TEJĀ SIṄGH AKARPURĪ, JATHEDĀR (1892-1975), an active figure in Gurdwārā Reform movement, was born at Akarpurā, a village 13 km northwest of Baṭālā (31º-49N, 75º-12'E), in Gurdāspur district of the Punjab. His father was Pālā Siṅgh and mother Partāp Kaur. He matriculated from Khālsā Collegiate School, Amritsar, in 1911, and enlisted in the 24th Sikh Battalion of the Indian Army the following year. Leaving the Army, he became a paṭvārī in the revenue department of the Punjab at the end of 1914. He was promoted ziledār in 1918. The Nankāṇā Sāhib massacre of February 1921 proved a turning point in the life of Tejā Siṅgh. He resigned from government service and joined the Akālī agitation. The Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee appointed him administrator of Gurdwārā Premsatī at Kamālīā, in Montgomery district, now in Pakistan. He was appointed Jathedār of Srī Akāl Takht at Amritsar on 29 April 1921. On 13 October 1923, he was taken into custody by the Punjab Government and released on 27 November 1926, in the second batch of Akālī detenues. He resumed his duties as Jathedār Srī Akāl Takht which position he retained until 21 January 1930. During 1932, he was appointed at first acting president and later president of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee and president of Shiromaṇī Akālī Dal. He became a member of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee again in 1933 and was elected its vice-president. He was president of Srī Nankāṇā Sāhib management committee from 1935 to 1938. In the Punjab Assembly elections in January 1937, he contested the Baṭālā constituency as a nominee of the Shiromaṇī Akālī Dal, but lost to Sir Sundar Siṅgh Majīṭhīā, leader of the Khālsā National Party. He was again elected a member of the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee in 1939. In 1940, he became president of the Shiromaṇī Akālī Dal and presided over the first Sarb Hind (lit. All India) Akālī Conference at Aṭārī, in Amritsar district, on 10-11 February 1940. Jathedār Tejā Siṅgh Akarpurī was a member of the first Lok Sabhā from 1952 to 1957 representing his native district, Gurdāspur. He died at his ancestral village Akarpurā on 20 November 1975.


  1. Piār Siṅgh, Tejā Siṅgh Samundrī. Amritsar, 1975
  2. Ashok, Shamsher Siṅgh, Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Prabandhak Committee dā Pañjāh Sālā Itihās Amritsar, 1982
  3. Josh, Sohan Siṅgh Akālī Morchiāṅ dā Itihās. Delhi,1972
  4. Pratāp Siṅgh, Giānī, Gurdwārā Sudhār arthāt Akālī Lahir. Amritsar, 1975
  5. Sahni, Ruchi Ram, Struggle for Reform in Sikh Shrines, ed., Ganda Siṅgh. Amritsar, n.d.

Partāp Siṅgh Giānī