Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Struggle For Freedom

Read This Short Booklet Highlighting The Struggle Of Sikhs In Gaining Freedom In India

Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindraanvale's Message to Monas (cut hair)

From Baba jee's lecture in Singh Garj compiled by Bh. NaraiN Singh

So, I have a request for all of you who have cut their kesh and beards and have the name "Singh". I put my hands together and ask, 'Please, become my brothers'. And only become my brothers if you think I'm good. If you think I'm a low-life then don't at all become my brothers. If you call me good, then you'll have to keep your kesh and beards, give up liquor and if you call me a low-life, I'll be quiet and sit down and leave you alone.

Ok, those of you who have cut your kesh and beards, am I good or am I a low-life??

No, it won't do to remain quiet like that. Say it out loud.

No, No, just those who have cut beards.

If I'm good, then why don't you listen to me? If you keep your kesh and then I tell you to call me a Sant, or bow to me, then you can get rid of all the hair and you can cut your hair too if I tell you to oppose the Panth.

It was an old Sikh cry, "Sir Jaavay taa(n) jaavey mayraa Sikhee sidak naa javai" meaning, "If my head goes, then so be it, may my Sikhi faith never leave me."

But now there are two cries: Dharam jaavay taa(n) jaavay, saaDee kursee kitay naa jaavay meaning "Our Faith can go if it must, but our political seat should go nowhere. "

Or those youth who cut their hair and beards also have a cry:

Dharam jaavay taa(n) jaavay, daaRee saaDay moo(n)h tay naa aavay. Meaning, "Our faith can go if it must, but please let no beard come on our faces".

Tell me, if a son does not look like his father, what do you call him? Those of you sitting here with cut beards, do we believe in Dasam Paatshaah? Tell me, do we?

Sangat: Yes, we believe in him.

Well if we believe in him, then are we joining with him? Our Dasam Paatshaah had a kacherra, kirpan in a gatra, a beautiful dastaar, a beautiful Sree Saahib and Sarbloh kaRaa. We have a string type of thing around our necks, what do they call it? RakhRee? I don't know what it is. We have a baandar kachee (monkey panties i.e. briefs) and we have no dastaar on our head or beard on our face. How will we call ourselves Guru's Sikhs? How will people call us the sons of our father??

If you want to be sons of your father and my brothers, those of you with cut hair have to keep it after today. And those of you who don't want to be their father's sons, then it's up to you if you want to stay a man or become like women. If you want to be men, then keep it uncut, and if you don't' want to be men, go to Darbaar Saahib and do ardaas, "Sachay Paatshah! Kill us and make us women. And make the women men." Trade off like this. Then, you'll have no beard on your face, nor will the barber have to sharpen his knife on a worn out leather shoe and rub it on your faces. And then neither would I have to have the headache of saying all this and neither would you feel angry after hearing it.

Oi! Now tell me, are you going to become your father's sons or not?? Why aren't you answering?? Those of you with cut beards, why are you sitting there with your heads down? And it's not going to work out if you don't speak

Incidents from Baba Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranvale's Life

Incidents from Baba Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranvale's Life
By Dalbeer Singh in "NayRayo(n) Dithay Sant Bhindranvale"

(**note** Dalbeer Singh Journalist was a close friend of Baba Jarnail Singh)

Poor Sikhs or Simpletons?

It was Sunday and I had arrived at Amritsar from Bathinda early in the morning. At the Guru Ram Das Langar, in the room built underneath the stairs, I ran into Bhai Amreek Singh. He asked how I was and said to me "Bhaa-jee, a lot of Sangat comes to meet Sant jee and there's not enough time. Sometimes he doesn't care about the foreign Sikhs who've especially come to meet him and he embraces the Simpletons and wastes so much time with them. Help us out. Bring Sant jee's attention to this matter, because despite all my effort, he doesn't pay any attention to this.

