Gursikhs from the Past
Bhai Amrik Singh (1948 – June 6 1984) was the President of the Sikh Students Federation after being elected into the position on July 2 1977 and remained president until his death on June 6 1984. He had passed his Masters in Punjabi from Khalsa College in Amritsar. After this he began research work on his Ph.D. thesis. He was the son of Sant Giani Kartar Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale the 13th leader of the Damdami Taksal which meant he was well versed in Gurbani and Sikh literature.
He devoted much of his life to Sikh missionary activities. Amrik Singh was also one of the Sikh community's most prominent leaders along with Sant Giani Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale.
On April 26 1982 a campaign was started to get Amritsar Punjab status as a holy city. It was while campaigning for this that Amrik Singh was arrested on July 19 1982 along with other members of the Damdami Taksal. Sant Giani Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale began the Dharam Yudh Morcha to free Amrik Singh and other prominent Sikhs. The Dharam Yuda Morcha was also the first collective push to implement the Anandpur Resolution which primarily requested more autonomy for the Sikh people many of whom argued that they were being oppressed and treated unfairly by the Indian government.
When the government of India decided to use lethal force in an effort to assert its authority over the Sikh faith's most holy shrine the Golden Temple Amrik Singh was one of the first of hundreds of Sikhs who gave their life in order to protect the integrity of the temple. He died at the foot of the two Nishaan Sahibs (Sikh Flags) near the Akal Takht.
Along with Amrik Singh and hundreds of other Sikhs who fought against the Indian army's action hundreds of innocent women and children were killed by the Indian government in the crossfire. Western observers such as Joyce Pettigrew saw Amrik Singh as one of the Sikh community's most respected and saintly leaders.