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Namdharis is an Indian religious group. They consider themselves a sect of Sikhism, but insist that the line of Sikh Gurus did not end with Guru Gobind Singh – it was continued through the Namdhari leaders.
Namdhari Sikhs believe fully in all Sikh gurus from Guru Nanak Dev onwards and respect both Sri Aad and Dasam Guru's Granth Sahibs equally. Namdharis believe that Guru Gobind Singh Ji lived for 146 years (1666–1812), eventually bestowing the succession on Balak Singh of Hazro in 1812.
His successor, the 1st Namdhari Leader, Ram Singh (1816–1885), is revered in the Namdhari sect as arguably the most important Guru. His status in the Namdhari sect is similar to that of Guru Nanak Dev in mainstream. Namdharis are distinguished by their white garb and round turbans, reminiscent of the turbans worn during the Sikh Empire era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Role in Indian freedom movement
The British Indian records list the extremist activities of the Namdhari Sikhs during the 1870s. While they were occasionally hailed as freedom fighters, their activities included attacks on cow slaughter issue, resulting in killings of some Muslim butchers in Amritsar and Ludhiana in 1871. A group of 66 Namdhari Sikhs were blown up by a canon in 1872 for protesting against the British; there is a memorial to them at Namdhari Shidi Smarg Malerkotla in Indian Punjab.
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