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Sikh Political figures (404)
Sikh Political figures
ACHCHHAR SINGH, JATHEDAR (1892-1976), a Gurdwara officiant and Akali politician who twice held office as Jathedar (provost) of Sri Akal Takht at Amritsar, was born on 18 January 1892 in a farming family of modest means at Ghanienke, a village in Lahore district. The youngest son of Hukam Singh and Gangi, he learnt to read Gurmukhi letters and to recite the Scripture at the village gurdwara. At the age of 15, he migrated to Burma, where he learnt Burmese and Urdu. As he grew up, Achchhar Singh enlisted in the Burmese military police. During World War I (1914-18), Burmese military police was converted into a regular army battalion and drafted to Mesopotamia (now Iraq). Achchhar Singh served there for about three years. At the end of the war in 1918, his unit was stationed at Tonk, in the North-West Frontier Province, until its departure back to Burma in 1920. In 1919, Achchhar Singh married Mahindar Kaur of Ichogil, a village in his native district of Lahore. He was promoted havildar, or sergeant, in 1920. The news of the Nankana Sahib massacre on 20 February 1921 came as a great shock to him. He resigned from the army and, returning to the Punjab, he made a visit to Nankana Sahib to pay homage to the memory of the martyrs. He joined the Central Majha Khalsa Diwan and plunged into the agitation for the reform of gurdwara management. As the Akali campaign at Jaito started, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and the Shiromani Akali Dal were outlawed on 12 October 1923, and arrests began to be made all over the Punjab. Among those held were two successive Jathedars of the Akal Takht Teja Singh Akarpuri and Udham Singh Nagoke. Upon the latter's arrest. Achchhar Singh was, on 10 February 1924, appointed to the high religious office. He, too, was taken into custody on 7 May 1924, was tried and sentenced to one and a half year in jail. Upon his release from the Central Jail at Mianwali at the end of 1925, he resumed his office in Amritsar which he retained until Teja Singh Akarpuri was set free in September 1926. Amar Singh, editor of the SheriPunjab, who had been a co-prisoner in Mianwali jail and who was now president of the Lahore gurdwara committee, persuaded Jathedar Achchhar Singh to take over as granthi at Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore. For 14 years he served in this position. In 1940, he moved to Amritsar as a granthi at the Harimandar, and continued there until his resignation in 1962. From 1955 to 1962, he was also Jathedar of the Akal Takht. During the Punjabi Suba agitation, he was arrested from the premises of the Darbar Sahib on 4 July 1955, but was released two days later. He headed the Panj Piare named to judge if Master Tara Singh had not violated the vow undertaken at the Akal Takht before starting his fast unto death for the realization of the Sikh political objective of a Punjabi speaking state. The Panj Piare made a close investigation of the circumstances leading to the abandonment of the fast and on 29 November 1961 pronounced Master Tara Singh guilty of having perjured his pledge and blemished thereby the Sikh tradition of religious steadfastness and sacrifice. They had no comments to make on Sant Fateh Singh`s fast which, they said, had been given up under the orders of the Panj Piare and the sangat in general. He was, however, laid under expiation for having acquiesced in Master Tara Singh breaking his fast. Master Tara Singh was awarded a severer penance. As the Shiromani Akali Dal split into two groups, one led by Sant Fateh Singh and the other by Master Tara Singh, Jathedar Achchhar Singh resigned the office of head of the Akal Takht to join the latter. He was elected president of this party in November 1962. In his address at the 15th All India Akali Conference held under his chairmanship at Karnal on 7 December 1963, he pleaded for unity between the two Akali factions. Jathedar Achchhar Singh died in the civil hospital at Amritsar on 6 August 1976 after a protracted illness. References : 1. Sahni, Ruchi Ram, Struggle for Reform in Sikh Shrines. Ed. Ganda Singh. Amritsar, n.d. 2. Gulati, Kailash Chander, The Akalis: Past and Present. Delhi, 1974 3. Sukhdial Singh, Sri Akal Takht Sahib. Patiala, 1984
Sikh Political figures
AJAB SINGH (d. 1705). son of Bhai Mani Ram, a Rajput Sikh of `Alipur in Multan district, now in Pakistan, came to Anandpur with his father and four brothers, and received the rites of initiation at the inauguration of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh on the Baisakhi day of 1699. He remained in Guru Gobind Singh`s retinue until his death in the battle of Chamkaur on 7 December 1705.
