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Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 25-Jun-2009, 21:35 PM
IJSingh's Avatar IJSingh IJSingh is offline
 
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Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

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Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

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A life well and fully lived...

Master Tara Singh (24 June 1885, Rawalpindi, Punjab - 22 November 1967, Chandigarh) was a prominent Sikh political and religious leader in the first half of the 20th century. He was instrumental in organizing the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee, in organizing Sikhs politically, and guided the Sikhs during the Partition of India, and later led their demand for a Sikh-majority state in Punjab, India.

Tara Singh, who became the dominant figure of Sikh political scene in the twentieth century, was born a Hindu. His interest in Sikhism awakened when a boy and he formally converted to Sikhism at age 17, along with his elder brother and a cousin.
At Khalsa College, he developed an abiding interest in politics. He was the President of the Students Agitation Committee during the Sikh resistance to attempts by the British government to exert greater control over the Khalsa Colleges.

At graduation from Teachers Training College at Lahore, he offered his services at the nominal income of 15 rupees a month if a new Khalsa school was opened in Lyallpur. The offer was accepted and he became headmaster of the school. Thus, he acquired the honorific "Master."

In 1921, his involvement in politics took a serious turn. It was the time of the totally non-violent Sikh agitation to wrest control of the historic gurdwaras from the corrupt managers appointed by the British government.

He was arrested several times. This battle was won.

Shiromini Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) was formed in 1926, and he became its Vice President.

The SGPC worked intimately with the dominant political organization in India, the Congress Party, in the non-violent agitation for India's freedom and Tara Singh repeatedly spent time in jail. While interned, he was elected President of the SGPC.
Tara Singh retained control of the SGPC as well as of its political arm, the Shiromini Akali Dal, until 1962.

From the 1930's until the end of his days, Master Tara Singh was involved in political activism - termed "agitation" in Indian independence movement parlance - almost without break.

First, it was against the British for the control of gurdwaras and appropriate legislative representation for Sikhs.

After Indian independence from the British in 1947, his energies shifted to agitation against the Indian government's decision not to allow a Punjabi-speaking state in Punjab. Master Tara Singh won this war of attrition; a Punjabi Suba was formed in 1966, years after much of India had long been reorganized on a linguistic basis.
But, the governing Congress Party - which had already reneged on its promises to the Sikhs during the Independence struggle - was successful in giving but a freshly and further truncated shadow of a Punjab that had already lost half of its territory to Pakistan in 1947.

It was not an easy struggle. Several agitations were launched and headed by Master Tara Singh from 1955 to 1966. He spent time in jail, along with tens of thousands of Sikhs who courted arrest.

The most painful period of his life was around 1947, when India became independent of the British.

In the years before 1947, the fate of minorities like Sikhs and Muslims hung in the balance. After initial reluctance, the Muslim minority settled for an agreement with the Congress Party and partition of the country into India and Pakistan ensued.
As the smallest of the three communities, Sikhs relied on India's assurances of a fair deal in a free country - an area in which Sikhs, too, would be able to "bask in the glow of freedom." But these promises were soon forgotten. And Sikhs have become part of an India whose Constitution saved a few drops of ink and a line or two of text by mischievously lumping them together, along with other minorities, as Hindus.

This is a nation in which nascent Hinduism and their ethos - Hindutva - continues its steady march to diminish all minorities.

Master Tara Singh has been energetically villified by more than a generation of Sikhs for perhaps being too naïve or gullible during negotiations with the British and Indian leaders on the needs of the minority communities that made up India.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-personalities/25567-master-tara-singh-1885-1967-a.html
Perhaps Sikh leaders were indeed not sufficiently wily or alert.

Keep in mind, though, that they were negotiating with British statesmen of the first rank, and Hindu leaders like Gandhi and Nehru - the products of a first-rate British education. And Sikh leaders like Master Tara Singh were merely college graduates with limited or no experience with the sophisticated world around them.

Not that one can blame more astute adversaries for one's losses, but history tells us that Sikhs and Master Tara Singh were blindsided.

Yet, Sikhs leaders did smell a rat, and refused to endorse the Constitution of India in 1950.

The irony of this shines through when one realizes that of all the people imprisoned for life or sentenced to death during India's struggle for independence, fully two-thirds were Sikh. And Sikhs have never been more than 2% of India's population.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=25567
Master Tara Singh's heart was in the right place.

