Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji's Timeline
July 7, 1878
Sardar Natha Singh and his wife Sardarni Punjab Kaur are blessed with a second son and they name him Basant Singh.
Bhai Sahib received education at Mission College, Lahore
Attends Government College Lahore. Bhai Sahib started the recitation of Gurbani on the advice of their father, Sardar Natha Singh. This initiated an attraction to Gurmat.
Naib Tehsildar (District Officer) on Plague duty
14 June, 1903
Basant Singh takes Pahul in Bakapur Smagam especially organized to bring and include Maulvi Karim Baksh and his family into the Khalsa Panth. Maulvi Karim Baksh was named Lakhbir Singh. Later he relocated to Amritsar and became widely known as Sant Lakhbir Singh. Basant Singh was renamed Randhir Singh.
Worked as a Head Clerk at Abbottabad. Bhai Sahib meditated for long hours and prayed for the revelation of the Holy Name. Bhai Sahib's prayers were answered as he went to the Gurdwara Sahib with the intention of doing Prakash Sewa of Guru Granth Sahib Jee, but found that the Sewa had already been done. Bhai Sahib saw the Holy Name Waheguru ( ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ) beautifully written and floating in the air above Guru Granth Sahib Jee.
Employed as a Hostel warden at Khalsa College Amritsar. Bhai Sahib wrote his first book “Ki Guru Granth Sahib Di Pooja But-Prasti Hai?” (Is the worship of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Idolatry?). The book is based on the discussion between Bhai Sahib and Dr. Fisher during the period when Bhai Sahib was on plague duty.
Founding Secretary of Khalsa Diwan Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo) where Khalsa High School was started by Bhai Sahib.
Helped Babu Teja Singh in establishing Panch Khalsa Diwan at Bhasaur where a School for Girls was started.
During this period, many Akhand Paths and Keertan samagams were held at various places. Malwa Khalsa High School Ludhiana was one such place where Keertan samagams were held on every Sunday and Wednesday. Bhai Sahib used to participate in Nagar Kirtan at Ludhiana on the occasions of Prakash Utsavs of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and they also organized Akhand Paths. Giani Nahar Singh Gujjarwal, Giani Harbhajan Singh Chaminda, Giani Dalip Singh Phulanwal, Bhai Gurbakhash Singh, Principal Singh Iqbal Singh, Sardar Lal Singh (retired as Director Agriculture GOI and was elected Akali MP from Ludhiana in 1952) and many other youngsters took Pahul during this period. In 1911 Bhai Sahib met Babu Mal Singh for the first time at Bhasaur and they remained friends untill the end. Babu Mal Singh was working as an Accounts Clerk stationed at Ambala at that time.
Bhai Randhir Singh started working seriously in organizing the Sikh masses to oppose the demolition of the Gurdwara Rikabganj at Delhi. A conference was organized at Patti (Amritsar) on the Baisakhi day April 13, 1914, where it was resolved to launch a forceful agitation to prevent the desecration of the shrine. Bhai Sahib offered to lead the first jatha (group of volunteers) if the British Government persisted in its nefarious designs of demolition and desecration. The response was so overwhelming that the conference was termed as the largest and most representative gathering of Sikhs after the British Annexation of Punjab. The first resolution from any Sikh organization protesting the demolition was sent by the Tat Khalsa Sangat Narangwal.
Bhai Randhir Singh participated along with a large Sangat from Ludhiana District at the conference held on May 30, 1914, on the Martyrdom day of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Langa Mandi Lahore. All the resolutions condemning the attitude of the British Government were passed without any amendment.
Ghadr leaders Baba Nidhan Singh Chugha, Bhai Uttam Singh Hans, Bhai Ishar Singh Dhudike, Bhai Kartar Singh Sarabha, Bhai Gandha Singh, and Bhai Arjan Singh met Bhai Randhir Singh and he agreed to join them.
The inner circle of Jatha (the members mentioned above) held their first closed door meeting in September 1914 at Khanna which was followed by the meetings at Chamkaur Sahib (19th January 1915), Lohatbadi (20th January 1915), Narangwal, Gujjarwal (12th February 1915).
20-22 Dec 1914
Bhai Sahib and companions forced the Pujaries to allow everybody to pray at Gurdwara Chamkaur Sahib.
19 Feb, 1915
Bhai Sahib and other members of the Jatha went to Ferozepur to join Bhai Kartar Singh Sarabha and others in starting the rebellion with the help of some sympathisers in the army.
9 May, 1915
Nabha State police take Bhai Sahib into custody on the advice of the British Government. Bhai Sahib was first kept at Nabha in a Sarai (inn) and after 2 weeks, Bhai Sahib was relocated to Lohatbaddi Police Station. Bhai Attar Singh was also with Bhai Sahib during this period. They were able to receive food from home.
