Description Nihangs are known for their bravery and ruthlessness in the battlefield, who once formed the suicide squads of the armed forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The career of the Akali Nihang General of the Maharaja’s time, Akali Phula Singh, is a famous one. He first came into notice as the leader who led the attack on Thomas Metcalfe’s escort at Amritsar in 1809. He was then employed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, as a General in the Indus valley, and is well known for his contribution to Ranjit Singh’s battles.Under Akali Phula Singh’s leadership, and perhaps before his rise, the Akalis or Nihangs had become a terror to friends and foes alike, and the Sikh chiefs, from whom they often levied taxes (Raakhi), dreaded them by force. Finalization of the Akali Phula Singh – speedpainting, Akali Nihang General is one of Bhagat Singh’s tradional-looking paintings. The simplicity of the painting, the traditional Indian armour, the loaded sash and the sense of leadership, all combined, are meant to bring out “the Nihang” in the painting.
Bhagat Bedi, GTA Region Member Since July 2008 Artist Statement Bhagat Singh was born in Ludhiana, and moved to Canada when he was young. He has been painting Sikh history since he moved to Canada many years ago. He used to paint historical works done by famous Sikh artists like Sobha Singh and Kirpal Singh. Later in hischool, he started doing concept art for Sarbloh Warriors and later, Elvana. Having an interest in sciences, Bhagat enrolled in the Biology program in Ryerson. However, his painting interests had become his passion over the summer. Feeling that Sikhs are under represented in the media, Bhagat took the responsibility of putting Sikhs out there, and worked on his Sikh Mutants storyline, in hischool. He also started reading the many blood filled pages of Sikh history, being quite interested in the Sikh philosophy as well. It was during the summer of his first year in Ryerson, when he decided to paint those episodes of Sikh history. Bhagat is now striving to be a great artist and an intelligent Biology student.