He died in 1967.

He deserves an honorable place in the annals of the tumultuous 20th century.
June 22, 2009

Another write up: http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/histor...85-1967-a.html



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Old 26-Jun-2009, 06:55 AM
Gyani Jarnail Singh's Avatar Gyani Jarnail Singh Gyani Jarnail Singh is offline
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Re: Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

Guru Piayare IJ Singh Ji, Gurfateh.

THANK YOU for a most well written and well researched essay.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=25567
Indeed Master Ji has a most significant place in Sikh history of the 20th Century. His role has been quite unjustly criticised..even villified by many sikhs who blame him for the failure of Sikhs to secure a better deal in Free India...but they seem to forget that in "deal" BOTH sides have to be honest and straight forward - but the Nehru-Gandhi-Patel were politicians while Master Ji was a Genuine Gurmukh (Simple Simon ) and he was outplayed at the game he was unfamiliar with. The only thing we can say is Master Ji was too honest..and the Sikh kaum has to pay for it...
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=25567
It is also a Truth that when Master Ji was alive, and the Sikhs were NOT in power anywhere...the voice of Sikhs mattered...unlike NOW when sikhs have a govt in Punjab..and a PM in Delhi as well as many Parliamentarians....the collective voice of Sikhs is IGNORED.
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Old 26-Jun-2009, 09:44 AM
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Re: Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

Their has been more things in the Master jee's life related with the real historical facts behind the partition of India. Some of these were put by me in one of my articles in North American Sikh Review. The article is pasted below for the knowledge of readers:-



Master Ji - The Man who saved
Punjab and Bengal for India



As the country celebrates 62 years of freedom from the Raj and Punjabis on both sides of the border recall the trauma of partition. Few remember if at all they know- the actions of a turbaned man who stood before the Lahore assembly building, shouted anti-Pakistan slogan and triggering a wave of events that eventually led to the partition of Punjab.


“It was March 3, 1947 & the atmosphere surcharged. There were scenes of great excitement outside the assembly building. Master Tara Singh unsheathed his kirpan before the assembly crowds and shouted Pakistan murdabad (Death to Pakistan)” says Khushwant Singh in his book ‘History of the Sikhs’. Many historians and witnesses have claimed in later years that Master Ji also snatched a Muslim League flag.

Had Master Ji not been there, India would have been very different from what it is. By uprooting the Pakistani flag in Lahore, Master Tara Singh procured for India half of the Punjab and Bengal”, wrote C Rajagopalachari, the first Governor General of Independent India.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=25567
This great man, Tara Singh was born in a Punjabi Hindu Malhotra family of Rawalpindi. It is indeed remarkable that from humble origins he arose to the top of Sikh leadership. He was initiated into Khalsa Panth when he was ten or twelve years old. A fierce sewadar and helpful to all, he was among those cream of crop who strive to become a perfect soldiers of his community. Master Ji is remembered for two things, one steering Sikhs towards opting for India in 1947 and other to campaign for the state of Punjab in independent India.
His first duty to serve Khalsa on the political arena came when he was invited to Round Table conference at Shimla after the end of the Second World War by the Governor-General, Lord Wavell, to ease the political situation in the country. The Sikhs were given representation along with other communities. Pleading on their behalf, Master Ji who was among the twenty-one Indian leaders invited argued that the creation of Pakistan would be more injurious to his community than to any other community. He told governor general that Sikhs are scattered all over the Punjab and are not in majority in any district. He vigorously campaigned against the demand of Pakistan by Muslim League and made many enemies.
A meeting took place in Delhi on April 2, 1946. Besides Master Ji and Jinnah, Maharaja Yadavinder Singh of Patiala, his Prime Minister Hardit Singh Malik who was the host's brother, and Giani Kartar Singh joined the meeting. Jinnah's one overriding concern was to have the Sikhs rescind their opposition to Pakistan and pressed for his demand of their support instead. He was prodigal of assurances, and told the Sikh leaders that the Sikhs would have a position of honour in the new State. But he refrained from elaborating. Since these meetings were private and Jinnah never promised anything on paper, Sikh leaders did not trusted the promised given to them. Considering the current pathetic state of minorities in India and in Pakistan too, Sikh leaders like Master Ji did indeed had a great foresight by not believing in the private concessions of Jinnah.
The Cabinet Mission Plan of May 1946 had clearly grouped British India’s provinces into three groups, and Punjab was put in the ‘Pakistani group’. It was clear to all that if the Muslim League demand for Pakistan was conceded, which seemed to be the probable course of action, all Muslim majority provinces would go to Pakistan, and Punjab was one such state. Master Ji, who had emerged as undisputed leader of Punjab, wrote to the Secretary of State for India: “If the Cabinet Mission’s recommendation is to give protection to Muslims, why the same consideration should not be shown to Sikhs? Any partition of Punjab would never be acceptable to the Sikhs”.

