U.P. SIKH PRATINIDHI BOARD
U.P. SIKH PRATINIDHI BOARD, formed on 19 July 1947 at Lucknow, is, as the name indicates, a representative body of the Sikhs of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The Board came into being in consequence of a ban imposed, in 1946, by the government of the state known as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh in British times, on the possession and carrying by Sikhs of kirpan or sword, one of the five symbols of the Khalsa. A meeting of the representatives of Singh Sabhas of the province called at Lucknow in January 1947 to protest against the ban led to the constitution of a common platform which went by the name of the U.P. Sikh Pratinidhi Board. Bhai Amar Singh Khalsa was elected president and Ajmer Singh secretary.
The aims of the Board included protection of the rights and interests of the Sikhs, dissemination of the Sikh thought and culture and establishment of institutions for popularizing Punjabi language and literature. The Board has one hundred odd Singh Sabhas and other Sikh societies and organizations affiliated to it. The general committee of the Board, comprising representatives of the constituent institutions, elects the president every third year. The Board functions from a modest two storeyed building on the Gurdwara Road at Lucknow. It has its own printing press and publishes in Punjabi a weekly paper called the U.P. Sikh Gazette started in 1948. Besides its annual conferences, the activities of the Board vary from running educational institutions to setting up prachar (missionary) camps for the Sikh youth.