According to my own nature, I told Sant jee exactly what Bhai Amreek Singh had said to me. Right away Sant jee became upset and called Bhai Amreek Singh and Bhai Rachhpal Singh near him. He said "I need my "simpleton" friends much more than your friends with their dollars and pounds. Be Warned! No one should say anything unbecoming about these poor Sikhs

The Giving of "Medicine"

It was noontime. I was sitting alone with Sant jee. A very simple looking, middle aged Sikh couple from the villages came in. Their poverty was quite apparent. They gave their Fateh and put a cardboard box in front of Sant jee. The Sant asked "what is this?" They replied "it's medicine". Sant jee then asked "Is it for me or someone else?" The poor Sikh replied "I don't know about that. If you want to keep it, you can. If you want me to give it to someone else, I'll take it there."

The Sant opened the lid of the box and emptied it into his lap. His lap filled with revolver and sten-gun bullets. Sant jee very lovingly thanked the villager couple and asked his sevaadaars to arrange for refreshments for them. Throughout this entire episode, Sant jee kept looking towards me and smiling. (note: in Punjabi "golee" means both bullet and medicine tablet)

Not an Ordinary 'Sant'

It was noon time. In Sant jee's room in Guru Nanak Nivaas, we (I, Bhai Amreek Singh and Bhai Racchpal Singh) were sitting on an extra manja beside Sant jee's bed. The Sangat was coming in to say Fateh one by one. In those that were coming, most were women and a bit of a crowd had formed. Without warning, Sant jee jumped onto his bed and stood up and was about to hit a very large woman with his teer (arrow). I, in a bit of panic, grabbed his hand and asked "What has happened?" I was of course a bit shocked.

He spoke in anger and said "You know what she was saying? She was asking for a son!"

There was no need to say much more. We told the Singh at the door to stop the flow of sangat for a while.

But this is clear, we usually hear about traditional 'Sants' giving children and women come to them to ask for boys. This is a pity for the entire society and this was and continues to be a very big problem in the Sikh world. Sant Bhindranvale was not only away from such practices, he was strongly against them.

Two Brigadiers

The days of Blue Star were approaching and people with various views often met Sant jee on the roof of the Langar Building. While I was standing there, two retired Sikh Brigadiers came and said "We wish to speak with you privately". Sant jee said "There is no shyness here, please speak" The Brigadiers said "We have seen and evaluated all the outposts and defences around Harmandar Sahib and we feel that there is a weakness in the fact that the Singhs don't have binoculars. There is a need for at least two binoculars (per outpost)" Sant jee said to Bhai Amreek Singh, who was standing nearby "Come and listen to these people". The Brigadier then said "To understand your full power, if you could tell us how many weapons you have exactly, it would be good"
Putting his hands on the mid-sized Brigadier's shoulders, Sant jee said "General Sahib, You've commanded very large armies. I'm a stupid Jat. What do I know about these things? You should read GurbaaNee. Doing that gives power."

An Important Meeting

It was a Sunday in May 1984. I arrived at Harmandar Sahib at 9 AM, and noticed an odd sadness everywhere. I came to the Parkarma and saw about 25 young men in yellow dastaars with kamarkasas marching. In the room underneath the stairs of Guru Ram Das langar, Sant jee's companions used to plan out strategy and have meetings. All outsiders used to enquire here first. I arrived there and asked Bhai Amreek Singh about the 25 men marching in the Parkarma. He answered "These Singhs are from Hazoor Sahib. They told the Kar Seva Babas that until the existing gurdvaras are secured and protected, there is no need to build new gurdvaras." Today I think that these young men had arrived from all over after receiving training, all according to Sant jee's strategy. Their march was to give warning to the government.

