Personal artefacts of Sikh saint-soldier on display in Singapore

Singapore, July 4 (IANS) A two-day exhibition was put up at a gurdwara in Singapore on Saturday to display the artefacts belonging to a Sikh saint-soldier.

The exhibition, put up at Gurdwara Sahib Silat Road in Bukit Merah area of Singapore as part of a month-long festival to honour Sikh saint-soldier, Bhai Maharaj Singh, features some of his personal items such as a salottar (wooden stick used as a support and weapon), dastaar chakkar (turban steel quoits used to retain the shape of a turban) and a mala (rosary) belonging to the spiritual leader, The Straits Times reported on Saturday.

The items on display are on loan until July 5 from his descendents in India.

Bhai Maharaj is believed to be the first Sikh in Singapore. He was taken to Singapore in 1850 after he was arrested by the British out of fear that his detention in India may cause unrest as he was revered by the Sikh community in India for his spirituality, patriotic fervour and for standing up against British dominion.

Bhai Maharaj was lodged in Outram prison in Singapore where no light or fresh air could enter. Six years later, on July 5, 1856, he passed away after losing his eyesight and developing throat cancer.

“We are very privileged to be able to exhibit some of Bhai Maharaj Singh’s personal artefacts this year. With this, people can learn even more about this great saint-soldier. Having served the community and having endeavoured to be a good human being through the attainment of high spirituality, Bhai Maharaj Singh is an embodiment of the concept of Miri Piri (spirituality and community service),” Gurdwara chairman Baljit Singh said.

This year marks the 159th year of his death.

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