An epitome of human values

Prof Anmol Singh (Retd)
S. Manohar Singh Left for his heavenly abode at the ripe age of ninety years. He served in the revenue department of the (erstwhile) state of Jammu and Kashmir for 37 years as Patwari and then Girdawar. During his service as Patwari he earned the reputation as an honest and efficient official. He was honoured with the Certificate of Merit on the Republic Day function in 1988 at Jammu. It is very rare that a revenue official (Patwari) gets this rare honour-the Certificate of Merit, for his work and conduct, Honesty, Integrity, Efficiency, Punctuality, Obedience and good conduct apart from good behaviour with public and good relations with colleagues.
Not only that, he got Gallantry Certificate from Govt. Of Jammu and Kashmir in 1954 for helping the Army Jawans of Field company without caring for his own life in the terribly flooded river of Poonch, where the life of these four Jawans was in danger. He also got the letter of thanks from the O.C of Field Coy. for the help he rendered to save the life of four Jawansof the Field Coy. without caring for his own life in the fiercely flooded river of Poonch.
When he was transferred to another district, on his promotion to the post of Girdawar, a deputation of the public met the Deputy Commissioner of Jammu with a request not to transfer S. Manohar Singh from R S Pura Tehsil as he was an example of good behaviour and honest dealing with the public and they did not want to lose such an official from their tehsil. The deputy commissioner was perplexed to find public behaviour and sentiments contrary to the complaints, he was used to listen against the integrity and behaviour of revenue officials. After satisfying himself from his own sources, he modified the orders of transfer and S. Manohar Singh Girdawar was retained in Tehsil R.S.Pura on Public demand.
When he retired from service, The Public Welfare Committee of R.S.Pura held a public function in the honour of S. Manohar Singh and presented him a letter of Appreciation- the “Spasnama” lauding him for his integrity, his honest dealings, helpful nature and simple life.
S. Manohar Singh was not only a revenue official; He was also a literary figure. He wrote excellent meaningful poetry in Punjabi under his surname “Chakar”, Radio-Kashmir- Jammu would invite him for the poetic meets and so, also The J&K Academy of Art Culture and languages in KaviSammelans. He was founder member of Punjabi Sahitic Sabha (Rgd.) R.S.Pura. He was honoured by the Sahitic Sabha with SANMAN PATTAR for his literary contributions to the Sabha. He had command over Urdu language and had beautiful hand writing. Even his writing was appreciated by his superiors.
S, Manohar Singh belonged to a rich farmer family of village Nakkar- tehsil Haveli of Poonch before 1947. He was a student of V.J.High School – Poonch in 9th class when disturbances started in that part of the state in the month of October 1947. He lost his father and parental property during that period. That Area was illegally occupied by Pakistan Army and the Hindu/Sikh population had to leave their homes and properties. They became refugees and were besieged in the city of Poonch. Indian Army saved above 60,000 of Hindus and Sikhs and evacuated most of them from the siege to Jammu. These refugees were kept in Refugee camp Nagrota. S. Manohar Singh fell ill due to hot climate and stressful life.His maternal uncle (GianiLakhmir Singh), who was looking after these orphaned children got him treated by the best doctors available in Jammu at that time and S. Manohar Singh got well. By then, Poonch was calm due to declaration of ceasefire and clearance of Rajouri- Poonch route by Indian Army. He was sent back to Poonch to avoid the hot climate of Jammu. He had to stay with his elder maternal uncle (S. Gian Singh). At Poonch he regained his health soon but lost his interest in studies, instead he started writing poetry and assumed the Surname “Chakar”. He would participate in literary activities and religious functions. He would try to help the needy, Poonch has very cold winters. He would give away his woollens if he found somebody shivering in cold withoutwoollen clothes. He would part with his sweater and return in his shirt only. His maternal uncle would take care of him. He gave away the coat of his School uniform to someone who said he liked it. He gave away the trousers of the school uniform to someone who said he needed it. He parted away with his woollen sheet – loi- and gave away to an uncle who had no loi and wanted it. There are many more examples of his kind nature and love towards humanity. Sensing his disinterest in worldly life, his maternal uncle got him selected for Patwar training to which he agreed. He completed his training and was appointed Patwari in Poonch. On the harvest of maize crop his colleagues, who were senior to him decided that every farmer wound give only half a mond (20 Kg. nearly) of maize to the Patwari concerned. S Manohar Singh opposed this proposal and asked farmers of his HalqaPatwar not to do any such thing. It percolated to other Halqas and his colleagues did not like his approach. He had to get himself transferred from Poonch. He was transferred to R.S. Pura- Jammu as Patwari. At new place he did not interfere with the working of his colleagues but took to simple life himself. He did not accept even water from the farmers of his HalqaPatwar. He was known for his integrity, honesty.efficiency and was respected by one and all.
About twenty years after his retirement – SEHYOG INDIA, (An autonomous organisation in service of disabled and destitute) after thorough search and research for outstanding persons who stuck to Principles of life found and honoured S. Manohar Singh (Who had Certificate of Gallantry and Certificate of merit from Govt.) with -ADMYA SAHAS PURSKAR, for his resolve to listen to the voice of his conscience and stood firmly on it throughout his life. They also invited him to work for their organisation for disabled and destitute.
S. Manohar Singh was an epitome of human values, like integrity, honesty, efficiency, decency and courage to serve the needy – the values he inherited from his elders. Even he lost his ancestral property in 1947 and inherited no material property, yet he appears very rich when you look at the honours he was bestowed for upholding the values of life he inherited that cannot be purchased with riches.
He passed into eternity on 20th May 2020 in the morning hours at his home without any pain and complaint. May that Noble soul rest in peace.