JASWANT SIṄGH (1896-1964), the youngest of the trinity of Jhabāl brothers who were all active in the Gurdwārā Reform movement, was born on 17 June 1896 at the village of Jhabāl, in Amritsar district of the Punjab. After matriculating from Khālsā High School, Lahore, in 1916, Jaswant Siṅgh joined Khālsā College, Amritsar, but had to discontinue his studies owing to his father's death in 1918. Like his elder brothers, Amar Siṅgh and Sarmukh Siṅgh Jaswant Siṅgh began to devote his time to religious and social work while still very young. At the age of 23, he was elected president of the village Srī Gurū Siṅgh Sabhā. Side by side with his brothers, he participated in the agitations for securing the resignation of the manager of Srī Darbār Sāhib, Amritsar, appointed by the British, for rebuilding the Gurdwārā Rikābgañj wall and for the reformation of Gurdwārā Bābe dī Ber at Siālkoṭ in October 1920.

         In 1920, he was elected joint secretary of the newly established district branch of the Sikh League. He was nominated a member of the first Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee in 1920, and he headed the first Local Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee formed for the management of the Darbār Sāhib at Amritsar after the control of the Sikh shrines had passed into the hands of the Shiromaṇī Committee. He was also a member of the Punjab Provincial Congress Committee. In Akālī and Congress movements, he courted arrest several times. On 11 May 1921, he was jailed for six weeks for a public speech he delivered at Tarn Tāran following the Nankāṇā Sāhib tragedy.

         On 26 November 1921, he was arrested for convening a dīvān at Ajnālā in support of the morchā for re-claiming from the British keys of the Golden Temple treasury. He was arrested again in February 1922, for an alleged seditious speech he had delivered, and sentenced to jail. He was sent to the Ḍerā Ghāzī Khān Jail, where he was asked to remove his black turban. He protested against this for which reason his sentence was enhanced by nine months. He was set free in February 1925. On 4 November 1925, he was elected general secretary of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee. In the elections of 1926, he was elected a member of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee and president of the Local Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee, Srī Darbār Sāhib, Amritsar. He became president of the Darbār Sāhib Committee in the elections of 1933 as well, but he broke away from the Shiromaṇī Akālī Dal and joined hands with its rival, Central Akālī Dal. Gradually, he receded from the political scene and died in obscurity on 14 July 1964 at Chaṇḍīgaṛh.


  1. Ashok, Shamsher Siṅgh, Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Prabandhak Kameṭī dā Pañjāh Sālā Itihās. Amritsar, 1982
  2. Pratāp Siṅgh, Giānī, Gurdwārā Sudhār arthāt Akālī Lahir. Amritsar, 1975
  3. Piār Siṅgh, Tejā Siṅgh Samundrī. Amritsar, 1975
  4. Teja Singh, Gurdwara Reform Movement and the Sikh Awakening. Jalandhar, 1922
  5. Mohinder Singh, The Akali Movement. Delhi, 1978

Jagjīt Siṅgh