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GUR SEVAK SABHA, a society formed at Amritsar on 29 December 1933 by some Sikh intellectuals and educationists to restate Sikh moral and religious values and have these reinstated in the public life of the Panth,` then severely riven by rivalries and personal ambitions of the leaders. Bava Harkishan Singh, Principal of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College at Gujranwala, Tcja Singh and Niranjan Singh, both professors at the Khalsa College at Amritsar and Narain Singh, a professor at the Khalsa College at Gujranwala, were amongst the sponsors.

The group travelled around addressing sangats`m gurudwaras.Vichar Sarigats, i.e. study circles, were convened at different places with the help of local Singh Sabhas.The issues commonly discussed were the administration of the gurudwaras, the means of repairing the schism in the political party of the Sikhs, the AkalT Dal, which was at that time riven into two mutually hostile groups one led by Master Tara Singh and the other by Giani Sher Singh.

For elections to the Shiromam Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1935, the Gur Sevak Sabha was able to persuade the two groups to accept a common list of candidates to be prepared by Baba Vasakha Singh, a former revolutionary, to halt the continuing feud. In the Sikh convention held in Amritsar (Baisakhi day of 1936) at the time of the visit ofDr B.R. Ambedkar, leader of the so called untouchables, members of the Gur Sevak Sabha, notably Bava Harkishan Singh, took a prominent hand.

In the outcome, several of Dr Ambedkar`s followers were converted to the Sikh faith at the Akal Takht. The ardds on this occasion was said in English perhaps the first ever public prayer in the language at the Akal Takht by Professor Teja Singh, a leading member of the Gur Sevak Sabha. The most memorable task undertaken by the Gur Sevak Sabha was the preparation of the Sabaddrth, an annotated edition of tlie Guru Granth Sahib, which was completed in five years, from May 1936 to September 1941.

It was the work primarily of Professor Tcja Singh, Bava Harkishan Singh and Professor Narain Singh lending him a lielping hand. The Sabaddrlh, a landmark in Sikh learning, will remain a permanent monument to the Gur Sevak Sabha which had only a brief spell of life.


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