Bhai Armeek Singh said that in a little while the Jatha (Jatha Bhindran) would be having an important meeting on the roof of Sree Akaal Takhat Sahib. "Sant jee has asked that you (Dalbeer Singh) should certainly come to this meeting." I said that "I am neither a member of the Jatha, nor even amritdhaaree, how can I go to this meeting?" Bhai Sahib asked Sant jee on the intercom and said Sant jee wanted to speak to me in person. After answering my Fateh, he forcefully said "Gurmukha, you must come to the meeting." Answering my concerns, he said "I'm the head of the Jatha, and it is my decision to make about who can attend the meeting and who cannot".

At around 10 AM, I, Bhai Amreek Singh and others went to the highest roof of Sree Akaal Takhat Sahib where the meeting was to take place. Because there were too many Singhs and not enough room, they had made an "L" shape around the dome. Tyaar-bar-tyaar Singhs with yellow dastaars, yellow kamarkassas and knee length cholas and kachheras, with their weapons facing sky-ward were giving an amazing sight. This sight can be seen in paintings of puraatan times. I took a place in the corner facing Harmandar Sahib.

Sant jee came and stood in a corner. He could see all the Singhs form this spot. In his pure Punjabi, Sant jee said "Singho, I have called your meeting because the situation is very serious. A Jatha has come from Sree Hazoor Sahib and you should arrange weapons for them. Whoever amongst you have two weapons, should return one. You may choose which weapon you want to keep, because later on, there will be no changes. After this, Sant jee's assistant Bhai Rachhpal Singh took his small diary and began to take an account of the 100 Singhs' weapons. This took about half an hour.

Then Sant jee resumed his speech. He said "Singho, the government will according to its strategy surrounded us with 100 000 soldiers. It is possible that jets and helicopters could be used and parachute soldiers could be dropped onto the parkarma. But until then, you will not fire any weapons, until the soldiers fire. Let the government fire first. Until the soldiers jump from the planes, do not fire. But when they do, not one parachutist should land alive. Don't waste ammunition and you should take one life with each bullet at least. If the enemy comes very close, distribute the Ladoos (hand grenades). This will be a very terrifying incident but taking the support of Guru Ram Das jee's feet, we will pass this test. "

Sant jee said some other things and then finished his speech. He stopped for a while and then according to his habit, he took his lower lip into the left side of his mouth and began to think of something. He would do this when he was double-minded about something. After a minute or two of silence he spoke in very drawn out voice "Singho, I have to speak to you about another issue as well." He looked towards me and said "Bhaeeyaa, should I do it?" I understood what was in his heart and said he should do it.

In a very serious mood, Sant jee said "Singho, that which is going to happen will be very shocking and we should go according to the will of Akaal Purakh. I can't say that at that time what the status on my life will be. If at that time I have breaths, I will tell the name of the next head of the Jatha, if this is not what pleases Akaal Purakh, then the next head should be chosen by consensus. My body should be cremated at Gurduara Gurdarshan Parkaash Mehta, on the street in front of the gate. Taking his right elbow onto his left palm, he said "Put a Nishaan Saahib of about this size there. Don't make any memorial. I want my cremation on the road so that the Sangat can continue to pass over my pyre and I'll get the touch of their feet."
Everyone's eyes were teary after hearing Sant jee's words.

In his clear voice he said, "Don't lose heart. Remain steadfast. The time has come when the Dharam cannot be protected without giving our heads."

After this, all the Singhs quietly went to their own resting spots. When walking, Sant jee put his hand on my shoulder and said "Brother, keep your duty of friendship to the end [yaaree nibhaaee(n)]"

After this, Blue Star happened and it remained a very big weight on my mind that who should I talk to about all this? After a lot of thought I shared this with the late Sd. Jagjeet Singh, the respected scholar of GurbaaNee and Sikh principles and the author of the book "Sikh Revolution". I asked why the Sant had called me into that meeting. He said very softly to me, "Dalbeer Singh, the reason is quite simple. The Sant had given a spoken final testament and without writing it down, he made you a witness to it."

