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SINGH, from Sanskrit sinha for lion, is an essential component of the name for a Sikh male. Every Sikh male name must end with `Singh`. Historically, this was so ordained by Guru Gobind Singh on the Baisakhi day, 30 March 1699, when he inaugurated the Khalsa. introducing a new form of initiatory rites, khande di pahul.

The five Sikhs who from among the assembly had on that day offered their heads one after the other responding to the Guru`s successive calls were the first Sikhs who were administered by him the vows of the Khalsa. They were to adopt the five prescribed emblems, including kesa or unshorn hair and share a common endname `Singh` in token of having joined the self abnegating, martial and casteless fellowship of the Khalsa. After initiation, Daya Ram had become Daya Singh, Dharam Das Dharam Singh, Muhkam Chand Muhkam Singh, Himmat Rai Himmat Singh and Sahib Chand Sahib Singh. Guru Gobind Singh, who had himself initiated at the hands of these five, received the name of Gobind Singh.

Every male Sikh has since carried `Sirigli` as part of his name. This was a way of inculcating among the Sikhs a spirit of brotherhood as well as of valour. Wearing the distinctive symbols and clad and armed like a soldier with a flowing beard and a neatly tied turban on his head, a Singh had been set high ideals to live up to.As subsequent events proved, Singhs became a strong cohesive force admired even by their enemies for their qualities of courage and chivalry.

For example, Qazi Nur Muhammad, who came in Ahmad Shah Durrani`s train during his seventh invasion of India (1764-65), in his poetic account of the campaign in Persian, refers to the Singhs in rude and imprecatory language, but cannot at the same time help proclaim their many virtues. In section XLI of his poem, he says: "Singh is a title (a form of address for them). It is not just to call them `dogs` (his contumelious term for Singhs). If you do not know the Hindustani language, (I shall tell you that) the word Sirig`h means a lion.

Truly, they are like lions in battle and, in times of peace, they surpass Hatim (in generosity). . . Leaving aside their mode of fighting, hear ye another point in which they excel all other fighting people. In no case would they slay a coward, nor would they put an obstacle in the way of a fugitive. They do not plunder the ornaments of a woman... They do not make friends with adulterers and housebreakers." As a rule, all Sikhs other than Sahajdharis are named Singhs even before the formal initiation through khande dipahul takes place. While `Sikh` is a spiritual appellation, `Singh` has sociopolitical overtones in addition.

In practice all Singhs are Sikhs with the discipline enjoined upon them by Guru Gobind Singh added.In sentiment, however, they are closer to the community as a whole and more active socially and politically. Their special status is recognized legally as well. Under the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925, and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1971, while all adult Sikhs are eligible to be registered as voters for election to the respective Gurdwara Parbandhak Committees, only amritdhan Sikhs, i.e. Singhs, are qualified for the membership of these statutory bodies.

Similarly, Sikh rahit maryada or code of conduct published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee makes a distinction between shakhslrahinlor individual conduct and panthic rahim or corporate conduct.While the former appliesto all Sikhs, the Singhs must conduct themselves, in addition, according to the panthic rahim. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Kahn Singh, Bhai, Gunnat Martand. Amritsar. 1962 2. Kapur Singh, Parasaraprasna [Reprint]. Amritsar, 1989 G.S. SINGHA, a Brahman purohit or family priest of the Sodhi clan, became a disciple of Guru Hargobind (1595-1644).

Bhai Singha was, along with Babak the musician, sent to escort the Guru`s daughter, Bibi Viro, who on the eve other marriage had accidently been left behind in Amritsar when the family was evacuated to the village of Jhabal at the time of the attack in 1629 by the Mughal commander, Mukhlis Khan.She was brought out safely through the Mughal lines. Early next morning Bhai Singha, at the head of 500 Sikhs, was sent forward to meet the host as the Sikh warrior, Bhai Bhanu, had been slain fighting against the vanguard. As says Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Pratap Sura/` Granth, a shot from Muhammad `Ali, the Mughal officer opposite him, wounded Singha`s horse.

The animal fell down along with his rider, but Singha recovering his composure, shot an arrow at Muhammad `All, killing him instantaneously. Bhai Singha now became the target of the enemy`s attack and fell a martyr in the unequal contest.

References :

1. Gurbilas Patshani Chhevin. Patiala , 1970
2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sn Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
3. Gian Singh, Giani, Twank_h Guru Khalsa [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
4. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion : Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors. Oxford, 1909

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