Nazaria -41 Article Posted on: 2014-06-26
Need for perpetuating memory of 740 unsung companions of great Sikh Martyr.
Every calendar year, Birth and Death of eminent personalities for past Governance changers, Social activists, shining Stars in the field of religion are organized but most now being a ritual fare. The New Delhi Governance and even States utilize privilege completing formalities by just naming Projects after legendary individuals. Incidentally, most of them end up involving materialistic objectives, including service for special Langar or Sweet water than to reinforcement efforts for inculcation of human values for betterment of co human honest conduct. One of the historians stated that the Buddhist at one point of time, before getting drowned in materialistic constructions for building objects also forgot sincerity in regulating real life conduct for their believers. Thus, the strong winds of Governance operated during past India succeeded in demolishing one of the wonderful religious ways of life from Indian Chapter, though it survived & grew in many other countries of the world. Many a civilized cultures of Punjab or India are also slipping in for repetition of old such Life cycles. We are promoting just & just buildings or materials for remembrance of Great one for the Society than efforts seeking continuity for poised honest Ethos & Ethics involving real impact on our lives.
Therefore, the date 25th June today has brought us remembrance for another Life Changer in Great General, famed Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. He was born about four years after the birth times of Guru Gobind Singh. Banda Singh took birth in October 1670 at Rajauri, in the Poonch district of Western Kashmir. He was named as Lachman Dass and his father, Shri Ram Dev facilitated his training in farming, riding, shooting, swordsmanship, hunting etc from his very early tender age. He got lessons on life from many saints in spiritually like Sadhu Ram Daas of Lahore area and later from one Mr Janaki Daas. His name was changed to Madho Daas Bairagi. He moved from place to place and reached Punchvati near Nasik in Maharashtra and came under teachings of Sadhu Aughhar Nath. His teacher was pleased and bestowed him with many of his virtues, occult powers, including his own created holy book. Mr Madho Daas at the age of 21 years attained miraculous powers and set up his own Ashram in Nander on the banks of river Godavari and lived there in Nader to the age of 38, i.e. till 1708.
Guru Gobind Singh visited Maharashtra and encountered Mr. Madhodas. He was motivated to come out from hermitage solitary life contributing for betterment of society. He became disciple of Guru Sahib who conferred the title and renamed him Banda Singh Bahadur with his blessings for faith and further gave responsibility to discipline the arrogance of Governor for Sirhind. The Governor had mastered killing of Guru’s youngest sons (Sahibzadas) , and was also conspired for warrior death of his two elder sons, his mother and thousands of Sikhs and Hindus. Guru Sahib gave him a council of Five Sikh advisers, who on their arrival in Punjab were to assure the Sikhs that Banda was Guru’s nominee and authorized to lead an expedition against tyrannical rule of Mughal Governance.
Banda Singh Bahadur on journey to Punjab for Holistic Mission won over most territories such as; Narnaul, Hissar,Tohana, Sonepat, Kaithal, Samana, Sadhaura, Lohgarh, though the ultimate aim was to conquer Sirhind for Juristic punishment to Mr Wazir Khan. The battle was positioned and fought at Chhappar Jhiri, 20 kms from Sirhind now in Mohali. Wazir Khan had proclaimed a Jihad or a holy war against Banda & Sikhs. Wazir Khan was joined by the Nawab of Malerkotla and all the other Muslim chiefs and Jagirdars as well as Ranghars in large numbers. Majority of Mughal soldiers were a trained force. Wazir Khan’s own Army had six thousand horsemen, eight to nine thousand musketeers and archers, about ten guns of artillery and many elephants. In addition, he had about ten thousand Ghazis. Thus the total number of Moguls troops was about thirty thousands.
