He was always seen wearing a long kurta and carried a red turban on his head. He loved and used to sing poems of Sufi poets Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sachal Sarmast, Sami, Mira and Kabir.
Bhagat Kanwar Ram Sahib is the name which is very closely related to Sindh and Sindhis around the world. He was a Holy man, who spread the message of God by singing in his sweet, melodious voice in the praise of his Creator. It is a well-known fact that Bhagat Kanwar Ram Sahib made Sindh and Sindhis proud of themselves in the whole world. It is said when Bhagat Kanwar Ram Sahib sang people would forget about everything. They would leave all their work and pay attention to his mystical voice.
Kanwar Ram was born on April 13, 1885, at Tarachand’s house in Jarwar village of Mirpur Mathelo tehsil in the then Sukkur district. The area is now a part of Ghotki district. His father was a shopkeeper. Kanwar Ram was one of the disciples of Satguru Satram Das of Rahrki.
The main theme of his poetry was the praise of the Creator. Singing Sufi ragas, he promoted the values of humanity, love, peace and harmony.
The legend also says clouds would cover the sky and it would rain heavily whenever he sang the raga for rain.
Some of his compositions are still sung by aficionados in Sindh and in India.
Out of his 20 extant compositions the most popular is Naale Alakh Je Bedo Taar Muhinjo.
It is said that Kanwar Ram personified submissiveness, sympathy and philanthropy. Believing that his poignant voice was a gift of God, he never made it a source of livelihood for himself and his family. Huge amounts of money would be offered as gifts when he sang and danced. However, the Bhagat used to distribute it all among the poor and the needy regardless of their race, religion and sect.
He never took or used any of the money for himself or his family. According to his son Shahzada Mohan Lal, who now lives in Lucknow, India, he was given the title, Bhagat, in recognition of his services for humanity. His son had visited Sindh in the year 2008.
On November 1, 1939, Bhagat was shot and killed in a railway carriage at Ruk Railway Station. The murder, by a religious extremist, was seen as yet another attempt to destroy the Sufi fabric of Sindhi culture.
A statue to honor the Bhagat has been placed at the temple of Baba Sri-Chand at Faqir village in Thatta district. Bhagat Kanwar was equally popular among Hindus and Muslims of Sindh because of his devotion to Sufism.
It is said that Kanwar Ram never made any formal disciples or named anybody to get the Gaddi (the nomination as his heir or spiritual heir). Somebody asked him who after you? Name some of your heir. Even somebody asked him about his son Bhai Pesuram to succeed after his death. He unhesitatingly replied- “it is Saint Satramdas’s garden, I am just a Mali (Gardener). I am a slave at the door of my Master! So how does the question of successor arise? I am not concerned with my son or anybody after my death.” Few of the people who had lot of faith in Saint Kanwar Ram they made him Guru on their own with their inner heart’s direction and full dedication and they got blessings and grace.
It is also said that Saint Kanwar Ram had graced Diwan Karamchand Ahuja (Baba of Indore) – the spiritual Guru and guide of author. Diwan Karamchand was a staunch devotee of Saint Kanwar Ram. It is said when Diwan Karamchand was seriously ill at Jarwar – the birth place of Saint Kanwar Rram, Saint Kanwar worked miracle for him and got him revived from the clutches of death. Diwan Karamchand lived a long life of 99 years.
Courtesy: Bhangatkanwarram.com and other websites