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KIRPAL SINGH, SINGH SAHIB GIANI

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KIRPAL SINGH, SINGH SAHIB GIANI (1918-1993), theologian and writer, was born on 10 June 1918, the son of Bhai Mall Singh and Bibi Rani Kaur, a Brar Jatt family of the village of Vairoke in Moga tufis`il of Firozpur district (now in district Faridkot). He passed his middle school examination in 1932. For religious instruction, he joined the jatha of Sant Gurbachan Singh Khalsa Bhindrarivalc on 15 February 1939 and studied with him Sikh Scripture, philosophy, theology and history. In 1944 he set up a group of his own to preach gurmat (Sikh religious tenet).

Simultaneously he started taking interest in politics and became general secretary of the district Akali Jatha of Firozpur during 1954-56. During the illness of Sant Gurbachan Singh Khalsa in 1956-58, Giani Kirpal Singh taught at the Bhindar Kalan seminary. On 2 April 1958 he was appointed granthi (scripture reader) in Harimandar Sahib, Amritsar. He was nominated to the religious tribunal winch tried and punished Master Tara Singh, Sanl Fateh Singh and members of the central executive of the Shiromani Akali Dal in 1962 for a disciplinary lapse they were taxed with.

During 1963-65 he served as acting jalhedar of Sri Akal Takht. On 2 June 1973, he was appointed Head Granthi of Sri Harimandar Sahib which position he held up to 16 April 1983.In 1980-81 he visited the United Kingdom on a preaching tour, and on the sudden demise of Giani Gurdial Singh Ajnoha, he took over as jalhedar of Sri Akal Takht. Giani Kirpal Singh resigned office as Jathcdar of Sri Akal Takht on 24 December 1986.

Singh Sahib Giani Kirpal Singh, well versed in Sikh lore, was a writer and researcher of repute. His Sam Arth Kosh is a dictionary of Punjabi synonyms. He also wrote a 6 volume commentary on Giani Gian Singh`s Panth Prakash, a history of the Sikhs in mixed Punjabi and Braj verse. His detailed account of Operation Blue Star (1984) was being serialized in the Ajit, a Punjabi daily of Jalandhar, when he died suddenly at his residence in Amritsar, on 26 July 1993. M.G.S.

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