A close associate of Master Ji, Thekedaar Surjan Singh vividly recalled the events “As there was talk of the Muslim League majority assembly being set to pass a resolution in support of Pakistan on that day, the Master Ji told others to go inside and he took charge outside. Suddenly, with a sword in hand he shouted Pakistan Murdabad, and snatched the flag. This triggered the riots, led to great bloodbath of partition, but saved Punjab from going to Pakistan.” Giani Kartar Singh, Sardar Swaran Singh (later Union Minister) Gokul Chand Narang and Gopi Chand Bhargav were present with Master Ji when he shouted anti-Pakistani slogan on March 3. The riots stated on March 5 and engulfed the whole of Punjab. Master’s village Hariyala in Rawalpindi was the first to be burnt down. Sardar Kapur Singh, in his ‘Sachi Saakhi’ put the number of those killed in the March-September 1947 period as five lakhs.


Balraj Madhok of the Jana Sangh party (now called BJP) said Master Ji was the first Punjabi who advised the Hindus and Sikhs to leave their homes and migrate to East Punjab. Madhok said “The main credit for saving a large number of live of Hindus and Sikhs goes to Master Ji; as the Congress had not paid any attention to formulating a policy for the organized transfer of communities.”


As Jinnah had declared "Muslims are no believers of non-violence", each Muslim tried to prove his point by plundering, pillaging, raping and doing other un-describable acts; which had proved Jinnah wrong. More then one million humans were murdered by Muslims. Master Tara Singh too migrated to East Punjab in India and was active in Akali politics until his death in 1967; on the eve when Akali Party was going to form their first government in new state of Punjab.
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Old 26-Jun-2009, 12:43 PM
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Re: Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

I read that Master Ji's actions so incensed the Pakistanis that they RAZED his ancestral house to the groudn and PLOUGHED it in to erase all nishans of Master Jis family. Thsi proves that it was Master Ji that saved Half of Punjab and Bengal for India...otherwise the Border Town would be DELHI and NOT Amrtisar !!..and it would be NEHRU building a new Capital for India and not Chandigarh in punjab.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=25567

Master Ji was one HONEST man.....unlike what we have in Punjab today...
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Old 06-Mar-2011, 07:24 AM
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Re: Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyani Jarnail Singh View Post
I read that Master Ji's actions so incensed the Pakistanis that they RAZED his ancestral house to the groudn and PLOUGHED it in to erase all nishans of Master Jis family. Thsi proves that it was Master Ji that saved Half of Punjab and Bengal for India...otherwise the Border Town would be DELHI and NOT Amrtisar !!..and it would be NEHRU building a new Capital for India and not Chandigarh in punjab.

Master Ji was one HONEST man.....unlike what we have in Punjab today...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyani Jarnail Singh View Post

Gyani Jarnail Singh ji I am so sorry to disagree on this matter as per comments below. It is upsetting for me to write the following and I stand corrected if need be and as appropriate.

I will paraphrase it in a "Yes" and "But" manner point by point to what my experiences were living in part of this era in Amritsar.

Preface:

Master Tara Singh was no question better than the highly in-effective leadership available today. He lived near Khalsa College Amritsar and I rode my bike past his house ) well walled nice house) near Khalsa College Amritsar. I also rode many a times past their family Gun Shop near Ucha Pul (High Bridge) just east of Amritsar railway station.

