The Multifarious Faces of Sikhism
throughout Sikh History
Page 8 of 8
Baba Sahib Singh died acknowledged a great
holy man a great Guru of the Sanatan Sikh world
in 1834. In his life time he initiated many
into the 'Sehajdhari' (non-Khalsa) Sikh and
Khalsa Sikh faith.
Baba Bikram Singh Bedi succeeded
his father as the head of the Bedi clan. After
the first Anglo-Sikh War, the Lahore Durbar
conceded Una’s neighboring district Jullundur
to the British. Baba Bikram Singh fearing British
encroachment on his own territory protested
against this action of Lahore Durbar. On attaining
Jullundur the British moved to disarm all Punjabis
who were considered a threat to the British.
Baba Bikram Singh was asked by the British to
hand over his forts cannons to the British.
Baba Bikram Singh refused.
Tripartite Treaty of 1838
The treaty as signed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh,
the British forces and the Afghan nobles
The British gave Baba Bikram Singh an ultimatum
to comply within seven days to their wishes.
When Baba Ji did not respond to the British
threats the British confiscated his 'Jagir'.
Thus in time when Moolraj rebelled
Baba Bikram Singh also rebelled against the
foreign British. Along side Chutter
Singh and his son Sher Singh,
Baba Bikram Singh surrendered to the British
in Rawalpindi on the 10th of March 1849. The
elderly Baba Bikram Singh was not allowed to
return to Una. He was interned in Amritsar.
That is where he died in 1863.
After Baba Bikram Singh his grand nephew Baba
Khem Singh Ji was a Bedi of note. It
was Baba Khem Singh Ji who along with Baba
Thakur Singh Sanduwallia kicked started
of the Sanatan Singh Sabhia
movement against the encroachment of Victorian
Christianity on Sanatan Sikhism (for more information
on the Sanatan Singh Sabha, click here).
Baba Khem Singh Bedi of Kullar
Photographed by Lafayette Ltd of Bond Street,
London in 1902, Baba Khem Singh
Bedi was the official representative of the
Punjab during the coronation of King Edward
Later as the British Raj backed radical Tat
Khalsa Singh Sabhias emerged. Baba Khem Bedi
came under vehement attack for maintaining a
'Gurugadi' (seat of Guru) for
himself and his family. This Gurugadi tradition
was nothing new. It was a long established Sanatan
tradition but in the eyes of British Raj educated
Tat Khalsa Singh Sabhias the
'Dehdhari Guru' tradition,
Baba Khem Singh espoused, was an affront to
Baba Khem Singh Bedi of Kullar
An etching from The Illustrated London News
of Baba Khem Singh Bedi at Warwick Castle in
1902 surrounded by English aristocracy such
as as Lord and Lady Warwick and General French
In Tat Khalsa Singh Sabhia thinking only Guru
Granth was Guru. Through out his life Baba Khem
Singh, considered 'Guru' by
many Sanatan Sikh followers of his, kept up
the ideological fight against the neo-Sikhs
of the Tat Khalsa Singh Sabhia.
At present Baba Sarbjot Singh,
sixth in succession from Baba Sahib Singh, is
a Bedi of note. He is the son of Baba
Masoodan Singh Ji the last of the Bedis
who, unmindful of modern Sikh sentiment, kept
up fully his families 'Dehdhari Guru' traditions.
Baba Sarbjot Ji has of recent sojourned into
Punjabi public religious and political fields.
He is the nominated head of the recently 1990’s
formed 'Gurmat Sidhant Parcharak Sant
Samaj' (Preachers Of Sikh Fundamentals
A Society Of Sikh Saints).
Damdama Baba Sahib Singh Bedi and the
Samadhi of Baba Kaladhari in Una
Restoration of the building that marks the site
where Baba Sahib Singh Bedi was
cremated in Una (top left). Detail of the restored
parapet of the Dam Dama and the
walls depicting scenes from Sikh and Hindu legends
(bottom left). A panel depicting Guru
Nanak with Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana (top right).The
exterior of the Dam Dama (bottom right)
Though the Bedis in public no longer present
themselves as 'Grehsti Gurus'
of the Sikhs. Yet in private a good number of
Sikhs still treat them as such. The age old
Bedi tradition of smearing ash on before a wedding
and dressing like a Udasi Sadhu is also still
to be found amongst them. An idol of Baba
Siri Chand is still to be found in
the private residence of Baba Sarbjot Singh
before which he in private as all Bedis pays
(For more information on the Damdama Baba Sahib
Singh Bedi and Samadhi of Baba Kaladhari please