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BBC World Service Programme - Last Sikh Warrior


Jun 3, 2011
The Last Sikh Warrior

Don’t miss this extraordinary documentary, to be broadcast as part of the Heart & Soul series on the BBC World Service at 1230 (GMT) on Saturday October 29th 2011 (Repeated on Sunday 30th and Monday 31st).

In this programme, Hardeep Singh Kohli tells the extraordinary story of one Sikh master keeping an ancient martial tradition alive.

It ranks alongside Kung Fu or the Samurai Bushido, yet the ancient Indian martial art of Shastar Vidiya is naearly forgotten – not least because the British swiftly banned it after the Anglo-Sikh wars. After centuries of practising its fearsome techniques, Sikh fighters in Punjab were shot on sight for simply carrying a sword.

Now the last known master of the art, Nidar Singh Nihang, is searching for a successor to carry the tradition forward. Ironically, he grew up in Britain, in the English Midlands town of Wolverhampton. As a teenager, he went to Punjab, where a chance meeting with an ageing warrior changed his life. The Sikh warrior could trace his lineage back to the time of the Sikh Gurus. He introduced young Nidar to the secrets of Shastar Vidiya, or the science of weapons, thus passing on the tradition to the next generation.

After broadcast, the programme will be made available to listen to here:


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Yes! And there are historical reasons to explain what you say findingmyway ji. The Nihang ethos is laced through with sanatan influences, and the reasons and study of this are fascinating. At the same time it is important to refrain from romanticizing, if one can help it, the Nihang ethos. So bold and inspirting it always! It enriches our understanding of our past, but it does not define Sikhi in toto.


ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Dec 21, 2010
Some info from the Home website of Niddar Singh

sanatan hindu sikh shastarvidiya

The lineage of 'Akhara Gurdev' (grand masters) of the Akali Nihang Baba Darbara Singh Sanatan Suraj Bansia Shastar Vidiya Shiv Akhara is as follows: 1.Akali Nihang Baba Darbara Singh (who also learned from Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh Ji)
2. Akali Nihang Baba Budh Singh Ji
3. Akali Nihang Baba Sukha Singh Ji
4. Akali Nihang Baba Lakha Singh Ji
5. Akali Nihang Baba Sawan Singh 'Bangroo'
6. Akali Nihang Baba Mangal Singh Ji
7. Akali Nihang Baba Giana Singh aka 'Rabb Ji'
8. Akali Nihang Baba Mohinder Singh Ji aka 'Katapa Singh'
9. Nihang Niddar Singh Ji (present 'Gurdev')
I don't much understand this stuff as I focus on SGGS. Offered if it triggers some thoughts in others. I feel creepy when people start showing lineages to our Guru ji's.

Sat Sri Akal.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
One thing I admire, and I admire much about the Nihangs....they admit to their sanatan leanings and do not go around claiming otherwise. They do not start rumpuses on the Internet to my knowledge when Sikhs prefer the path of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji only, saying that some kind of apostasy has been committed.

I may be wrong about the above, but that is my impression.

An excellent site and one that explains in detail is http://www.sarbloh.info. The historical sources are tracked in detail and in depth, making a lot of what we see today most understandable. This site also gives a lot of background to the controversies of the 19th/early 20th Century that haunt us today. Thanks.

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