Therefore, the Moguls side was represented by Sher Muhammad Khan, Nawab of Malerkotla being the leader of the right wing. Wazir Khan was in command of the center. Mr Sucha Nand, Chief Secretary of Nawab was positioned on the left. The Sikh side right wing was headed by Srd Baj Singh Bal, Srd Binod Singh headed the left wing, while Banda commanded the Center by facing the units of Wazir Khan. Shouts of Brave Khalsa rent the sky. Mr Sucha Nand could not withstand the ferocity of Srd Baj Singh and soon vanquished to flee away. Banda and the Sikh leaders later converged on Wazir Khan and killed him to proceed for victorious controls of Sirhind Province. Banda did not bring any disrespect to Muslim women & children neither hurt religious locations but introduced a number of reforms including right of land to tillers.
Banda Singh after some time restarted campaigns against friends of Mughal and confronted many Hindu hill states who earlier conspired and fought against Guru Gobind Singh. Banda Singh neutralized state repressions by defeating Raja Bhim Chand in the spring of 1711 who was leader in organizing most hill Rajas against Guru Gobind Singh. He was completely routed and most other Rajas willingly accepted subordinate status. When Banda Singh reached near the hill state of Chamba, its ruler Uday Singh also accepted superiority without fight. He offered Banda Singh for matrimonial relationship by marriage of his daughter princess to him. Banda Singh after consulting his companions, agreed for the marriage which was solemnized according to the Sikh rites in 1711. She was named Sardarni Shushil Kaur.
Banda Singh later conquered Kalanpur and Batala but found himself to have been under attacked by a huge army of Moguls supported by New Delhi. The Mughal army was again helped by some Hill Hindu Rajas. Baba Banda Singh fought so heroically that he nearly defeated all of them but the odds for resources mobility went against him on comparative Might of the State despite his holistic Mission. He had to retreat for the village of Gurdas- Nangal about six kmts to the west of Gurdaspur in Punjab. The siege of the Fort by Mughals taken and dragged on for about eight months. Unfortunate, conflict arose between Banda Singh and one of his most trusted advisers Baba Binod Singh. He along with Jathedar Baaj Singh and three others made up the war council that Banda was supposed to consult in every difficult situation. Jathedar Binod Singh desired the evacuation of the fortress, but Banda wished to fight it out there. Binod Singh being senior in age and difference of views flared up into an open quarrel, Banda agreed to let him take his men out of the Fortress.Srd Binod Singh and his supporters then charged out of the fortress escaping safely from Fort which was surrounded by largest number of Moguls Army!
The remaining defenders were run out of ammunition & Food by the end of November 1715. They tried to survive on boiled leaves and the bark of trees, and many were gradually reduced to mere physical skeletons. Mr Abdus Samad and some other Mughal leadership on December 17th, 1715, swore on Holly Quran and announced that they will not allow any Sikh to be attached & killed by their men, if Banda opened the gate and vacated the fortress. Similar OATH and defiance was earlier experienced by Guru Gobind Singh who had shared this knowledge with Banda Singh. Therefore the assessment of Banda proved correct when he under pressure of remaining left out co Sikh Fighters agreed for the Fort gate to be opened. The Moguls rushed in to spear and stab as many as three hundred of the half-dead and helpless defenders. Many were captured alive and handcuffed in twos. Thus Muslim once again backed out from religious OATH. Banda Singh was chained round his ankles and wrists, and was then locked in an iron cage. The Moguls were still afraid that he might escape and placed guards on each side of the cage with swords drawn and the cage was placed aloft an elephant. The merciless killing in Delhi of captured war surrenders created new horrified history of Moguls cruelties.
Many more Sikhs had been hurt and taken in custody on the way to Delhi. The total number 740 Sikhs along with Banda Singh were brought to Delhi including child son of Banda Singh. Besides above prisoners in heavy chains, it comprised many cartloads of the heads of the Sikh martyred with another 200 stuck upon pikes. The procession for the captured reached near Delhi by 26th February, 1716. Mr Farukh Siyar ordered his Minister Mohammed Amin Khan to go out to receive them and to prepare them for a suitable display in the town. The citizens of Delhi on the 29th February lined in the streets to get sight of the organized horrific show to create fear in them. The procession march had with them 2,000 soldiers, many holding a Sikh head impaled on his upright spear, followed by Baba Banda Singh on elephant. Mughal Commander, Mohammed Amin Khan and his son Kamar-ud-Din Khan and his son-in-law Zakaria Khan and their army men lined both sides of the streets.
