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Bhai Jasbir Singh Ji Khannewale: A Life of Kirtan Seva

10/16/2006


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20061016/cth1.htm#10
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    ‘Veerji’ Left his Body

    Mohali, October 14
    Bhai Jasbir Singh Ji Khalsa Khannewale, a prominent religious preacher who was affectionately called “Veerji”, died here this afternoon.

    According to the information, Bhai Jasbir Singh suffered a heart attack when he was at Gurdwara Akal Ashram in Sohana. He was immediately taken to Shri Guru Harkrishan Charitable Hospital , but doctors failed to save his life.

    Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, a former municipal councillor, said the body of the preacher was kept in a mortuary in Fortis Hospital. The cremation would take place tomorrow. A ‘shok’ march would be taken out from Sohana at midday and after passing through various areas of the town it would reach the cremation ground.

    Mr Hardeep Singh, a member of the SGPC, said Bhai Jasbir Singh Ji had a massive following not only in India but also abroad. His death had created a large vacuum.

    Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, OSD to the Chief Minister Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha and Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh mourned the death of the Sikh preacher. They said his death was a big loss not only to Punjab but the entire country.

    035_BhaiJasbirSinghKhanneWale_2006.jpg

    Condoling his death, Mr Joginder Singh Sondhi, president of the Gurdwara Coordination Committee, said the death had caused a great loss to the Sikh community.

    Veerji earlier lived in Khanna, but he later shifted to Mohali. He had got Gurdwara Akal Ashram constructed in Sohana with the help of sangat. With the objective of serving the poor, Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Charitable Eye Hospital Trust, Sohana, was constituted in 1993. A modern and sophisticated eye hospital was set up to serve millions of eye patients of the country irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. No patient, rich or poor, whether he could pay or not, left hospital without proper treatment. Expenses on surgery and medicines are charged from persons who can afford to pay.

    Veerji had always been performing nishkam kirtan seva throughout the country for Sikhi parchar. He had also been awarded for nishkam kirtan in 1996 by the Akal Takht. As a true Sikh and follower of Sikh religion, he did not believe in caste. He travelled extensively throughout the country to spread the message of Sikh Gurus.


    Thousands pay last respects to ‘Veerji’

    People accompany the body of Bhai Jasbir Singh for cremation in Mohali on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

    Mohali, October 15
    Thousands of persons from Punjab and other parts of the country paid their last respects and bid a tearful adieu to the well-known religious preacher Bhai Jasbir Singhji Khalsa Khannewale here today.

    The funeral procession of “Veerji”, as he was affectionately called, began from Gurdwara Gur Shabad Parkash Akal Ashram, Sohana. It went through Ambwala chowk, the Phase VII market, the PTL chowk and then to the cremation ground in Phase VI here. The body of “Veerji” was carried in a flower-bedecked tractor-trailer from the premises of the gurdwara, which he had got constructed with the help of the sangat.

    Devotees in large numbers accompanied the body in different vehicles and also gathered at some places along the route. Cold water was served to the sangat at different points on the route.

    Earlier, in the morning the body was brought from the mortuary of the Fortis hospital to Bhai Jasbir Singhji’s residence in Phase VII, and after rituals it was taken to the gurdwara premises. Kirtan and prayers continued at the gurdwara and thousands stood in long queues to have the last darshan of the man who over the years not only spread the message of Sikhism in the country and abroad but also served the poor and the downtrodden. Veerji was also the Chairman of Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib (C) Eye Hospital Trust, Sohana, a charitable institution set up by him.

    025_BhaiJasbirSinghKhanneWale_2006.jpg

    Although the cremation was scheduled for 1 pm, it got delayed by about three hours because of the rush of followers and other mourners. Kirtan was performed by Bhai Tejinder Singh Shimlewale and Bhai Amrik Singh Jakhmi at the cremation ground while the mourners waited for the arrival of the body. A huge number of mourners, who had been waiting for hours at the cremation ground, surged forward to have a glimpse of their beloved Veerji when the body reached there. They showered flower petals on the body.

    A wreath, on behalf of the Punjab Chief Minister, was placed on the body by Mr A.S. Miglani, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mohali. Another wreath was placed on behalf of the Deputy Commissioner by the SDM, Mr Sandeep Hans.

    Among those who came to pay their last respects were Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar, Jathedar of Keshgarh Sahib Tarlochan Singh, Jathedar of Damdama Sahib Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar of Patna Sahib Iqbal Singh, Head Granthi of Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, Gurbachan Singh, Head Granthi of Gurdwara Sisganj Sahib, Delhi, Hem Singh, and Head Granthi of Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi, Satnam Singh.

    Also present at the funeral were Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, both SAD leaders, and Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, president of the Mohali unit of the Congress.

    Bhai Jasbir Singhji Khalsa suffered a heart attack yesterday at Gurdwara Gurshabad Parkash Akal Ashram. He was taken to Shri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Hospital where he breathed his last. He is survived by his wife, Mrs Daljit Kaur, and two sons, Mr Jagmohan Singh and Mr Jatinder Mohan Singh.

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