Daily Amrit Sanchaar

After we receive amrit from punj pyaaray and are given naam, the amrit sinchaar doesn't stop there. Every single day a Gursikh should have amrit sinchaar within.

We see the punj pyaaray preparing amrit in a sarbloh bata that has pure water and sweet patasaas, with sarbloh khanda. This symbolism is very deep. In our jeevan, our rehit is the sarbloh bata. Our consciousness is the water that is made dirty by the five vikaars. Pataasas are gurbani we recite daily and the sarbloh khanda is naam.

If our rehit is weak then the entire vessel will not be suitable to carry out the amrit sinchaar. It will not be able to handle it. Amrit cannot be prepared in a rusty bata or a bata with holes in it. Similarlly if we've made mistakes in rehit then it's like rust. If we've done a kurehit then there is a hole and we must go back to the punj pyaaray to fill it.

If our mind is polluted with 5 vikaars, our consciousness will not be clean enough for the amrit sinchaar to take place. Every day we must try our best to keep our minds filled with pure and loving thoughts, not hatred and anger and other vikaars.

The minimum pataasas (gurbani) to put in our water (consciousness) is nitnem. Anything less will not be enough. But the effect will be much greater if we put extra patasaas. This is why I have found Gursikhs who read a lot of Gurbani will be much sweeter and their buddhi will be much higher.

Finally, the most important part is to have the Sarbloh Khanda of naam. If we jap naam at amrit vela, everything falls together. The naam khanda makes the gurbani dissolve into our consciousness and the power of naam creates amrit within us. The more we move this naam khanda, the more amrit is created and the more the power of naam takes over in us.

This is the daily amrit sinchaar that all Gursikhs must do.

Description of 18th Century Singhneea

Adorning weapons, chakars [quoits] and knifes they wore many [in their dumallas – high conical turbans]. Forty kilos of weapons and armour they adorned. Dressed alike were young and old women. They were strong, powerful and of great charity. Some wore dress of women. Five dressed like men [i.e. in full warrior dress]. Getting Singh and Singhnias ready thus. Sending one Sirdar with them, the Singhnia set off towards the royal palace. The powerful Singhs stood outside. All the royal women came out to see them. They [Singhs] had great moustache and beards. Their eyes were full of rage and eyebrows greater. Wearing many weapons. Seeing their great form and beauty, they were as if incarnations of the warrior spirit. The Begams were astonished. Begams sent them [Singhs] gifts. Saluting the Singhs, they sent them away. Then they looked at the Singhnia. They took them into their palace. They [Singhnia] said, “Sat Siri Akal”. They replied “Salaam” and sat them down. Seeing their form and strong bodies. Dressed in armour and weapons. Listening to their conversation of plundering and war. And how to kill a hunt. And how to aim with bows and muskets. Hearing them, they were astonished. Under their ‘Salwars’ [trouser like garments], were ‘Kashehras’ [breeches]. Seeing their great clothes. Listening to their manly words. The Begams were astounded. The four Singhnia had a special female dress. They wore silver ornaments twenty pounds in weight. Seeing this they were awe struck. Their Salwars were twenty yard long. They wore heavy lower garments. Their top knots stood span and half high. Their Shmeezes were of special design. Their physiques were large and heavy. Seeing them the Begams were astounded because they stood unarmed and weak of body. Fearing the Singhnia they cowered to half their size. Then began discussion on religion. Singhnia dismissed all other religions. The traditions of Muslims [Turks] they called false. The way of Mohammed they said was full of faults. The Singhnia described all the atrocities of the Turks. Hearing them the Begams shuddered. Shocked they covered their mouths with their hands. Hearing of the chastity, sincerity and morals of the Singhs. The Begams spoke nodding their heads. “Singhnia you are of great fate. You move about with you husbands. We are pathetic and suffer greatly. Our life is like life imprisonment. One king has sixty wives. By marrying we are as if trapped in a trap”.’

