Stamp on “Kuka Movement” Released
New Delhi: Union Minister for Communication & IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad here today released a commemorative stamp to highlight heroic deeds of those engaged in Kuka Movement. Speaking in the occasion, Sh. Prasad said that the sacrifices made by people of Punjab will be always remembered. He said members of the Movement raised voice against foreign rule at a time when people feared most barbaric approach of the rulers. The Kuka Movement evolved feeling of self respect & sacrifice for the country. They played significant role in the historic Non-cooperation Movement of India.
The Kuka Movement marked the first major reaction of the people in the Punjab to the new political order initiated by the British after 1849. The Namdhari Movement, of which the Kuka Movement was the most important phase, aimed at overthrowing the British rule. The Namdharis were also known as “Kukas” because of their trademark style of reciting the “Gurbani” (Sayings/Teachings of the Guru). This style was in a high-pitched voice called “Kook” in Punjabi. Thus, the Namdharis were also called “Kukas”.
Satguru Ram Singh, son of a poor carpenter, who was born on 3rd February, 1816 in a small village of Bhaini, around 7 kilometres away from Ludhiana, founded the Namdhari Sect on 12th April, 1857 at Bhaini Sahib. He asked his followers to boycott everything which bore the stamp of the British Government. In course of time, Baba Ram Singh became a secular chief of Kukas. He would go about surrounded by horsemen and held his court every day. He appointed Governors and Deputy Governors to organize Kukas in different districts of the Punjab. He also inspired young men by giving them military training.
The Kuka Movement made the people aware of their serfdom and bondage. It evoked the feelings of self respect and sacrifice for the country. Within a few years, the followers of the Kuka Movement increased manifold. They called for boycott of educational institutions of British and laws established by them. They were rigid in their clothing and wore only hand-spun white attire. The Kuka followers actively propagated the civil disobedience.
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