The Government of British Columbia, Canada has declared July 1 as ‘Sant Teja Singh Day’. It’s a matter of great pride for the Sikh community. In this regard, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia has issued a notification praising the contribution of Sant Teja Singh Ji and Sikhs in Canada. According to the notification issued by the Government of British Columbia, “Since the end of the 19th century, Sikhs have played a significant role in the history and development of British Columbia, facing many difficulties. A humanitarian, scholar and tireless advocate for Sikhs in Canada, Sant Teja Singh Ji dedicated his life to challenging inequality, fighting for a just society and serving without discrimination in accordance with the tenets of Sikhism. The Government of British Columbia in British Columbia respecting the history and culture of Sikhs declares July 1 as ‘Sant Teja Singh Day’.
Sant Teja Singh Ji (1877-1965), M.A., L.L.B., A.M. (Harvard) was born in Balowali village of Gujranwala district (now in Pakistan). He served as Principal in Khalsa College, Amritsar. During this time, he came in contact with the prominent Sant of the 20th century Sant Attar Singh Ji Mastuana. As per the instructions of Sant Attar Singh Ji, he went abroad to study so that the standard of education in schools and colleges of India could also be raised. Abroad, studying at Cambridge and Harvard universities, he got the right to wear turbans at university for the Sikhs. Sant Teja Singh Ji was the first student to wear turban there. Sant Teja Singh Ji is known as the ‘First Ambassador of Sikhism to the Western World’. When Sant Attar Singh Ji sent him to England for higher studies in 1906, he dropped out of his studies to solve the problems of Indians living in America and Canada. Even during his studies in England, he continued to organize people for the establishment of Gurdwaras. He established Gurdwaras in Canada and propagated Sikhism in many places. While setting up a Gurdwara in Vancouver, Canada, he was instrumental in preventing Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims from moving to British Honduras and getting permanent residence to people of Indian origin. Today, all Canadians of Indian origin should be proud that Sant Teja Singh Ji got them the right to be Canadian citizens and live there independently.
Sant Teja Singh Ji established The Kalgidhar Trust, Baru Sahib, on the instructions of Sant Attar Singh Ji, revealing the pious land of Baru Sahib in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh. Under the aegis of The Kalgidhar Trust, 2 universities, 129 Akal academies and many other social welfare works are being carried out on a large scale. Throughout his life, he undertook several philanthropic activities for social welfare, Gurmat and education, which are being carried forward under the guidance of his devout disciple Shiromani Panth Ratan Baba Iqbal Singh Ji.
~ 1st July 2021