(‘Naveen Panth Prakash’, Giani Gian Singh Nirmala, 1877, Bhasha Vibhag Publication, Pa.1151-1153)

Macauliffe & Archer illustrations

* From 'The Sikh Religion, It's Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors' - Max Arthur Macauliffe. Oxford 1909

Darbar Sahib at the start of the 20th Century


The view from the Baba Atal Tower - you can see the 'Bungay' around the parikarma, The gothic clock tower and the Minars of the Ramgarhia Bunga complete with domes.
Note the many trees and you can also see 'Guru Ka Bagh'


Guru Arjan's shrine


The Sri Takhat Sahib Akal Bunga


Gurdwara Baba Atal Rai Sahib


Fatehgarh Sahib






Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded


Bhagat Namdev's Shrine at Ghuman (10 km west of Sri Hargobindpur in Gurdaspur district) - dates from the 14th century with parts built by Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and Sada Kaur





* From 'The Sikhs, in relation to Hindus, Moslems, Christians and Ahmadiyyas. A Study in Comparative Religion' - John Arthur Clark Archer. Princeton 1946

Entrance to Darbar Sahib c1930s - this entrance is now the main 'Ghanta Ghar' entrance


Darbar Sahib


The Darshani Deori


The famous 'Jhanda Bunga' - now demolished.


A Nihang Baba stood infront of the Akal Takht - the arch behind him is now where the Miri Peeri Nishan Sahibs were moved to, after the original Jhanda Bunga was demolished , to widen the parikarma.


The Akal Bunga / Akal Takat Sahib


The view through the Darshani Deori


Tarn Taran Sahib


The pavilion on the roof of Tarn Taran Sahib


And to finish some ਦੁਰਲਭ - (Durlab) extremely rare and fascinating pictures of the "Arjun Deva Mela, Lahore" - perhaps recording the last ever mela before partition.

The mela - in the background you can see the Shahi Qilla, The Samadh of Ranjit Singh and Gurdwara Dehra Sahib.


The mela - looking toward the River Ravi.


Baba Banda Singh Bahadur

Baba Jee’s Shaheedee truly fits the Bahadur title given to him. Looking back at his life we see many achievements. There are two very different pictures painted by historians of him. You have views on both extremes with our enemies adding their bit to make the picture more distorted but if we are honest then the truth falls in between both these two extremes.

Today is not a day to look back at some of Baba Jee’s shortcomings so I will try not to go there, we know these were inevitable as he was only human.

Everything Guru Jee does has a meaning, so we should look back and think what does Guru Jee want us to take away from Baba Jee’s life.
One point which is undeniable is that clearly something went wrong in his lifetime. The Raaj that the Khalsa should have had did not last long, why?

My personal view is that Guru Jee wanted to show his Sikhs that no matter how important or great an individual can become he still can not lead the Khalsa on his own. The khalsa can not have an individual leader. This role does not exist. It is neither beneficial for the person in that role nor is it for the whole of the Khalsa.

It is human nature to look to some physical person to guide and lead them. Historians have quoted on this frequently that the community lacked a genuine leader at times to unite them. Our enemies have even played on this and made stories about waiting for a leader.

If we are honest with ourselves then I believe if Banda Singh was more successful for a longer period then surely he would have become a Guru like figure. Even know it is hard to imagine why some one will not be attracted to him. This is why Guru Jee chose him and gave him the most impossible of tasks to fulfil. Imagine how difficult of task it must be to stay humble with so much attention and then have the will power to not use his ridhia sidhia. How does one control those primal desires in this environment? You can do it but the conditions and rules to live by would have to be tough. If Baba Banda Singh Bahadur could not do this then who could? This is why Guru Jee has given the Panch system and this is why I believe when Khalsa Raaj truly comes it will be under the Five and not the one.

