Sikh Historian, Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer on the origins of 'Damdami Taksaal" ਦਮਦਮੀ ਟਕਸਾਲ ਦੀ ਅਸਲ ਤਵਾਰੀਖ਼ (ਡਾ: ਹਰਜਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਦਿਲਗੀਰ) Translated by Gurcharan Singh Kulim ਚੌਕ ਮਹਿਤਾ ਡੇਰਾ ਦਾ ਪਿਛੋਕੜ-The History of Chowk Mehta The current Chowk Mehta incumbents claim to be the "Damdami Taksaal" body set up in the times of Guru Gobind Singh Ji to formulate education of Gurbani. The Chowk Mehta dera was created by Giani Kartar Singh [born1932, s/o Chanda Singh, resident of Purana Bhoora, Kohana] He was the follower of Giani Gurbachan Singh [born 1902, s/o Roor Singh, resident of VIllage Akhara, District Ludhiana]. Gurbachan was himself the follower of GIani Sunder Singh [born 1833, s/o Khazaan Singh, resident of village Bhinder Kalan, District Ferozepore], and thus he was also known as Bhindrawala Giani Sunder Singh was an ordinary farmer and parcharak, who had no connections with any dera or alleged claimant of any taksaal. Sometimes, he would visit a Giani Bishen Singh Murala. Over a period of time a small dera emerged in his home in Bhindrawal Village. Giani Gurbachan Singh was Giani Sunder Singh's follower [chela] About 4-5 years after getting married in 1920 Gurbachan Singh came to reside in the dera of Sunder Singh at Bhindra kalan. Sunder Singh aged 47 passed away on 15th of February, 1930, and Gurbachan Singh took over the control of the Bhindra kalan dera. Until 1939, there was no such entity as Bhindran Jatha either There was only the dera. However, Giani Gurbachan Singh changed its the name to Jatha Bhindra'n and started traveling around making parchar rounds. When Gurbachan Singh passed away on 28th June 1968, in-fighting broke out in the dera over the issues of a successor. Gurbachan Singh's family did not wish Giani Kartar Singh from Bhura, Kohana [who was a patwari-land registration officer] to be the successor, as he hailed from the Majha part of the Punjab. [Hardip Singh Dibdiba has done in depth research on this issue after his book Saka Neela Tara]. Gurbachan Singh's family wished to retain the gaddi [seat] within their own region in the Malwa, thus they appointed a local man Mohan Singh as the chief of that dera. Meanwhile Giani Kartar Singh bought some land in Chowk Mehta, sat up his own dera and named it jatha Bhindra- Mehta. He passed away in an accident on the 21st of August 1977. However shortly, before his death he had started referring to his jatha erroneously as "Damdami taksaal." The successor to Giani Kartar Singh Baba Jarnail Singh, [s/o Joginder Singh, resident of village Rode] was martyred on the 6th of June 1984. After him a Baba Thakur Singh took over this dera. For twenty years he lied [often in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib] and led the jatha in denial that Jarnail Singh had not died in the army action, and is alive!. After Thakur Singh died on 4th of December,2004 Harnam Singh Dhuma has taken over this dera. ਅਖੌਤੀ ਦਮਦਮੀ ਟਕਸਾਲ ਦੇ ਪਿਛੋਕੜ ਦਾ ਸੱਚ [The real history of this impersonated Damdami Taksaal] The current followers of this jatha claim their heritage being direct from Damdami Taksaal and used many names from the past to justify their history and existence. However, the irony is none of their founders ever used the word "taksaal" to address their own dera. According the "old" books put forward by this jatha their founding forefathers history goes back prior to Gurbachan Singh, as Giani Sunder Singh, Bishan Singh, Murala Harnam Singh Bedi, Giani Bhagwan Singh, Giani Daya Singh,Giani Sant Singh, Giani Gurdas Singh, Giani Surat Singh, Baba Gurbaksh Singh, Baba Deep Singh and finally Bhai Mani Singh! From among them, Baba Gurbaksh Singh was the head of Shaeeida'n misl, and he was martyred fighting in the Darbar Sahib on the 1st of December, 1764 fighting against the attacks by Ahmed Shah Durani and Nasir Khan Baloch. He has no association with Damdami Taksaal, but they have dragged his name and associated themselves with him, or him with themselves! After Gurbaksh Singh ji, they pulled out a Surat Singh, and made him the chella of Gurbaksh Singh! Surat Singh was a Nirmala, from village Cheniut Jhang District, born of a Ram Chand and he had been educated by the pandits in Benares This impostor jatha claims that Surat Singh was a chella [follower] of Bhai Mani Singh and Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, which is nothing more than a pure white lie and falsehood. Bhai Mani Singh attained martyrdom on the 24th of June, 1734 while Baba Gurbaksh Singh was martyred on the 1st of December 1764. This