Harnam Singh, Khalera (1888- )

Harnam Singh, son of Rur Singh, from the village of Khalera, Lahore, was a member of the Passengers Committee on the Komagata Maru and a central figure close to Gurdit Singh throughout the voyage to Vancouver and back.  He was a former sepoy who, according to police reports, twice tried unsuccessfully to emigrate to Canada. He stayed for a while in Shanghai where he worked as a watchman in the French administered district, the French Concession, and he was politically active in the Shanghai Sikh community. He was a principal among those in Hong Kong who organized the Komagata Maru venture; on Gurdit Singh’s instructions he sailed from Hong Kong to Manila to collect the eighty-five passengers for the Komagata Maru who caught up to it in Nagasaki, Japan. After Budge Budge he was one of the passengers captured at Midnapore west of Kolkata and held in jail in Kolkata before being sent back to Punjab and restricted to his village until released under a general amnesty in 1919. In 1923 he went back to Shanghai to join relatives.

Sources: The Ghadr Directory, 1934, Compiled by the Director, Intelligence Bureau, Home Department, Government of India (Published, Patiala: Punjabi University, 1997); Jaswant Singh. Baba Gurdit Singh: Komagata Maru  (Jallundhur: New Book Company, 1965; Report of the Komagata Maru Committee of Inquiry, (Calcutta, 1914).