The Kuka Movement marked the first major reaction of the people in Punjab to the new political order initiated by the British after 1849. Satguru Ram Singh, son of a poor carpenter, who was born on 3rd February 1816 in a small village of Bhaini, Ludhiana founded the Namdhari Sect on 12th April 1857 at Bhaini Sahib.
The Namdhari Movement, of which the Kuka Movement was the most important phase, aimed at overthrowing the British rule. The Namdharis were also known as “Kukas” because of their trademark style of reciting the “Gurbani” (Sayings/Teachings of the Guru). This style was in a high-pitched voice called “Kook” in Punjabi. Thus, the Namdharis were also called “Kukas”.
He asked his followers to boycott everything which bore the stamp of the British Government. In course of time, Baba Ram Singh became a secular chief of Kukas. He would go about surrounded by horsemen and held his court every day. He appointed Governors and Deputy Governors to organize Kukas in different districts of Punjab. He also inspired young men by giving them military training.
In 1920 the Kukas started publication of the paper ‘Satyug’ and in 1922 the daily ‘Kuka’ was started. When the non-cooperation movement was started by Gandhiji, the Kukas joined hands.
Members of the Movement raised voice against foreign rule at a time when people feared the most barbaric approach of the rulers. The Kuka Movement evolved feeling of self-respect & sacrifice for the country. They played a significant role in the historic Non-cooperation Movement of India.
India post has released 500 Paisa (5 Rupee) commemorative postage stamp to highlight heroic deeds of those engaged in Kuka Movement.
Coins of Rs 100 and Rs 5 were also released by RBI to commemorate the 150 years of Kuka Movement.