Akali Singh and the Thugs

I have come across an amazing life of a nameless Akali Singh whose jeevan I feel very compelled to share with all of you. Akali jee was 81 years old in 1973, when his life was first written. Akali jee instructed the original author to withhold his name as he did not like to advertise his greatness. Akali jee always stayed in Akali baana and was never seen without shaster (weapons). He led a very simple life and was a great rassiya of Gurbani and Naam. His humility was unmatched and his speech was sweet as honey.

He was arrested by the British government in 1916 and till 1932 he stayed in jail for playing part in the independence of India. After getting released, he went to jail many times and in 1942 he was in jail with Jawahar Lal Nehru; the first prime minister of India. After the independence of India, Akali jee stayed fully independent of worldly responsibilities and led his life helping out others. He forever stayed merged in the Naam of Vaheguru. He would stay in one place for few months and then move on. He did not have any attachments in the world and had no belongings to worry about.

In 1962, he came to the Sipri town of Madhya Pardesh (largest state of India). Sipri town of Madhya Pardesh was greatly infected with crime at that time. There was a small Gurdwara Sahib in the town and Akali jee stayed there during his stay in this town.

One evening, Akali jee finished doing his Rehraas Sahib paath and went out for a walk. While he was coming back from the walk and was walking by a water tank, he heard the moaning of a woman that grew in a loud scream as if she heard someone walk by. Akali jee stopped and started walking towards the back of the water tank and saw about 8-10 men removing the clothes and jewelery of a struggling woman. He also saw a young man tied to a tree.

Akali jee tried to stop the thugs from committing this crime but they did not pay any attention to a old person. How could Akali jee tolerate such cruelty on a helpless woman right in front of him? He did realize his age which was about 71 years at that time, and that he was against about 10 badmaashs (thugs). He briefly closed his eyes and remembered Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee and reminded him of his bachan of Sava laakh se ek laraayoon i.e. I will make my Khalsa fight with 125,000 persons. Akali jee felt immense power at the end of the ardaas and he took his 2 feet long stick and started beating the thugs with it.

When the thugs got hurt with the stick, they all took out their Rampuri knives and attacked Akali jee. Akali jee who was an accomplished player of gatka, immediately changed his paintra and took out his kirpaan. He played gatka in such a way that no badmash could even come near him, let alone hit him. Many of the badmashs got severely injured with his attack. They could not believe that they were being beaten by a 70+ years old man. They tried to subdue him but all in vain. Eventually they all ran away.

Akali jee opened the ropes of the tied young man. He then tried to lift the half unconscious young woman, who was constantly repeating, bachaayo bachaayo (help me, help me). Akali jee took her head in his two hands, brought her near his heart, like a father would do to his distressed daughter, and said, Beta, oh chale gaye hunn. Chal ghar chaliye. (O daughter, they are gone now. Let us go home).

Hearing his comforting voice, she regained her consciousness and the three started walking back to their house. They went to the Gurdwara Sahib but the doors of the Gurdwara Sahib had been locked and the sewadaars did not open the doors even after heavy knocking. At this the three of them walked towards the couple house. The relatives were anxiously waiting for the couple as they had been gone for a long time. When they heard how Akali jee had saved their honour, they wanted to thank Akali jee, but Akali jee had left for the Gurdwara Sahib by then. He stayed outside the Gurdwara all night as the doors were closed.

The girl belonged to a very influential family in the town. At the rise of the day, when everyone found out about the incident, they all came to the Gurdwara Sahib to get the darshan of Akali jee. The Police chief himself came with a lot of people and the press to see Akali jee. The girl who was saved by Akali jee too was along with the huge crowd that came to the Gurdwara Sahib.

The police chief asked the girl about the person who had saved her honour and life. Hearing this the young woman, moved forward and tearfully hugged Akali jee and said, Yeh mere baapoo jee hain, Inhon ne meri jaan bachaayee thee (He is my father who saved my life and honour). This is all that the girl could say and then she burst into tears. The whole atmosphere became very emotional and Akali jee comforted the girl by slowly patting her back.

The people gathered a large amount of money and presented to Akali jee but Akali jee refused to accept it. When they persisted, Akali jee took the money and then in front of them placed the money in front of Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee. The police chief asked Akali jee to stay in the town and that he would ensure that Akali jee got pension for life. Akali jee politely declined the offer saying that after taking the amrit of Siri Guru Gobind Singh jee he has done naukri (job) of only Panth and did not want anything in return.

Hearing such high ideals of Akali jee, the whole crowd started praising him. How could a singh of Guru Gobind Singh jee hear his praise. The newspapers wrote about him too. He left the town and moved on to another unknown destination after that. This story was originally written by Sardar Chanda Singh Bareli and published in 1973.

Kulbir Singh


Raminder Kaur said...

Such a jeevan brings tears to my eyes. Dhan Guru Dhan Guru Pyaray.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

mandeep singh said...

Woah to come close to this man's love and courage would be a great achievement for any Sikh.

Anonymous said...


Dhan Guru, Dhan Guru Pyare

Damn those badmashes should of slit their throats man ;)