SEVĀ SIṄGH KRIPĀN BAHĀDUR (1890-1961), Akālī activist and newspaper editor, was the son of Bhāī Harnām Siṅgh and Māī Prem Kaur of Bakhtgaṛh, village l8 km northwest of Barnālā (30º-22'N, 75º-32'E), in Saṅgrūr district of the Punjab. Born in 1890, he received lessons in Punjabi and in scripture-reading in the local gurdwārā. He enlisted in the Indian army (Bengal Sappers and Miners) in 1908 and served in Mesopotamia (present Iraq) during World War I. Those days carrying a kripān (sword) even as a religious symbol was not permitted under the Army Act, and the Sikhs were feeling deeply agitated. Sevā Siṅgh, lately promoted havildār (sergeant), at Roorkee in Uttar Pradesh in 1917 refused to take off his kripān, religious obligation for him as a Sikh. He along with three others was dismissed from service. He joined in 1919 the Pañch Khālsā Dīwān, a Sikh reformist organization based at Bhasauṛ, now in Saṅgrūr district, which conferred on him the title "Kripān Bahādur" He continued to agitate for freedom for the Sikhs to wear kripān, wrote three pamphlets, Kripān Virlāp, Kripān Faryād and Kripān dā Piār, which were, however, confiscated by the government. In 1922 he broke away from the Bhasauṛ Dīwān and started publishing Kripān Bahādur, a Punjabi weekly from Amritsar. He was prosecuted in 1923 when he began serializing the lives of revolutionaries, Kartār Siṅgh Sarābhā and Rāsh Bihārī Bose, in his paper and was sentenced to one year's imprisonment, with a fine of Rs 200. In 1927, Kripān Bahādur was amalgamated with Saṅgat edited by Sardūl Siṅgh Caveeshar, the new paper being known as Kripān Bahādur te Saṅgat. In 1931, Sevā Siṅgh was again jailed for two years for delivering a seditious speech at Muktsar, and his printing press was confiscated. In 1933, he started another paper, Jagat Sudhār which failing to build up circulation had to be closed down. Sevā Siṅgh retired to his village. He was elected jathedār or leader of the Saṅgrūr district Akālī Jathā in the early 1940's. It was through his initiative that a Khālsā high school was established at Bakhtgaṛh in 1946. During the year, he convened three Akālī conferences to educate the people of the area regarding the party's reaction to the Cabinet Mission proposals for India's freedom. Sardār Sevā Siṅgh Kripān Bahādur died on 8 August 1961.
Sardār Siṅgh Bhāṭīā