Sardul Singh Caveeshar: A Leading Freedom Fighter and Prolific Writer
–Dr. Ravindra Kumar
Sardul Singh Caveeshar was one of the leading freedom fighters of the Gandhian era of national liberation movement from Punjab. He was a prolific writer, thinker, political leader, journalist, editor and a nationalist. For his great services rendered to the nation, and his radical-progressive views, he will be remembered by the countrymen for a long.
Sardul Singh was born in 1886 in a middle class Sikh family of Amritsar. After completing his primary and secondary levels of education, he graduated from the Punjab University, Lahore in 1909. His father Sardar Kripal Singh desired him to pursue higher studies, but Sardul Singh quit the college in 1919 while studying for post graduation, to participate in the freedom movement.
An incident that in fact brought him to the forefront was the agitation against British over demolition of an outer wall of Gurudwara Rikabganj of Delhi. Acting upon his call hundreds of volunteers marched to the site, but before they could assemble, the British rebuilt the wall. In 1913 he started the publication of The Sikh Review –a magazine from Delhi, which drew the attention of many –general and particular. The magazine carried articles against the Colonial Rule and promoted nationalism. The authorities in Delhi did not take this kindly and regarding it as a challenge for the Colonial Government not only banned it immediately, but also declared the activities of Sardul Singh as objectionable and expelled him from the City. Caveeshar then started publication of The New Herald and the Sangat –two new magazines in English and Punjabi languages from Lahore in the year 1919. Again the contents of both the magazines were scathing attacks on the British.
In 1921 Sardul Singh was elected as a secretary of the Punjab Prantik Congress Committee. It was in this year that the British killed many farmers who were agitating against the English in Nankana Saheb. Sardul Singh fiercely commented on this massacre through his articles. For this, he was arrested and imprisoned for a period of four years.
In 1927 Sardul Singh was elected to the Working Committee of the Indian National Congress. He was again in the forefront of the non-violent battle for country’s freedom under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, particularly during the Civil Disobedience Movement, started by the Mahatma by the breaking of the Salt Law at Dandi on April 6, 1930. He led the Congress as its acting president during 1932-33; for this too he was arrested four times and was sent to prisons for years.
Disagreeing to the Congress policy of accepting the offices of governments in provinces under the provision of the Government of India Act 1935, Sardul Singh Caveeshar resigned from the Party and joined the Forward Block founded by Subhas Chandra Bose in 1939. All this while he continued to stay in the forefront of the battle of country’s independence and for a period of more than four years [1941-45] he was imprisoned again.
Caveeshar was a prolific and progressive writer. His works, Guru Nanak and World Peace, Guru Gobind Singh and National Movement, Guru Arjun’s Twelve Months of Love and Worship, Republicanism in Religion, The City of Joy, The Problem of Life, India’s Fight for Freedom and Non-Violent Non-Cooperation are particularly worth mention here. His works still inspire to those who long for creative writing, nationalism and service to humanity. This great soldier of India’s battle for freedom breathed his last in Delhi on March 26, 1963.