Teja Singh Suntantar


    In News

    • Punjab CM unveiled a statue of Teja Singh Sutantar, former MP and revolutionary leader  at Nihalgarh village in Sangrur district.
      • Nearly 784 villages had taken part in the PEPSU Muzara movement, led by Teja Singh. Nihalgarh was one of these villages.

    About Teja singh Sutantar

    • Early life:
      • Born as Sumand Singh in Aluana village of Gurdaspur. (16 July 1901 − 12 April 1973).
      • He became Teja Singh when he liberated Veela Teja gurdwara from the clutches of the British-backed Mahants..
      • Sutantar was added to his name when he led ‘Sutantar jatha’, which was at the forefront of gurdwara liberation.
    • Contributions:
      • In early 1923 , Teja Singh went to Kabul as a Sikh missionary. There he came in contact with a few leaders of the Ghadar Party.
        • The Ghadar Movement was an early 20th century international political movement founded by expatriate Indians to overthrow British rule in India.
      • In 1925, he joined the Turkish military academy under the pseudonym Azad Beg.
      • He would eventually be granted Turkish citizenship and be commissioned into the Turkish army.
      • He saved the life of Dr Saifuddin Kitchlew, the hero of Jallianwala Bagh, Kitchlew always referred to Sutantar as a ‘khuda’ who saved his life,”.
      • He contributed revolutionary articles to the party journal, the Kirti, frequently writing about issues that plagued peasants.
      • He edited Lal Jhanda, a monthly magazine in Urdu, Lal Savera, a Punjabi weekly and contributed to various newspapers.
      •  Saved hundreds of Muslims from communal riots during the Partition.
      • He joined the Akali Dal to participate in the movement of liberating gurdwaras from degenerate mahants.formed his own squad called ‘sutantar jatha’ .
      • Post-independence, Teja Singh, who was a prominent leader of the Kisan Sabha, led a number of peasant agitations against the government and landlords.
      • He  formed his Lal (Red) Party with the Kirti group of the Punjab Communist Party as its nucleus
      • He  was a revolutionary leader who led the PEPSU Muzara movement,


    • Back ground:
      • In the 1870, the Maharaja of Patiala implemented the Biswedari system also known as landlord system.
      • Under this system, the Biswedaris were appointed as  the local authorities of villages.
      • They were mostly government officials and were closely related to Maharaja and gradually took possession of the lands.
      • The original owners of the land were reduced to mere status of muzaras or tenants.
      • The muzaras were forced to pay batai and surrender half of the crops to their landlords.
    • Movement:
      • The PEPSU Muzara movement  started in the 1930s and went on till 1952  against the Biswedari system.
      • By landless peasants (muzaras) in PEPSU (Patiala and East Punjab States Union  to obtain ownership rights of the land they had been tilling for generations.
      • For their hereditary property right and democratic right from the British, The native aristocracy .
      • The farmers would finally receive land rights in 1952.

    Source: IE