Dr Jai Singh

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Doctor Jai Singh (1856-1898), a prominent figure in the Singh Sabha renaissance, was born the son of Sant Singh on 11 February 1856 at Find Dadan Khan, in Jehlum district, now in Pakistan. While still at school, he became an avid student of Sikh literature. In 1874, he joined Medical College at Lahore, from where he passed his Licentiate examination. He was married on 25 November 1876 before he had completed his medical studies. On qualifying as a doctor, he joined government service and his first posting was in his own town, Find Dadan Khan, as medical officer at the civil dispensary.

In 1893, he resigned his government appointment and shifted to Lahore to open a chemist's shop. In Lahore, he came under the influence of the Singh Sabha and broke away from Brahmo Samaj of which he had earlier become a member. He devoted himself wholeheartedly to the cause of Sikh reform. In 1894, he had himself readmitted to the strict vows of the Khalsa, superseding the lukewarm initiation he had at the hands of Baba Khem Singh Bedi. Even earlier, when his father died, he liad performed the obsequies in accordance with the Sikh rites as re-established by the Singh Sabha. On 11 April 1893, he formed a Shuddhi Sabha, with the object of reconverting to Sikhism apostates, as well as of converting those apostates from other traditions. In April 1896, he started a monthly magazine, Khalsa Dharam Prakdshak Shuddhi Pallor, to promote Sikh prostlylization. On 14 January 1897, he formed a society called Gurmat Granth Sudharak Committee to expunge from the Sikh texts interpolations which were contrary to the teachings of the Gurus.

Dr Jai Singh died of typhoid on 9 June 1898 at a comparatively young age of 42.