Port Blair, based S. Bakhtawar Singh born on March 9, 1915 in a village near Khanna in Distt. Fatehgarh Sahib, who joined the Andaman and Nicobar Police in 1935, was the first and the last who established close relations with JARAWAS and other tribes of Andaman and Nicobar and thus created history. Jarawas, otherwise known for their hostile behaviour towards strangers and inlanders, who kill their target with poison-coated arrows were in friendly relations with Mr. Bakhtawar Singh. Jarawas whose population was just around 270, consider the sea as devil and hate it and never worship it. S. Bakhtawar Singh started efforts in 1962 to bring Jarawas and other tribes in Middle and South Andamans about 65 km from Port Blair, closer to the mainlanders and ultimately succeeded to win over them. This success he got risking his life, as many times he survived their attacks. He used to take The Mighty Sikhs / 228 fruits for them. Slowly and steadily, they started having faith in him and became his friends. S. Bakhtawar Singh learnt their language to converse with them. The tribes who earlier resisted the development work in their area and shot dead many PWD officials, had full faith in him.
He retired as Deputy Superintendent of Police in 1973. But keeping in view his exceptional work on Jarawas and other tribes he was given extension for three years and made commandant of bush police. Later on, he was elevated as Executive Secretary of the Andaman Adi Janjati Vikas Samiti. A great masiha of Jarawas and other tribes died on January 9, 2005 at the age of 89 years following a heart attack, shortly before tsunami waves. With his death, a strong link between Jarawas and other tribes with India was lost. Such a genius, for his supreme services rendered in islands for tribes, deserves a befitting memorial/ statue in Port Blair. Would Govt. of India and the Sikh leaders concentrate on this issue?
Sikh connections of Jarawas and other tribes in Andaman and Nicobar is a matter of pride. Otherwise also, Sikhs have a historical link with islands which started from Diwan Singh Kalepani to many Sikh revolutionaries, about 4,000, who settled there after release from cellular jail at the time of independence. In 1969, 110 ex-servicemen from Punjab were allotted land in Nicobar islands. In 1970, also many exservicemen from Punjab were made settled in Campbell Bay by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in order to protect the island from illegal poachers and to maintain and sustain Indian control on all the islands.Download Ebook to Read Continue