History | Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji (1930-1980)
Quite predictably, the voice of truth first raised by Baba Buta Singh Ji and Baba Avtar Singh Ji and now spread by Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji was resisted by the orthodox.The rapid progress of the Mission had sometimes upset these elements to the level of desperation. Many a time, Baba Ji called upon them to first understand the Mission and then point out if there was anything wrong. But all his gestures fell flat on them. Congregations were disturbed at many places. Violent attacks were also reported from several centers.
The worst in the chain was the attack on the Baisakhi Samagam in Amritsar on April 13, 1978. Baba Gurbachan Ji was scheduled to address the Samagam. But before he arrived, about 200 fanatics attacked the congregation. The police opened fire. Eighteen precious lives were lost. The incident was followed by a court case. Several Nirankari saints remained in judicial custody for about two years before they were acquitted honourably. The case was declared to be false and fabricated. The court passed severe strictures against the then Government of Punjab for filing a totally false case against innocent Nirankaris. The court held fanatics responsible for brutal attack on peaceful Nirankari congregation.
While the case was on, Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji did not sit back due to the turmoil. He declared that Truth had always to face such opposition and the greatest quality of the saints is that they do not feel frustrated realising that the Truth is on their side and it must triumph in the long run. There was, therefore, no let up in the activities of the Mission.
The opposition, however, did not end with the historic Karnal verdict in the Amritsar case, acquitting all the accused Nirankaris, including Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, honourably. The fanatics made Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji personally the target of their violence. They made an attempt on his life first in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and then near Durg in Madhya Pradesh.
Ultimately, Baba Ji fell to their bullets in Delhi on April 24, 1980. Naturally, every peace-loving person lamented and condemned the senseless act of the fanatics as an attack on love and peace by the forces of hatred and violence. "An Apostle of God's glory, a Messiah of human unity and a true social reformer, had fallen prey to religious intolerance", commented newspapers. It was another blot on human history, said the intellectuals. And the peace-loving humanists felt that humanism had been ravaged.
Mere condemnation of the brutal act would, however, not suffice. The entire Nirankari world was in dismay. Their sense of tolerance as also the patience was under severe stress. It was only for the successor of Baba Gurbachan Singh Ji, His son Baba Hardev Singh Ji came to their rescue. He put aside his own worldly sentiments usual for a son on the tragic demise of his father and consoled every follower of the Mission to face the tragedy boldly and without any feeling of vengeance.