Tara Singh was born in a Punjabi Hindu Malhotra family of Rawalpindi.
It is indeed remarkable that from humble origins he arose to the top of
Sikh leadership, culminating with the creation of Punjabi State in Independent
India. He initiated into Khalsa when he was ten or twelve years old. A
fierce sewadar and helpful to all Sikhs he was among those cream of crop
who strive to become a perfect Soldiers of their community. Tara Singh
Malhotra is remembered for two things, one steering Sikhs towards opting
for India in 1947 and other to campaingn for the state of Punjab in Independet
His first duty to serve Khalsa on the political arena came when he was
invited to Round Table conference at Shimla after the end of the Second
World War by the Governor-General, Lord Wavell, to ease the political
situation in the country, the Sikhs were given representation along with
other communities. Pleading on their behalf, Master Tara Singh who was
among the twenty-one Indian leaders invited, argued that the creation
of Pakistan would be more injurious to his community than to any other
community. He told governor general that Sikhs are scattered all over
the Punjab and are not in majority in any district. He vigorously campaigned
against the demand of Pakistan by Muslim League and made many enemies.
He along with other Sikh leaders met with the leader of Muslim League
Mohammad Ali Jinnah at the house of Hardit Singh Malik. Here is a quote
from the book "Heritage of the Sikhs by Harbans Singh" "Mr
Jinnah, who outwardly maintained an attitude of sullen and studious disregard
towards the Sikhs, tried to cajole them privately. He knew in his heart
of hearts that Sikh opposition to Pakistan was one real obstacle in his
way and made several secret overtures to the leaders of the community.
He chided them for being too subservient to Congress influence and held
out all kinds of allurements, including the formation of an autonomous
Sikh area within Pakistan. Some British of ficers also conveyed similar
offers to Sikh leaders "to enable them to have political feet of
their own on which they may walk into the current of world history."
Plans were made to have Master Tara Singh and Jinnah talk together. A
meeting took place in Delhi on April 2, 1946, at the house of Sir Teja
Singh Malik, a retired chief engineer who had also been minister in the
princely states of Jaipur and Patiala. Besides Master Tara Singh and Jinnah,
Maharaja Yadavinder Singh of Patiala, his prime minister, Sardar Hardit
Singh Malik who was the host's brother, and Giani Kartar Singh joined
the meeting. Malik Hardit Singh was assigned to presenting the Sikh viewpoint
as the principal spokesman. Jinnah's one overriding concern was to have
the Sikhs rescind theiropposition to Pakistan and lend his demand their
support instead. He was prodigal of assurances, and told the Sikh leaders
that the Sikhs would have a position of honour in the new State. But he
refrained from elaborating. Malik Hardit Singh tried to extract from him
a more specific enunciation and raised some concrete issues. He said that
in Pakistan there would presumably be a parliament, a cabinet, armed services,
and so on. He wished Jinnah to say what exactly would be the Sikhs' position
in these and other instruments of State. Jinnah dodged by inviting the
Sikhs to set forth their demands in writing and by citing the instance
of Zaghlul Pasha of Egypt. Zaghlul Pasha, he said, asked the Copts, the
Christian minority, to give him their charter of demands. Without having
a look at what was written in document, Zaghlul Pasha signed, "I
agree." " That is how I shall treat the Sikhs," said Jinnah.
Hardit Singh continued his thrusts and said, "You are being very
generous, Mr Jinnah, but how about your succcessors? What is the guarantee
that they would implement the assurance given by you?" "My friend,
in Pakistan my word will be like the word of God. No one dare go back
on it," replied Jinnah. "
Since these meetings were private and there was never promised anything
on paper, Sikh leaders did not trusted the Promised given to them by Jinnah
and were vindicated of their foresight when Pakistan's army launched an
attacked against Bengali Muslims in Bangladesh with mass destruction and
gross human rights violations. Considering the current pathetic state
of minorities like Hindus and Christians, Sikh leaders like Tara Singh
did indeed had a great foresight by not believing in the private concessions
After repeated attempts of rioting, Indian leaders agreed to the partition
of country . Tara Singh and many Akali leaders were furious as they were
going to loose their houses and lands. On March 3 1947, Tara Singh at
Lahore along with about 500 Sikhs declared from a dias "Death to
Pakistan" when about 50,000+ strong muslim crowd went berserk outsie.
Tara Singh and his Akali men narrowly escaped their death, the next day
4th March 1947, wide scale rioting in Lahore and adjoining areas started.
As Jinnah had declared "Muslims are no believers of non-violence",
each muslim tried to prooved his point by plundering, pillaging, raping
and other un describeable acts.
Rioting at other places in Punjab stated as a retaliation to the killings
by Muslims in Lahore and Rawalpindi. In this greatest holocaust ever,
More then one million humans were murdered by Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs
in Punjab. Tara Singh migrated to East Punjab and was active in Akali
politics until his death in 1967 on the eve when Akali Party was going
to form their first government in new state of Punjab.