Surat Singh was not even born then! Surat Singh was a Nirmala Pujari. Around 1780 he began living in one of the bungas in Amritsar. The so called writings of "Bhagat Ratnawali" that are often attached to Bhai Mani Singh were actually written by this Nirmala Surat Singh. Sometimes this is also referred to as the Sikhs Bhagatmala! Another called Premala was also written by him! After this, Surat Singh, Gurdas Singh [1773-1790] and his brother Giani Sant Singh [1778-1832] are alleged to be the heads of this so-called Jatha Bhindra-Mehta according to the members/history of the jatha!. Gurdas Singh was the elder son and Sant Singh was the younger son of Surat Singh! Sant Singh was a committed Nirmala and a proper Hindu, as on the main entrance to his house, one see the statues of Hindu gods and Ganesh well displayed! After Sant Singh Nirmala, the jatha alleges that Daya Singh was their head! While historical records state that the descendent of Giani Sant Singh was his son Gurmukh Singh Gurmukh Singh had supported the Sandhawalia Sardars, thus towards the end of 1843, the Dogra Minister, Hira Singh had him assassinated. The Gurbilas Pathshahi written in between 1835-1840 [that is famed as the works of poet Sohan] was written by this Gurmukh Singh [who at that time was the head [pujari] of the Akal Takhat and his friend Darbara Singh [head/pujari of the Darbar Sahib]. So it is very clear, that up to that point the Banarsee Nirmalas [Surat Singh, Sant Singh, Gurmukh Singh] were dominant upon the Akal Takhat and Darbar Sahib and Sikh issues. Gurmukh Singh's son Pardaman Singh [died 20th November, 1877] too was a pujari. After Giani Sant Singh, a Daya Singh took over. His son was implicated in a murder case, and hung. After this, they [the jatha] then trace their history and link it to Bhagwan Singh [of the Majhitha Bunga], Harnam Singh Bedi, from Dera Baba Joga Singh] and to Bishan Singh Murala [1852 -1905]. Strangly, none of these four have any connection with Bhindra-Mehta Jatha as the reality is there did not exist any jatha at all. The truth is that Giani Sunder Singh Bhindran did some sewa in Bishan Singh Bedi's dera. When Bishan Singh passed away in 1907, he had appointed Prem Singh Murala as his successor, who remained at this dera all his life until his death in 1950. It is thus obvious that prior to 1977, the words "Damdami Taksaal" never even existed. So how has this come into being now? It has been explained above. There were two jathas, Jatha Bhindra'n- Mehta [Giani Kartar Singh] and Jatha Bhindra'n [Giani Mohan Singh]. Both were existing separately, and very much divided upon the geographical divisions of Majha and Malwa. Giani Mohan Singh was happy with the patronage he received. However, Giani Kartar Singh was ambitiously looking and wanted to extend his patronage and sphere of influence, and also raise his self prominence! To achieve this he thought out that if he associated with Baba Deep Singh, it would give him the importance he was seeking, thus also began calling his group Damdami Taksaal. Prior to this he had attempted to use the name of Bhai Mani Singh Shahid, without much success. It was easy to associate it with Baba Deep Singh Ji as Baba Deep Singh was from village Pahuwind, which was in the Majha region. Shortly after this, he associated it directly to Damdami Taksal and Guru Gobind Singh Ji and claimed his group was a direct descendent from the Damdami Taksaal as it is now being claimed and alleged. An interesting observation is that none of these have have addressed themselves as "sant" The old references address them as "Giani." However,the word sant became associated from and with Kartar Singh and Baba Jarnail Singh! ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਡੇਰਿਆਂ ਵਿਚ ਉਦਾਸੀ-ਨਿਰਮਲਾ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਕਰਮ ਕਾਂਡ ਕਿਉਂ ਹੈ? [Why do their deras have Udasi- Nirmala hindu practices?] Giani Gurbachan Singh Bhinder was educated in Udassi and Nirmala deras, thus thoroughly bred with brahmin influences. He was the real founder of this jatha and also one who has framed its maryada-ritual practices. He was well versed in Ramayan, Maha Bharat Yog Vashshisht [yoga] and Vedas He had learnt the Guru Granth Sahib through the Faridkoti Tikka- which was the Nirmal Tika. Thus he was very influenced by brahminism and Hindu karamkaands, and practiced such rituals. He also claimed that Guru Nanak's birth took place on the orders of Vishnu! [All these claims can be seen in his book, which his jatha uses now to disseminate information to the sangats without any reservations. All this is on