Monday, 31 January 2011

Bhai Kishan Singh

Bhai Kishan Singh Shaheed Bhai Kishan Singh
Shaheed Bhai Kishan Singh

Bhai Kishan Singh was born in village Kotlaajaam dist Meeaavalee Pakistan. His father was Sardar Tikan Singh. From his childhood, Bhai Kishan Singh had great faith for the Guru and was forever a humble servant, and always at the forefront of any Panthic affair. After partition, he moved from Dera Ismael Khan to Kanpur. He began to work with SP Engineering Corp. but for his final four years, served Sri Guru Granth Sahib at Gurdwara Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib in Gobind Nagar. He lived an exceptionally simple life.

Bhai Kishan Singh was filled to the brim with Panthic fervour and desire to serve the nation. During the 1960 Punjabi Suba Agitation, he courted arrest at Gurdwara Sees Ganj Saahib Delhi and spent six months in prison before being released in 1961 at the end of the morcha.

Before leaving for the protest march against the Narkdharis, Bhai Kishan Singh told his family “my worldy association with you has now ended”. His family accompanied him to the march.

Bhai Kishan Singh 2 Shaheed Bhai Kishan Singh
Bhai Kishan Singh Shaheedi Saroop

First bricks and staff blows rained down upon Bhai Kishan Singh’s head and then he was struck by three bullets: in the arm, stomach and shoulder. He was taken to the hospital where he was given 5 bottles of blood and an operation was performed. All this was to no avail, and at the age of 64, Bhai Kishan Singh went to reside at the feet of the Guru.

Bhai Kashmira Singh

Bhai Kashmira Singh Shaheed Bhai Kashmira Singh
Shaheed Bhai Kashmira Singh

Bhai Kashmira Singh was born on June 5th, 1943 at village Behlay Dist. Amritsar. His parents were Sardar Kundan Singh and Mata Harnaam Kaur. Bhai Kashmira Singh received his early education at Tower School in Taran Taaran and then enrolled in the Government Secondary School. Because he was inclined towards spirituality from a very early age, he only studied till the seventh grade and then left school to spend all his time in meditation.

During the Punjabi Suba Agitation in 1960, Bhai Kashmira Singh spent five months in prison. After his release, he moved to Kanpur where his elder sister lived and began to work as a driver. During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, he served in the “Survey of India” and at this time he was married to Bibi Mahinder Kaur. Because his drive towards spirituality was so great, he left his job and moved back to Kanpur where he immersed himself in the study of SGGS, Sikh history and Gurbani. This lifestyle had a major effect on those around him and gursikhs would constantly be coming and going in his house at Gobind Nagar.

He would join the sangat to celebrate Gurpurabs with great enthusiasm and the sangat would enjoy the blissful bani he would read. At his dera, akhand paaths and langar were always running. Where he would do very good exposition of Gurbani, he was also a great lover of listening to and doing keertan.

Bhai Kashmira Singh 2 Shaheed Bhai Kashmira Singh
Bhai Kashmira Singh Shaheedi Saroop

When the march to the Narkhdari’s bhavan took place, Bhai Kashmira Singh participated with excitement. We are told that Narkdhari Gurbachana’s first shot hit the Shaheed in the thigh. In total Bhai Kashmira Singh was struck by 6 bullets: 4 in the chest and 2 in the thighs. He didn’t turn his back from the fight and in this way, gave his life to maintain the respect of Guru Sahib.

Bhai Jagjeet Singh

Bhai Jagjit Singh Shaheed Bhai Jagjeet Singh

Shaheed Bhai Jagjeet Singh

Shaheed Bhai Jagjeet Singh was born in Kanpur. The Shaheed’s parents were from village Kazee Chak Dist. Jehlum Pakistan, and moved to Kanpur after Partition. First Bhai Jagjeet Singh comepleted his early education at Guru Nanak School and then was doing his BA at the NSD College. His parents, Sardar Gurdial Singh and Mata Mahinder Kaur are fortunate and blessed to have had a son who sacrificed his life for the love of the Guru. Bhai Jagjeet Singh had five brothers: four older, one younger and one sister.

With the exception of the two elder boys in the family, the rest of the family was amritdhari. Both his mother and sister have keskees and his sister, Ikbaal Kaur goes to school with her keski despite all hardships. When Bhai Jagjeet Singh was martyred, his sister and mother were also walking in the protest march against the Narkdharis. His mother was struck with a rock in the head but she did not panic and continued to walk with the sangat in high spirits.

Bhai Jagjeet Singh’s brother, Bhai Surinder Singh first began to keep the company of the Akhand Kertani Jatha and by seeing their brother’s new lifestyle, Bhai Jagjeet Singh, brother Jasbeer Singh, sister Ikbaal Kaur and the youngest brother, Charanjeet Singh also received amrit at the hands of the Jatha. The parents of the family appeared before the Punj Pyaray in 1977 at the Delhi Dusehraa Smagam and also began to keep the Khalsa lifestyle.

In November 1973, at the home of Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Ji Bibekee of Kanpur, the Akhand Keertani Jatha organised an amrit sinchaar. At this smagam Bhai Jagjeet Singh Ji and others came for the gift of amrit. Bhai Gurcharanjeet Singh Ji, who was at the smagam to have his small child receive amrit writes that Bhai Jagjeet Singh was in an indescribable state and all were amazed at the way the colours of naam dyed this young man after he received amrit. Once naam was imparted, his khanda began to go with so much power that it seemed as if he had been a long time abhyasi.

After receiving amrit, Bhai Jagjeet Singh always attended AKJ smagams and didn’t let any keertan pass. For a long time, he went about anonymously. In such a small age, he had such deep and far-sighted thoughts about the state of the Panth, that even an Army General would be put to shame.

At the end of 1976, Bhai Jagjeet Singh went to stay at Bhai Fauja Singh’s Khalsa Farm in Gurdaspur. He was happy to spend the majority of his time in the company of Bhai Fauja Singh . He learned gatka at the farm with great dedication.

When the bloody events of the 1978 Vaisakhi Massacre occurred, Bhai Jagjeet Singh was visiting Hazoor Sahib and he deeply regretted having been absent. He would often say “so many beloveds of the guru died and the Panth still is asleep?” He would agonise over the low-spirit in the Panth.

Bhai Jagjeet Singh was an active member of the Sikh Students’ Federation. He also went from village to village in Rajasthan with the Panj Pyaray for amrit sinchaars and had many people receive amrit and dedicate their lives to the Guru. Because of Bhai Jagjeet Singh’s efforts, no Sikh can be found drinking alcohol in the entire area of Bheelvara.

Bhai Jagjeet Singh had a great enthusiasm for martyrdom and constantly begged the guru, “True King, please accept this useless body in your service”.

A month before his martyrdom, Bhai Jagjeet Singh went to college to give a test for his BA but on each page, all he wrote was “Vahiguru, Vahiguru, Vahiguru, Vahiguru, Vahiguru”. When he was asked why he had done this, he replied, “the real test is something else, I’m preparing for that examination.” It is said that some days before his martyrdom, Sri Guru Gobind Singh visited the Shaheed in a dream and told him he would become a martyr. Two days before his martyrdom, Bhai Jagjeet Singh told his grandmother that his end was approaching and that after his passing, no member of the family should weep. Indeed, the entire family, after the martyrdom remained in high spirits and accepted the will of the Guru and obeyed the final wishes of the Shaheed by not displaying any grief.

Bhai Jagjit Singh 3 Shaheed Bhai Jagjeet Singh
Bhai Jagjeet Singh Shaheedi Saroop

Bhai Jagjeet Singh remained awake all night doing keertan the night before his martyrdom. His desire was so great for martyrdom that on the morning of September 26 at 10AM, as the Sikh Sangat was preparing to march towards the Narkdhari Bhavan, a few Singhs went before everyone else and Bhai Jagjeet Singh was amongst them. Bhai Jagjeet Singh along with Bhai Kishan Singh was the first to enter the Bhavan where the Narkdharis attacked them with sticks and other weapons. The attack left their bodies tattered but gave Bhai Jagjeet Singh the martyrdom he so longed for.

