Saka Tarn Taran

A religious gathering was held at Akal Takht, Amritsar on 15th-16th November 1920. In this, a committee of 175 was formed which was named Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Commitee (SGPC). The aim of the SGPC was to manage Gurdwaras and uplift the religious moral and cultural level of the Sikhs. As such, the committee was taking the management of the Gurdwaras in their hands from the mahants who had been occupying them.

The committee of the Sikhs was in control of managment of Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar since 13 October 1920. The managment of Gurdwara, Tarn Taran fell under Sri Darbar Sahib but the mahants (priests) had become self-willed being far away from Amritsar. They divided the income of the Gurdwara among themselves. Many of the mahants had become extreme alcoholics and drug addicts. They used to say openly, “Gurdwara is our shop. One may come if he wishes and anybody who does not like may not come.”

In the full congregation at Akal Takht on the 24th January, 1921, a lady said, “The priests of Gurdwara Tarn Taran threw my son into the pool after tieing a stone round his neck and teased and molested my daughter inside the Gurdwara.” Hearing this, the Committee decided to take the management of Gurdwara, Tarn Taran into their hands.

On 25 January, 1921, Bhai Teja Singh Bhuchar with a jatha of 40 Singhs reached Gurdwara Tarn Taran at 8 A.M after reciting Guru’s word for two hours in Gurdwara, the jatha told the priests the purpose of committee. A meeting took place between the Singhs of the jatha and the priests at 4 P.M, when another jatha led by Bhai Kartar Singh Virk (alias Jhabbar) also reached there. In this meeting Singhs placed five conditions before the priests. At 8.30 P.M. a priest came and informed the jatha, “All priests are ready to accept the conditions of committee. Let some prominent persons of the jatha come inside the Gurdwara and get their signatures on them.”

Bhai Sharan Singh and some other Singhs went inside Darbar Sahib. Bricks started raining on the Singhs sitting in the congregation from an adjoining house. Intoxicated priests attacked the Singhs who had gone inside with choppers and clubs. The Singhs remained calm. The priests put out the lamps inside the Gurdwara and put curtains on the doors so that the happenings inside may not be seen from outside. Out of the Singhs who had gone inside, seventeen were injured. On arrival of more jathas on 26 January, the priests handed over the management of the Gurdwara to the Prabhandak Committee.

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