Chiranjeev Singh, first Sikh to become a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak, passed away at 93 on Monday (November 20) at a hospital in Ludhiana. He was the pracharak since 1953, thus the senior-most in terms of tenure and age. He was one of the founders of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat which was launched in 1985. He became its second president in 1990. RSS chief Mohan Bhagat paid tributes to the departed soul and said that he played a crucial role in strengthening unity and social harmony in the entire country.
“Sardar Chiranjeev Singh ji, a lifelong pracharak of the Sangh, worked for decades in Punjab. Subsequently, through the work of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, he played an important role in removing the mutual differences and distrust arising due to the unfortunate situation in Punjab and strengthening unity and social harmony in the entire country in the light of nationalist spirit and understanding. Due to his immense efforts and hard work, deep study of Guru-tradition of Punjab and excellent organizational skills, he included innumerable people in the flow of nationalism. Sardar Chiranjeev Singh ji’s affectionate and sweet personality had won over everyone. Despite not being active for some time due to illness, his passion was not dwindling,” RSS posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Five things to know about Chiranjeev Singh
- He completed his BA from Rajkiya Vidyalaya, Patiala in 1952 and initially aspired to become a teacher, however, he joined RSS as a pracharak in 1953 on the insistence of Vibhag Pracharak.
- Mohan Bhagwat had felicitated Singh at a special function to celebrate his 85th birthday at Mavalankar Auditorium in Delhi on December 21, 2015, and handed over nearly Rs 85 lakh, however, Chiranjeev Singh donated the entire sum to Keshav Samarak Samiti instantly. Samiti worked at RSS office in Jhandewalan.
- According to former Rashtriya Sikh Sangat national general secretary Avtar Singh Shastri, Chiranjeev Singh had organised Sant Yatra from Patna Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, to Anandpur Sahib in 1999 to mark 300 years of the foundation of Khalsa.
- Chiranjeev Singh also constituted Punjab Kalyan Forum in the 80s when there was militancy in the state and worked for unity and communal harmony while also organising a procession, ‘Brahmkund to Amritkund’ from Haridwar to Amritsar.
- While RSS was banned in 1948, Chiranjeev Singh actively participated in Satyagraha and spent two months in jail. His contributions extended beyond boundaries and travelled to England, Canada, Germany, the US and propagated the idea of Sangh. In 1999, he organised the ‘Khalsa Sirjana Yatra’ in Patna, and in 2000, he participated in the ‘World Religion Conference’ in New York.