Moolan Devi, was a pious lady and his father, Bakshi Gopi Chand, was a patwari of the village and was a well known and respected person. Tara Singh's original name was Nanak Chand. In 1902 Nanak Chand embraced Sikhism and came to be called Tara Singh.
Tara Singh had a bright educational career and was a scholarship holder almost at all stages of his education. In 1907 he passed his B. A. examination from Khalsa College, Amritsar. Later Tara Singh joined as headmaster of Khalsa High School, Lyallpur, at an honorarium of Rs. 15 per month. Since then he came to be known as Master Tara Singh. His career as a teacher ended in 1921, following the Nankana tragedy.
He also edited two Akali newspapers, Akali (Udru) and Akali te Pardesi (Grumukhi) in which he forcefully put forward the aims and objectives of the Akali Dal.
He took an active part in national politics till his death on 22 November 1967.
-Ref. "Master Tara Singh, by Verinder Grover, Deep & Deep Publications Delhi, 1995.