17 Jun, 1915
Ludhiana Police takes Bhai Sahib in custody; he is kept in Kotwali for two days and interrogated. Food from home was not allowed. Bhai Sahib and Bhai Attar Singh consumed water only for two days.
19 Jun, 1915
Bhai Sahib is formally arrested and was transferred to Ludhiana Jail. Bhai Attar Singh was released on a surety bond of Rs. 500. Bhai Sahib refused to take any food from the jail kitchen and the water that was supplied by the waterman. After two days Bhai Sahib was allowed to draw water himself and after two weeks Bhai Sahib was allowed to get food from home once a day. Bhai Sahib remained in Ludhiana Jail until he was sent to Lahore to face trial in the Supplementary Lahore Conspiracy Case.
27 Oct, 1915
Bhai Sahib and other Singhs are taken to Lahore Central Jail from Ludhiana to face trial. Bhai Sahib refuses to take any jail food. After two days, Jail Authorities allowed Bhai Sahib to get water from the well himself. The Jail authorities wrote to Lt. Governor Sir Michael O'Dwyer requesting permission to allow Bhai Sahib to get food from home. Lt. Governor allows that fruit may be provided only at Bhai Sahib's own expense. Bhai Sahib's diet from November 11, 1915, until the end of the case comprised only of Fruit.
29 Oct, 1915
The Trial starts. Bhai Sahib's name appeared at serial number 69 in the list of the 102 accused in alphabetical order.
3 Feb, 1916
The Special tribunal consisting of A. A. Irvine, T. P. Ellis, and Pandit Sheo Narain, Commissioners under Act IV of 1915, charged Bhai Sahib under Indian Penal Code sections 121 (Waging War against King), 121A (Conspiring to Wage War), 132 (Abetting the commission of mutiny by the soldiers in the army of the King), 131 (abetting in seducing the soldiers from their duty), 122/109 III (collecting men, money, arms, ammunition, and chemicals for bombs; manufacturing bombs, circulating seditious literature and committing dacoities for the purpose of obtaining funds to wage war), 124A/109 III (seditious literature, Ghadr, Ghadr Sandesa, Ghadr-di-Gunj, and Ilan-e-Jung, was printed and circulated) and 302,395/109 III (committing dacoities/murders) Bhai Sahib pleaded not guilty. Four approvers, Sunder Singh of Asa Majara, Anokh Singh, Udham Singh of Hans, and Bhagat Singh deposed against Bhai Sahib. The prosecution produced eighteen witnesses against Bhai Sahib. The defense produced well over a hundred witnesses.
30 Mar, 1916
The Commission finds Bhai Sahib guilty, under sections 121A, 121 of the Indian Penal code and sentenced Bhai Sahib to Transportation for Life and forfeiture of all his property.
While pronouncing the judgment the Tribunal observed that
“--- he is one of the most important accused and has the biggest dossier.”
“--- We do believe that this accused was a person with a certain amount of religious influence ... In our opinion, he was the more dangerous on account of that influence, which he misused, and which caused him to be sought by men like Kartar Singh of Sarabha.”
Father of Bhai Sahib, Sardar Natha Singh passes away. Bhai Sahib’s share in the immovable property (House and agricultural land) was confiscated by the Government in June 1917. Agricultural land was restored to him in parts in 1949 and 1952. No orders have been passed about the house till date.
3 Apr, 1916
Bhai Sahib along with some others were sent to Multan Jail. Bhai Sahib was without food for 40 days. Bhai Sahib did not even take any water during this period. His weight was reduced to 96 lbs. It was reported in the press that the Jail authorities had killed Bhai Randhir Singh by denying food to him. Even after that, Bhai Sahib was not allowed to cook his own food. He was given fruit, sago or grams to eat. This was Bhai Sahib's food for more than a year.
Bhai Sahib along with Bhai Kartar Singh; Bhai Ganda Singh Nihang Chhota; Bhai Harnam Singh of Kala Sangha and Bhai Arjan Singh of Jagraon were sent to Rajahmundry Jail. The stay in this jail until the last week of November 1922, was trouble-free and peaceful. Bhai Sahib wrote the book 'Gurmat Bibek' here and also started writing about his life and experiences to Giani Nahar Singh of Gujjarwal. The first letter was written on March 24, 1922. These letters were later published in the form of the book 'Jail Chithian'.
