SAMPŪRAN SIṄGH RĀMĀṄ, JATHEDĀR (1895-1970), active in Akālī politics and in the Prajā Maṇḍal movement, was born in 1895, the son of Harī Siṅgh Mān and Bhāg Kaur of Mauṛ Ḍhilvāṅ in present-day Baṭhiṇḍā district of the Punjab. The family later shifted to Rāmaṅ where Harī Siṅgh had inherited his mother's property. Both these villages fell within the erstwhile princely state of Paṭiālā. Sampūran Siṅgh came early into notice for his interest in Punjabi folk poetry which he started reciting at fairs and religious festivals. His political career commenced after he had received the rites of the Khālsā at Anandpur Sāhib in 1941, when he gave up his role as a popular balladeer and became a whole time worker of the Shiromaṇī Akālī Dal. With his appointment as district jathedār (leader) of Baṭhiṇḍā Akālī Dal, the epithet jathedār came to be a permanent prefix to his name. Rāmāṅ, the name of his village, was suffixed according to the common Akālī custom of using the village instead of caste as surname. Jathedār Rāmāṅ soon became president of the Paṭiālā state Akālī Jathā and worked in collaboration with Jathedār Prītam Siṅgh Gojrāṅ, president of Riyāstī Akālī Dal, a body representing Sikhs of all princely states of the Punjab, and Shrī Sundar Lāl, president of Paṭiālā state Prajā Maṇḍal, demand-ing democratic reforms in Paṭiālā state. A regrouping of political parties in the region on the eve of the first general elections (1952) in the wake of Independence saw the state Akālī Dal split into two groups, one led by Prītam Siṅgh Gojrāṅ and the other by Sampūran Siṅgh Rāmāṅ. Sampūran Siṅgh subsequently broke away from the Shiromaṇī Akālī Dal and formed a separate party ---Mālvā Riyāstī Akālī Dal.

        Jathedār Sampūran Siṅgh Rāmāṅ was among the earliest protagonists of Punjabi Sūbā, a new state to be created comprising Punjabi-speaking areas of the region. He advocated the proposition through a Punjabi poem published in Haftāvār Babar on l3 April 1952. On 24 April 1953, he wrote a letter on this subject to Prime Minister Jawāharlāl Nehrū. After saying ardās at Srī Damdamā Sāhib, he left for the Indian capital, a kafan or shroud wrapped around his head, to sit on a fast unto death in front of the Prime Minister's house to have his demand for a Punjabi-speaking state conceded. But he was arrested on the way at Narelā railway station along with his four companions on 1 November 1953 and lodged in Tihāṛ Jail in Delhi. He immediately went on a hunger strike, but was released from jail and taken to his village, Rāmāṅ, under escort. Repeated hunger strikes shattered his health and he gradually retired from active politics.

        He died at Baṭhiṇḍā on 15 November 1970.


  1. Sarhadi, Ajit Singh Punjabi Suba. Delhi, 1970
  2. Khalsa Advocate. Amritsar, 16-23 November 1970

Janak Siṅgh