During my era of understanding (as I was growing up during those times), things going on around Amritsar, the following was observed,

  • The Morchas (recognition of a Sikh state as part of India) were never ending.
  • These were a joke of the day till his death.
  • I watched in Darbar Sahib (Harmandir Sahib) Amritsar many villagers would come to join
  • The poor and mis-led folks would have little (gathrian (small cloth knotted
  • goodies with them to sustain them)
  • The Police buses always were waiting for them to leave the Ramdas Saran gates.
  • The people would be arrested and released in far away places
  • In the mean time Master Tara Singh ji would be whisked away to beautiful Dharamsala Hill station in the name of arrest
  • He also started these fasting to death garbage and suddenly would have orange juice available at the appropriate moment.
  • These actions changed the Sikh psyche in Punjab from one of "warriors and winners" to "whiners and losers"
  • I saw his funeral procession and saw his body and it appeared serene, sign of a peaceful death. So it must be that he was at peace with himself.

I am not judging Master Tara Singh ji's character or spirituality (it is not my place and he perhaps was a superior man to what one could ever dream to be), just the affect of his leadership on Sikhs destiny as it exists today.

Now Point by Point:

1. Yes -
Quote:
Master Ji's actions so incensed the Pakistanis that they RAZED his ancestral house to the ground and PLOUGHED it in to erase all nishans of Master Jis family.

But

- The legacy and seeds sown from these early days are showing fruit,

So
- Who really should care about that ancestral empty home when people are locked up and burned in their homes!

2.
Yes
Quote:
it was Master Ji that saved Half of Punjab and Bengal for India

But

- What seeds did he sow for half of Punjab that he saved!
- Punjab is like "chiri da boat" (as small as a sparrow's hatchling.
- Don't be surprised that in not too distant future there will be more Hindu
residents in Punjab than Sikhs (UN classifies this as Cultural Genocide regardless of the root cause and majority is always to be blamed, Hindus who spoke Punjabi and declared Hindi during census leading to disastrous divisioning of Punjab in 1967).
- This will be the final nail in the coffin for the so called "Sikh Punjab" that
Master ji so in-effectively sough out

So
- Who cares, he really put Sikhism in Punjab on a slide that it may never recover from
- If he had not sought and carried out to oblivion and carried out in-effectively the demand for "Punjabi Subah", Sikhism border town would be Delhi and not (Patiala, Ambala, etc., vicinities)
- As Partap Singh Kairon (the last Sikh politician with greater Punjab vision) used to say, "I will get everyone to speak Punjabi all the way to Delhi". It is our mis-fortune that his family destroyed him and he was murdered in mysterious circumstances. Many said he was becoming too strong to the liking of Congress leaders in Delhi. Probably the start of a systematic destruction of part of Punjab as known by Sikhs as their home for centuries.

3.
Yes -
Quote:
" would be NEHRU building a new Capital for India and not Chandigarh in punjab.


But
- This probably would have put Hindu Brahmnic fanatacism in check and saved us of such cancer that Sikhism is enduring and will endure for foreseeable future beyond most of our life times.

- It could also be said that India would have helped Sikhs get a country of their own if they were not made a special territory to start with like "Nepal", "Bhutan" and "Sikkim"
- Wouldn't that have been better in the long term for Sikhism and Punjabis, I wonder!
- Not seeking such a status was perhaps the greatest mistake of the Sikhs in the twentieth century. Who was there at the time, definitely Master Tara Singh and the Sikh Maharajahs!

4.
Yes
Quote:
Master Ji was one HONEST man.....unlike what we have in Punjab today.
  • I trust it is quite true. However, I did not know much about his personal life but saw his political and religious activities.
  • What we have in Punjab today, I agree with you, worse than nothing.
But
- Was he effective as a Sikh leader with foresight and where withal required for the role, hardly!
- Look at succession through Sant Fateh Singh (start of "Sant" ing of Sikhs and greater mediocrity), what could be worse. He also continued the fast to death "dhakvanj" (folly) where people only were interested on what day the orange juice will be served. He went further and did a "dhakvanj" (folly) to self-immolate atop Akal Takhat Sahib. Where is Sikhi in that! We went on our roofs to see the smoke and were highly disappointed for continuous deferrals and final cancellation.

I humbly submit above in the interests of the subject of this thread. I have no ill feelings about Master Tara Singh ji's personal life or attributes but have observations on actions affecting Punjab and Sikhism.