History has made it quite clear that the parting with Baba Binod Singh signalled the end for Banda Singh Bahadur. When it came down to fighting the enemy he just gave himself up. Why did he do this? He was neither fatally wounded nor did he expect any leniency from the enemy then why did Banda Singh Bahadur not give his Shaheedee on the battlefield. He even called out to his followers not to fight but they didn’t listen to him this time and tried to make fight of it.

ਅਬ ਹਮ ਤੁਰਕਨ ਸਿਰ ਦੇਵੈਂ, ਸੁਟ ਦੇਵੋ ਹਥਿਆਰ I

My Guess is that he realised his mistakes while under the siege by the enemy. He thought that it was best to settle his account in this world rather than the next world. The mention of settling his hisab kitab(account) was quoted when Mohamed Amin Khan asked why do you think this is happening.

Guru Jee being the way he is always keep the laaj of his bhagats even after they make mistakes because that is nature of Guru Jee’s Dyal.
Guru Jee truly kept laaj of his bhagat, after all this is his play and he gave Baba Banda Singh a glorious sending off in history.

After forcefully putting the heart of his 4 year old son in Baba Jee’s mouth, A blade was pierced into the eye of Baba Banda Singh. The eye was removed. Then the same was done on the other eye. His left leg was then cut off. Both of his arms were then cut off one after the other. Then his right leg was cut off. Hot rods were then used on the remaining body and then the rest of the body was cut into pieces.

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur kept his dharam to the last breath with Guru Jee’s Kirpa and this is why the Khalsa Panth will always remember him.

It is a shame that when we talk about our shaheeds we only tend to commemorate the well known personalities. This is not any ones fault because our history has so many Shaheeds how can we catalogue everyone. There are thousands of Shaheeds whose names are not known. Even in the events surrounding the Shaheedee of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur we have names that we don’t even know or don’t get a mention.

17 of Baba Jee’s companions were made Shaheed at the same time as Baba Banda Singh Bahadur a few months later from the Shaheedeean of the main Jatha. Baaj Singh, Raam Singh, Fateh Singh, Aalee Singh, Gulab Singh Bakshish together with Baba Jee and his son were among the 17 that were separated from the main Jatha. The reason historians have given for this is that the rulers were trying to find out the whereabouts of the treasure Baba Jee and the rest of the Jatha had hidden.

One of those 17 Singhs was Jathedaar Baaj Singh. He was one of the five Singhs sent with Baba Banda Singh Bahadur to Punjab by Guru Gobind Singh Jee. The whole of India knew of the courage of Baaj Singh. When it came down to his turn for Shaheedee the King Farukhsiyaar laughed and said “ I have heard that the Bravery of the Sikh named Baaj Singh has no match in this world, where is he? Then Baaj Singh replied “That Baaj Singh is this Nimana Sevak of Guru Jee”. Farukhsiyaar said “Where is your bravery now?” Baaj Singh replied “Take these chains off and watch the play”. Farukhsiyaar then ordered that only one of his hand cuffs be removed. Baaj Singh like his name went flying like a hawk and killed three of the enemy. This was only with one of his hand cuffs removed, imagine what he could have done if they removed the rest. If all the enemy soldiers had not got hold of Baaj Singh then Amin Khan would have been killed too.

Farukhsiyaar after seeing this had to admit that this Sikh Kaum is truly something unique and unbreakable.

