A TRUBUTE TO MASTER KARTAR SINGH BAHGA
Sarbjit Singh Bahga
Many of our friends may not be knowing or might have forgotten one of our beloved teachers of the early 20th century. He was Sardar Kartar Singh Bahga who taught at our alma mater — Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Garhdiwala from 1928 to 1958. Obviously, our generation or youngsters will not be aware of the contribution of this unsung legend of our school.
Master Kartar Singh Bahga was contemporary of our grandfathers and have taught to the contemporaries of our parents. What our institution is today, it is due to the silent contributors like Kartar Singh. We are thus dutybound to remember such beloved teachers occasionally.
Sardar Kartar Singh was born in village Bahga, District Hoshiarpur in 1901. His father Sardar Hari Singh was a farmer. Since our Khalsa School, Garhdiwala was not existent at that time, so Kartar Singh studied at the Arya School, Hariana, District Hoshiarpur. He did his matriculation from this school in the year 1921 (the year our Khalsa School, Garhdiwala was established).
After matriculation, Kartar Singh went to Lahore for further studies and passed F. A. and J.B.T. On completion of his studies, Kartar Singh joined the (British) Indian Railways where he worked for a brief period. He left this prestigious government job on the call of Mahatma Gandhi as non-cooperation movement against the Britishers.
Kartar Singh Bahga was a hardcore nationalist and worked silently for the freedom of the country. He joined the newly established Khalsa School, Garhdiwala as a teacher in 1928, and served the school till 1958. In addition to his teaching assignment, Kartar Singh was also in charge of stationery store/ tuck shop in the school. According to his ex-students, Master Kartar Singh was very hardworking, soft-spoken, down-to-earth, and humble person.
Among his students were my father (Late) Sardar Harbhajan Singh Bahga, our beloved teachers Sardar Tarsem Singh Dhugga and Sardar Satnam Singh (of Pandori). About others, I am not aware of. If someone from the readers are his students, please share your memories.
After his retirement from the Khalsa School, Garhdiwala in 1958, Master Kartar Singh taught at a school at Datarpur, District Hoshiarpur.
On the family front, Kartar Singh had three daughters and four sons. Two of his daughters were teachers and the third one was Gram Sevika. Out of his 4 sons, one is a teacher, one is farmer, one settled in USA, and other was a Veterinary Inspector.
After a selfless service to the nation and community, Master Kartar Singh ji left for his heavenly abode in 1976. We, the alumni, and our Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Garhdiwala will always be remembering his silent contribution to our institution.