Makhan Singh Kenya’s freedom fighter chronicled in the play Mungu Comrade
Makhhan Singh a pioneer trade unionist and Kenyan freedom fighter made huge personal sacrifice and contribution in the struggle for Kenya’s independence . When Jomo Kenyatta, the first President of independent Kenya was sentenced to jail at Kapenguria, he found Makhan Singh already in jail imprisoned by the British.
He refused to accept a trade union movement segregated by race and poisoned by colonial apartheid that classified black Africans ad Asians in a humiliating hierarchy.
He demonstrated for the first time in colonized Kenya that Africans and Asians were bound by the same fate and their liberation was inextricably linked.
Makhan Singh spent more time in prison than Jomo Kenyatta.
It is a shame that Sikhs in Kenya could not mobilize the publicity he deserved about his contribution to Kenya’s freedom . Makhan Singh Road in Nairobi has been erased but the Sikhs in Kenya did not care to make representations to the City Council to reinstate that historic name given to that road.
It is widely believed that Makhan Singh was tipped to be the Vice President of Kenta after independence was achieved but it was sabotaged by some Sikhs because of their own ego and jealousy.
History is however never lost. Zarina Patel wrote about the unsung hero in her book Unquiet: The Life and Times of Makhan Singh.
Dr Atamjit Singh a noted play right in the Punjab equated him to other Indian freedom fighters and capitalized on Zarina Patel’s book by producing a highly touching play 'Mungu Comrade'. Details of this fascinating n play were expressed in the Tribune . To read more click : http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140615/spectrum/arts.htm
It is hoped that the this play once translated into Swahili will educate the local Africans about the Sikh contribution to the independence of Kenya. They will then undoubtedly respect the Kalasinghas – the Sikhs of Kenya and not have negative perception about them as they showed in Kisumu Gurudwara incident early this year.