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Jathedar Sadhu Singh Bhaura

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Title: Jathedar Sadhu Singh Bhaura  
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Subject: Missionary
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Jathedar Sadhu Singh Bhaura

Jathedar Sadhu Singh Bhaura (1905–84), was a Sikh missionary who rose to be the Jathedar or high priest of Sri Akal Takhat, Amritsar, was born the son of Bhai Ran Singh and Mai Atam Kaur, on 6 June 1905 at Chakk No. 7, a village in Saini Bar region of Lyallpur district (now in Pakistan).

Family background

He was born in a Saini Sikh family which had relocated there from Jalandhar region. There were about 15 exclusively Saini owned villages in Saini Bar settlement and all of them had relocated there from Doaba and Gurdaspur region. The villages were named as Chakks and each Chakk had number allotted to them in official records, though some of them were named after predominant clan names or village head, examples being Chakk Naura-Bhaura and Chak Bhola. Chaudhari Bhola Ram Saini of Chakk 178 was the Zaildar of the entire Saini Bar region in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) district of British Punjab.

Political background

After matriculating from Khalsa High School, Lyallpur (where Master Tara Singh, later a leading figure in Sikh politics, was the headmaster), he joined police service and served at Quetta from 1923 to 1925 before resigning to take part in the Akali agitation for Gurdwara reform. From 1926 to 1928, he studied at the Shahid Sikh Missionary College, Amritsar, to train as a missionary. From 1928 to 1964, he headed the Sikh preaching centres at Aligarh and Hapur, in Uttar Pradesh, where he is said to have initiated nearly half a million persons according to Sikh rites, among them mostly Vanjara Sikhs of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. He was a member of the executive committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal from 1955 to 1960 and took part in several of the political agitations launched by the party. He was Jathedar of Takhat Sri Kesgarh, Anandpur Sahib, from 1961 to 1964.

Elevation as Jathedar of Akal Takth

In 1964, Sadhu Singh Bhaura was elevated to the position of Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht, the highest seat of religious authority and legislation for the Sikhs. He attracted wide public notice when, on 10 June 1978, he issued a hukamnama or edict calling upon all Sikhs to boycott socially the neoNirankari sect. In 1980, Jathedar Sadhu Singh Bhaura, in an effort to avert a vertical split in the Akali Dal, formed a seven member committee of senior party leaders to function as collegiate executive, but soon after himself resigned on health grounds and retired to live with his sons in Jalandhar where he died on 7 March 1984.


  • Dilgeer, Harjinder Singh, The Akal Takhat. Jalandhar, 1980
  • Sukhdial Singh, Akal Takhat Sahib. Patiala, 1984
  • Surjit Singh Nanua, Saini Jagat (Utpati Ate Vikas), Patiala, 2008
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