Extension lecture on the life and contribution of Babbar Martyr Bhai Karam Singh Daulatpur

Extension lecture

Jalandhar February 22 (Jaswinder Singh Azad)- The Centre for Historical Studies under the aegis of Postgraduate Department of History, Lyallpur Khalsa College Jalandahr organised an extension lecture on the life and contribution of Babbar Bhai Akali martyr Karam Singh Daulatpur. Principal Dr. Jaspal Singh welcomed the esteemed guest and the speaker and wished that the students would gain fresh perspectives from this talk. S. Darshan Singh Mahal Ex-President Khalsa Diwan Society Abbotsford, Canada, Presided the function and S. Balihar Singh Takhar (Treasurer, Khalsa Diwan Society Abbotsford) was the guest of honour. Dr. Gopal Singh Buttar, former professor of Lyallpur Khalsa College and member of the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall governing committee was the keynote speaker.

Speaking on the life of Karam Singh, Dr. Buttar said that he was born in village Daulatpur of the Jullundur district (Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar)of Punjab in 1882. His father and mother’s names were Natha Singh Thandi and Bibi Dulli, respectively. He served in the British Indian Army for eight years before moving to Canada in 1907. In 1913, he was swayed by the Ghadar Party’s fervent propaganda and returned to India.

Before returning to India in 1914, he gave his land to the Khalsa Diwan Society in Abbotsford to build a Gurdwara. He was arrested upon his return to India. District authorities, who saw him as a dangerous thinker, restricted his movements in his village till 1918. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre awoke Karam Singh’s latent patriotism, propelling him towards the Non-Cooperation and Gurdwara Reform Movement.

Newspaper articles written in strong and contemptuous language were seditious and inflammatory in tone

Later, he founded a revolutionary group known as the Babbar Akalis (the ‘fierce lions’). It was also known as Shahadat Dal or Martyrs’ Association. He founded a newspaper called Babar Akali Doaba on the lines of the Ghadr. Because this paper had no permanent printing location, it was popularly known as udaru, or flying press. Newspaper articles written in strong and contemptuous language were seditious and inflammatory in tone. He and another Babbar leader, Kishan Singh Gargaj, revived the nonconforming spirit of Punjabis and merged it with the national movement.

The government announced Rs. 3000 award money to get information about Karam Singh’s whereabouts. On 31 August 1923 Karam Singh’s group came to Babeli village near Jalandhar. One of their associate Anup Singh informed the police and on the morning of 1 September, V.M. Smith, the Jullundur (Jalandhar) Superintendent of Police surrounded the village with approximately 1200 policemen. Karam Singh and his three comrades had given a touch fight before laying down their lives for the motherland.

S. Darshan Singh Mahal also shared Karam Singh’s memories in Canada and touched many important aspects of his life. Vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Suman Chopra Coordinator of the centre and Head of the PG Department of History. Dr. Karanbir Singh, Dr. Amandeep Kaur and Prof. Sandeep Kaur from the history department arranged the whole event. Apart from a large number of students, teachers from other departments were also present in the event.

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