Indeed its a shame that we the "successors" of these Mahaan Shaeeds have not lived up to our responsibility.
Punjab today is drowning in a sea of drugs and total despair because the Punjabis have deserted the Teachings of our Mahaan Dhan Dhan Guru garnth Sahib Jee and begun to follow the false and fake pakhandi baabs, dehdharee Gurus, deradaars etc and look for shortcuts..fastest way to sachkhand..fastest way to good health..riches..shaurat and etc etc and these fakes give out such short cut meidcines/purreean/thageh/tweeths/etc etc or jantar mantars to recite this tuk and thta shabad so many tiems and that wish will be fulfilled..Most Sikhs just look like Sikhs..inisde they are follwoign the Bipran kee reet, matha teking and all just ritually without love or pyaar...hoping for instant gratification..wishes fulfilled...
Our Mahaan shaheeds..even those as near as 1984 and the decade that followed gave their LIVES for the sake of OUR TOMORROW..they died for US..but we have sold them down the river.
Baba banda Singh Bahadur established the Khalsa Raaj..but still he faced internal jealousies and conflict from singhs..He died as a True Khalsa Singh of Guru gobind Singh Ji.IF not for those internal conflicts with the Tatt Khalsa Singhs, the Khalsa Raaj would have been put on a strong footing and Sikhs would have ruled Punjab for an extra 100 years...
Punjab must return to our Roots..to the teachings of Gurbani..apply these teachings in our daily lives, keep the Proper rehit as Guru Ji intended for us...we must stop following bipran reets like karva chauth fasts, holis, rakhis and etc etc..and REFORM into the Bibeki Khalsa of Banda Singh Jis time to regain our Lost Crown...

Left Behind: Sikh Women Forgotten in Pakistan after 1947

This is another true story from our archives about the Sikh women forgotten in Pakistan in the rush to escape in 1947 and the story of Akali Chakar Kaur Singh who 4 years later in 1951 went on a mission to save them.

Left Behind: Sikh Women Forgotten in Pakistan after 1947
Taken from Sikhaa(n) Dey Pakistan Vicho(n) NiklaN dee Gatha by Dr. Kirpaal Singh



Once the Khalsa used to be the saviour of other communities. When the Afghan raiders kidnapped Hindu women and were selling them in Afghan markets, the Khalsa army took the responsibility of recovering these helpless souls and returning them to their families. The perpetrators were also punished. In one case, in 1774, a powerful leader in Jalalabad kidnapped and mistreated a Hindu girl. The Khalsa found out and not only sacked the entire town but tied the perpetrator to a manja and burned him alive. Sikhs were heroes who saved the honour of the powerless.

But the Sikhs soon forgot about rehit and their proud traditions. The result is before us today. In the 20th Century, Sikhs left behind their women and children and fled to save their lives. Below is the story of the Sikhs during Partition in 1947 (taken from Sikhaa(n) Dey Pakistan Vicho(n) NiklaN dee Gatha by Dr. Kirpaal Singh):

When Punjab was partitioned, millions of Sikhs found themselves on the wrong side of the border. Punjab's most fertile lands, hundreds of sacred Gurdvaras like Sree NankaNa Sahib, Sree Punjaa Saahib, etc. were all lost. The Muslim population had started the large-scale slaughter of Sikhs in West Punjab and the Sikhs were forced to flee. Tens of thousands of Sikh women and children were kidnapped by the marauders and taken as slaves. Our story, however, begins with Akaalee Chakr Kaur Singh jee.

Akali Chakr Kaur Singh

Akali Chakar Kaur Singh jee was born in 1892 in village AvayRaa Chakaar, Muzufraabaad Kashmir (now Pakistan). His father was Sd. Soobaa Singh and mother Tulas Kaur jee. He was named Lachhman Singh at birth. When he was ready to go to school, his parents sent him to a Maulvee where he learnt Persian. At the age of 18, he left for Sree Amritsar. He was always more attached to doing Sirman and Paath. At Sree Amritsar, he would bathe in the Sarovar and sit in meditation on the Parkarma. One day, Sant Ratan Singh jee and Sant Mishra Singh jee were passing by and saw this young man in meditation and were very pleased. They took the young boy to their dera and here he learned GurbaaNee and Gurmat. He received amrit at Sree Akaal Takhat Saahib and had his name changed to Chakar Kaur Singh.

