Labh Singh Saini

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Sardar Labh Singh Saini [1] (1895–1947), Akali politician and notable freedom fighter, was born in 1895 and was the son of Sardar Dula Singh.[2][3][4] He belonged to a Saini family in village Lasara of Jalandhar district.[1][5] He spent his early youth at Quetta and passed his Matriculation examination from the high school there. In 1914, he took up service in the army as a clerk. For this reason, he was sometimes also known as Babu Labh Singh. He resigned his job as a protest against the killing of Sikhs at Nankana Sahib on 20 February 1921, and joined the campaign for the reform of Gurdwara management.[2]

A prominent freedom-fighter[edit]

He was arrested in 1922 in connection with the Guru ka Bagh agitation. On 18 April 1924, he courted arrest at Jaito and was detained in Nabha jail. He was released along with other Akali prisoners after the passage in 1925 of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act. In 1926, he was elected president of the district unit of the Jalandhar Akali Jatha. In 1928, he participated in a protest march against the Simon Commission, and in 1930 he, along with a batch of 100 Sikh volunteers from his district, participated in the Civil Disobedience movement launched by the Indian National Congress. He was taken into custody in Delhi, but was released after the Gandhi–Irwin Pact was signed in 1931.[2] He was arrested under the Defence of India Rules during the Quit India Movement. He organized from 25 to 27 November 1944 at Jandiala, in Jalandhar district, a massive Sikh conference to celebrate the silver jubilee of the Shiromani Akali Dal. In 1945, he was elected president of the Shiromani Akali Dal which office he held until his death on 9 March 1947 at Jalandhar.[6]

As Akali Dal President[edit]

Akali Dal President-elect, Sardar Labh Singh was taken on a two miles (3 km) long procession on elephant back in Gujaranawala.More than 60 Akali Jathas, in their multi-colored dresses and turbans carrying swords and Sikh flags and spears, etc. participated, headed by 5 camel sawars and 101 on horse-back with naked swords in their hands.[6] The procession took three hours to reach the place where the conference took place. As the leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Sardar Labh Singh, condemned Indian communists for their role in the partition and passionately advocated for the Prisoners of War (POW) status for Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) captives [6]

He was stabbed along with Narinder Nath Khanna, N.F 169, quilla Mohalla Jalandhar by a Muslim fanatic while leading a peace march after communal disturbances in the town. The Civil Hospital and a Gurudwara in Rainak Bazar at Jalandhar commemorate his memory.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The memory of Babu Labh Singh Saini of Jullundur, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal in the pre-Independence days, is being perpetuated by a trust headed by Sardar Swaran Singh." Peasant Communities of Punjab, Kulwant Singh Virk [1]
  2. ^ a b c Akali Lahir de Mahan Neta. Amritsar, 1976
  3. ^ Ashok, Shamsher Singh, Panjab dian Lahiran. Patiala, 1974
  4. ^ Pratap Singh, Giani, Gurdwara Sudhar arthat Akali. Lahir. Amritsar, 1975
  5. ^ Dilgeer, Harjinder Singh, Shiromani Akali Dal. Chandigarh, 1980
  6. ^ a b c Shiromani Akali Dal, By O. P. Ralhan,pp 305, Published by Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 1998ISBN 8174884750, 9788174884756
  7. ^ "Gurdwara Shaheed Babu Labh Singh has been built in his memory." Encyclopedia of Jalandhar: Jalandhara, pp 66, By Harajindara Siṅgha Dilagīra, Published by Sikh University Press, 2004, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 3 Sep 2008

Further reading[edit]

  • Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh, Sikh History (in 10 volumes), Sikh University Press, Belgium, 2010–11