The Sikh Mystic Path and Bhai Randheer Singh Cont.

by Gursant Singh ⌂ @, Yuba City California USA, Monday, February 15, 2010, 12:29 (4617 days ago) @ Gursant Singh

After these highly spiritual, mystical, and blissful experiences he resigned his Government job but did not become a hermit. He continued to tread the path of true Gumat which enjoins upon the Sikhs to continue to live in this world without being engrossed in it. He continued to perform his duties to his family and society. He took the initiative in clearing the malpractices in the various historical Gurdwaras. As a reformer, he was not deterred by the strength of the vested interests involved in their management. Once, at Gurdwara Fateh Garh Sahib on a holy occasion, he did not allow the recitation of Gurbani by an unholy and apostate Ragi Jatha, without caring for danger to his life. Again at Anandpur Sahib Gurdwara, on the occasion of Hola Mohalla Celebration, he did not tolerate the malpractices and immoral activities of the powerful management. Risking his own life, he successfully fought against the administration. It was for such deeds of Gurdwara reform that he has been referred to as the pioneer of the Gurdwara Reform Movement. A reference to his services in this respect was also made in the Hukam Namah bestowed upon him from Takht Sri Kesh Garh Sahib in 1905 (Appendix A).

In 1914, when the British rulers razed the wall of the historical Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in New Delhi to beautify the surroundings of the then newly built Parliament House, it was Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh who not only was the first to protest publicly against this desecration of the Holy Shrine, but also to announce his specific plans to spearhead the agitation until the razed wall was restored. He was also instrumental in organizing two large Panthic Conferences in this connection, at Patti in District Amritsar, and at Lahore, to pass the Resolutions condemning the British action, and demanding the restoration of the razed wall. These conferences were the first of their kind after the British occupation of Punjab. It may be mentioned here that the Chief Khalsa Diwan, the only major Panthic Organization at that time, had expressed its willingness to side with the British Government.4

Although his mind was never in politics, as a true Gursikh who cannot accept slavery and repression, he, along with the Ghadarite emigrants from USA and Canada, became an active participant in the armed revolt against the British Government for the country's freedom. In fact, he was the only outstanding leader from Punjab who, along with his companions, was a participant in this revolt. It is worth noting here that the top Hindu leader of the Indian National Congress, M. K. Gandhi, opposed this revolt and declared his support to the British Government in their First World War efforts, saying, "Was it not the duty of the slave, seeking to be free, to make the master's need his opportunity? was our duty to win their help by standing them in their need."5 Earlier the so-called Punjab Kesri, Lala Iajpat Rai, called these Ghadarite emigrants fanatics and dangerous to the national cause.6

BThe revolt failed due to leakage of plans by traitors from within, and he and his companions were arrested on May 9, 1915 and tried in what is commonly known as the Second Lahore Conspiracy case. However, his love for the country's freedom arose solely from the ideals of the Sikh Dharma, and whatever he did for the country he did primarily as a true Gursikh and not merely as a political freedom fighter. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1916 and his property confiscated. He was only 38 years old with a wife and three young children. The eldest ten year old daughter could not bear this separation from her dear father and died within a month of his imprisonment. His son Balbir Singh was only six years old, and his daughter Daler Kaur was just two.7

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