MAKKHAN SINGH, BHAIMAKKHAN SINGH, BHAI (d. 1863) was a granthi or officiant of the Darbar Sahib at Amritsar. When the British entered Lahore after the first Anglo-Sikh war in 1846, some of them, while visiting the holy shrine, would desecrate the precincts by entering with shoes on and otherwise annoy the devotees by their overbearing manner. The British also started killing cows for beef. Bhai Makkhan Singh led the popular protest, and it was as a result of his efforts that Sir Henry Lawrence, the British Resident, issued the following proclamation: The priests of Amritsar having complained of annoyances, this is to make known to all concerned that, by order of the Governor General, British subjects are forbidden to enter the Temple (called the Darbar) or its precincts, at Amritsar, or, indeed any Temple, with their shoes on.
Kine are not to be killed at Amritsar nor are the Seikhs to be molested, or, in any way to be interfered with. Shoes are to be taken off at the Bhoonga at the corner of the Tank and no person is to walk around the Tank with his shoes on. H.M.Lawrence Resident Lahore March 24th 1847
1. Madanjit Kaur, The Golden Temple: Past and Present. Amritsar, 1983
2. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983
3. Kahn Singh, Bhai, Gurushabad Ratnakar Mahan Kosh [Reprint], Patiala, 1981