Har Lal Singh
Har Lal Singh was a freedom fighter, social worker who played a leading role in the Shekhawati farmers’ movement for abolition of the Jagirdari system. He was from Duladon ka Bas village, presently known as Hanumanpura. His gotra was Dullar. He was born in 1901 in the family of Chaudhary Daluram at village Hanumanpura of Jhunjhunu district in Rajasthan. His father died at the age of 13 years. His entire family was committed to the freedom movement.
Jagirdari abolition movement
Sardar Har Lal Singh was evicted from his agricultural land and residence by the Jagirdars for his acts of taking part in the Jagirdari abolition movement. Jagirdars lodged a number of false cases against him but he always succeeded in getting rid of them. The Dundlod Thakur attacked him in 1946 in a planned conspiracy. In this a person was murdered and Har Lal Singh’s brother Shri Rekh Singh received serious head injuries. All attempts by the Jagirdars could not separate him from the freedom movement, and he continued to lead the farmers and served the farmers through Kisan Sabha and Praja Manda.
Pushkar adhiveshan 1925
Pushkar adhiveshan 1925 organized by All India Jat Mahasabha was presided over by Maharaja Kishan Singh of Bharatpur. Sir Chhotu Ram, Madan Mohan Malviya, Chhajju Ram etc. farmer leaders had also attended. This function was organized with the initiative of Master Bhajan Lal Bijarnia of Ajmer-Merwara. The farmers from all parts of Shekhawati had come namely, Chaudhary Govind Ram, Kunwar Panne Singh Deorod, Ram Singh Bakhtawarpura, Chetram Bhadarwasi, Bhuda Ram Sangasi, and Moti Ram Kotri. 24-year young boy Har Lal Singh also attended it. The Shekhawati farmers took two oaths in Pushkar namely,
- They would work for the development of the society through elimination of social evils and spreading of education.
- ‘Do or Die’ in the matters of exploitation of farmers by the Jagirdars.
Jhunjhunu adhiveshan 1932
There was a grand gathering of farmers under the banner of Jat Mahasabha in Jhunjhunu on 11–13 February 1932. Sixty thousand Jat farmers attended. Thakur Deshraj camped at Jhunjhunu for 15 days to make it a success. The farmers from all parts of India attended it. It was presided by Rao Sahib Chaudhary Rishal Singh Rayees, who was escorted from station to the place of meeting on elephant accompanied by a caravan of camels. This program was of Jats but all the communities cooperated and welcomed. Kunwar Panne Singh Deorod welcomed this rally whereas Vidyadhar Singh Sangasi did the welcome of Jaipur Prantiya Jat Kshatriya Sabha rallies. Though the Jagirdars did all attempts to make it a failure, but it proved a success. On the appeal of fund collection the participant farmers donated their gold ornaments, which they were wearing. This was the first opportunity of awakening the Shekhawati farmers and proved a grand success. Sardar Harlal Singh and Chaudhary Ghasi Ram had traveled a lot for its publicity and spread its message. Some of the competent people were awarded Kshatriya titles. For example Chaudhary Har Lal Singh was awarded as ‘Sardar’, Ratan Singh of Bharatpur as ‘Kunwar’ and Chaudhary Ram Singh as ‘Thakur’. Thus the Rajput monopoly over these titles vanished.
The Jat Prajapati Maha-Yagya 1934
In 1934, to spread the principles of Arya Samaj and create awakening in Shekhawati, it was decided to hold the Prajapati Yagya (Prayer ceremony for the Lord of Universe). The Jat Prajapati Maha-Yagya was organized at Sikar from 20–29 January 1934. Kunwar Hukam Singh Rahees Angai (Mathura) was made Yagyapati or Chairman of the Yagya. He had been Chairman of the Arya Prathinidhi Sabha, Uttar Pradesh province and All Arya Prathinidhi Sabha, Delhi, for many years. Chaudhary Kaluram of village Kudan was the Yagyaman. Acharya Shri Jagdev Sidhanthi received an invitation for this Yagya at his Gurukul at Kirttal, In that invitation was he requested to attend the Yagya and bring twenty Bhramcharis and disciples with him. Volunteers went to all the households in all the villages in the region and collected material that would be needed. They collected Ghee, Flour, Gur, and invited all the householders to participate. Hundreds of cans of Ghee and hundreds of sacks of flour were collected.
During the Yagya 3000 men and women adopted the Yogyopavit, which was a symbol Kisan sangathan (farmer's organization). Sheetal Kumari daughter of Kunwar Netram Singh adopted yagyopavit. Chaudhary Chimana Ram of Sangasi brought his wife wearing salwar-kurta. The unity of Jat farmers had terrified the Jagirdars of Sikar. The role played by Sardar Har Lal Singh and Thakur Deshraj was unparallel which made this yagya a grand success.
A family committed for freedom
Jagirdars imprisoned Sardar Har Lal Singh in 1938 for one year in two cases against him. During this period his mother Raja Devi and wife Kishori Devi took his place so that the movement is not adversely affected. They took a group of women in year 1939 and reached Jaipur for satyagrah. Both were arrested and put in Jail. Kishori had his 6-month-old son with her who was also kept in Jail. His mother Raja Devi was released from Jail only after she became seriously ill. Seth Jamana Lal Bajaj and Hira Lal Shastri tried their best to take her to Jaipur for treatment but she refused to leave his village. His wife Kishori Devi was also active and took part in all the movements, rallies, and gatherings for freedom from 1930 - 1947. Her role in the awakening of women in Jhunjhunu district was unique.
The Praja Mandal
The Praja Mandal leaders also took keen interest in rural peasant affairs and held several of their sessions in rural area towns. The peasant leaders utilized the Praja Mandal as a valuable channel of access to the larger body of political protest and held important positions in it. Sardar Har Lal Singh became the President of Praja Mandal. Others included Chowdhary Kisan Singh and Chowdhary Ishwar Singh. This movement got support from famous Kisan leaders like, Sir Chhotu Ram, Baldev Ram Mirdha, Nathuram Mirdha and Chaudhari Kumbharam Arya. After a long struggle the farmers got rid of oppression and got the ownership rights over the land they were cultivating.
After independence also he served the farmers through Congress Party. He was president of Praja Mandal in 1948. Harlal Singh later on also became first Chairman of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) in 1957.
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (January 2008)|
- Smt Parvati Chaudhary: “Har Lal Singh Mandasi”, Jat Samaj, Agra, June 1998.
- Dr Gyan Prakash Pilania: Shekhawati Kisan Andolan ke Prernakunj – Thakur Deshraj, Jat Samaj, Agra, June 2005
- Susanne Hoeber Rudolph and Lloyd I. Rudoplh, "Rajputana Under British Paramountcy - The Failure of Indirect Rule", Princely States Report (January, 2001)
- Richard Sisson, "Peasant Movements and Political Mobilization: The Jats of Rajasthan", Asian Survey, Vol. 9, No. 12 (Dec., 1969), pp. 946-963.
- J.Richard Sisson, "Institutionalization and Style in Rajasthan politics"