Piara Singh Langeri (1881-1971)

Piara Singh was an activist in the Vancouver Sikh community, who at the time of the Komagata Maru was pushed to the periphery by the leading members of the Shore Committee. When that happened, he left the province to go to Toronto. He was the son of Lakhna Singh, and from the village of  Langeri near Mahalpur in the Hosiarpur District. He had emigrated from India with Kapoor Singh Siddoo and a group of men from the Mahalpur area in 1906; after several years in California, he had moved to Victoria where he supported the Sansar paper produced by Dr. Sundar Singh and Kartar Singh Hundal. He joined these men in Toronto during the Komagata Maru episode, but left shortly to link with the Ghadrites who were returning to fight the British in India. He was captured in April 1915 eight kilometers from his home village and tried as a revolutionary in Lahore and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served five years before being released in a general amnesty. He was back in jail between 1923 and 1926 for his part in anti-government agitation over the management of Sikh Shrines in Punjab. In 1929 he visited Canada on a mission for the independence movement in India. In 1946 he was elected as an Akali Party candidate to the Punjab assembly for Mahalpur.

Sources: Sohan Singh Pooni, Keneda de Gadri Yodhe (Amritsar: Singh Brothers, 2009); The Ghadr Directory, 1934, Compiled by the Director, Intelligence Bureau, Home Department, Government of India (Published, Patiala: Punjabi University, 1997); Struggle for Free Hindustan: Ghadr Directory, Punjab Section, 1915 (published Mehrauli, New Delhi: Gobind Sadan Institute for Advanced Studies in Comparative Religion, 1996); Hugh Johnston, Jewels of the Qila: The Remarkable Story of an Indo-Canadian Family (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011).