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KHALSA DARBAR, an organization representing different Sikh parties established on 27 September 1932 at Lahore to resist the operation of what had come to be known as the Communal Award announced by the British Government on 16 August 1932. Earlier, anticipating these proposals, an all party Sikh conference convened on 28 July 1932 under the president ship of Giani Sher Singh, vice-president of Central Sikh League, had rejected the Award for having ensured the Muslims a permanent majority in the Punjab Legislature without providing any effective safeguards for the Sikhs.

The Conference had nominated a 17member Council of Action, which included such men as Master Tara Singh, Giani Shcr Singh, Giani Kariar Singh, U|jal Singh, Sir Sundar Singh and Baba Kharak Singh, to raise a Shahidi Jatha of one lakli to fight for the interests and honour of the Sikh community. At its meeting on 2627 September 1932, the Council which was presided over by Amar Singh, editor of the SheriPunjab, resolved to establish Khalsa Darbar, with a maximum membership of 250 of whom 200 were to be elected by Sikhs within the Punjab and the remaining by those residing in other pans of India.

It was in response to the resolution of this Council that Ujjal Singh and Sampuran Singh Lyallpuri resigned from the consultative committee of the Round Table Conference. The Council also called upon Sikh members of the central and provincial legislatures to send in their resignations to the Khalsa Darbar which was authorized to forward them to the government whenver il thought fit. The Khalsa Darbar, representing a variety of opinion, soon became subject to internal dissensions. Eventually the Central Sikh League, which was one of its main constituents, proposed the merging of the Khalsa Darbar with it because both of them, it claimed, had identical aims.

This merger was not liked by other groups which opposed it on the ground that the League was purely a political party in close alignment with Indian National Congress for the attainment of a political objective whereas the Khalsa Darbar was an organization established with the primary object of combating the Communal Award. Ajoint conference of the various Sikh parties then came out with the claim that the Khalsa Darbar was the premier political organization of the Sikhs and that any decision regarding the political rights of the Sikhs and the future constitution of India would not be acceptable to them unless endorsed by it.

This transformed the basic concept of the Darbar. Its membership was thrown open to every Sikhs and its branches were established all over the country. But notwithstanding this support, it could never become a strong and united political party of the Sikhs. After a somewhat effete role in the Punjab politics, it became defunct in 1947.

References :

1. Gulati, K.C., The Akalis: Past and Present. Delhi, 1971
2. Harbans Singh, The ilmidge of/./IP .SVA/M. Ddlii, 19H3
3. Nayar, Baldev Raj, Minority Politic,.`, hi tin` Punjab. Princeton, 1966
4. Cavecshar, Sardul Sing`h, The Sikh Studies. Lahore, 1937



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