1 Dec, 1922
Bhai Sahib and Bhai Kartar Singh Canadian transferred to Nagpur Jail from Rajahmundry Jail. The stay here proved to be the worst period of Bhai Sahib’s jail life. Here, Bhai Sahib was tortured physically and mentally. Bhai Sahib was beaten and his teeth were broken as the Jail Superintendent and Medical Officer Capt Dr. Nil Kanth Suryan Jatar tried to force-feed Bhai Sahib. Bhai Sahib was also threatened that beef and tobacco would be given to him forcibly if he remained adamant to cook his own food and not accept the food from the jail kitchen. This all happened in January 1923.
26 Jan, 1923
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee declared February 1, 1923, Ardas Divas (Prayer Day). Every Sikh, man or woman, above the age of 14 were asked not to take food and water from the morning until after Rehras time. In the evening, special prayer meetings should be arranged in every town and village. In these meetings, the hardships and the tortures being perpetuated on Sardar Kharak Singh Sahib Jathedar of Panth, Saint like (Sant Swaroop) Bhai Randhir Singh and the other Singhs in jails should be narrated. Ardas should be performed and a special request be made to Akal Purkh for the success of the Gurudwara Reform Movement, for all the Singhs in Jails and to protect and help them in every respect.
24 Apr, 1927
Mother of Bhai Sahib, Mata Punjab Kaur passes away. Bhai Sahib wrote to his younger brother Bhai Atma Singh, “… For Gursikhs the death does not result in permanent separation from relatives and dear ones. The general belief is that there is no life after bodily death. For followers of Gurmat, there is true and never-ending life after physical death. In Spite of physical separation, contact with the soul remains intact. ….”
7 Jan, 1930
Bhai Sahib starts writing an epic on the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and finishes it in seven days. Bhai Sahib wrote the whole epic containing more than 3000 lines with a lead pencil in the margins and between the lines of the book 'Varan Bhai Gurdas' as Bhai Sahib did not have any paper available to him. The work has been published in the form of three books 'Jyot Vigas' (The Enlightenment), 'Nirban Kirtani Jathe di Dastaan' (Story of Nirban Kirtani Jatha - giving an account of his associates before he went to jail), and 'Sikhi Sidak Tey Dharam Rakhiya'
16 May, 1930
Bhai Sahib is brought back to Lahore Jail as the sentence was coming to an end.
4 Oct, 1930
Orders for Bhai Sahib's release were received at 6 pm. The Jail authorities allowed a meeting with Shaheed Bhagat Singh between 6-8 pm to delay his departure from Jail. Bhai Sahib was sent out after 8 pm and was put on a train to his home.
5 Oct, 1930
Bhai Sahib reaches Narangwal in the evening and is warmly welcomed home.
15 Sept, 1931
Hukmnama and Siropa is bestowed on Bhai Sahib from Sri Akal Takhat Sahib
16-23 Sept 1931
Bhai Sahib reaches Taran Taran Sahib on September 16. Bhai Sahib was one of the Five Singhs who started the Karsewa of Taran Taran Sarovar on September 17, 1931.
14 Oct, 1932
The foundation stone of the new building of Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib is laid by the Panj Pyaras, Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh (Jathedar), Baba Nidhan Singh, Baba Vasakha Singh, Bhai Sahib Bhai Budh Singh, Professor Jodh Singh.
Bhai Sahib performed marriages of their Son and Daughter in the last week of December 1933.
21 Nov, 1934
On the occasion of Prakash Gurpurb of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Bhai Sahib, Baba Kharak Singh, Sardar Bahadur Mehtab Singh, Akali Kaur Singh and Sardar Partap Singh Vice President SGPC laid the foundation of Shaheed Ganj Nankana Sahib.
27-31 Dec, 1934
Bhai Sahib pays homage in the Gurdwaras in Delhi
6-12 Jan, 1935
Bhai Sahib visited Hazoor Sahib Nanded along with family and Jatha during the Prakash Gurpurb of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji 11 January 1935
8 Jan, 1938
On the Avtarpurab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Patna Sahib, Bhai Sahib was included in the Panj Pyaras for laying the foundation stone of Akal Bunga
17 Mar, 1938
Visited Hola Mohala Smagam at Paonta Sahib, and laid the Foundation Stone of Gurdwara Kavi Darbar
25 Mar, 1940
Hukumnama and Siropa is bestowed on Bhai Sahib from Takhat Sri Kes Garh Sahib
Up to 1950
Bhai Sahib is active in Kuka Kufr Tor Conferences, Ragmala debate and Panthak Darbar Shahidi Dal
16 Apr, 1961
Bhai Sahib passes away early in the morning. Bhai Sahib is cremated at Malayana Dhab (ਢਾਭ ਮਲੇਆਣਾ) situated on the border of Narangwal and Gujjarwal, the villages where Bhai Sahib had spent much time doing Naam Simran. See Pictures from the day.