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

Sant Jarnail Singh 009 Sant Jarnail Singh

Sant Jarnail Singh

The most determined, charismatic, the 20th century’s great General, the heart of the Sikh youth, charismatic personality, Sant Jarnail Singh Jee Khalsa Bhindranwale was born on February 12th 1947 at village Rode, Dist Faridkot to Baba Joginder Singh and Mata Nihal Kaur Jee.

Early life

Sant Jarnail Singh Jee took Amrit at the tender age of five; from this very young age, being committed to his nitnem (daily prayers), became his lifelong aim. Until the age of 11, he remained in village Rode and would recite 110 Jap Jee Sahibs and the Panj Granthi, daily; all whilst undertaking his farming duties. He remained at his village and was engrossed in meditation for 11 years. He had little formal education, but his memory was astonishing; Sant Jee managed to recite and remember so many bani’s, including, Dakhani Oankar in 1 day, Sukhmani Sahib in 13 days, Sidh Gost in 1 day and Asa Di Vaar in 8 hours.

Damdami Taksal

Every year Sant Gurbachan Singh Jee Khalsa Bhindranwale would tour the villages of Punjab delivering sermons on Gurmat. When Sant Gurbachan Singh Jee arrived at village Rode he asked Baba Joginder Singh Jee for one of his seven sons, Baba Joginder Singh Jee told Sant Gurbachan Singh Jee that they had free will to choose whichever son they wanted; they chose a young boy, Jarnail Singh.

Sant Jarnail Singh Jee was educated in the knowledge of God, by Sant Gurbachan Singh Jee Khalsa. Within a year they learnt the correct pronunciations of Gurbani and the history of the Guru’s. In 1966, Sant Jee was married at Village Bilaspur with Sardar Sucha Singh’s daughter, Bibi Pritam Kaur. He has two sons, Ishar Singh and Inderjeet Singh, born in 1971 and 1975 respectively.

After Sant Gurbachan Singh Jee Khalsa ascended to Sachkand, Sant Kartar Singh Jee, Bhindranwale, was appointed the Jathedar of Damdami Taksal. Sant Kartar Singh Jee, Sant Jarnail Singh Jee and Sant Baba Thakur Singh Jee were very close and would discuss issues of the Panth together.

In 1977 Sant Kartar Singh Jee was involved with a serious car accident which resulted in them being admitted into hospital. Sant Kartar Singh Jee was advised to undergo an operation, which involved removing their Kes, Sant Kartar Singh Jee refused this operation, opting to keep their Kes and their Sikhi intact. Sant Jee told Baba Thakur Singh Jee to appoint the next Jathedar.

Baba Thakur Singh tied the Dastar of Jathedari on Sant Jarnail Singh Jee, after which Takhat Sri Patna Sahib Jathedar, Bhai Mohan Singh Jee presented Sant Jee a Siropa on behalf of the Takhat Sahib.

Rise to popularity

In Punjab, Sant Jarnail Singh Jee Khalsa Bhindranwale followed the footsteps of the previous 12 Jathedars of Damdami Taksal and travelled from village to village preaching Sikhism. He asked Sikhs to live according to the rules and tenets of Sikhism. He would give speeches to encourage numerous youths to take Amrit and keep Rehat. For eight months, Sant Jee’s parchaar was continuous, touring villages and cities, including U.P, Bombay, Calcutta and other areas. In 1978 Sant Jee was about to embark on their second tour of parchar, when the Nirankaris had announced a large gathering in Amritsar, in which the leader and his wife would actively defame the Sikh Guru’s. With consultation with the Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Sant Jee sent representatives of Damdami Taksal to peacefully protest against the Nirankaris, but the Nirankaris replied with gun fire and 13 Singhs were martyred with many more injured.

On 24th April 1980 the Nirankari leader, Gurbachan, was assassinated, Sant Jarnail Singh Jee was made the prime suspect. On 9 Sept 1981, Lala Jagat Narain was assassinated and a warrant for arrest was issued for Sant Jarnail Singh Jee. Sant Jee voluntarily courted arrest on 20th September 1981. For 25 days he was questioned on many issues whilst in custody, but no evidence was produced against Sant Jee and he was released without charge.

Dharam Yudh Morcha

On 26 April 1982, a Morcha (campaign) was started to get Amritsar ‘holy city’ status. Some Singhs of the Jatha and Bhai Amrik Singh Jee, of the All India Sikh Student Federation, (AISSF), were arrested. Sant Jee began the Dharam Yudh Morcha on 19 July 1982 to secure the release of the innocent Singh’s.

The Shromani Akali Dal also adopted the Dharam Yudh Morcha philosophy and declared that the Morcha would continue until all demands of the Anandpur Sahib resolution were met. In the first three months of the Dharam Yudh Morcha 40,000 Singhs courted arrest. However, due to the press coverage and mass participation in the Dharam Yudh Morcha, the government began to criminalize and persecute the Sikh community through its propaganda and tools of state machinery. The government propagated the view that Sikhs wanted the whole of the India to be divided into many nations and that Sikhs were enemies of Hindus. They propagated the view that the lives of Hindus in Punjab were under threat and that an exodus of Hindus from Punjab had begun. On the contrary Sant Jarnail Singh Jee never promoted violence towards anyone of any religion, gender, caste or creed. He insisted that every Hindu should be a true Hindu, every Muslim should be a true Muslim and likewise every Sikh, should be a true Sikh.

Operation Bluestar

In March 1983, Sant Jee learnt of the Governments plans to wipe out the Sikhs and the possibility of an attack on Sri Harimandar Sahib. In June 1984, this became a reality when Indira Gandhi gave the approval for the Indian army to storm the Golden Temple complex and another 37 Gurdwaras. It was widely reported by Lt. Gen. Kuldip Brar and other army officials that Sant Jee did not survive the attack was killed. The reliability of the army’s claims of Sant Jee being martyred in the attack are contradicted by other officials, R.K. Bajaj, a correspondent for Surya magazine, claimed to have seen a photograph of Sant Jee in custody, while a Governmental doctor claimed that Sant Jee was alive when captured.

The inconsistency of reports released by the Police, Government and Army officials is still shady to this day and although they all claim Sant Jee to have been killed they never released pictures, videos or statements regarding the capture, torture or funeral of Sant Jarnail Singh Jee Khalsa Bhindranwale.

It must be noted that before residing at Guru Nanak Niwas in the Darbar Sahib Complex, Sant Jarnail Singh Jee stated that should anything happen during his time there, everyone should follow the bachan given by Sant Baba Thakur Singh and that whatever Baba Jee says is true. For 20 years Baba Thakur Singh maintained that Sant Jarnail Singh Jee was not Shaheed and was infact in Charrdeekalaa (high spirits) and would return one day to re-launch the Dharam Yudh Morcha.

Whatever your views, whatever your thoughts, Sant Jarnail Singh Jee Khalsa Bhindranwale is the most influential and prominent figure of the Sikh freedom movement, who to this very day rekindles Sikh spirit amongst the Sikh youth across the world.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Atrocities on Sikh Women in Panjab

crying Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Sikh women crying
“If any action occurs in this village, every single male is going to be taken out and shot. Then we’re going to take all the women to our camp and there we’re going to create a new breed for Punjab.”
Brig. RP Sinha addressing assembled Sikh villagers on March 8, 1991, International Women’s Day
And this was the way International Women’s Day was celebrated in Punjab. The untold story of the Sikh Resistance Movement is the story of Sikh women. It is a feature of Punjabi culture that atrocities on women are rarely reported and remain hidden. Families feel ashamed to speak of the treatment women received at the hands of Indian Security Forces, but this story must be told.

