The Singh Sabha movement not only checked the relapse of the Sikhs into Hinduism but retaliated by carrying proselytizing activities into the Hindu camp. Large number of Hindus of northern and western Punjab and Sindh became “Sahajdhari” Sikhs and were baptized to become the Khalsa.

The rise and expansion of the Arya Samaj in the Punjab had decisive bearing on the course of Hindu Sikh relations. The “Shudhi” crusade launched by the Samaj was fiercely resisted by the Sikhs. The more the Samajists claimed Sikhism to be a branch of Hinduism, the more the Sikhs insisted that they were a distinct and separate community. This action and reaction broke up the close social relationship which had existed between the two sister communities. It found expression in the publication of a booklet “Ham Hindu Nahin Hain”, We are not Hindus by the scholarly Kahan Singh, who was Chief Minister of Nabha. Although the Singh Sabha movement petered out in the 1920s, it left a legacy of a chronically defensive attributes towards Hinduism.

* On November 15, 1920, a proclamation was made from the Akal Takht, Amritsar, to the effect that a committee of 175 to be known as the “Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (Central Gurdwara Management Committee) thereafter referred to by the initials S.G.P.C., had been set up for the management of all Sikh shrines. Sri Sundar Singh Majithia, Harbans Singh of Attari, and Bhai Jodh Singh were elected President, Vice-president and Secretary, respectively. The more radical elements organized a semi military corps of volunteers known as the “Akali Dal”, The Akali Dal was to raise and train men for action in taking over the gurdwaras from recalcitrant ‘““Mahants”. A Gurmukhi paper, the “Akali”, was started.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 1, 1987