Plot thickens: Cast of characters in the Namdhari drama
Here is a look at the various characters in the Namdhari drama:punjab Updated: Apr 06, 2016 10:32 IST
Satguru Uday Singh
Anointed by late Satguru Jagjit Singh’s wife Chand Kaur, the new sect head has a flourishing business and owns Bangalore-based Namdhari Seeds, which is also spreading wings in Punjab. He also owns a hockey team, Namdhari 11. As head of the Bhaini Sahib-based sect, he has inherited hundreds of acres in Ludhiana and Mastangarh in Sirsa on which the dera runs hospitals, schools and a college. He is younger brother of Thakur Dalip Singh and has a son and daughter.
Thakur Dalip Singh
Elder brother of Uday Singh has a 185-acre dera in Sirsa. His father Maharaj Bir Singh had developed differences with his elder brother Satguru Jagjit Singh and had his own following. Dalip Singh had declined to become parallel Satguru after Dr Iqbal Singh, a confidant of Jagjit Singh, told a gathering at Sirsa during a parallel ceremony to pay last respects to Jagjit Singh that the latter had given him his robe and a five paisa coin to pass on the gaddi to him. He has three daughters.
The 85-year-old matriarch, who wielded considerable influence, used to supervise prayers, langar and meet visitors to the dera. She used to take a round of the academy and gurdwara complex on foot or in an electronic golf cart. Her sewadar Laadi was not on duty when she was killed by two assailants. Her daughter Saheb Kaur is married to Jagtar Singh, who was a key member of the powerful coterie of Satguru Jagit Singh. He wields influence in the current set-up too.
Married to the only daughter of Satguru Jagjit Singh, he became the de-facto head of the dera after Satguru Jagjit Singh’s health started deteriorating. The coterie included former MP Hanspal, Ludhiana-based businessman Surinder Singh and sewaks Rashpal Singh and Harpal Singh. The powerful caucus is accused of engineering the split in the two generations of brothers. Jagtar lives in the sprawling bungalow of Satguru along with his wife and son, Jai Singh, who was earlier seen as heir apparent.
Many believed that the 36-year-old UK-educated grandson of Satguru Jagjit Singh was next in line to the throne owing to Jagjit SIngh’s rift with Maharaj Bir Singh and an ambitious father Jagtar Singh, who wielded clout in the caucus surrounding the ailing Satguru. Jai Singh, though groomed, wasn’t too interested. But he liked to live a good life. Traditionally, the guru gaddi has passed on to dominant Ramgarhia caste within Namdharis while Jai Singh’s lineage is of Jats.