Many Sikh women participated in the Sikh resistance movement as fighters. Like their sisters from past ages, Sikh women joined their brothers in the fight for freedom. Many brave Singhnees fought side by side with their Singhs and attained Shaheedi. The examples of Shaheeds Bhai Ramininderjit Singh Taini Babbar and Bibi Manjeet Kaur Babbar , Bhai Pritpal Singh and Bibi Harjeet Kaur, etc are notable.

Sikh women often worked as messengers for Sikh Resistance groups as well as preparing hideouts and serving tired Sikh fighters.

But unfortunately, many Sikh women were also the target of the bloody thirsty Indian Security forces. Sikh women were ruthlessly tortured, not only physically but also mentally. They were used as tools to force the surrender of Sikh fighters who were their relatives and also as a means of humiliating families. When Sikh women were arrested with their husbands, the husbands were often forced to watch the rape of their wives. Rape was used as an interrogation tool.

The Indian Forces also began a program of “shudhee karan” which was a code name for the rape of Sikh women. They joked that the offspring of their rapes would change the genetic makeup of the Sikh community and they would kill the Resistance in this way. Many rape victims took their own lives, unable to live with the ongoing humiliation at the hands of the Indian police.

bibi amandeep kaur1 Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Shaheed Bibi Amandeep Kaur
The first example of the atrocities heaped upon Sikh women is that of Bibi Amandeep Kaur.

Bibi Amandeep Kaur was the sister of Bhai Harpinder Singh Goldy aka. Pamma of the Khalistan Commando Force. She was only twenty when she was arrested, tortured, raped and then killed by the Punjab Police.
Bibi Amandeep Kaur, before her Shaheedi was on the run but had the courage to tell her story to human rights workers.

Here is her story in her own words, shortly before she was murdered:

“Jaswinder Singh Sraa son of Surjeet Singh of Jassowal village Ludhiana district. Was born and brought up on the UK. He presently lives in Mississauga Canada.

He came to India on October 12, 1991 for marriage on October 24th. We along with my father Jaswant Sngh, village Headman Bhag Singh and Member of Panchyaat Meet Singh went to the office of the sub-registrar, Rampura Phul, for registration of the marriage. As we came out of the courtroom, the SHO of Phul, picked up three of us, me, my husband and my father. We were taken to Phul Police Station where SSP Kahlon, SP Mohkam Singh, DSP Aulah and SP of Operations were present.

The SSP on seeing us, promptly ordered that my two male relations be stripped naked in my presence. He then took out the picture of his slain son and addressing them remarked that he had taken the revenge for the murder (by dishonouring me, the sister of an underground Sikh activist).

Kahlon then started abusing my husband and father. He took hold of a lathi to beat the two. It was then the turn of his subordinates who beat us with their leather belts. The SSP ordered that my husband and father slap each other.

After this cruel exercise, we were blindfolded. I was relieved of my two wedding rings, a pair of ear-rings and one golden chain. From my husband, the SSP snatched $500 and a bracelet of 3.5 tolas and his wedding ring. My father was similarly robbed of Rs. 2500. I and my husband were put into our van PCL-8433. We heard the SSP directing his staff to set our house on fire and bring the wife and younger daughter of Jaswant Singh (my mother and sister) to the police station for similar treatment.

After Kahlon left, we were brought back to the police station. While my husband and father were put in the lock-up, I was kept out for maltreatment [i.e. for sexual assault].

Early next morning we three were taken to Sardulgarh by our van. On October 27, my mother Surjeet Kaur was brought to us. She told us her story of dishonour [rape], torture and maltreatment. She was kept in a Rampura police station and at the head office of CIA Bathinda.

In our absence, the police from Rampura Phul ransacked our house and removed all our belongings. The village panchayat was not let anywhere near the house. No seizure report was prepared and handed over to the panchayat or anyone else.

I, my mother and father were kept in Sardulgarh police station for 12 days. But my husband was moved to Phul police station on October 29. The SSP was present there. He ordered my husband’s release on October 30, telling him to forget about his marriage to me and leave India immediately, which he did the next day. In the meantime, the village panchayat came to know of our detention at Sardulgarh and they came there to rescue us but we were removed stealthily to Boha police station.

At Boha, I was not given even water for washing under SSP’s order. We were maltreated there [the woman was reluctant to give details of the mistreatment].

After eight days, the three of us were removed from Boha to CIA Bathinda. My mother and I were released from three weeks of illegal detention. My father was kept in CIA Bathinda and at Phul and was produced in a court on November 30. A case was registered against him.

While we were in custody, Jaswinder Singh, who happens to be brother of my father, telephoned DGP KP Gill at telephone No. 753-546840 requesting him to intervene but Gill told him that Kahlon did not listen to his advice.

We have learnt that the SSP had picked us up because on October 23, 1991, some millitants had abducted six traders of Phul and the police suspected my 16-year-old brother Harpinder Singh Goldy aka. Pamma’s hand in the abduction. My brother had gone underground in the wake of police harassment in August 1991 when he was studying in class 10 + 1 .

I have gone underground to escape further humiliation and torture because the SSP Harkishan Kahlon is after me, for unknown reasons. Because of the “treatment” given to my husband, he has left me and does not wish to keep me as his wife any longer.”

bibi amandeep kaur2 Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Shaheed Bibi Amandeep Kaur
Bibi Amandeep Kaur stayed in hiding until January 21 1992. The police then played a sinister game. They asked he to return to her house, returning all her property and insisted they would not harass her any more. They also bailed her father the day before. Jaswant Singh did not trust the police so he did not return home. Amandeep Kaur did. When her mother was out, two gun men with masked faces came on behalf of SSP Bathinda, Kahlon, and shot Bibi Amandeep Kaur dead on January 21st at 7:30pm.

bhai harpinder singh goldy Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Shaheed Bhai Harpinder Singh 'Goldy'
Bhai Harpinder Singh Goldy, brother of Bibi Amandeep Kaur, at age 18, also later sacrificed his life for the cause of Sikh freedom.

Another such case is of Bibi Gurmeet Kaur. Bibi Gurmeet Kaur was a student of the 10 grade at village Lehrkaa near Kathoo Nangal. Bibi Gurmeet Kaur and her older sister Bibi Parmjeet Kaur had gone to visit their father Swarn Singh and brother Satnam Singh who were in prison for giving shelter to Sikh Resistance fighters. They had returned home on April 21, 1989 when the Indian police raided their home and arrested Bibi Parmjeet Kaur. The police told villagers that the Deputy Commissioner wanted to record her statement. Parmjeet Kaur was kept in custody one night and then returned home. Next Gurmeet Kaur was arrested and kept for two nights. She too was released but threatened with dire circumstances if she told what had happened to her. Gurmeet Kaur did not remain silent and recounted what had happened to her.

When Gurmeet Kaur was brought to the police station, she was stripped naked and tortured in the verandah of the police station in plain view of all the police officers. That night, the police blindfolded her nd locked her in a room. In that room, drunken Indian Police officers took turns raping her. Gurmeet Kaur fell unconscious and when she woke the next morning, she found herself covered in blood and stark naked.

The next day, Gurmeet Kaur was tortured again. The perverse and twisted police officers went so far as to put salt and chili peppers into Gurmeet Kaur’s private parts.

On April 24, when Gurmeet Kaur was released, she could not walk. She was taken to hospital for treatment by the villagers.

crying2 Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Sikh women crying
These cases are not unique. Gang rapes and humiliation were common in Punjab. 19 year old Baljeet Kaur, sister of Sikh fighter Bhai Gurjeet Singh was also gang raped. Bibi Rachhpal Kaur was arrested for no reason but for having caught the eye of the police party and on September 5, 1989 was gang raped by the Kali Das Sharma and other police officers.

pentafix Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab

The story of the treatement of Sikh women at the hands of Indian Security Forces is a long and sad one. I don’t know which cases to highlight and which to leave. Should I write about Sarbjit Kaur (14) and Salwinder Kaur (13) who were abducted while collecting clay for a school project and then gang raped and killed by Indian Police? Or should I write about the seven-year-old daughter of a Singh who was molested and then dismembered by the Police’s Poohla Nang? The list is endless.

