What is AKJ?
The Akhand Kirtani Jatha (AKJ) is simply a collection of Sikhs who believe in living life according to how Guru Sahib has instructed. It is widely felt that parts of the Panth are losing the real message of the Gurus and slowly deteriorating into Brahminical rituals. For this reason, it is important that those who want to live as according to the Guru's command can do so in a collective manner (i.e. in the Sangat of other Gursikhs).
What do you do?
The main activity of the Jatha is to do Kirtan (i.e. the singing of Gurbani), although the Jatha also does Akhand Paaths, Gatka, Sikhi Camps, youth outings, seminars and regular Sikhi classes for children. AKJ Kirtan programmes take the form of Rainsbai Kirtans (which go on all night) and also Kirtan Darbars (which usually last around 6 hours). The Kirtan is usually sung with basic musical tunes - the main emphasis of the Kirtans being on the Gurbani rather than the music.
What is the history of the AKJ?
The AKJ was started by the well-known Gursikh, Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh in Punjab in the early 1900s. Ever since then, Gursikhs have been meeting together to sing Gurbani. The AKJ has spread across many countries such as the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, India, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Singapore and other nations. In 1978, Bhai Fauja Singh led a procession to oppose the Indian government's attempts to destroy Sikhism and along with another 12 Gursikhs was brutally shot down. Ever since then, Gursikhs from the AKJ have been active in working against the Indian governments oppression of the Sikhs as well as further propagating the message of the Gurus amongst the Sikhs.
Who was Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh?
Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh was one of the few shining lights of the twentieth century. He was born in 1878 to Sikh parents in Punjab. He was a true Saint-Soldier; not only did he spend every breath in the remembrance of God, but also bravely fought for righteousness and against tyranny. More can be read about Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh in his autobiography.