their books and websites and written in his book "Khalsa Jivan." This is the reason this jatha does not accept the Akal Takhat Maryada and tries to impose its own versions of maryada which is liberally Hindu and full of nonsensical practices and rituals. It is totally a maryada that befits the mandirs and not gurduaras. To understand this issues of maryada and falsehood preached by this jatha, one must read the book,"Khalsa Jivan" by Gurbachan Singh. Harnam Singh Dhuma became the head of this dera on 2nd January, 2005 and he has now converted this dera totally to brahminii practice by increasing the rituals, making it worse than it was before. Even though there is Guru Granth Sahib Prakash, the practices are totally benarsi Hindu brahminism One of their founders that they claim, Sant Singh Giani was clearly a Hindu Nirmala. His house had statues of Hindu gods and this can be seen to this day. ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦਾ ਮੁਕੰਮਲ ਸਰੂਪ ਕਿਸ ਦਮਦਮਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿਚ ਤਿਆਰ ਹੋਇਆ? [At which Damadama Sahib was the original saroop of Guru Granth sahib completed?] Guru Gobind Singh Ji commenced getting the saroop of Guru Granth sahib rewritten in 1678. Dhir Mal had the original Aadh Granth. Dhir Mal passed away on 16th November, 1677, in Aurangzebs prison. His eldest son Ram Chand was executed on 24th of July 1678 by Aurangzeb in Chandni Chowk. His younger brother Bhaar Mal took over the Dhir Mallia linage. On 9th August 1678, the final funeral rites of Ram Chand took place at Baba Bakala. Guru Ji sent Bhai Mani Singh to Baba Bakala. After the funeral rites, Bhai Mani asked Bhaar Mal that Guru Gobind Singh Ji wished to prepare a new swaroop, and thus allow the Aadh Bir swaroop with him [Bhar Mal] to be lent. Bhar Mal indirectly refused to send the Bir to Chak Nanaki, saying that he now wishes to leave Baba Bakala and settlle in Kartarpur [Jalandhar] and that someone could be sent there and copies made there. [This original bir was destroyed in a fire in the attacks by Durani in 1757 There are now some copies of unascertained/unconfirmed bani birs in their possession now.] Bhai Mani Singh, acting on the command of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, rewrote the Guru Granth Sahib, in Damdama Sahib, added Guru Tegh Bahadur's Bani, and gave the stamp of Damdamawali Bir [Damdama Origins]. The name of Talwandi Sabo became associated with Guru Granth Sahib, because Baba Deep Singh made four further copies of this Damdami Bir at Talwandi Sabo. The references to Damdama sahib near Anandpur Sahib can be found in the following : 1. Swaroop Singh Kaushish---Guru Ki'an sakhia'n 2. Sewa Singh -- Shaeed Bilas 3. Koer Singh--Patshahi 10vi [ਸਤਰਨ ਸੈ ਸ਼ਿਵ ਨੈਣ ਭਨ, ਪੁਨ ਅਗਨੀ ਪਰਮਾਣੁ- ਆਦਿ ਸਿੰਘਾਸਣ ਦਮਦਮਾ, ਰਾਜ ਧਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਜਾਣ।] 4. Sukha Singh --Gurbilas Patshahi 10vi [ਆਦ ਸਿੰਘਾਸਣ ਦਮਦਮਾ, ਜਾਨਤ ਸਗਲ ਜਹਾਨ ਜੋ ਏਹ ਕਾਰ ਸੋ ਪੂਜ ਹੈ ਪੈ ਹੈ ਪਰਮ ਨਿਧਾਨ।]] [ [The Guru Granth sahib was completed, the lord of the universe, so be blessed these works, thanks to the lord] ਬਾਬਾ ਦੀਪ ਸਿੰਘ ਅਤੇ ਅਖੌਤੀ ਦਮਦਮੀ ਟਕਸਾਲ [Baba Deep and the Imposter Damdami Taksaal] In 1748, when the Sikhs were divided into 11 Misls [confederacies], there was also one named Shaheeda'n misl. The first Head -Jathedar- of this Misl was Baba Deep Singh, s/o Bhai Bhagta Khera. His ancestral village was Pahoowind, District Amritsar. Baba Deep Singh took amrit from Guru Gobind Singh Ji. For some time he remained in the company of the Guru ji. He was a good general, and supported Baba Banda Dingh during the course of the wars. In 1733, when the Sikhs were divided into two dals: Buddha Dal [army] and Taruna Dal, Baba Deep Singh's Jatha [group] was part of the Buddha Dal. There were five Jathas of the Buddha Dal, under a jathedar each. They were all based within the Darbar Sahib complex. Baba Deep Singh commanded one such jatha that had the responsibility to look after the upkeep of the gurduaras Even then there is no evidence that to suggest that any Damdami Taksall existed at all. Ancient historical records acknowledge that Baba Deep Singh was a great general and head of the shaheeda'n misl; but no where it is stated that he was the head of any taksaal!!! It is undeniable that in current times, the impostor Damdami Taksaal found a great man and hero in Baba Jarnail Singh in recent years (12 2 1947 - 6 6 1986), who attained martyrrdom and fame, which eroded the importance of the other taksaals. But the problem that has now arisen with his martyrdom is that now everyone believes the false Damdami is truly