Sardar Chiranjeev Singh Ji, a senior Pracharak of the RSS, breathed his last today at 8:30 am in Ludhiana on November 20. He had been a prominent figure in the RSS, dedicating his life to the organisation and its principles. His demise is being mourned by the Sangh and the broader community across the nation.
Born on October 1, 1930, in Patiala to farmer Shri Harkaran Das (Tarlochan Singh) and Shrimati Dwaraki Devi (Jogendra Kaur), Chiranjeev Ji’s early life was marked by a deep connection to spirituality and reverence for saints and gurus. His mother, a schoolteacher, played a crucial role in his upbringing. Even before he started formal education, he was drawn to temples and gurudwaras, and it was after a visit to a local shakha with his friend Ravi in 1944 that he became deeply influenced by the discipline, prayers, and ethos of the Sangh.
In 1944, during his seventh-grade studies, he ventured into a branch for the first time alongside his friend Ravi. The experiences of games, discipline, prayer, and the custom of adding ‘Ji’ to names deeply influenced him during this period. Notably, he was the sole Sikh participant in the shakha. Having completed his Prathmik varg in 1946, he went on to attend the sangh shiksha varg in 1947, 1950, and 1952. The establishment of Geeta Vidyalaya in Kurukshetra in 1946 became a significant moment etched in his memory, particularly due to the impactful speech delivered by the Sarsanghchalak Shri Guruji. His proficiency in singing songs and reciting poems, coupled with his resonant voice, garnered admiration, especially from Shri Guruji. This shared appreciation fostered a close relationship between him and Chiranjeev Ji.
During the period of the ban in 1948, Chiranjeev Ji actively participated in Satyagraha and spent two months in jail. Completing his B.A. from Rajkiya Vidyalaya, Patiala in 1952, Chiranjeev Ji initially aspired to become a teacher. However, on the insistence of Babu Shri Chand Ji, a Vibhag Pracharak, he joined the RSS as a Pracharak in 1953. During the ban period in 1948, he participated in satyagraha and spent two months in jail. After completing his B.A, he wanted to become a teacher, but at the insistence of department propagator Babu Shri Chand Ji, he became a propagator in 1953. Later, in Malerkotla, Sangrur, Patiala, Ropar and Ludhiana he served as a tehsil, zila, vibhag and sah-vibhag pracharak. Ludhiana remained his centre for 21 years. He was a shikshak for 20 years in the sangh shiksha varg and was the mukhya-shikshak four times.
In 1984, he was appointed as the organisational minister of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Punjab. In this role, he served until 1990. After the demise of Sardar Shamsher Singh Gill in 1990, Chiranjeev Ji assumed the position of the president of the organisation.
Before this period, there were concerted efforts to foster unity among all Punjabis through the establishment of the ‘Punjab Kalyan Forum.’ In 1982, a religious conference convened in Amritsar, setting the stage for further initiatives. In 1987, spearheaded by Swami Vamadev Ji and Swami Satyamitranand Ji, a group of 600 saints embarked on a journey from Haridwar to Amritsar, conveying a message of unity to Akal Takht’s Jathedar Darshan Singh Ji. A pivotal meeting took place in Delhi in October 1986. Following a thorough contemplation, the ‘National Sikh Sangat’ was formally established in Amritsar on the auspicious occasion of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Prakash Parv on November 24, 1986. Sardar Shamsher Singh Gill assumed the role of president, with Chiranjeev Ji serving as the general secretary. After Shamsher Ji’s demise in 1990, Chiranjeev Ji assumed the presidency of the organisation.
Chiranjeev Ji’s contributions extended beyond the boundaries of India. He travelled to England, Canada, Germany, the United States, among other countries, spreading the ideals of the Sangh. His programs attracted both Hindu and Sikh communities. In 1999, he organised the ‘Khalsa Sirjana Yatra’ in Patna, and in 2000, he participated in the ‘World Religion Conference’ in New York with 108 saints, including the Jathedar of Anandpur Sahib.
In 2003, due to health reasons, Chiranjeev Ji stepped down from the position of president. Following this, he continued his service at the Sangh’s office in Paharganj, Delhi, until 2021. Later, he shifted to the Ludhiana Sangh office.
His demise leaves a void in the Sangh and the community at large. In the last few months, Chiranjeev Ji battled health issues, and today, on November 20, 2023, he peacefully left for his heavenly abode. The entire Sangh and the country join hands in prayer, seeking solace for his departed soul and requesting the divine to grant him a place at the feet of the Almighty.
In a joint statement, Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and Sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosabale expressed their heartfelt condolences to the family and associates of Sardar Chiranjeev Singh Ji – “With the demise of respected Sardar Chiranjeev Singh ji, the earthly journey of an inspiring life dedicated to the nation has come to an end.
Sardar Chiranjeev Singh ji, a lifelong pracharak of the Sangh, worked for decades in Punjab. Subsequently, through the work of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, he played an important role in removing the mutual differences and distrust arising due to the unfortunate situation in Punjab and strengthening unity and social harmony in the entire country in the light of nationalist spirit and understanding. Due to his immense efforts and hard work, deep study of Guru-tradition of Punjab and excellent organizational skills, he included innumerable people in the flow of nationalism. Sardar Chiranjeev Singh ji’s affectionate and sweet personality had won over everyone. Despite not being active for some time due to illness, his passion was not dwindling. On the demise of Sardar ji, we express our heartfelt condolences to his family and acquaintances and pray to Akal Purush that the departed soul be absorbed in the divine light.