Life & Times of
Gursharan Singh

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The Public Archive

The Public Archive of Revolutionary Culture, Punjab, is a platform dedicated to deepening our understanding of the role of culture for social transformation. This is a collective effort and an open platform for discussion and dialogue. Conceived as a living archive eventually, it’s a work in progress currently, to bring revolutionary cultural material from Punjab under this platform. The beginning is made by bringing Gursharan Singh’s work together in recognition of his immense contribution to building and shaping revolutionary cultural movement in Punjab.

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About Gursharan Singh

Gursharan Singh began his theatre journey in 1958 and never looked back since. There is a well-known story of how his theatre activity began. In 1958, he was posted in Bhakra Nangal, where he worked on the Dam site as a hydraulic expert, the Dam was dedicated to the people of the country by Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Soviet leaders Khrushchev and Bulganin came to Nangal on this occasion and a cultural show was organized that evening for the dignitaries. Gursharan Singh was in-charge of the show – Gopi Krishan Maharaj; Yamini Krishnamurthy, Pundit Birju Maharaj; Lal Chand Yamla Jatt; Surinder Kaur and many others were invited to perform. The show was open to the visiting dignitaries and Bhakra managers. Gursharan Singh requested the management that workers be invited to view the rehearsal of the cultural show. He was told that it would be a wasted effort, as ‘workers don’t understand fine culture’. This shook him badly and he went around asking artists to stay for an additional day to perform for the workers. Some stayed and others did not for a performance for the workers the next day.

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Events

Discussion Forum

Significant Dates

  • 31 January death anniversary of Randhir Singh

    January 31, 2016

    Philosopher, revolutionary and legendary teacher Randhir Singh passed away on 31 January 2016

    His famous piece In Lieu of a Biodata.

  • 23 March death anniversary of Pash

    March 23, 1988

    Pash one of the major poets of the Naxalite movement was killed by Khalistani extremists on 23 March 1988.

    Music CD Asi Ladange Saathi is a tribute to the poet.

  • 17 March death anniversary of JaimalPadda

    March 17, 1988

    JaimalPadda, poet, communist activist was shot dead on 17 March 1988 in LakhankaPadda village, Kapurthala district by Khalistani extremists.

    The song Sidak Sade Ne KadiMarnaNahi n (ChattaChanana Da)is JaimalPadda’s poem.

  • 11 August death anniversary of Sant Ram Udasi

    August 11, 1986

    Sant Ram Udasi was one of the major Punjabi poets of the Naxalite movement in Punjab who wrote about revolutionary and Dalit consciousness.  He died on 11 August 1986, Nanded, Maharashtra.

    Music CD Udasi di Yaad Vich is a tribute to the poet.

  • 3 June death anniversary of Jagmohan Joshi

    June 3, 1979

    A political activist in India from an early age, Joshi came to Britain in 1958. He became involved with the work of the Indian Workers Association (IWA) Great Britain and later became the General Secretary of IWA GB.  Joshi was a dynamic leader and an accomplished poet. Joshi died on June 3rd 1979, aged 43 while leading a demonstration against state racism.

    Music CD Paiman–e–Inqlab based on his poetry is a tribute to Jagmohan Joshi.

  • 9 September birthday of Pash

    September 9, 1950

    Born on September 9, 1950, in Talwandi Salem, Punjab, Pash is one of the major poets of the Naxalite movement.  Pash was killed by Khalistani extremists on 23 March 1988.

    Music CD Asi Ladange Saathi is a tribute to the poet.

  • 31 July death anniversary of Udham Singh

    July 31, 1940

    On 31st July, 1940 Udham Singh, revolutionary and freedom fighter, associated with Ghadar Party, Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and Indian Workers’ Association who assassinated Michael O’ Dwyer, the former Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab in India, on 13 March 1940 to avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, was hanged at Pentonville Prison.

    Gursharan Singh’s plays Udham Singh and Udham Singh Diyan Asthian are based on this revolutionary freedom fighter’s life and mission.

  • 20 April birthday of Sant Ram Udasi 

    April 20, 1939

    Sant Ram Udasi was one of the major Punjabi poets of the Naxalite movement in Punjab, writing about revolutionary and Dalit consciousness. He was born on 20 April 1939 in Raisar, District Sangrur.

    Music CD Udasi di Yaad Vich is a tribute to the poet.

  • 23 March death anniversary of Bhagat Singh

    March 23, 1931

    Bhagat Singh was convicted and subsequently hanged on March 23, 1931, in Lahore, for his participation in the John Saunders murder case.

    Gursharan Singh’s play Inqlab Zindabad based on the life, times and ideology of Bhagat Singh is a much-loved play of the Punjabi stage, performed hundreds of times in Punjab and elsewhere.

  • 9 January birthday of Randhir Singh

    January 9, 1922

    Philosopher, revolutionary and legendary teacher was born on 9 January 1922.

    Among his many influential writings is his famous article in memory of the martyrs and heroes of the Ghadariteuprising.

  • April 5 Ghadar Party Formed

    April 5, 1913

    Ghadar Party was founded on April 5, 1913 in San Francisco. It played a glorious role in mobilizing powerful militant resistance to imperialism and organizing struggles like the Komagata Maru for the equal rights of immigrants of all countries.

    Gursharan Singh’s famous dance drama Ghadar Dee Goonj is the story of the movement.

  • 28 September birthday of Bhagat Singh

    September 28, 1907

    Bhagat Singh is one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian freedom movement. Born on 28 September 1907, in Banga, district Lyallpur, Bhagat Singh is the author of the influential essay Why I am an Atheist which he wrote in 1930 before he was executed in 1931.

    Gursharan Singh’s play Inqlab Zindabad based on the life, times and ideology of Bhagat Singh is a much-loved play of the Punjabi stage, performed hundreds of times in Punjab and elsewhere.

  • 26 December birthday of Udham Singh

    December 26, 1899

    Udham Singh, revolutionary and freedom fighter, associated with Ghadar Party, Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and Indian Workers’ Association was born on 26 December 1899 in Sunam.  He assassinated Michael O’ Dwyer, the former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab in India, on 13 March 1940 to avenge the JallianwalaBagh massacre.

    Gursharan Singh’s plays Udham Singh and Udham Singh DiyanAsthian are based on this revolutionary freedom fighter’s life and mission.

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