The abuse of Sikh women was and is widespread in Punjab. Mothers, wives and children of Sikh fighters were considered legitimate targets. The butchers who were responsible for these tragedies are still in the police force today. They are now high ranking officers. And the abuse continues.”

Bhai Nirvair Singh was the Granthi of Gurdwara Shaheedaa, Amritsar. Bhai Nirvair Singh’s younger brother, Bhai Kulwant Singh was a Sikh Resistance Fighter and the police constantly raided their home in search of him. Finally, unable to locate Kulwant Singh, SSP Azhar Alam and his “Black Cats” shot Bhai Nirvair Singh to death. Bhai Nirvair Singh’s wife, Bibi Manjit Kaur, was with him at the time and ran to save herself. The police caught Bibi Manjit Kaur and badly beat her with their rifle butts. They let her live, but her ordeal was far from over.

On May 5, 1988, the police again raided the house. Bhai Nirvair Singh’s youngest brother, Bhai Dilbagh Singh, a Granthi at Gurdwara Baba Bakala, was home but hid himself, fearing for his life. The police spotted him and without any warning, shot him dead. Bibi Manjit Kaur was still in the house when the police entered and they immediately began to beat her. They grabbed her by her hair and dragged her to the fields where the Indian Police tortured her for an hour and a half. When Bibi Manjit Kaur was almost senseless, they threw her on top of Bhai Dilbagh Singh’s dead body and laughed, “Now get your Khalistan…”. Bibi Manjit Kaur’s feet were so swollen from the torture that she could not walk for days. Her scalp also oozed blood from the repeated blows. Villagers who were witness to this scene were also beaten and told to keep their mouths shut. Harassment of their family and relatives continued.

azhar alam Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Azhar Alam
Today, Azhar Alam is a high ranking official in the Vigilance Bureau of the Punjab Police. The man responsible for the brutal torture of thousands of innocent Sikh men and women has not been charged with any crime.

Perhaps the most brutal of all Indian Police officials in Punjab was Batala’s Gobind Ram. Gobind Ram took sadistic pleasure in personally torturing Sikh prisoners and kept a vat filled with feces and urine that he force-fed to amritdhari Sikhs while saying, “You have drunk the amrit of Gobind Singh, now drink the amrit of Gobind Ram.”

bibi gurmeet kaur Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Bibi Gurmeet Kaur - wife of Bhai Mehal Singh Babbar
Gobind Ram’s atrocities came to light nationwide when he ordered the arrest of Bibi Gurdev Kaur (wife of Bhai Kulwant Singh Babbar) and Bibi Gurmeet Kaur (wife of Bhai Mehal Singh Babbar). Both Singhs were underground at the time.

On August 21, 1989, a van with tinted windows came and parked in front of the Parbhat Finance Company, Amritsar, where both Singhnis worked. Six armed men got out of the van and approached Bibi Gurmeet Kaur and Bibi Gurdev Kaur, ordering them to get in the van. When the Bibis demanded to know who they were, one man identified himself as Lakhwinder Lakha, ASI. He said that the police party had come from Batala Sadr police station and they would have to come with him. When the Singhn’s began to make a scene, the police threw them into the van. Bibi Gurmeet Kaur and Bibi Gurdev Kaur’s dastaars were ripped off and used to tie their arms and their kirpans were also taken off.

The van arrived at the notorious Beco Torture Centre in Batala at 7pm. When the Singhnis went inside, they saw SSP Gobind Ram beating a Sikh youth with a rod. When he saw the two women enter, he immediately came towards them and hit Gurdev Kaur in the stomach with his rod. Bibi Gurdev Kaur collapsed onto the ground and began to bleed from her private parts. The bleeding did not stop for several days. Gobind Ram kept hitting Bibi Gurdev Kaur in the stomach without saying a word for five minutes. He then gave the rod to another Inspector whom he ordered to hit Bibi Gurdev Kaur in the joints.

Gobind Ram next moved to Bibi Gurmeet Kaur whom he threw to the ground and began to kick in the chest. The next torture to begin was the “ghotna” where a heavy log is rolled on the thighs with men standing on top, which results in ripped muscles. In Bibi Gurdev Kaur’s own words, “Then they put a heavy roller on my thighs and made a few policemen stand on it, while others rotated it. I kept on screaming but they hit me with belts and kept on asking me the whereabouts of my husband Kulwant Singh.”

Both women were severely tortured for two days. Gobind Ram kept demanding to know where Bhai Kulwant Singh and Bhai Mehal Singh were. The Bibis kept repeating that they did not know, but Gobind Ram was not satisfied. They were tortured until they fell unconscious. They were then revived and tortured again.

bibi gurdev kaur Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Bibi Gurdev Kaur - wife of Bhai Kulwant Singh Babbar
When Bibi Gurdev Kaur was nearing her death, the police secretly took her to the government hospital and left her there. Gurmeet Kaur’s right leg was paralysed and both Singhnis had been kept awake since their arrest. Someone was called from the outside to massage their limbs so they could regain some sensation again. Both women could not walk but were forced to do so. In the hospital, a merciful lady doctor took care of Gurdev Kaur and also informed her family.

News of all this reached the media and all political religious and social organizations condemned Gobind Ram’s actions. When finally Gurmeet Kaur refused to hand over any Singh, she was threatened with being killed. By now though, because the press had gotten wind of the arrest, she was indicted in a false case and sent to jail. After some time, she too was released.

Because Bibi Gurdev Kaur received the best care possible, she was saved from death, but for the rest of her life she would face health problems.

Human Rights organizations condemned Gobind Ram for his brutal treatment of these two women. He claimed that no torture had occurred and both were kept in a “Guest House”. KP Gill, the Director General of Punjab Police announced, “the reports against SSP Batala, Gobind Ram by members of Panchyats and Sarpanches (community leaders) were false. There is no truth in them. This was propoganda against the police officers. This was verified after investigations. There were such reports against other honest and hardworking police officers [as well].”

When no action was taken against Gobind Ram, and he continued to torture and maim at will, the Singhs took it upon themselves to finish this rabid dog. Gobind Ram was killed on January 10, 1990 in a massive bombing.

kp gill Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Punjab butcher - KP Gill
line Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Woman alleges inhuman torture by police
bibi karamjit kaur Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Karamjit Kaur shows injury marks on her leg. (Tribune photo by Pankaj Sharma)
Chandigarh, September 26
An another incident of brutal torture came to light when a 20-year-old girl, Karamjit Kaur, who was rescued by the Warrant Officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, today alleged that she was subjected to inhuman treatment and was asked to remove her clothes by the Punjab Police personnel at a press conference organised by the NGO Lawyers for Human Rights International here today.

“Five persons including two women, who had been allegedly subjected to third degree torture for several days by the Punjab Police were rescued by the Warrant Officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday. These five persons were suspected to be involved in a murder case by the police. The five persons who were released included — Karamjit Kaur, Tirath Kaur, Sahib Singh, Gurdev Singh and Gurmit Singh,” informed Mr Arunjeev Singh Walia, Press Secretary.

Showing torture marks on her body, the victim while addressing scribes, said she was detained at Nabha police station for several days and been tortured. She was even ordered to remove her clothes by police constables, the victim alleged.

Narrating her tale of woe, she said police constables, after taking liquor usually interrogated her in the midnight. Even if a woman constable was called most of the time she stayed outside the room during her interrogation. The victim further added that: “I can not reveal the details whatever happened to me was worse than a hell.”

She further added that “she was subjected to inhuman third degree torture twice by pulling her legs apart in 180 degree and also beaten up with an iron rod in between her legs and two police men putting pressure on that rod.

I was also threatened of liquidation if I did not disclose the truth and was also molested by the policemen,” the victim further said. Similarly, her mother said: “It was difficult to see my husband, son and daughter to be subjected to third degree torture by the police.”

When contacted the SHO of the police station concerned denied that they were subjected to third degrees torture. He said that all five of them were called at police station only for a day. Thereafter they were not traceable.

