Born in a village of Sunam in the district of Sangrur in Panjab, known then as Sher Singh, lost both of his parents at the young age of two.
Alongside his brother, they were admitted into the Central Khalsa Orphanage Putlighar in Amritsar on October 24, 1907. It was here they came into Sikhi and he was named Udham Singh alongside his brother who was named Sadhu Singh. During his time at the orphanage, he was trained in a variety of arts, crafts and passed his exams before leaving in 1919.
During the meeting at Jallianwala Bagh, Udham Singh alongside his friends from the orphanage partook in seva of providing water to the crowds that had gathered to protest the tyrannical oppression and governance of India by the British, who had implemented the Rowlatt Act to arrest and deport those who were speaking out against the horrific crimes of the British.
What followed would be the life changing moment of Udham Singh, who stood before the Guru and made a promise to avenge the injustice that took place at Jallianwala Bagh. The violent assault against innocent people, which led to the death of countless people, who had no chance of escaping the barbaric British. Udham Singh placed the blame on Michael O’Dwyer, who wanted “to teach the Indians a lesson, to make a wide impression and to strike terror throughout Punjab”
After what took place, Udham Singh spent years travelling the world to complete the mission to eliminate O’Dwyer. He became a member of the Ghadr party, before moving to London in 1934 to avenge the injustice that took place at the Amritsar Massacre of 1919.
After nearly two decades on the 13th March 1949, Udham Singh took the opportunity to eliminate O’Dwyer. At a joint meeting between the East India Association and the Central Asian Society (now Royal Society for Asian Affairs) which took place at Caxton Hall, Udham Singh shot from his revolver into O’Dwyer twice, whilst injuring the Secretary of State for India, Zetland.
On the 1st April, Udham Singh was formally charged for eliminating O’Dyer. During his trial, he used the name of ‘Ram Mohammad Singh Azad’ to demonstrate his transcendence of faith, race, caste and creed. He then explained his actions:
I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it.
“Is Zetland dead? He ought to be. I put two into him right there”, indicating with his hand the pit of his stomach on the left side. Singh remained quiet for several minutes and then again said: “Only one dead, eh? I thought I could get more. I must have been too slow. There were a lot of women about, you know.”
Udham Singh used a webley .45 caliber revolver, firing all six shots. His weapon, a knife and his diary along with a bullet (fired on the day of the shooting) are kept in the Black Museum, New Scotland Yard, 10 The Broadway, London.
On the 31st July 1940, Udham Singh attained his Shaheedi. He gave his life by kissing the noose of death so that India could be free from oppression and tyranny. It is his shaheedi that led to the freedom of India, a nation today that oppresses the very people who sacrificed their lives for its existence today.