MAGGHAR SINGH, SANT
(1890-1924). Sikh divine who attracted a local following, came of a Bhullar Jatt family of Ramgarh village, near Jagraon, in Ludhiana district of the Punjab. His grandfather had died fighting against the British in the battle of 'Alival (28 January 1846) during the first Anglo-Sikh war. Magghar Singh was born on 13 December 1890 to Sobha Singh and Nand Kaur, a simple peasant couple with a religious bent of mind. He himself grew up a devoted Sikh of pious habits under the influence of Sant Atar Singh of Mastuana.
He was tall and sturdily built and enlisted, on 2 January 1911, in the British Indian army as a field gunner, seeing action in France during World War I.After the war was over, he had himself released on 24 November 1919 and returned to his native Ramgarh where he established a gurdwara and began to preach against the current social evils, recalling to his audiences the simple teachings of the Gurus. With his kirtani jatha or choir who sang Sikh hymns, he travelled round the Malva region spreading the Guru's word. In the Akali agitation in the early twenties Sant Magghar Singh espoused the cause of the reformers and joined hands with Sant Giani Sundar Singh of Bhindar Kalan in launching a campaign for the liberation of the historical shrines at Muktsar and Hehran.
Sant Magghar Singh died at village Dherka in Ludhiana district on 4 December 1924. According to his own wish, his body was cremated the following day near Gurdwara Tahliana Sahib at Raikot which he had raised in his lifetime.
1. Vasakha Singh, Sant, Malva Itihas. Kishanpura, 1954.