Sikh Political figures
AJAIB SINGH (d. 1705), one of the martyrs of Chamkaur, was the son of Bhai Mani Ram, a Rajput Sikh of the time of Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. Mani Ram had presented five of his sons including Ajaib Singh to Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur where they took amrit or baptism of the double edged sword on the historic day of the birth of the Khalsa on 30th March 1699. Ajaib Singh thereafter remained in attendance upon the Guru. He fell fighting at Chamkaur on 7 December 1705.
Sikh Political figures
AJlT SINGH (1881-1947), patriot and revolutionary, was born in February 1881 at Khatkar Kalari, in Jalandhar district of the Punjab, the son of Arjan Singh and Jai Kaur. He had his early education in his village and then at Sain Dass Anglo Sanskrit High School, Jalandhar, and D.A.V. College, Lahore. He later joined the Bareilly College to study law, but left without completing the course owing to ill health. He became a munshi or teacher of Oriental languages, establishing himself at Lahore. In 1903, he was married to Harnam Kaur, daugher of Dhanpat Rai, a pleader of Kasur.
Sikh Political figures
AJIT SINGH, RAJA, ruler of Ladva, was born the son of Gurdit Singh who had acquired territory around Thanesar after the conquest by Sikhs in 1764 of the Mughal province of Sirhind. Gurdit Singh, who belonged to the same clan as Ranjit Singh, originally came from the village of Vein Poin, about 15 km south of Amritsar, and was a member of the Karorsinghia misl or confederacy. In addition to his other acquisitions, Gurdit Singh received in Jagir from Maharaja Ranjit Singh the village of Baddoval, near Ludhiana. After Gurdit Singh`s death, Ajit Singh succeeded him as ruler of the Ladva state.
Sikh Political figures
AJIT SINGH SANDHANVALIA (d. 1843), son of Basava Singh Sandharivalia, was a leading actor in the gruesome drama of intrigue and murder enacted in the Sikh kingdom following the passing away of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. One of the younger generation of the Sandharivalias, he outstripped his uncles, Atar Singh Sandharivalia and Lahina Singh Sandharivalia, in political ambition and conspiracy. In 1840, on his return from the expedition against the Raja of Mandi, he joined his uncles in supporting Rani Chand Kaur`s claim against Sher Singh.
Sikh Political figures
ALA SINGH, BABA (1691-1765), Sikh mis leader who became the first ruling chief of Patiala, was born in 1691 at Phul, in present day Bathinda district of the Punjab, the third son of Bhai Ram Singh. His grandfather, Baba Phul, had been as a small boy blessed by Guru Hargobind, Nanak VI. Ala Singh's father and his uncle, Tilok Singh, had both received the rites of initiation at the hands of Guru Gobind Singh who conferred on their family the panegyric, "Your house is mine own. "
Sikh Political figures
AMAR SINGH (1888-1948), of the Sheri Punjab, journalist, scholar and a prominent figure in Sikh politics, was born on 27 May 1888 at Pindi Gheb in Attock district of the Punjab, now in Pakistan. His grandfather, Gauhar Singh, had held a civil appointment under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He spent his childhood and received education in Urdu and Persian in Jammu and Kashmir where his father, Gulab Singh, was an employee of the ruler, Maharaja Pratap Singh. After his father`s death, the family settled in Rawalpindi where Amar Singh ran a shop for some time before he adopted journalism as his profession.
Sikh Political figures
AMAR SINGH (1888-1962), who came into prominence in the Gurdwara reform movement, was the eldest of the three sons of Gopal Singh of the village of Jhabal, in Amritsar district of the Punjab. His great grandfather, Gulab Singh, had served in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his grandfather, Harbhagat Singh, had been an aidede camp to Kanvar Nau Nihal Singh. Born in 1888, Amar Singh was educated at the village school and at Khalsa Collegiate School, Amritsar. After passing the matricualtion examination, he joined the police department and became a subinspector.
Sikh Political figures
AMAR SINGH MAJITHIA (d. 1848). known as Amar Singh Khurd (junior) to distinguish him from his namesake Amar Singh Kalan (senior) who was also from the village of Majitha, son of Mahna Singh (d. 1802), was aJagmfar and military commander under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was placed in the Dera Khas. a regiment of irregular cavalry composed of the sons of the Sikh nobility. The young Amar Singh distinguished himself in the siege of Multan in 1818 and in the Kashmir campaign the following year. In 1834, he accompanied the army under Prince Nau Nihal Singh and General Hari Singh Nalva to Peshawar when the province was formally annexed to the Sikh kingdom.

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