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Sikh History Timeline

Today in Sikh History :21st May


21st May


1920The Akali, a Punjabi daily nespaper, started publication.

The Akali, a daily newspaper in Punjabi was started by the Sikh leaders of Shironamni Committee and Shiromani Akali Dal. The newspaper was meant to protect the rights of Sikhs and provide a political voice for their interests. It was published from Lahore and brought out by Master Sunder Singh Lyallpuri and Giani Hira Singh Dard. Under the editorship of Mangal Singh Gill, it played the role of the precusor of the Akali Movement. In its veru first issue, it outlined its programme advocating Panthic control over the Gurudwaras, Khalsa College, Amritsar and repairing the demolished wall of Gurudwara Rakabganj, Delhi.

1921The militant Akalis held a meeting and deputed Bela Singh and Ganda Singh to murder J.W. Bowring in Lahore. J.W. Bowring was was Police Captain during the Nankana Sahib massacre. Akalis were convinced that he had conspired and aided Mahant Narayan Dass in carrying of the Nanakana Sahib massacre. Since then, he had been moved to Lahore. Unfortunately the plan foiled by a government agent, Sadhu Singh, who has poised as a staunch Akali supported and worked with Akali newspaper. Both were arrested at the Lahore railway station on May 23, 1921 and tried under Babbar Akali Conspiracy Trial No. 1.
1923Second declaration of the Babbar Akalis owning the Kaulgarh murders was issued in Babbar Akali Doaba newspaper.
1924Viryam Singh Babbar hanged until death.
19245th Shahidi Jatha of 500 valiant Akali Satyagrahies courted arrest on reaching Jaito.

==> WHERE IS JAITO? A village under Nabha, which falls on the Bathinda-Ferozpur railway line. It is 96 miles from Lahore and 17 miles from Bathinda.

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JAITO? On this place situated near a fort, is a historical Gurudwara of Guru Gobind Singh Patshah. Maharaja Hira Singh constructed the beautiful buildings of this Gurudwara. The sarowar is popularly known as Gangsar. About a mile and a half north of Jaito is Tibhi Sahib Gurudwara, where Guru Gobind Singh Patshah used to organize and participate in the evening recitation of Rehras. Both Gurudwaras have extensive land sanctioned to it by the Nabha rulers. Additionally, extensive financial resources are made available on an annual basis from the Nabha rulers and the surrounding villages. A maela celebration is held every 7th of Pooh month (Dec.-Jan.) and Katak (Oct.-Nov.) Puranmashi. Jaito’s markets are well renowned. People come from far distances to buy and sell their herds.

WHY AKALIS COURTED ARREST? The key issue involved was resoration of Maharaja Ripudaman Singh of Nabha. Maharaja of Nabha, well-known for his pro-Tat Khalsa Proclivities, had a dispute with Maharaja of Patiala, known for this pro-government role. Although Maharaja of Nabha had absolutely no dispute with the government, as a result of mediation, he was forced to abdicate in July 1923. Col. Michin, with the help of troops and armoured cars, took the Maharaja by surprise on July 8, 1923 and taunted him with the query, Where is that Akali? The news of deposition by the government raised a strom of protest against the Government’s interefernce in Nabha and was decsribed as a challenge to the Akali movement. As a result tensions mounted. The Akalis, in defiance of state orders, continued to hold diwan indefinitely. The Nabha police in order to arrest all the Akalis, including the one reading the holy Granth Sahib, was said to have disrupted the Akhand Path on Sept. 14, 1923. This dispute took such a tragic shape and got so inflames by Feb. 21, 1924 that several people lost their lives. After sixteen shaheedi jathas apart from one from Bengal and another from Canada, the agitation process was completed two years later, on August 6, 1925, after the concurrent bhog of 101 Akand Paaths.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh
The Sikhs in History, by Sangat Singh, 1995.



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