ŪDHAM SIṄGH (1882-1926), revolutionary and Ghadr leader, was born on 15 March 1882 at the village of Kasel in Amritsar district. His father's name was Mevā Siṅgh and mother's Hukam Kaur. He passed his early years in his village grazing cattle and working on the family's small farm. He had had no formal education. In 1907, he left home to seek his fortune abroad. He first went to Penang and then to Teping, in the Malay States, where he became a signaller in the Malay States Guides. There he picked up Malay and English languages, but resigned from the Guides and left for the United States of America. In the States, he came in contact with revolutionaries such as Bhāī Sohan Siṅgh Bhaknā, Bhāī Javālā Siṅgh and Sant Vasākhā Siṅgh, who helped him in securing a job in a lumber mill in Oregon State. Ūdham Siṅgh was soon drawn into the Ghadr movement. When the Ghadr leaders decided to return to India to raise an armed revolt Ūdham Siṅgh was appointed one of the "generals" for imparting military training to the volunteers. On his way back home, he visited Canton and Penang to purchase arms. On reaching India on board the Tosha Maru, he was arrested and sent to Multān jail. He was tried in what is known as the first Lahore conspiracy case and was sentenced to transportation for life. Ūdham Siṅgh was sent to the Andamans and later to Coimbatore. In 1921, he escaped from jail and, after many a hair-raising adventure, reached the Punjab from where he went on to Kābul. In Kābul, he set up the Khālsā Dīwān and sought the Afghān King's permission for Sikhs to assemble in religious congregation at Gurdwārā Chashmā Sāhib, sacred to Gurū Nānak, about 10 km from Jalālābād. He used to make visits to Amritsar on the Baisākhī festival incognito. He remained in touch with Akālī leaders such as Tejā Siṅgh Samundrī and Master Tārā Siṅgh and advocated the formation of a secret society of Sikhs under the auspices of the Shiromaṇī Akālī Dal. On 20 January 1926, he was, while returning to Kābul from one of his visits to Amritsar, waylaid by two Paṭhāns and murdered. The Paṭhāns were boycotted by their community when they heard stories of the revolutionary career of Ūdham Siṅgh.
Sohan Siṅgh Josh