Karam Singh Historian

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KARAM SINGH HISTORIAN

Sardar Karm Singh was born in 1884 (Bikrami Samant) at Jhabal village, Tarn Taran in Amritsar district. His one leg was polio-affected and it is said that one day a bonesetter of the area said that the leg could be cured with Rs 5 only. An old man of the village said in a sarcastic way that the "total worth of the boy (Karm Singh) is less than that amount of money. He (the old man) perhaps did not know that the same boy would earn laurels for the region. After finishing his schooling in Tarn Taran, Karm Singh got admission in F.A. at Amritsar's Khalsa School. However, he dropped the idea of the higher studies for the sake of research.

He knew that many old men, who were eyewitness to the Sikh history, were dying due to plague and it was the need of the hour to record the memories and accounts of Sikh history which would be lost with the deaths of these men. The services of Karam Singh have been recognised by the Sikh Panth from time to time. He was the spirit behind the establishment of the Sikh History Research Department (SHRD) at Khalsa College, though it came into being after his death.

A year before the establishment of this historical department, a meeting was convened on December 22, 1929, at Akal Takht, and a society was formed. Karm Singh was nominated as its first secretary. Though he died on September 30, 1930, the proposal was not given up by Khalsa College that announced the setting up of the department at a meeting held at Guru Ka Bagh (Golden Temple) to mark the Shardhanjli Samaroh of the great Sikh historian the same year.

The SHRD, established in 1930, has a collection of rare paintings of the Sikh rule and the British era, old newspapers, journals that are dexterously arranged in the museum. The department has rare coins and weapons of the 17th and the 18th centuries (matchlock, dhaal, Katar, chakkar, bows and kirpans).

(Extracted from an article in The Tribune ,an Indian news paper)