The tale of a forgotten hero of the Pakistan movement

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S.P. Singha

The history of Pakistani Christians remains deficient without the services rendered by Singha family being mentioned.

Singha family has the honour of being the first Pakistani family whose three members consecutively became members of Punjab Assembly. S. P. Singha was member of Punjab Assembly followed by his wife Mrs. S.P. Singha and his son D.P. Singha also became members of Punjab Assembly. However, despite an illustrious history in Pakistani politics, this Christian family has completely abandoned politics.

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Deewan Bahadur Seeta Parkash Singha was born on 26th April, 1893 in Pusrur, District Sialkot of Punjab. He was born to Rajan Kumar Singha of a Rajput family. S.P. Singha eyed a Pakistan where Quiad’s disciplines were implemented. D.P. Singha proudly boasted of the fact that his father S.P. Singha openly delclared Quaid-e-Azam his leader and fully supported him instead of Hindus during the Pakistan movement. S.P. Singha was one of the inner circle allies of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

S.P.Singha received early education from Batala, and afterwards studied at Saint. Stephen College, Delhi. Later on, he went on to study at the F.C. College, Lahore. He acquired Master’s degrees in English and Philosophy. Afterwards he studied LLB. After completion of studies he started working in Punjab University, Lahore as Assistant Controller of Exams in 1919. In 1927, he got promoted to the office of Registrar Punjab University.

S.P. Singha was affiliated with largest political party of Christians in the Indo-Pak namely, All India Christian Association. He was several times nominated as a candidate of the All India Christian Association during elections.

From 1936 till 1949, S.P. Singha remained member of Punjab Assembly as a candidate of All India Christian Association. He has the honour of being the last Speaker of the Punjab Assembly before partition. Moreover, he was the first Speaker of the Punjab Assembly after the creation of Pakistan. However, he passed away on 22nd October, 1949. After the demise of S.P. Singha, his wife, Mrs. S.P. Singha got elected as member of Punjab Assembly in 1951.

In 1939, The British Colonial government awarded him the title of “Deewan Bahadur” as recognition of his valuable services to the Sub-continent. S.P. Singha along with another successful candidate Master Fazal Illahi allied Successful Anglo-Indian Christian member of Punjab Assembly C. Gaban and voted in favour of Pakistan in session of Punjab Assembly on 23rd June, 1947. S.P. Singha was the Speaker of this session pf Punjab Assembly.

With S.P. Singha’s vote in favour of Pakistan, the total count of votes in favour of Pakistan reached 91 against 88 votes in favour of unpartitioned India. Three votes from Christians made Pakistan movement successful and so Pakistan came into being.

On July 25, 1947, S.P. Singha attended the session of Boundary Commission as a representative of Joint Christian Board. During this session, he suggested that Christians should be included with Muslims and all Christian majority areas for example Distirct Sialkot and its suburbs, Narowal and Pasrur should be included within the confines of Pakistan.

At the time of independence, he was also a member of the Peace Council. After the creation of Pakistan, he was a member of Minorities rights committee of Pakistan’s first law-making body.

After the death of Quaid-e-Azam on 11th September 1948, S.P. Singha stated: “Today minorities in Pakistan have become orphans.” His services are seen as great contribution towards creation of Pakistan and towards the well being of Christian community.