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The Punjabi Morcha 1955

Chaan Pardesi

Oct 4, 2008
London & Kuala Lumpur
The Punjabi Morcha 1955

I am not sure if I have shared this before with SPN but anyway, we ca always go back i time..ad wonder if things have changed..

In 1959, the Punjab State Government imposed a ban on the slogan PUNJABI SUBAJINDABAD.This was just simply not only a political act, but an attempt tointimidate, supress and frighten the Sikhs,and control their religion and their language.The then PM of India Pandit Nehru not only wanted to bring forward and establish his own puppet- Sr Partap Singh Kairon, but was also ready to sacrifice his current puppet Chief Minister of the Punjab, Bhim Sen Sachar,while ensuring the Sikhs were handled aggressively.

He also banned the slogan of the Punjabi language via the state government.This was a direct challenge to the Sikh Panth as the Punjabi language had become associated with their religion.If the Sikhs had allowed such steps to pass through without rising to its challenge, then the Sikhs would have been crushed certainly for many years to come, if not forever.Their religion and culture and the beautiful contents of their Guru Messages - Guru Granth sahib lost forever to the future generations.

The talk was that Sikh identity would be finished by the end of the 20th century, by crushing their language. The Sikh Panth/ community had just lost millions not too long ago in 1947, both in lives and property and stock,and was uprooted from it own homelands to the west very recently; therefore was still going through a very sensitive period, whereby a powerful show of force by the unfriendly government could have easily intimidated the community.

But as Sikhs believe in the Sikh Bola- Power and the saying Rakha Aap Akal Akalia'n da- the defender of the Akalis is the supreme Lord himself-the martialSikhs, instead of bowing to the threats , rose to the challenge with renewed vigour, energy and a brave hope of dignity.

Sikhs have been blessed with such rising energy and positive mind by Guru Nanak ji Guru Gobind Singh Ji themselves.Guru Hargobind Singh ji, the first Sikh general -cum Guru had spearheaded the Sikh fighting spirit and rooted it well for generations of Sikhs to come and live accordingly.

The Sikh history was entrenched in the spirit of forty Sikhs fighting forty thousands of the enemy,and emerging victoriously; therefore it was a community not to take things lying down.It had a glorious recent history of having uprooted the once powerful Mogul kingdom, rising from absolutely nothing, but five men who gave their heads in the first instance to their Guru at Anandpur sahib in 1699.Its principles to fight against tyranny and injustice were enshrined into it's daily supplication prayers,the ARDAS that were conducted daily across it's thousands of Gurduaras and Sikh homes, a reminder of their history written beautifully in the golden lettering of blood.

The Sikhs are a community of valiant soldiers and saints and had no such word as defeat known in their dictionaries or psyche ; nor is there any other known community with a paralell history of sacrifice, like the Sikhs.

This is the story of one such part of the Skh history, where humanity, honesty,vigour , patience,sacrifice, generousity and humilation of Sikhs was tested bythe corrupted state.

The Morcha or struggle of 1955 was a grand part of the Sikh history and it was instrumental in making the Punjabi language state as we know today.This morcha culminated with the CM Bhim Sen Sachar appearing before the Akal Takhat on the10th of November, 1955,to apologise and repent and for the dreadful act of invasion of the Harmander sahib on the 4th of July , 1955 led by the notorious uniformed gangster and hindu extremist minded Ashvini Kumar.

Following this Bhim Sen Sachar lost his Ministership, and Partap Singh Kairon- another notorious congressman became the CM of the Punjab.Some may not be aware that although,it was mainly the Punjab Police that desecrated the Harmander sahib on the 4/71955, an army flag march also was conducted in the vicinity; and in 1984 the army was used to attack the Harmander sahib.

In the land of so called democracy, the tyrany and cruelity that was conducted by the police in 1955 was unmatched yet then.But with great bounds of patience the peaceful Sikhs tolerated the police excess and abuse inflicted upon them both physically and mentally.

12,000 Sikhs were arrested and jailed.It should also be noted that for the first and last time of the 112 members of the SGPC 111 were arrested and jailed at the same time.

In fact any reasonable Sikh leader and and voice of the Sikhs was arrested in thrown into jail.This was the largest and biggest Morcha the Sikhs had to launch post 1947.

There was fire and zeal in every Sikh child, man, woman, old and young to be part of this morcha and go to jail for the cause eof the mother tongue.Some bigwig Sikh names like , Giani Kartar Singh;Hukam Singh, Gian Singh Rarewala, Gopal Singh Khalsa,Umrao Singh Jalandhar and many others were not spared the arrest and humilation by the Police.

Despite such abuse by the policethe Sikhs did not falter from their cause and dedication to the mother tongue.What a travesty when we look at today's Sikh leadership.

There was also an apparent conspiracy at the centre whereby Nehru and Partap Singh Kairon, with their cahoot Udham Singh Nagoke, instigated Darshan Singh Pheruman to launch in retaliation another morcha against the Akalis and Sikhs.

Fortunately this attempted conspiracy did not materialise and failed very miserabaly.The 1955 Morcha tested the Sikh psyche to it fullest and every extreme, but nevertheless it emerged as a greatest single victory of the panth.

Gurcharan Singh, Kulim.London



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