Mai Kishan Kaur(1860-1959)

Mai Kishan Kaur is known for her tearless role in the Jaito agitation. She was the daughter of Suba Singh and Mai Sobham of the village of Lohgarh in Ludhiana district. The family, goldsmith by profession, later migrated to Daudhar in Moga tahsil of present-day Faridkot district. Kishan Kaur was married to Harnam Singh of Kaolike village, near Jagraon, in Ludhiana district. He was a dafadar or sergeant in cavalry who later resigned from the army and migrated to Barnala, where he died at the young age of 33. Three children, two sons and a daughter, were born to Kishan Kaur, but all of them predeceased their father. Kishan Kaur, now a childless widow, came hack to live at Golike . She took the pahul or rites of the Khalsa in 1907 and decided to devote the rest of her life to the service of the Guru. She took a leaning part, in 1912, in the construction of the historical Gurdwara dedicated to Guru Hargobind

She took active part in the Jaito agitation of 1922-24. The Government of India had forced Maharaja Ripudaman Singh, the ruler of Nabha state known for his independent attitude, to abdicate. The Sikhs of Jaito, which fell within his territory, planned to hold prayers for his well being and restoration. By order of the British-controlled state administration, a posse of armed police entered Gurdwara Gangsar, where an akhand path or non-stop recital of Guru Granth Sahib was in progress, it not only interrupted the service but also brutally imprisoned the entire sangat gathered there denying them exit and permitting no provisions from outside to reach them. Jathedar Dulla Singh and Suchcha siigh of the village of Rode organised a land of volunteers, popularly known as Durli Jatha, who collected thc required rations and managed through feint and force to unload them inside the Gurdwara compound Mai Kishan Kaur was a member of this hand which later arranged rations for the Shahidi Jathas and the huge crowds that accompanied them.

The first Shahidi Jatha, lit band of martyrs, 500 strong and vowed to non-violence, was to reach Jaito on 21 February 1924 in a bid to enter Gurdwara Gangsar at any cost to recommence the akhand path. The state Government was equally determined not to let them do so and had deployed armed police and military contingents with orders to open fire, if necessary. Mai Kishan Kaur and her companion, Bibi Tej Kaur, went to it disguised as ladies of the Hindu trading association, collected intelligence about government's plans and preparations, and joined the jatha to convey the information he jatha accordingly rescheduled their march and instead of going straight to Gurdwara Gangsar, changed course suddenly and headed for Gurdwara Tibbi Sahib, half a kilometre to the north. State troops, however, barred entry even to that shrine and opened fire on the jatha. When Kishan kaur, with her small band of volunteers, at once busied herself attending the wounded. she along with 21 others was arrested and Prosecuted. The trial commenced at Nabha on 17 May 1924 Kishan Kaur was sentenced to four years rigorous imprisonment. Released on June 1928, she was accorded a warm welcome the following day at Amritsar, where a siropa or robe of honour was bestowed on her from the Akal Takht. The Sikhs everywhere acclaimed her courage and sacrifice.

Mai Kishan Kaur continued to serve Gurdwara Gurusar at Kaonke till her last day She died there on 10 August 1959.





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