Tara Singh Malhotra - Public Service

Public Service

In 1907, Tara Singh was a student when the farmers of Lyallpur inhabiting the colonies protested against the passage of the Colonization Bill. Tara Singh thoroughly studied the organizational, directional and the leadership aspects of the agrarian movement of 1907. He was instrumental in organising a protest demonstration at the farewell visit of the outgoing lieutenant governor, Charles Rivaz. After studying all aspects of the movement he came to the conclusion that the leaders of the movement had been trying to exploit the reputation of the Sikhs in the eyes of the British.

Tara Singh decided to awaken the farmers living in the colonies by spreading education to them. After completing his graduation in 1907, he consciously decided to become an educator and joined the Teacher Training College, Lahore for a teaching training diploma (S.A.V.). It was in the same year that he was married to Bibi Tej Kaur of village Dhamial in Rawalpindi District. In 1908, after completing his training he along with two fellows, Sunder Singh and Bishan Singh opened Khalsa High School at Lyallpur, now Faisalabad. Tara Singh preferred to give over his life to the service of his community. It is from this place that his career in public life began.

Tara Singh ran the Khalsa High School on an honorarium of rupees fifteen per month. His personality and sacrifice inspired several others to volunteer their services to serve the school as teachers; accepting salaries lower than warranted by their qualifications. The whole staff worked with devotion that motivated the students. In two years period it became one of the leading schools in both education and sports. Soon the school became the center of Sikh education in the district and several more schools opened as its branches.

Tara Singh by his sociability and competence succeeded in creating a group of Sikh workers in the district. Sardar Harcharan Singh Rias, Sardar Bishan Singh Singhpuria, Teja Singh Samundari, Maghar Singh Jamadar, Sadhu Singh, Hari Singh, Babu Tript Singh and Bhai Buta Singh became his comrades and formed a powerful group of workers who later became known in the community as The Lyallpur Group. His desire was to awaken the whole Sikh community to the reality of their proud heritage by effecting resurgence among them. Initially, as an attempt to realise this objective he brought out a weekly from Lyallpur called as Sach Dhandhora (Pbi). Thereafter, he came to be permanently associated with all kinds of political activities concerning Sikhs.

In 1914, the Sikh emigrants to Canada sent a representative delegation to Punjab, to make their countrymen aware of the discriminatory and unjust attitude of the foreign government towards them. In this delegation, Master Tara Singh's old school mate, Nand Singh was also present. On hearing Master Tara Singh's popularity in Lyallpur, came to meet him and familiarised Master Tara Singh towards the condition of the emigrants and injustice being done to them. Master Tara Singh organised many meetings at Lyallpur, Rawalpindi and Gujjarkhan criticising the Canadian as well as the British Raj against this discriminatory treatment and his revolutionary urge came in the open. The foreign bureaucracy did not like this and they started creating problems for him.

He left Lyallpur in 1914 for two years and served as headmaster of Khalsa High School, Kallar. At the time, the financial position of this school was not good and he put that budding institution on a sound footing. He returned to Lyallpur and was again working as Headmaster for his own school when Gurdwara Reform Movement started.

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