3 February 1816
Raiyan, (Sri Bhaini Sahib), Punjab
|Died||February 29, 1885(aged 69)|
|Philosophy||Guru Granth Sahib|
|Motto||"ਕਿਰਤ ਕਰੋ, ਵੰਡ ਛਕੋ ਅਤੇ ਨਾਮ ਜਪੋ"
- Civilize the world !
|Type||Religious and Spiritual|
|Purpose||Educational • Religious Studies • Spirituality|
|Headquarters||India, Punjab, Sri Bhaini Sahib|
Ram Singh (3 February 1816 - 29 February 1885) was born at the village of Bhaini Araian in the Ludhiana district of Punjab. He was a religious leader and social reformer, a spiritual teacher and national leader and the first Indian to use non-cooperation and boycotting of British merchandise and services as a political weapon. He was the religious leader of the Namdhari (Kuka) sect of Sikhism. Ram Singh launched his revolt against the British on 12 April 1857 by hoisting a white flag of freedom and announcing a programme of far-reaching significance.
He was the eldest of four children of Jassa Singh, a carpenter by profession, Ramgarhia by caste, and Sada Kaur. His early education in Gurmukhi and Gurbani and the Granth Sahib was at Bhaini Sahib. He joined the Khalsa army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and served for several years under Kanwar Nau Nihal Singh, the grandson of Ranjit Singh. While serving in the army he met Baba Balak Singh, whose teaching made a deep impression on him. At the end of the First Anglo-Sikh War he resigned from the army and started his spiritual life.
Singh called for the people to boycott British government services, British-run educational institutions and law courts, and foreign-manufactured goods as well as defy British laws. He was the originator of the nonviolent civil disobedience movement in Punjab in 1872.
Ram Singh's fight for independence was a turning point in world history for it eventually sounded the death-knell of colonial rule in the British empire. Mahatma Gandhi later used the concepts of non-cooperation and civil disobedience propounded by Ram Singh as political weapons against the British. His ideas played a key part in securing India's Independence from the British.
In 1872 after the Malerkotala Massacre the whole Kuka movement was outlawed, Bhaini sahib was surrounded. Ram Singh was taken into custody and was deported first to Alahabad and then to Burma, where he remained as state prisoner Even in exile Ram Singh continued to have contact with his followers.
- Āhlūwālīā, M. L. "RĀM SIṄGH, BĀBĀ (1816-1885)". Encyclopaedia of Sikhism. Punjabi University Patiala. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
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