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Sikligar Upliftment

The name Sikligar is derived from Arabic, ‘Siquol’, meaning ‘Polish on metal’ and ‘Sikligar’ is: used for one who polishes metal. Sikligar is thus an occupational name.

The word Sikligar finds mention in 22nd Pauri of his 8th Vaar, Bhai Gurdas (1551-1636) writes as under

The word Sikligar finds mention in 22nd Pauri of his 8th Vaar, Bhai Gurdas (1551-1636) writes as under: –

ਕੇਤੜਿਆਂ ਹੀ ਜਉਹਰੀ ਲਖ ਸਰਾਫ਼ ਬਜਾਜ਼ ਵਪਾਰੀ।। (8-22-1)
ਸਉਦਾਗਰੀ ਸਉਦਾਗਰੀ ਗਾਂਧੀ ਕਾਸੇਰੇ ਪਾਸਾਰੀ।। (8-22-2)
ਕੇਤੜਿਆਂ ਪਰਚੂਨੀਐ ਕੇਤੜਿਆਂ ਦਲਾਲ ਬਜਾ਼ਰੀ।। (8-22-3)
ਕੇਤੜਿਆਂ ਸਿਕਲੀਗਰਾਂ ਕਿਤੜੇ ਲਖ ਕਮਗਰ ਕਾਰੀ।। (8-22-4)
ਕੇਤੜਿਆਂ ਕੁਮਿਆਰ ਲਖ ਕਾਗਦ ਕੁਟ ਘਣੇ ਲੂਣਾਰੀ।। (8-22-5)
ਕਿਤੜੇ ਦਰਜ਼ੀ ਧੋਬੀਆਂ ਕਿਤੜੇ ਜ਼ਰ ਲੋਹੇ ਸਰਹਾਰੀ।। (8-22-6)
ਕਿਤੜੇ ਭੜਭੂਜੇ ਭਠਿਆਰੀ।। ।।੮।। (8-22-7)

As the saying goes, during the time of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib (1595-1644), the Sikhs used to purchase arms from Maula Baksh, who supplied good quality arms. When Muslim rulers came to know about this they threatened Maula Baksh and ensured that he stop supplying to Sikhs.

The Sikhs brought this to Guru Sahib’s notice and Maula Baksh told the truth to Guru Sahib. His life was spared by Guru Sahib for telling the truth but the Sikhs stopped purchasing arms from him. At the behest of Guru Sahib, Lohars were called from Marwar, who came under the leadership of Kehar Singh, and started preparing arms. The Sikligars who came to the Guru became his Sikhs.

The role of Sikligars again rose during the Guruship of the Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708). It is said that Ram Singh and Veer Singh descendants of Kehar Singh, again went to Punjab from Marwar.

In 1871, the British introduced the “Criminal Tribes Act”. Though the Banjaras were notified as a Criminal Tribe in a number of States but not for the Sikligars.