Preet Lari founded in 1933 by a self-made civil engineer who went to the USA from Punjab in the twenties,Gurbakhsh Singh,the eldest of a family whose father had died when Gurbakhsh was a child.He tutored rich children nearly his own age and earned for the family. Married early as per custom, he spoke to his wife of his great yearning for further education and a better life for all,and went on to study engineering first in Rourkee, India and then the Michigan University,USA. There, worked all kind of jobs,including in homes, and studied. And supported his family back home, which he had left in the kind care of a retired judge, a friend of his late philosopher and humane father Pashaura Singh, who was an avid reader of the works of people like Swami Ram Tirath.
He had a large family of aunts and uncles and a wife to support and got a job with the Railways in India, which was under the British.
He came from the radical American background now and had no patience for the colonial rule.He was one of the officers that accompanied Simon on his Commission in India, and witness to the widespread black flag waving etc.
When the darling of the people Bhagat Singh and his two comrades were done to death, Gurbakhsh Singh made a quiet decision to quit his job. As he employed on a temporary base, he did not opt for permanency when it offered and quit his job, much to the concern his family.
He went in for becoming a pioneer farmer.
Soon he realised that his calling was the spread of radical ideas. And he started the journal Preet Lari in 1933 and formed the colony dedicated to LOVE calling it PREET NAGAR.
The work in this colony and its atmosphere noted by Jawahar Lal Nehru who visited it and Gandhiji and Tagore.
Mulkh Raj Anand called Gurbakhsh Singh one of the four inheritors of Tagore.
From cultural radicalism to socialism was a step taken by Preet Lari under the influence of his son Navtej Singh, a sensitive short story writer in his own right and a Masters in Psychology,who also devoted his life to Preet Lari. And was a card holder of the communist movement , working on its cultural front and bringing thousands of employees to become readers and supporters of Preet lari.
When the movement started to become inhumane and narrow, the third generation of the family was at hand to restore it to the people.
Sumeet Singh ,sa son of Navtej Singh, was to face the Terrorists’ time and stood up bravely for the human values. Although the prior generation of extremist leftist ideology had successfully isolated Preet Lari from the new generations in their misguided mission,Preet Lari continued to publish with no support nnearly.That too from the heartland of Terror. Sumeet was killed by terrorists, being taken for a Hindu, as ‘ethnic’ cleansing was being done by the terrorist ideologues and their mentors.This was in Feb 1984. All for supporting short hair.
Preet Lari continued to publish , uninterrupted bit for two months, by his widow Poonam , And his youngest brother Rati Kant Singh, with nearly no help from any political or social group, other than its own readers and well wishers.
The two young people later married and continue to publish Preet Lari.
A Public Trust was formed in 1995 and an application was given to the Punjab Govt. to support this public heritage of a magazine.
An unprecedented 25 lakhs was given to this trust seeing its work and commitment and history.The amount is safe with the Trust in banks and the income is used for running this magazine, however less it is.
The editor and the manager ,Publisher work honorarily and no profit is sought.
Today, a part time clerk and a part time typist work here.
The FOUNDING CHAIRMAN of this Trust was Late Sh. P.H.Vaishnav who offered his residence in Chandigarh for this magazine to work effectively out of. He also supported Preet Lari’s editor and publisher for their family and living with his hard earned life’s saving and pension till he lived. He left his property to the now middle aged couple running PreetLari so that they would have no needs of their own and could run Preet Lari for the benefit of the people as they saw fit.
The next generation of the family is involved with Preet Lari too, and while gaining expertise in their various callings, they will definitely devise ways of reviving Preet Nagar too.