Dr Man Singh Nirankari
An Obituary by Dr Kirpal Singh
Dr Man Singh Nirankari, former Principal, Medical College, Amritsar, a noted Surgeon and well-known Scholar passed away on May 11, 2010 at Chandigarh. Dr. Man Singh Nirankari, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.S. (Edin), D.O. London was born on December 8, 1912 in Dist. Attook, now in Pakistan. He got his early education at Khalsa High School and Garden Mission College. He got M.B.B.S. from King Edward Medical College Lahore. He became F.R.C.S. in 1937. In 1942, he married Phool, the daughter of S. Sant Singh of Lyallpur, who subsequently became an ambassador after independence. This was a Anand Marriage in which Nirankaries had played a significant role in popularising it.
Dr. Man Singh Nirankari was direct descendant of Baba Dyal Ji, who was a pioneer reformer of early 19th century. He was contemporary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and preached against Brahmical Rituals which were prevalent among Sikhs in those days. He preached the life to be lived according to the tenets of Sikhism. His work of reform was subsequently taken up by the Singh Sabha Movement. His father Baba Hara Singh (1877-1971) was also the leader of the movement and preached the Sikh ideology and principles of Sikhism.
Dr. Man Singh Nirankari settled at Amritsar in 1948. He joined Medical College, Amritsar and soon earned the reputation as famous Ophthalmologist in the region. He retired as Principal of the Medical College, Amritsar in 1971. He has been taking active part in the educational and cultural activities and he had been a member of Syndicate and Senate of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. After retirement, Dr. Man Singh Nirankari shifted at Chandigarh; he had been blessed with three children – two daughters and one son. His son Dr. Varinder Singh has settled at New York as Ophthalmologist. His daughter Neelam, well known as Drama artist, served him with devotion during his stay at Chandigarh.
After settlement Dr. Man Singh devoted his life for writing books on Gurmat and used to contribute articles in various Punjabi Newspapers. He wrote a number of books like Sikh Sidhant which was also translated into English, Sadh Jana Ki Acharaj Katha etc. He wrote his autobiography; entitled Katha Kahani and has recorded the important statements relating to the Operation Blue Star of 1984. Dr. Man Singh had a rare collection of old copies of Guru Granth Sahib, which he donated to the Chandigarh Art Gallery, Museum. At his request the Punjab Governor agreed to establish a special section of old Beer of Guru Granth Sahib.
Dr. Man Singh was an embodiment of humanity and gentleness. He lovingly used to meet his students who were spread throughout Northern India and abroad. When he visited U.S.A. his students organized a function to honor him. He was well-known in the medical fraternity. Himself being a scholar, he was lover of scholars. His death is not a loss to his own family medical fraternity or scholar friends, but to the whole of India. I feel a personal loss of a loving friend.