Dr. DIWAN SINGH KALEPANI (Shaheed 1897 -1944)

Born in a farming family of Sundar Singh and mother Inder Kaur in a village called Goaltian in the District of Sialkot, now in Pakistan on 22.05.1897, Dr. Diwan Singh was orphaned when still a child and had, early education in Daska and Sialkot, brought up by his paternal uncle. After passing matriculation examination in 1915, Dr. Diwan Singh joined the Medical School at Agra. During last 2 years of his stay in Agra, he often gave public discourse on the teaching of Guru Nanak, the Budha, the Prophet Mohammed and of course, Jesus Christ, while on holiday in his village in 1918, he got married.
When the Second World War was going on, there was great dearth of doctors. He was posted at Rawalpindi in 1919. When the war ended he was posted at Lahore. There he got an opportunity of meeting some major literature figures, Poets and Writers and also fell under the spell of Mahatma Gandhi believing in Puran Swaraj. His next posting was Dagshai in Simla Hills. There he gave lecture against the visit of Prince of Whales of India. HE was suspended, arrested and court Marshaled, None came to testify against him. He was exonerated but sill in shape of punishment, was first posted at Rangoon, then to a great harder place “Andamans”.
At Port Blair, there was solitary Police Sikh Gurudwara where convicts were not allowed entry. It deeply hurt Dr. Diwan Singh’s sensibility and decided to found another Gurudwara. Foundation of this new Gurudwara was laid on 1st August 1937 and construction was completed within one year Convicts and civil population did major KARSENA.
At new Gurudwara, he organized adult education classes and vocational training courses for women. As such the new Gurudwara became the centre of educational, social and cultural activities. In March 1942, Japanese occupied these Islands and began to indulge in various acts of cruelty and depredation. Nobody was safe. He was the only person to bring some grievances of the public to the Japanese Governor, which was not liked by them. He was asked to vacate the new Gurudwara Complex to accommodate comfort girls brought from Korea. He refused this. Then he was asked to deliver lecture through Radio Penang against the Indian Leaders. This too he refused.
Due to instigation of his detractors, Dr. Diwan Singh was accused of being a spy. He was arrested on 23rd October, 1943 and lodged in Cellular Jail. Then came most inhuman, most bestial, most diabolically conceived tortures. He was hung upside down, administered electric shocks; his flesh was signed with lit Candles .  He  was  put  in  the  Stock  till  every  bone  broken . This torture continued for  82 days. On
14th January 1944, he shed his mortal coil and then became a martyr in the cause of truth and freedom. Taking into account his sacrifices for truth and service of humanity, he was declared as a Great Freedom Fighter by the Govt. of India in August 1987.
       By - KHALSA PUBLIC  SCHOOL, Port Blair

Friday, 12 January, 2018