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SARB HIND SIKH MISSION

SARB HIND SIKH MISSION set up by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1936 for the propagation of Sikh faith. The immediate cause for the establishment of the Mission was a declaration made in 1935 by Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, leader of the socalled untouchable and depressed classes, that he and his followers had decided to get out of the Hindu fold and embrace some other faith which did not practise untouchability and which would allow them a more honourable status in society.

The matter was first considered by the executive committee of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee on 25 January 1936.The general session of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee held on 19 Phagun 1992 Bk/ 1 March 1936 at the Akal Takht under the chairmanship of Sardar Partap Singh of Shankar passed, after lengthy deliberation, four resolutions concerning the initiation of the so called untouchable classes.

The third resolution read : The present general session of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee expresses satisfaction at the action so far taken by the Executive Committee regarding preaching in the South and the U.P. and direct it to arrange at the earliest the setting up of a preaching mission in consultation with Panthic workers of all shades of opinion, and to hold a big preaching conference on the coming Baisakhi day in order to ensure further strengthening and better organization of this work.

Accordingly, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee called the Sarb Hind Shiromani Sikh Prachar Conference at Amritsar on 11,12 and 13 April 1936. The Conference was presided by Rai Bahadur Vasakha Singh of Delhi. Sardar Hukam Singh, a retired sessions judge of Amritsar, was chairman of the reception committee. Among others who attended were Master Tara Singh, Jathedar Udham Singh Nagoke, Sardar Sundar Singh Majithia, Sir Jogendra Singh, Baba Pratap Singh Namdhari, Dr Ambedkar himself and the president and secretary of the All India Dalit Jati (lit. depressed classes) League, Bengal.

Several eminent Hindu leaders sent their messages of good wishes.His Holiness Jagatguru Sankaracarya of Karir Pith, Panchavati, Nasik, blessed the conference. Of the 94 persons who received the rites of the Khalsa on the occasion, at least 43 were non Sikhs from areas other than the Punjab. Donations amounting to several lacs of rupees were collected on the spot or promised by various individuals, Singh Sabhas and other organizations.

Among the principal donors were Sri Darbar Sahib Committee Amritsar, and Nankana Sahib Committee ( Rs 1,00,000 each) and Sri Akal Takht, Gurdwara Committee Tarn Taran and Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala (Rs. 25,000). The conference resolved to form a permanent society called the Sarb Hind Sikh Mission, with its headquarters at Amritsar.

The principal objectives of the Mission were to preach the message of the Gurus among peoples of all classes and castes in India and to work for the improvement of economic and social condition of converts from (lie so called untouchable classes. Sikh preachers were sent out to places as far as Malabar and Travancore Cochin. Missionary centres were established at Hapur and Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), Burhanpur (Madhya Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra), and Ernakulam and Rani (Kerala).

Although Dr Ambedkar and his followers ultimately decided not to adopt Sikhism, the centres, especially those at Hapur, Aligarh, Akola and Nagpur, continued to do useful work in their respective spheres. A notable accomplishment of the Mission was the establishment of the Khalsa College at Bombay in 1937. But as years went by the activity of the Mission dwindled.

References :

1. Pratap Singh, Giani, Gurdwara Sudhar arthat Akall Lahir. Amritsar, 1975
2. Jaswant Singh, ed.. Master Tara Singh : Jivan Sangharsh te Udesh. Amritsar, 1972
3. Shamsher, Gurbakhsh Singh, Shahidi Jivan. Nankana Sahib, 1938
4. Asliok, Shamsher Singh, Shromani Gurdwara Pai handhak Committee da Panjah Sala Itihas. Amntsar, 1992

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