AMIR SINGH, GIANIAMIR SINGH, GIANI (1870-1954), a widely revered Sikh school man, was born in 1870 at the village of Dargahi Shah in Jhang district, now in Pakistan. His parents, Prem Singh and Thakari Devi, a religious minded couple of modest means, admitted him at the age of 15 to Mahant Jawahar Singh Sevapanthi`s dera or monastery, in Sattovali Gali in Amritsar, to learn Sikh sacred music and scriptures. After the death, in 1888, of Mahant Jawahar Singh, Amir Singh had his further education and religious training under Mahant Uttam Singh, the new head of the dera, and later from Giani Bhagvan Singh and Giani Bakhshish Singh, both noted men of letters of their time. Soon Giani Amir Singh`s scholarship came to be acknowledged. Mahant Uttam Singh, head of the dera, chose him his successor during his own lifetime.
For over 60 years, Giani Amir Singh taught Sikh scriptural texts to hundreds of scholars at his dera in Sattovali Gali, which became a well known school of Sikh learning. In expounding the holy Guru Granth Sahib and other texts such as the Dasam Granth and Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, he had few rivals. Giani Amir Singh, who remained celibate all his life, dressed himself in a white toga. In 1945, he was chosen president of the Ragamala Mandan Committee formed to counteract the movement for the expantion from the Guru Granth Sahib of the last composition, Ragamala, recounting in verse some of the ragas or musical measures employed in the Holy Book. Giani Amir Singh died at Amritsar on 17 October 1954 at the ripe age of 84 and was succeeded by Sant Kirpal Singh as head of the dera.
1. Gurmukh Singh, Sevapanthiari di Panjabi Sahit nun Den. Patiala, 1986
2. Lal Chand, Bhai, Sn Sant Ratan Main. Patiala, 1954 S.S.Am.