The formation of the two Singh Sabhas at Amritsar and Lahore in the 1870’s was the beginning of religious reform movement among the Sikhs. The setting up of Khalsa College in Amritsar in 1892 helped promote Gurmukhi, Sikh learning and Punjabi literature. The college was set up with help from the British.

In 1920, the Akali movement which rose in Punjab, started the cleansing of the management of the Gurudwaras or Sikh shrines. A powerful Satyagraha in 1921 against the Mahants forced the Government to pass a new Gurdwara Act in 1925.

With the aid of this act and by direct action, they freed the sacred places from the control and domination of corrupt Mahants.