CHANNAṆ SIṄGH, SANT (1907-1972), elected president of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee, successively from 1962 till his death in 1972, was born in 1907 to Tarlok Siṅgh and Prem Kaur, a peasant couple of modest means, belonging to the village of Mūllāṅpur, in Ludhiāṇā district of the Punjab. As a small boy, he attended the Nirmalā monastery located in his village where he learnt to read and write Gurmukhī and made his early acquaintance with Sikh scriptural texts. In 1923, when batches of Sikh volunteers were marching through the countryside to Jaito, site of the Akālī agitation, Channaṇ Siṅgh, along with some other pupils of the Nirmalā ḍeṛā, persuaded one such jathā or band of volunteers to make a detour to his village, where he served them food with love and devotion. In 1928, when his elder sister's husband suddenly died, he migrated to her village, Chakk No. 18 Z, in Gaṅgānagar district of Rājasthān, to take care of her and her young children. Four years later, he joined the army as a sepoy. He was in Calcutta with his regiment when he fell sick and had to be hospitalized for some months. During this illness he decided to withdraw from worldly affairs, lead a celibate life and dedicate himself to religious pursuit. As he obtained his discharge from the army, he came in contact with Sant Fateh Siṅgh, who then (in 1933) barely 22, remained absorbed in meditation most of the time. This determined his life's calling. He began to assist Sant Fateh Siṅgh in his programme of religious and educational uplift of the Sikhs. From 1940 onwards, he was Sant Fateh Siṅgh's constant companion and helpmate in his campaign for opening Sikh schools and preaching the word of Gurū Nānak. This work was confined mainly to Gaṅgānagar district of Bikāner state.

         Sant Channaṇ Siṅgh's first introduction to politics was in 1949, when he led a jathā of 20 Sikhs from Gaṅgānagar to participate in the Akālī agitation against the Paṭiālā and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) ministry. He was arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison. On release from jail, he took out another jathā, this time from Ludhiāṇā district, and reached Paṭiālā, where he was again arrested and detained in jail till the end of the agitation. He served a brief term in jail in 1953 when he took part in the farmers' agitation in Gaṅgānagar against the increase in land revenue and a longer one in 1960 in the Akālī campaign for a Punjabi-speaking state. In 1950, he was unanimously elected Jathedār of the Akālī Dal of Gaṅgānagar, a position he retained until his election as president of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee in 1962. During the period, he also served as president of Srī Gurū Siṅgh Sabhā of Gaṅgānagar and was a member of the working committee of the Shiromaṇī Akālī Dal, representing Gaṅgānagar. From 1958-60, he was vice-president of the Dal. He represented Gaṅgānagar district in the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee as well. In October 1962, he was elected president of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee. He continued to hold this office until his death on 29 November 1972.


  1. Ghai, Charan Das, God's Man : A Biography of Sant Fateh Singh. Ludhiana, 1969
  2. Sarhadi, Ajit Singh, Punjabi Suba. Delhi, 1970
  3. Ashok, Shamsher Siṅgh, Shiromaṇī Kameṭī dā Pañjāh Sālā Itihās. Amritsar, 1982

Parkāsh Siṅgh