The General Secretary of the NGO, Mr Navkiran Singh, who had moved a petition in the high court for the release of victims said a Warrant Officer had secured the release five victims from the illegal custody of police station Kotwali, Nabha, Patiala district on September 25. He also informed that the high court had also ordered the medical examination of the victims. The Chairman of the NGO, Mr Amar Singh Chahal, demanded a CBI inquiry into the case.

line Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab

How many cases continue to go unreported?
The Khalsa once saved thousands of abducted Hindu women from being molested and sold by the Afghans. Why can’t we even save our own now? Our sisters continue to suffer in Punjab. And the Panth continues its long slumber.

memory Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab

A discussion on the atrocities Sikh women suffered in Punjab would not be complete without a discussion on what Sikh widows and their children continue to endure today. They have been forgotten by most in the Panth. Those Singhs that sacrificed their lives for the Sikh Cause must have thought that the Panth would take care of their families after they had been martyred. Sadly, this has not happened. And now, many say that no future generation will be willing to make the same sacrifices seeing the way families that were left behind in this chapter of the Sikh struggle continue to be neglected and live in poverty.

bibi harpreet kaur Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Shaheed Bibi Harpreet Kaur 'Rano'
By mid-1992, the Indian Police in Punjab had lost all sense of morality and considered human rights to be a joke. On June 25, 1992, 15-year-old Harpreet Kaur Rano was stopped while riding her bicycle in Amritsar’s Ghio Mandi.

Harpreet Kaur was very interested in the Sikh struggle and used to consider the Sikh fighters her brothers. When the newspaper would print a notice about the Shaheedi and bhog of a Sikh fighter, she would cut out their picture and keep it in her purse.

The police decided to search her purse. When the pictures were found, the excuse to arrest this young Sikh girl was found and she was taken directly to the famous torture center at BR Model School in Amritsar. She was put in the custody of Thanedar Darshan Lal who punished Harpreet Kaur for her “crime”. In that dark torture center, only Vahiguru knows what suffering and brutality Harpreet Kaur faced.

Despite her family’s best efforts to free her, the newspapers reported that Harpreet Kaur along with 3 other “terrorists” had been killed on June 27, 1992 near Sultanvind. Her body was not given to the family. The family went to the cremation grounds at Durgiana Mandir and in one pile of ashes, Harpreet Kaur’s sister recognized a Kara. The two sisters used to wear identical Karas and the ashes were recognized as Harpreet Kaur’s. No justice was ever expected or delivered for this cold-blooded murder.

bibi kulbir kaur dhami Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Bibi Kulbir Kaur Dhami
Bibi Kulbir Kaur Dhami was kept in illegal custody by the Tarn Taran CIA staff for many months from 1993 to 1994. Miraculously, she survived. During that time she saw countless Singhs and Singhnis be tortured and then killed in fake encounters. In her own words, Bibi Kulbir Kaur recounts the final wish of one Bibi who was being taken to her death:

“Surinder Kaur was the principal of a Model School in Tarn Taran. Her school had approximately 400 children enrolled. Her husband was a former soldier and worked in a bank in Amritsar. It was perhaps July 1993 when he was arrested along with his wife and children and brought to the jail for having given shelter [to Sikh fighters]. With her was the son of a Pandit, Ramesh, who had become a Singh and had been arrested with his group [of fighters]. This group was tortured in front of us. They endured this cruelty for about a week and most of the group confessed to having participated in some actions, but this couple, [Bibi Surinder Kaur and her husband] were accused of having given the group shelter only.

Surinder Kaur kept begging that her body not be touched by any male police officer. She was kept with me for eight days in the women’s lockup. In front of me, she was interrogated four times a day. The male police officers would beat her with sticks and use the ghotna. Three or four policemen would stand on the ghotna. I myself saw them drag her around by the chest. This entire interrogation was conducted by SP Operation Khoobi Ram, DSP Gurmit Singh, Inspetor Ram Nath, and SI Tarlochan Singh. They are completely responsible for torturing and killing her (it’s another story that their orders were all coming from the top).
Four members of this group, along with Surinder Kaur’s husband were tortured for a week and then killed in a fake encounter which was reported to then newspapers. One of those was a police officer, Dalbir Singh, who had abandoned his job, but he was apparently spared. All this [the encounter] happened in front of him and he could be a witness.

At around 8pm, the police took Surinder Kaur away from me while beating her. Surinder Kaur was dragged away as she wept and called out my name. They threw her in a car. She was sobbing and screaming her final wish to me, “You have to take care of my child now, look after him, this is your responsibility now.” Surinder Kaur was killed that night. The police officials told me that she cried the entire time in the car and they told her to do paath after which they shot her. When she died, Surinder Kaur was wearing my suit and the police officials teased me that because my suit had gone in my place, I had been spared.”

Bibi Kulbir Kaur Dhami now runs the Gur Aasra Trust for Sikh orphans in Mohali.

The widows of Sikh “terrorists” have suffered terribly in the years since 1993. Widows like 18-year old Jasvir Kaur, who had been married to Sukhdev Singh Sukha of Babbar Khalsa International were forced by their poverty to marry much older men. Many began to do menial work to make ends meet.

The following interview appeared in “The Week”, a well known Indian Magazine on April 19, 1998. Bibi Jasmeet Kaur is a Sikh hero. She was married to Bhai Satnam Singh Sheehna of the Bhindranwala Tiger Force and was involved in the punishing of Comrade Hardev, a depraved police tout who was known to rape and kill with impunity.

bhai satnam singh sheehna Unheard: Atrocities On Sikh Women in Punjab
Shaheed Bhai Satnam Singh Sheehna - General of Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan
Jasmeet Kaur was widowed two years after she married Satnam Singh Sheehna of the Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan in 1991. She lived underground for years, bore his two children while in hiding and is being tried in murder case. She is active in the Gur Aasra project. Excerpts from an interview:

How have people treated the families of militants after terrorism ended?

People started looking at us with suspicion and hatred. They blamed the terrorists and their families for the harassment by the police. They felt we women could have corrected our husbands. The behaviour of the in-laws was the worst. My parents co-operated with me. So I didn’t have many problems. Yes, I had financial difficulties, and worked for the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. I did feel orphaned, worried and insecure.

Do you wish the bloody years had not happened?

I cannot regret those years. What has happened cannot be wished away. Today, I have two sons, six and five years. It is difficult to raise them alone. I would prefer not to discuss their whereabouts.

Does being the sons of Sheehna affect them?

I have not told them anything. When they ask me, I tell them their father is in the village. How do I explain things to them? My children don’t know that their father was a militant though they know his real name. I don’t want them to know about him now. I just want them to become responsible citizens and that the society gives them the same respect and dignity as others get.

Any Akali faction with you?

No one is with us now, not even (Simranjeet Singh) Mann. He probably feels that if he speaks up for us, he will never win an election. It is a matter of politics. We do feel abandoned by the community.

How was the scene when your husband was around?

When the movement was on, we were all respected, especially if our intentions were clear. I was a proclaimed offender (PO) even before I got married. While in Khalsa College, Amritsar, I was annoyed at the attack on the Golden Temple. My links with the militant movement grew as did my desire for revenge. I was in the AISSF and then with the BTFK. I was involved in the murder of Comrade Hardev Singh, and was in jail for a year, in Amritsar.

After marriage I became PO again and was arrested and later bailed out. In 1995, I was arrested in Gurdaspur, where there was a case against me. The police would have hounded every family I stayed with. So till January 1996 I was in jail and when I was released, I decided not to be a PO because I had children to raise. I decided to attend the court hearings and to work. I can’t say I returned to the mainstream, but can’t even say I have given up the movement…that is in my blood by now. It is another matter that I have decided not to lift a gun, but will fight politically. Now this itself is a fight to collect all these people under one roof. People ask us why we are here, and we tell them. That is also part of the fight.

What problems did you face in raising your sons?

