3 February 1816
Raiyan, (Sri Bhaini Sahib), Punjab
|Died||29 November 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 November 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. When he was 20 he joined the Khalsa army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and served for several years under Kanwar Nau Nihal Singh, the grandson of Ranjit Singh. In the army he met and became a disciple of Baba Balak Singh, the founder of the Namdhari sect, 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.
On the death of Balak Singh, Ram Singh became the leader of the Namdhari sect. In 1863, he planned to declare himself a guru, successor to Guru Gobind Singh and leader of a new Kuka Khalsa, but the police intervened and restricted him to his home village. Two months later all Kuka meetings were banned.
Ram 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. His 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 similar non-cooperation and civil disobedience 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.
- "Ram Singh, Indian Philosopher". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
- "Ram Singh, Baba". The Sikh Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
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