real. This has also given this fringe group opportunity like its twenty year lies and denial over Jarnail Singh 's death that it is truly formed by Guru Gobind Singh JI himself, which is what the group leaders are now claiming, when really it has nothing to do with Guru Gobind Singh ji! The other groups like the AKJ, who themselves were only formed in 1943, and the Nihangs, etc., all took a back seat because of the position of Baba Jarnail Singh and his martyrdom and maintained their silence, thus helped unwittingly fuel the lies and turned the lies to "truth" and make believe, for the ordinary Sikh. The truth in history is there is no Damdami Taksaal started by Guru Gobind Singh, nor was Baba Deep Singh its head ever. Neither the current so called "Damdaami Taksaall" [Bhindra mehta] is following Gurmat, nor this false "Bhindra mehta" are Gurbani Practitioners. It is solely a jatha that promotes Hindu/Vedic karamkaand, rituals and absolutely not Sikh! Evidence that this group calling itself Damdami Taksaal never existed ever! This false group of Damdami Taksaal was unheard of before 1977. There is no factual evidence or mention about it in any book. In their own publications too, before 1977, there is no mention of Damdami Taksaal, but Jatha Bhindra -mehta only! The other jatha of Mohan Singh too addressed themselves as "Jatha Bhindra." In their books and literature too they addressed themselves as Jatha Bhindra, occasionally they have referred to themselves as Bhinder Taksaal. Both never used the words Damdami Taksaal. None of their literature uses the words Damdami prior to 1977. Neither Giani Sunder Singh, nor Giani Gurbachan Sing, claimed or wrote to be Damdami Taksaal in any of their own writings prior to 1977. Alleged Panthic writers, like Koer Singh, Sukha Singh, Kavi Santokh Singh, Giani Gian Singh, Bhai Vir Singh, Giani Dit Singh, Professor Gurmukh Singh, Mohan Singh Vaid, Master Tara Singh, Professor Puran Singh, Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, and many countless more have written extensively, yet NOT a single one of them ever used the words, Damdami Taksaal, or referred to Damdami Taksaal ever. The Mahan Kosh written in 1930 does not contain the words "Damdami Taksaal" nor explain what it means. Simply because such word did NOT exist in the Sikh terminology then! Neither have any newspapers that have been printed prior to 1977 make use of these words or refer to anything! If they can produce any single evidence from books prior to 1977, then I will bow my head to them and will abide by their command. This is an open challenge to them and anyone who can prove so that indeed such thing as Damdami Taksaal existed prior to 1977. Chowk Mehta's Current position Baba Jarnail was martyred in June 1984. After him Baba Thakur Singh took over. He led the denial of the martydom of Jarnail Singh for twenty odd years, claiming that Jarnail Singh will appear "soon." That "soon" never came and his death came sooner! The Panth was misled and lied to by the great head of the great "Damdami Taksaal" for twenty years!! Amazing feat! Thakur Singh died in December 2004 The issue of successor arose. Bhai Mohkam Singh's name was brandished; but as soon as this news leaked, people like KPS Gill went into action to oppose Mohkam Singh through channels that were powerful. He steered Harnam Singh Dhuma and installed him as the head of Damdami Taksaal. Considering KPS Gill is responsible for thousands of Sikh youth deaths, yet he is instrumental in installing Dhuma whom he met at Chowk Mehta in December 1992. After that Dhuma obtained the visa to US and Canada, where he became a US citizen. Now he needs an Indian vsa to get back on visits to India. But the in the shadows, powers -the 3rd agency- has promised him a visa. Jasbir Singh Rode and Jarnail Singh's eldest son, should have been the head of the Chowk Mehta group, but the powers persuaded them both to step down and made Dhuma the head, with a promise as Dhuma disappears shortly, one of them would become the head. Here the plot thickens as Dhuma is indebted to the powerful agencies, he is not likely to stop any of the brahmin practices as the RSS etc have great say among the 3rd agency powers. So the so called Damdami Taksaal conntinues to exercise Hindu practices and brahmin karamkands indirectly ensuring the RSS's make great inroads into Sikhii and capture it's central nerve; and constricts Sikhi! Sikhi no long has any home within its own groups so should the false impersonator Damdami Taksaal be ever trusted by Sikh Panth, when it has used false means to hijack that title?