It was very difficult to get birth certificates for my children. All of us women underground used to get admitted under fake names in hospitals. But I arranged it somehow. I cannot count how many children were born underground, but many were. Kulbir Kaur Dhami’s child was born in the jail. We also did not not tell the schools that the child’s father was a terrorist?

Any emotional disturbances among the children?

Plenty. Call any child and discuss it, and we will have a tough time consoling them. These kids have seen their fathers being dragged away by the hair. They often get up in the middle of their sleep, screaming “hai mere pappa ko maar diya (they have killed my father)”. They are all small kids who have seen raw violence. So we try not to remind them of it. Most of the small children have not been told that their fathers are dead. Now some of the older ones are learning from their elders. We cannot hide it for all times. They miss their fathers, but they are not old enough to realise that. They don’t know of terrorists. The elder ones have some idea, which they don’t want to talk about. Even if we want to talk to them, explain and correct the picture, they say that we are wrong…that they have seen their fathers fighting for dharam. Why then should we create a bad picture of our husbands in their minds?

Do the children know about Khalistan, what it was all about?

No. We will tell them clearly what it was all about when they grow up. If we tell them now, we don’t know how it will affect them. We want them to be involved in constructive work so that they forget their old trauma. We want them to study, play and be happy.

What Can You Do?
The Sikh widows and children left behind need us. The Singhs that died did their part and it’s now up to us to do ours. We must make sure that those left behind are not suffering and living in poverty.

The best thing we can do is to visit these families and help them in the way they need it most. Establishing contact with them directly.

If you don’t know of any way to do this, helping institutions that support these families is also a good option. Two institutions that are doing this are the Dharam Singh Khalsa Trust and Gur Aasra Trust. Their links are:

Please support them in their mission. Our Brothers and sisters need us now. We have let them down for much too long as it is.

Hinduization of Sikh Faith

1 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History
Last week’s announcement by the VHP of putting portraits of Guru Gobind Singh and Sree Guru Granth Sahib in Hindu Mandirs has shocked Sikhs worldwide. The fact is that attacks on the Sikh faith and history have been ongoing for years in order to show Sikhs to be a part of Hinduism.

How Did This Begin?

Brahminism has always feared the Sikh faith. The Sikh Gurus proclaimed the equality of all humanity and rejected practices like caste, holy threads and worship of the cow. The exploitation of simple people by the Brahmin was eliminated. Although Hindu fundamentalists have taken a keen interest in destroying Sikhism for centuries, this latest cycle of Hindu attacks on Sikhism can be traced to 1993. The Sikh Liberation Movement had been brutally crushed in Punjab and was on its final breaths. Sikh villagers were afraid of being identified as being practicing Sikhs and roves of young Sikh men were cutting their hair so that they would not be harassed or killed by the police.

It was at this point that a new “Sikh” organization, the Rashtri Sikh Sangat began to enter Sikh villages. This organization began to distribute literature about the Sikh faith and hold meetings. Many villagers thought that it was an attempt to revive Sikh pride, but in fact, the literature was written to show Sikhs to be a part of Hinduism.

Akali Dal/BJP/RSS Alliance

2 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History
Parkash Badal & RSS Leaders
The “Akali” party of Punjab, while claiming to represent Sikhs, is lead by the same old men who allowed the 1978 Amritsar massacre and the martyrdom of Bhai Fauja Singh and 12 other fellow Singhs. They are the same ones who let Gurbachana Narakdhari go unpunished.

The Akali party, in an alliance with the Hindu BJP began to rule Punjab. The RSS activity in Punjab also increased. Sangh programs were held in places like Guru Nanak Dev Stadium (Ludhiana) with the presence of Parkash Badal and other Akali/BJP leaders. On November 16, 1997, Badal while introducing the new RSS chief sad, “I can say with confidence that the Sangh, under the leadership of Raju Bhaiya is working towards removing all its shortcomings. Whenever this country has faced either internal or external danger, the Sangh and it’s workers have been on the front lines. Today, I am feeling very lucky to be a part of this gathering.”

Raju Bhaiya in his speech that day, in the presence of Badal, declared, “All Hindus are Sikhs and Sikhs Hindus. We are all one. Some grow hair and some don’t. I say that All Hindus are Sikhs and all Sikh are Hindus. Our principles are the same. With the help of unity, we become very powerful”¦People are right when they say that Hindus have the power to make Hindustan a leader in the world!”

3 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History
RSS poster for Punjab
Under the watchful guidance of this unholy alliance, the RSS increased its parchar amongst the Sikhs. It was a perfect time to move in for the kill. The Sikhs had been beaten very badly by the Indian government and their confidence had been shaken. The RSS would give the Sikhs sweet poison. They shouted loudly that the RSS and all Hindus LOVED Sikhs. They would preach that Sikhs were after all no different than Hindus. The Sikh Gurus were true Hindus and Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu blessed the Sikh faith. The Sikhs, they claimed, should feel proud as the sword-arm of Hinduism.

In this way, the RSS has tried to make the Sikh masses try to take pride in establishing a link between Sikhism and Hinduism. Once this link becomes solid, the RSS has already devised a plan to decay the foundations of the Sikh faith and history.

4 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History
India's "Heros": Guru Nanak an equal of Indira Gandhi?

Who is the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat?

The Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS) was officially formed on November 23, 1986 in Amritsar. The founder was one “Shamsher Singh”

The express goals of the RSS are:
1) To strengthen the bonds between Sikhs and Hindus to promote National unity, awareness and patriotism.
2) To make Guru Nanak’s “Hindustan Smaalsee Bola” a reality and maintain national patriotism and unity.
3) To promote Sri Guru Bani fro Sri Guru Granth Sahib
4) To perform seva with “Sarbat Da Bhala” in mind.

The Rashtriya Sikh Sangat has 500 branches across India and publishes the magazine “Sangat Sandesh”.
Other goals of this organization are the creation of a Mandar at Ayodhya’s “Ram Janam Bhoomi” and also a Gurdwara to commemorate visits by Guru Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.

Every month, the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat has a function in which occasionally Sri Guru Granth Sahib is parkash and sometimes not. Usually the function takes place with paintings of Guru Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh at the front. These paintings are accompanied by paintings of Ram and Krishna. The paintings are garlanded with flowers.

The meeting begins with 5 readings of the Mool Mantar and then 20 minutes of keertan. After this, Sukhmani Sahib or Ram Avtar or Krishan Avtar are read. This is followed by a singing of “Vanday Matram”.
The meeting concludes with a 20 minute lecture on the history the original RSS founder Golvarkar and discussion of the role of Sanskrit in Sri Guru Granth Sahib or some other similar topic.

5 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History

Some Quotes

* “Instead of sacrificing humans, Guru ji sacrificed goats and started the tradition of Punj Pyaaray. All five Pyaaras were followers of the Hindu faith” {Dr. Himmat Sinh in Rashtra Dharam)
* “The Sikh Gurus showed faith in the Hindu faith and visited Hindu pilgrimage sites to show this” (Rashtra Dharam, p. 31)
* “When Guru Arjan was doing the Kar Seva of Harimandeir, Vishnu reflected and said, “Lakshmi, the Guru is my own form. There is no difference between us. He is making my temple. Let us go and see the building of our new temple”¦” (Rashtra Dharam, 90)
* “The difference between Hindus and Sikhs was the creation of the English mind.” (Rashtra Dharam, 98)
* “If today someone were to make a portrait of Guru Nanak without a beard and turban, his life would be in danger but in fact, the practice of keeping long hair and beards began only in the 20th Century. (Madhu Kishvara, Hindustan Times Aug 21, 1999)
* “Guru Arjan Dev and Guru Tegh Bahadur used to pay obeisance to the feet of the Devi” (Surindar Kumar, Jag Bani)
* “Guru Gobind Singh with the blessings of the Avtars (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva) created the Khalsa Panth.” (Sangat Sandesh, Sept 1998)
* “Maharana Partap, the Rani of Jhansi and Guru Gobind Singh were all great patriots” (Rashtra Dharam)
* “The Sangh [RSS] is the Khalsa” (Ravani, Dec 1997)

“Guru Mati Das Sharma”???