There were no signs of bitterness or dejection anywhere among Sikhs. They appeared to be content with acts of Almighty with their lot and recited Guru’s hymns- Path. Few remarked that they were being punished for their sins, the response was that, ‘No, it is all according to God’s Will?”‘ When the historians refer the list of weapons captured from them from Gurdas Nangal, they stood amazed at what the Sikh Army could do with that little except for fight with will power. The list of arms refers; 1,000 swords, 217 small swords, 114 daggers, 278 shields, 173 bows, and 180 rifles. Despite such a scanty War material & ammunition, they had strongest Will to continue defying the Mughal Might for a longer time, waiting change in weather for natural pressures on Mughal forces, but lacked in supplies of food.
EDUCATIVE LESSONS for ACTIONS IN 2014:
Punjab has witnessed many single & collective Heroic Sikh Martyrdom, but inheriting generations could not connect to act balancing social fabric by identifying family inherited traits of certain; that remained sided with Governance apparatus of Times. The CONTENTS FOR QUALITY in historical ETHOS & ETHICS in them are never verified. An eminent historian expressed that “some generations are therefore destined to rule and others consigned to fate accomplice, struggling and fighting for cause of human rights” without adequate rest comforts or privilege for hierarchical efforts of family elders. Punjab living in less privileged or rural locations wishes the Governance & System operators to at least come forward and register exception for the Remembrance Sacrifice of unsung 740 Hero for June 1716. Mr Rajnath, while participating in the Event at Chhappar Jhiri, expressed in presence of Worthy C.M. Punjab that “CHHAPPAR JHIRI MARTYRDOM CHAPTER shall be brought in educative history of India in school & College curriculum of the country with special reference to past selfless leadership qualities and sincerity of 740 Missionary Sikh soldiers.
The new generations for the country continue to be ignorant and yet not apprised on value systems built & constructed in Sikh way of life. Punjab must approach Mr Rajnath Singh, now Honorable Minister for G.O. India on this selfless Task. Punjab in the meantime may introduce adequate knowledge chapter for education to own students. Government could also display another role on dedication during 2014 by plantation for long life 740 TREE PLANTS for Memorial Homage to 740 unsung Sikh warriors at landmark developed by Punjab State at Chhappar Jhiri. None for the families of them may come forward for materialistic; perishable compensatory benefit claims for Sacrifice of their elders, neither may seek TICKET TO POLITICS in line with new family oriented trends of India. The 740 sponsors could be found out for dedicating MEMORIAL TREE PLANTATION with protective guards, ensuring survival growth by incorporating insurance cost for restoration of old environment for the location.
It appears that most of the personalities sitting on the chair of a responsible position, including the Judicial management systems continue to laugh intentionally or un intentionally at the plight of Punjab when they call “PUNJAB IS A RICH STATE “why they are asking for financial support from New Delhi! They are aware of the inside economic condition of the state and its people .The system operators may continue to discriminate but Punjab will remain rich in its spirits, the way of living although they may not have much in their personal account neither Government has much in its Treasury as that of people from other states of India (1947 make) has with them. Punjab inherited old VIRSA –legacy on eating -drinking -wearing which otherwise need to be curtailed for their respectable FUTURE survival by abandoning life styles such as ‘KHAHDA PEETA LAHE DA –REHNDA AHMED SHAE DA’ But ,India otherwise may remain CONFUSED searching secrets of Punjab psychology that how despite so many planned –unplanned challenges relating to the hammering ,damages ,injuries in last immediate 63 years, Punjabis not only survived as in the past from outside invasions but still laugh and continue to have digestion/ capacity to enjoy being laughed at by their co residents of Newly made country –India 1947 !May God bless them & forgive them for injustice done to its natives!
Nirmal Singh Keerka ,
Gen Secretary, Punjab Heritage & Education Foundation.
email@example.com. Cell 9876122122