The definition of a Sikh Prisoner of Conscience…
Looking back at our Seva in the wake of Bhai Waryam Singh Ji’s passing reminds us of just how privileged and blessed we were to be granted the opportunity to serve a man who had lost so much in life, his family, his future and all because he was accused, tried and sentenced through India’s draconian TADA laws.
The TADA laws reversed the very essence of justice and fair trials, by allowing torture evidence, anonymous witnesses who were exempt from cross-examination by the defence and ultimately a presumption of guilt incumbent upon the defendant to prove their innocence.
It was in these oppressive and totalitarian times that Bhai Waryam Singh, his brother and young nephew were sentenced to life in prison for committing absolutely no crime whatsoever. Tragically, Bhai Major Singh, Waryam Singh’s nephew, who was only a 14 year-old teenager when accused and sentenced to adult prison, subsequently served 24 years as an innocent man.
To spend 26 years in prison for having committed no crime whatsoever makes Bhai Waryam Singh the absolute definition of a Sikh Prisoner of Conscience. A man accused, tortured, sentenced and jailed for a quarter of a century, not for what he had done but for what his heart believed.
Sikh Relief had provided packages for sustenance, financial and health assistance through its support programmes for both Bhai Sahib and his family while he was in jail. After 26 long and harsh years Bhai Waryam Singh Ji was released and the prayers of the Guru’s Sadh Sangat had finally been heard, we continued the support and assistance to help reintegrate him back into society.
Recognising our Panthic duty and the opportunity for Sachi Seva, Bhai Waryam Singh had expressed a yearning to live close to Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar even though his native village was in Uttar Pardesh. Taking care of his wish, Sikh Relief, in collaboration with the absolute blessing of the Sangat, purchased a Kothi in Amritsar so that Bhai Sahin could spend the rest of his life in Guru Ki Nagri.
After some time, Bhai Waryam Singh grew weary of life in such a city and requested our support and assistance to help him relocate back to his ancestral home in the village of Barbaraa, Uttar Pardesh.
Bearing in mind that his ancestral home had been unoccupied and not maintained by up keep of walls, roof, doors etc it was clear that Bhai Sahibs home would require a complete rebuild. This was accomplished not long after with the total support and eternal blessing of the Guru, in the form of the Sangat.
We are forever thankful to the Guru’s Sadh Sangat Ji for their support in providing all possible assistance to Bhai Waryam Singh who had suffered so much and had spent his entire adult life serving the Guru’s Panth in quiet contemplation.
Our Benti as always remains to the Sangat, please continue to help us support today for a better tomorrow by donating at: