BĀRĀ SIṄGH, BHĀĪ (1903-1921), one of the Nankāṇā Sāhib martyrs, was the son of Bhāī Pālā Siṅgh and Māī Mān Kaur of Baṇḍālā village in Amritsar district. Some time after his birth on 8 Kattak 1960 Bk/23 October 1903, the family migrated to Chakk No. 71 Baṇḍālā Bachan Siṅghvālā in the newly developed canal district of Lyallpur, now Faislābād in Pakistan. Bārā Siṅgh received his preliminary education in the village gurdwārā and joined, at the age of 13, Khālsā Prachārak Vidyālā at Tarn Tāran, where besides scripture-reading and study of Sikh lore he attained proficiency in kīrtan (Sikh music). He was deeply affected by the incident, at Tarn Tāran, of 26 January 1921 in which the priests of Darbār Sāhib Tarn Tāran treacherously attacked a band of Akālī reformers led by the Jathedār of Srī Akāl Takht who had come for a negotiated settlement with them. Several Akālīs were seriously wounded and two of them succumbed to the injuries later. The young and sensitive Bārā Siṅgh, disgusted with the acts of the priests within the precincts of the holy shrine, left off his studies and went home. He found the atmosphere in the village charged with commotion at the outrage. Already in that part of the country there had been a lot of resentment at the mismanagement of Gurdwārā Janam Asthān at Nankāṇā Sāhib in general and the unsavoury personal reputation of its mahant, or custodian, Naraiṇ Dās. The happenings at Tarn Tāran quickened the tempo of the Akālīs' agitation for the removal of the mahant. Two of the six brothers of Bārā Siṅgh - Prītam Siṅgh and Sammā Siṅgh had - already registered themselves as volunteers in the jathā of Bhāī Lachhmaṇ Siṅgh of Dhārovālī, a local Akālī leader. It so happened that when an urgent call came on 19 February 1921 for them to report for active duty, Prītam Siṅgh was away visiting some relatives. Bārā Siṅgh at once decided to take his place and immediately left with Sammā Siṅgh for Dhārovālī. Both were brutally done to death along with the rest of the jathā after their entry into Gurdwārā Janam Asthān on the morning of 20 February 1921.



    Shamsher, Gurbakhsh Siṅgh, Shahīdī Jīvan. Nankana Sāhib, 1938.

Gurcharan Siṅgh Giānī