6 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History
"Guru Mati Das Sharma"???
Bhai Mati Das jee is a famous Shahid of the Sikhs who happily faced death by being sawn alive but did not forsake his faith. Bhatt Vehis record the history of this Shahid and it is known that Bhai Mati Das’s grandfather, Bhai Paraga jee was a Sikh of Guru Hargobind and also became a Shaheed in the battle of Ruhila.

Bhai Mati Das jee was of course then born into a Sikh family. The family had been Sikh since the time of Guru Ram Das. Bhai Sati Das was Bhai Sahib’s brother. Bhai Mati Das accompanied Guru Tegh Bahadur in his travels to Assam, Bengal and Bihar. When Guru Sahib was arrested and brought to Delhi, Bhai Mati Das was also brought with him. When offered the choice to forsake the Sikh faith and become a Muslim or to face death, Bhai Mati Das happily accepted the latter and only asked that he die while facing the Guru. Even when Bhai Sahib’s body had been cut in two, Japji Sahib could be heard from both halves.

Bhai Sati Das was also offered the choice to forsake Sikhi or death, and accepted death. He was wrapped in cotton and burnt alive.

Hindu fundamentalist organizations, in an effort to demean Guru Tegh Bahadur’s Shaheedee, have appropriated Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das as Hindu heros. Yearly events are held to commemorate their martyrdoms but they are presented as Hindus who died for their faith.

Bhai Hakeekat Singh jee was a young Sikh who is recorded in Bhatt Vehis as “Hakeekat Singh” but later was appropriated by Hindus as their own. Just like Bhai Hakeekat Singh is now referred to as Hakeekat Rai even by Sikhs, these groups hope Sikhs will also give up these two Sikh Shaheeds.

Sikhs and Raam

7 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History

Another fallacy being promoted by the RSS is that the Sikh Gurus were from the family of Raam. That throughout history, Vishnu has supported the Sikhs. No Hindu text gives the family tree of Raam, and so there is no foundation for this claim. Giani Puran Singh gave this lie credence by repeating it publicly when he was Jathedar of the Akal Takhat. The only support this lie has is in a work by Kesar Singh Chhiber that has been corrupted. It claims the link between Raam and the Gurus but it also claims that Guru Gobind Singh worshipped Durga and took permission to keep his kesh from her. It also claims that the Sikh Gurus accepted Sanatan Hindu rites.

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur or Veer Banda Bairagi?

8 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History
"Veer Bandai Bairagi"
One of the RSS’s early targets has been Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. Baba Banda Singh is a Sikh hero who first created a Sikh Rule in Punjab and struck a Sikh coin. Baba Banda Singh is also a great Sikh martyr who sacrificed his life but did not compromise his faith.

The RSS has attempted to turn this great Sikh hero, into a Hindu Patriot. In the book “Veer Banda Bairagi” by Bhai Parmanand, Guru Gobind Singh was a defeated man who went to Nander in sadness. There he met the Hindu, Banda Bairagi who agreed to help Guru Sahib take revenge for the death of his sons. Banda Baigragi had with him Rajput warriors and a he gathered a Hindu army to punish the evil Wazir Khan.

9 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History
Guru Gobind Singh giving "Veer Bairagi" arms
The new Hindu history claims that Banda Bairagi never became a Sikh and was an example of a pious Hindu helping his Sikh friend.

This story is of course utterly false. There was never any character named “Banda Bairagi”. Baba Banda Singh was known as Madho Das. He became a Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh by receiving Khanday Kee Pahul. This fact is confirmed by the oldest sources including Tavarikh-Iradat Khan (1714) and Panj Sau Sakhi (1734). The Bhatt Vehis mention how Guru Gobind Singh himself gave Baba Banda Singh the five kakaars and tied a keski on his head.

Baba Banda Singh’s own hukumnamas all make clear that he was a Sikh of the Guru and call upon “ਸਰਬਤ੍ਰ ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਜੀਓ ਦਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ”.

The question arises, if “Banda Bairagi” had an army of Hindu warriors, why wouldn’t he have taken revenge for the Mughal excesses at Kanshi and Mathura? Why are none of the famous Hindus in his army recorded in history? Why were the Faujdars of conquered areas always Sikhs? Why do even his own family accounts (Bansavalinama) refer to him and his sons with the name “Singh”?

It is a blatant lie by the RSS to appropriate a Sikh hero and make him into a Hindu.

A 25-Point of Attack

The RSS has 25 points with which it hopes to attack the Sikh faith and lead to its eventual assimilation. All 25 points are very easily refuted but lack of education and knowledge coupled with the RSS’s organized attack make this a serious danger.

These points are already being incorporated into school text books and taught as real history. This skewed history is already taught in many areas.

1) Sikhs are an inseparable part of Hindu society.
2) If Hinduism is a tree, Sikhism is a fruit on that tree.
3) Gurbani is like the Ganga, it emerges from the Gangotri of the Vedas
4) The Khalsa was crated to protect Hinduism and Hindustan
5) Japji Sahib is a summary of the Gita
6) The Failure of the 1857 “War of Independence” [in reality an unorganized uprising by Poorbiya soldiers who 8 years earlier helped the British conquer Punjab] was defeated only by the Sikhs
7) Banda Singh Bahadur was really Veer Banda Bairagi
8) The Sikh Gurus worshipped the cow

10 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History

9) Condemning Bhai Kanh Singh Nabha and Bhai Veer Singh
10) Use examples from Trumpp and other anti-Sikh western scholars
11) The Sikh Gurus used Vedic ceremonies
12) Guru Gobind Singh worshipped the Goddess Durga
13) Guru Sahib was from the family or Ram and his devotee
14) Sikhs are from Lav-Kush
15) Baba Ram Singh was the legitimate Guru of the Sikhs
16) Create posters which challenge Sikh principles but appear to be pro-Sikh
17) Insist on using the Bikrami calendar and share Hindu festivals
18) Call Bhai Hakeekat Singh, Hakeekat Rai and illustrate him as a clean- shaven Hindu
19) Claim [with no historical basis] that Guru Gobind Singh sent his army to liberate Ram Janam Bhumi in Ayodhya from the Mughals
20) To create the Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh seeked blessing from the gods and goddesses and used Hindu mantras. The Kakaars were also blessings from the gods.
21) Equate ੴ with “OM”
22) Call Bhai Mati Das “Guru Mati Das Sharma”
23) To do parkash of Sree Guru Granth Sahib in Mandirs and put pictures of Hindu Gods in Sikh Gurdwaras
24) Project Guru Gobind Singh as having taken a different ideology from Guru Nanak and to make him into a Patriotic Hero of India

11 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History
Guru Gobind Singh with Rana Partap and other Hindu "Heros"
25) Make all of Sikh history take a Hindu tint.

Small Steps to Oblivion

The RSS recognizes that Hinduism is many hundreds of years old and it can slowly assimilate the Sikhs with time. By establishing links between Vishnu/Raam and the Gurus, they hope that Sikhs will see these Hindu gods as their own. With time, perhaps pictures of Raam and Vishnu will find their way into Gurdwaras. The RSS has commissioned paintings and posters that mix Hinduism and Sikhism and present Sikh figures receiving blessings from Hindu gods.

12 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History

Idol worship, which is taboo in Sikhism is also being slowly introduced. Idols of Guru Gobind Singh and Guru Nanak can now be purchased from many stores. Some Nanaksar Thaats have also installed these idols. If idols of Sikh Gurus are acceptable, then perhaps with time Hindu idols can be accepted. Gurdwara Manikaran is a good example of what the RSS would like to see more common.