Sat Sri Akal.
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Old 06-Mar-2011, 08:47 AM
Gyani Jarnail Singh's Avatar Gyani Jarnail Singh Gyani Jarnail Singh is offline
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Re: Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

Ambarsariah Ji,
All I can say with confidence is that to make an "honourable agreement" one needs Honourable men on BOTH sides...I submit that Nehru, Gandhi, Patel, and then Gulzari lala nanda etc etc were NOT HONOURABLE men as far as SIKH/Punjab rights were concerned. Delhi has never been fair/honourable vis a vis Punjab even from Mughal times and TODAY the Centre is not at all pro-Punjab. Punjab/Sikhs can never hope to get justice form Delhi becasue as far as Punjab /Sikhs are concerned they just exchanged the British Master for the Hindu master..no genuine AZADEE. Now Punjab is still a colony of Delhi with Delhi deciding on its capital, waters, elecricity, agriculture, etc etc...Leave aside Master tara Singh..none could have won anything..and YES PS Kairon may have paid with his life for just that..trying to get Punjab its rights...
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=25567
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=25567
Punjab/Sikhs have two deep rooted enemies within..Ultra Hindus and Communists..and these TWO are bosom buddies in delhi. ONLY a Paradigm SHIFT in DELHI can begin solving matters...IT may yet come....looking at the Middle east...Had Shubash Chander Bose won...history may have been different...
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Old 06-Mar-2011, 08:56 AM
Gyani Jarnail Singh's Avatar Gyani Jarnail Singh Gyani Jarnail Singh is offline
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Re: Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

ADDENDUM to above post:

AND you are absolutley RIGHT..the IMPORT of the two SANTS..fateh and Channan to PROXY CONTROL the SAD and SGPC..was the BEGINNING of the DECLINE of Sikhism form WITHIN....perpetuated with GS Tohras 25 years QUARTER CENTURY !! rule over SGPC..and NOW the BAD-DAL (wife) of ULTRA HINDU BJP/Jan Sangh....completes the ROT. (From mere "proxy controlling via remote control of sant fateh/Channan sgpc/Akali dal....the RSS now dares to publicly delcare the jathedars are on its PAYROLL) Ps badal looks like hes wearing the Pajamas...but its really the BJP that wears the PANTS in that house...PS just wants SS to suceed to his kursee at ALL COSTS. PERIOD.GOD SAVE PUNJAB/SIKHI ???
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Old 06-Mar-2011, 09:04 AM
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Re: Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

Gyani Jarnail Singh ji that is (your response) actually a complement I thought you will really give me some .

I totally agree with the following,

Quote:
Punjab/Sikhs have two deep rooted enemies within..Ultra Hindus and Communists..and these TWO are bosom buddies in delhi. ONLY a Paradigm SHIFT in DELHI can begin solving matters...IT may yet come....looking at the Middle east...Had Shubash Chander Bose won...history may have been different...
I thought if I said that my posts may get Censored even more! I have no doubt that the way India is developing its dis-integration beyond Sikhs alone is inevitable. This could be virtual or territorial. In virtual some entity may think they control or are in-charge of India and they really might not and in territorial it is creation of many physically separate countries from mother India.

Sat Sri Akal.
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Old 15-Aug-2011, 02:41 AM
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Re: Master Tara Singh (1885 - 1967)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyani Jarnail Singh View Post
Guru Piayare IJ Singh Ji, Gurfateh.
unlike NOW when sikhs have a govt in Punjab..and a PM in Delhi as well as many Parliamentarians....the collective voice of Sikhs is IGNORED.
We don't have SIKH PM in Delhi. One kaum who gets beaten mercilessly and one person of that Kaum is caught hold of and asked to plea for Sorry. Doesn't he have a conscience and plight of those innocent who were massacred, while he being a SIKH pleaded forgiveness for other's wrong doings ? He has put ALL Sikhs in Shame, and Let the executioners say that, "Sikho ko maar kar sikho se hi maafi mangva di".

LAANAT on such a representative.

No need for such a "Pseudo-SIKH".
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Bloody Moon ... My Bloody Alter: What Philosophy/Theosophy Does Michael Tsarion's Really Practice? This thread Refback 28-Feb-2011 06:20 AM
Tara Singh Overview - RightHealth This thread Refback 30-Nov-2010 07:36 AM

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