Don’t let Kapur Singh’s work fade away
Sirdar Kapur Singh birth centennial birthday celebrations held with grandeur
Zafar Zang Singh
CHANDIGARH: At a glittering ceremony with balloons and band, in the presence of who’s who of the Sikh academic world from across the state, with the strenuous efforts of author and photo-journalist Jaiteg Singh Anant and his colleagues of the Hardarshan International Memorial Trust, the year long centennial birthday celebrations of the illustrious Sikh scholar and leader of the twentieth century –Bhai Sahib Sirdar Kapur Singh got off to a wonderful start at the Government Art Museum auditorium at a function which saw the release of two books and speeches by eminent Sikh personalities, who have had the privilege of associating with the literary giant and the Herculean philosopher.
Former Akali leader and presently governor of Tamil Nadu, Surjit Singh Barnala, who was the chief guest, while speaking about Kapur Singh dwelt on his courageous personality. He reminded the audience that, while campaigning in Samrala, Kapur Singh did not mince words and told the audience, “Those who trim their beards and cut their hair, please do not vote for me, I do not need your votes.” Surjit Singh Barnala said, “Would any one have the courage to say that today?” Releasing the books, Surjit Singh Barnala said that the publication of the books was a real tribute to the eminent personality.
Sharing his association with the gathering, Sardar Barnala said that “Kapur Singh maintained a tradition of excellence in the realms of administration, academics, literature, philosophy, social, religious, political and myriad traits and thus emerged stronger despite being in the thick of controversies. He was a pillar of self-esteem and proved his mettle even while in the Indian Civil Service. Sadly, the community failed to recognize his contribution.”
Rajya Sabha Member Parliament Tirlochan Singh urged the gathering to eulogise the qualities of the great scholar and Bibi Gursharan Kaur, the chairperson of the Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji Trust, applauded Jaiteg Singh for his endeavour to reminisce the contribution of Sirdar Kapur Singh.
Two books edited by Canada based journalist and writer, Jaiteg Sing Anant, namely “Sirdar” –a collection of tributes and Panchnaad –a collection of the selected writings of Sirdar Kapur Singh were released on the occasion.
Prof. Jagdish Singh elaborated on the philosophy of the late Sirdar and urged the youth to follow the work of Bhai Sahib for a better understanding of Sikh religion and politics.
A number of intellectuals, scholars, writers, thinkers and representatives of various Sikh organizations graced the function with their presence.
On this occasion, Hardarshan International Memorial Trust also remembered various freedom fighters, Sikh martyrs and distinguished writers, artists, thinkers and poets by giving up certain memorial awards and in this context, 11 dignitaries were honored which included Prof Avtar Singh Phagwara who received Bhai Sahib Sirdar Kapur Singh Memorial Award, Prof Kirpal Singh Kasel, Patiala who received Baba Ram Singh Award. Tarlochan Singh, M.P. was honoured with Shahid Bhai Mathra Singh Award. Bibi Harsharan Kaur, Chairperson was bestowed with the Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh Award and Paramvir Singh, Amargarh received Prof Puran Singh Award. Among the other personalities who were honoured included Dr. Kiranjot Kaur, granddaughter of Panth Rattan Master Tara Singh ji , Jathedar Sohan Singh, grandson of Shaheed Darshan Singh Pheruman, Ashwani Verma, Tanda, Nihal Singh Ottawa, and Tarlochan Singh Dupalpur, California, America.
Among others, Dr. Man Singh Nirankari, Anurag Singh, Jaswant Singh Mann, Bhai Ashok Singh Baghria, Gurratanpal Singh, Dr. Madanjit Kaur and Bhai Daljit Singh also graced the occasion.
Shiromani writer Dr. Darshan Singh Asht conducted the Seminar in chaste Punjabi which was admired by the audience. Concluding the function, Jaiteg Singh apprised the gathering that he would continue year long activities to inspire the youth to follow the works of Sirdar Kapur Singh. He said there will be seminars and conventions in the coming weeks and months. On 21st March, there will be a Seminar in Patiala and on 4th April in Ludhiana. There will be birthday celebrations in Surrey, Vancouver in the month of July, one in Ottawa in August, and another one in September in Toronto, followed by an international Seminar in Lahore at Nankana Sahib, culminating with a convention in Calcutta in December this year.
The dignitaries sought the establishment of Sirdar Kapur Singh Chair in any of the universities of Punjab, the inclusion of the writings of Sirdar Kapur Singh in various Syllabi at School and college level, setting up of scholarships in the name of the great scholar and the opening up a Civil Services Academy and a College of Fine Arts in the name of the stalwart.
11 March 2009