By putting Guru Granth Sahib in Hindu mandirs, simple Sikh villagers will begin to go to pay obeisance regularly. With Sikhs attending Hindu Mandirs, they will also offer worship to the Hindu gods and goddesses there. Sikh marriages may also begin to take place in Mandirs. Eventually, Hinduism in Punjab will be a mish/mash of Sikhism and Hinduism and the Sikhs will lose their distinct identity. Given a few generations, Guru Nanak will be an Avtar of Vishnu just like the Buddha has become and the Sikhs will be eliminated.

13 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History

Today, Hindu Mandirs and idols again surround Sree Darbaar Sahib in Amritsar. In total, nine mandirs surround the Darbar Sahib complex, with some even in the galleria. When will these small mandirs be turned into massive buildings? When they are, what will the Sikhs have to say?

The Sikhs today are facing dark days. The Sikh Liberation Movement has been destroyed along with Sikh self-confidence. Hindu Fundamentalist organizations are making deep inroads into the community and still there is no reaction. We will be remembered as the first generation of Sikhs to have accepted defeat and subjugation from an adversary.

Will we wake up when it is too late?

14 Illustrated: Hinduization of Sikh Faith & History

Nankana Sahib Massacre

nankana sahib massacre Nankana Sahib Massacre
Nankana Sahib Massacre
The Nankana Sahib Massacre refers to the grim episode during the Gurdwara Reform Movement/Akali Movement in which a peaceful batch of reformist Sikhs were subjected to a murderous assault on 20 February 1921 in the holy shrine at Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

In October 1920, a congregation was held at Dharowal, District Sheikhupura to inform the sangat of the the misdeeds being committed inside Gurdwara Nankana Sahib. This shrine along with six others in the town had been under the control of Udasi priests ever since the time the Sikhs were driven by Mughal oppression to seek safety in remote hills and deserts. The priests not only treated the Gurdwaras as their private properties but had also introduced practices and ceremonial which had no sanction in Sikhism.

At the meeting, it was unanimously resolved that the Mahant be asked to mend his ways. When Mahant Narian Dass was asked upon to do so, he started making preparations to oppose the Panth instead. He did not feel it necessary to pay heed to the suggestions of the Committee. He was the owner of the estate attached to the Gurdwara with an income of one hundred thousand rupees besides the offerings of the Gurdwara.

Almost simultaneously a Sikh shrine, Gurdwara Babe di Ber, at Sialkot, was liberated from priestly control and taken over by the Sikhs on 5 October 1920, which marked the beginning of the Gurdwara Reform movement. Darbar Sahib and the Akal Takht were occupied on 13 October 1920.

Narain Das, with the help of the Government started recruiting a private army and laying in arms. The Government was using every available weapon to make Akali movmement of Gurdwara reform, a failure. Narain Das got the Gurdwara gate strengthened and got holes made in it so that bullets could be fired through them.

In the meeting of Parbhandak Committee on 17 February 1921, it was decided that two jathas one led by Bhai Lachhman Singh and the other by Bhai Kartar Singh Virk (alias Jhabbar) should meet at Chander Kot on 19 February. From there they were to reach Nankana Sahib early in the morning of 20th February, to talk to the Mahant, Narain Das. Upon seeing the preparation of the Mahant, the Parbhandak Committee held a meeting on 19th February, in which it was resolved that the jathas should not be taken to Nankana Sahib on the 20th February. Bhai Kartar Singh Jhabbar was present in the meeting. He was informed about the changes and was told to inform Bhai Lachhman Singh. Bhai Kartar Singh Jhabbar immediately dispatched Bhai Waryam Singh to Chander Kot so that other jatha could be stopped.

Bhai Lachchman Singh, in accordance with the original programme had reached Chander Kot on the night of 19th February with his jatha of 150 Singhs and waited for Bhai Kartar Singh Jhabbar and his jatha.

Bhai Waryama Singh arrived with news not to lead the jatha to the Gurdwara, Bhai Lachchman Singh said to the Singhs of his jatha, “When we have started for a good cause, we should not waste time.” All members of the jatha agreed. Bhai Lachhman Singh got a promise from the Singh’s not to strike and remain peaceful no matter what. After that the jatha prayed for their success of their nobel resolve. After the prayer, as the jatha was about to move forward, Bhai Waryam Singh arrived. He showed them the letter about the new decision of the Committee. Bhai Tehal Singh Said, “Dear Khalsa, we have taken our resolve at the prayer (Ardaas)and cannot turn back now. It is imperitive for us to move forward.” The jatha as a whole moved forward following Bhai Tehal Singh.

Thus on the morning of 20 February 1921, the jatha of 150 Sikhs lead by Bhai Lachhman Singh entered the sacred precincts. The Mahant had got the news of their arrival at Chander Kot on the evening of 19th February. He had gathered his men at night and briefed them about their duties.

After the jatha of Singh’s had sat down, the Mahant signalled his men to carry out the predetermined plan. The Sikhs were chanting the sacred hymns when the attack started. Bullets were mercilessly rained on them from the roof of an adjoining building. Bhai Lachhman Singh was struck down sitting in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib. Twenty-six Singhs became martyrs to those bullets in the courtyard while another sixty or so sitting inside the Darbar Sahib became targets of bullets. When the Mahant’s men saw no one moving, they came down with swords and choppers. Any Singh they found breathing was cut to pieces.

Outside the main gate, Narain Das, pistol in hand and his face muffled up, pranced up and down on horseback directing the operations and all the time shouting, “Let not a single long-haired Sikh go out alive.” Bhai Dalip Singh, a much-respected Sikh who was well known to him, came to intercede with him to stop the bloody carnage. But he killed him on the spot with a shot from his pistol. Six other Sikhs coming from outside were butchered and thrown into a potter’s kiln. Firewood and kerosene oil were brought out and a fire lighted. All the dead and injured were piled up on it to be consumed by the flames. The body of one alive Singh said to be Bhai Lachhman Singh was fastened to a tree near by and burnt alive. The total number of Sikhs killed has been variously estimated between 82 and 156.

As news reached back to Panjab, 20 pathans had been arrested, the Gurdwara had been locked and the city was handed over to Army which cordoned it to restrict any Akali movement to take over Gurdwara. Sardar Kartar Singh Jhabbar arrived with his jatha on 21st February. Commissioner, Mr. King, informed him that if he tried to enter city with his jatha army will open fire. Kartar Singh Jhabbar and his jatha of twenty two hundred Singhs did not listen to the Commissioner and kept on moving towards city. At end, Commissioner Mr. Curry handed over the keys of Gurdwara to Bhai Kartar Singh Jhabbar.

On the 22nd/23rd February, the bodies were cremated according to Sikh tradition. Charred, mutilated bodies were collected and torn limbs and pieces of flesh picked from wherever they lay in the blood stained chambers. A huge funeral pyre was erected. Bhai Jodh Singh, in a measured oration, advised the Sikhs to remain cool and patient and endure the calamity with the fortitude with which their ancestors had faced similar situations.The Sikhs, he said, had cleansed by their blood the holy precincts so long exposed to the impious influence of a corrupt regime.

An urdu newspaper called ‘Zamindara’ wrote in its editorial of 23 February 1921, “what more proof of shamelessness of muslims is required than that they have helped the Mahant. O, Shameless Muslims, isn’t the cup of your shamelessness and impudence full as yet? You used your guns and swords against those who went to Nankana Sahib to perform religious duties. You are not fit to be called Muslims. You are worse than infidels.”

Mahant, 20 Pathans and other of his group were sentenced by British. Only Mahant and couple of Pathans got death sentence for this crime of more than 50 murders. (The High Court delivering on 3 March 1922, its judgement on Narain Das’s appeal, reduced his sentence to life imprisonment.)

News of the Nankana Sahib massacre shocked the country. Sir Edward Maclagan, Governor of the Punjab, visited the site on 22nd February. Mahatma Gandhi, along with Muslim leaders Shaukat ‘Ali and Muhammad ‘Ali, came on 3rd March. Princess Bamba Duleep Singh, daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, came accompanied by Sir Jogendra Singh, to offer her homage to the memory of the martyrs.