Master Tara Singh – by Sirdar Kapur Singh
Master Tara Singh
My association with Master Tara Singh extends over almost four decades and he has affected my life in more than one ways
Master Tara Singh was headmaster of the Khalsa High School, Lyallpur where I also matriculated. This was nearly 40 years ago. Ever since my association with him and been uninterrupted and intimate
When I came to Lahore for higher studies I remained in touch with his as I was an admirer of his steadfast loyalty to the cause of the Panth and of his patriotism. In the year 1931 I went to England for further studies and three years later I joined the Indian Civil Service. During my service days, Master Tara Singh used to make it a point to meet if he happened to pass the town where I was posted. Those were the days when communal passion ran high and sometimes there used to be all types of high feelings and tensions between Sikhs and Muslims and sometimes between Hindus and Sikhs. During these days, on more than one occasions, I was posted as Deputy Commissioner at one district of the other and this I became directly involved with the activities of Master Tara Singh.
Neither the Government nor the public was under any illusion with regard to my sympathies and respect for Master Tara Singh.
In the year 1947 when the partition of India took place, I was posted as Deputy Commissioner at Dharamsala in the District of Kangra. I learnt that Master Tara Singh would not get well unless he was removed to some secluded place where neither the public could disturb him nor the day to day news of Sikh refugees could upset his mind. I persuaded him to accompany me to Dharamsala to my house. At Dharamsala he stayed with me for about a month and I tried to look after him as best as I could.
In the salubrious climate of the hills and with the careful nourishment Master Tara Singh much improved in health. Besides, he was not allowed to be disturbed by the public or by distressing day to day news.
This incident brought me into focus in the eyes of those politicians who now held complete power in the Government at Delhi. I was painted in their as the guide and conscience keeper of Master Tara Singh. Thereafter, whatever Master Tara Singh did or said, I was associated with it as the inspirer of his moves. Nobody ever tried to find out what the true position was. Nobody ever gave me any opportunity of explaining anything which they might have against me in their minds. But circumstances were created and processes set into motion which ultimately resulted in my losing my job in the Indian Civil Services.
These processes continued for full 12 years, but I never apologized nor explained to any high up at Delhi. My grievance was that without giving me any opportunity of explaining my side of the case, I was being victimized for mere suspicion and political rivalry of others with Master Tara Singh. This kind of thing never used to happen during the days of the British who had originally recruited me to the Indian Civil Services.
In 1962 it was at the instance of Master Tara Singh that I went to Parliament, and throughout the five years of my stay in the Lok Sabha, I remained in constant touch with him. My speech in September, 1966 opposing the formation of the present Punjabi Suba was delivered after he had approved the draft. The resolution for the demand of the Sikh Homeland, which was unanimously passed at the All India Akali Conference in December 1966 at Ludhiana, was drafted by me after long consultation with Master Tara Singh. If Master Tara Singh had not been elbowed out of the leadership of the Sikhs and if the Guru had given him a dozen more years of life, I have no doubt in my mind that he would have guided the Sikhs to their destiny of an autonomous people within the Union of India, thus forming a distinct member of the international community. But that was not to be and now during the last five years or so even the name of the Panth and the aims of Sikh politics have been altogether forgotten and repudiated by those who have assumed illicit leadership of the Sikhs*.
Whatever the future developments, I am confident that the cause for which Master Tara Singh struggled for almost half a century which is the cause of the Panth, shall triumph in the end. In this lies the good of India and the Indian Nation.
Kapur Singh, 1971