After four or five years, Chakar Kaur Singh returned to his village and his family expressed their desire to marry him. He refused and remained a life-long bachelor. He then went to Benaras and learned Sanskrit and studied other religious texts from the Nirmala scholars. He would go from place to place preaching Gurmat and the importance of Amrit. At partition, he was at Lahore.

Partition 1947

When the violence of Partition erupted, Akali jee went to Jammu. The Pakistani sponsored irregulars had attacked Kashmir and Akali jee became a guide for the Indian army forces (who were mainly Sikhs). Akali jee knew the area very well and led the army through blazing fires and bullets.

Akali jee's entire family, 111 members, were all killed by the locals of their village. His old mother was tied to a pillar and burnt alive by the same boys she considered her sons and helped raise. All his brothers and their families were killed. Countless women and children were kidnapped and taken away. The bodies were completely stripped of all clothes and valuables. The bullet riddled bodies were then hacked into pieces.

Serving Refugees

Akali jee was deeply affected by all this and began to serve the refugees who had arrived on the Eastern side. No effort was made to recover the thousands of kidnapped women and children by either the Indian government or the Sikh community. The Pakistan government was determined to not send any back until they too received back some women and children from the Indian side. 1600 women and children were kept in Pakistani Kashmir in the Amore Camp. These unfortunate ones were told that let alone any of their family members, no Sikhs were left in the world and convinced to sign a letter saying they wished to stay in Pakistan. The conditions of the camp were disgusting.

1951 Rescue Mission

Akali jee, alone, decided something must be done to recover the Sikh women and children who had been abandoned. He himself arranged to go to Pakistan for this task. He arrived in Lahore on April 3 1951. For four years now, those abandoned Sikhs had been living like slaves in various villages in Pakistan and in the Amore Camp. Many Pakistanis were hostile to Akali jee and had not seen a Sikh for years. Akali jee travelled with the help of some Pakistani police officers, with a shawl wrapped around his head so that he would have less trouble from those hostile to Sikhs. For his travels, he purchased nuts and ghee and other materials so that if he couldn't make parshada, he could at least have this.

Panja Sahib

Akali jee travelled north to go near the Amore camp. As he passed through Hassan Abdal, he stopped at Gurdvara Sree Punjaa Saahib. He writes that the driver "stopped the jeep a the DeoRee [gate]. I came down and from the outside kissed the dirt and drank some of the water [from Guru jee's spring] but pain was rising within my heart." He was unable to enter the Gurdvara because it was closed off.

As he travelled, it began to rain heavily and Akali jee writes "the screams of the kidnapped and enslaved souls naturally began to enter my ears. Those young girls and boys who were thrown on trucks and taken away…Their souls were screaming and calling out, begging loudly "Oh God! Where are we being taken like lambs and cattle? Our mothers, fathers, husbands, brothers, sisters and sons have all been killed. Taken from those bloody piles of bodies, why too did you not destroy us in the rivers of their blood?…Why were we left alive? Our clothes are now caked with the dry blood of our relatives and we are in the hands of the enemy. Who knows where we will be sold for just cents…God, no one will hear our cries but you…we are helpless, please do something."

At The Camp

When Akali jee arrived near the camp, they authorities refused to let him see the captive women and children. He returned to Pakistani Punjab with a heavy heart and managed to recover a few young Sikh boys and girls. Before he was to return to East Punjab with the few children he had found, he requested to be taken to the banks of the Jehlum river. He writes "Tears began to flow from my eyes by themselves and I saw many skeletons lying by the banks of the river that had kaRas on their hands. I had thought before that my brothers bodies must have washed ashore here and before me was the proof. What doubt could remain? I took the KaRas from two skeletons and kissed them and kept them with me. My own state was very bad. I was soaked in sweat and had to sit. I drank two sips of the water but my heart told me to stop…this was the blood of 33 000 shaheeds…soon Khan jee [Akali jee's guide and companion] came to me and put his hand on my shoulder, saying "don't feel so much sorrow. This is what pleased God. I will tell you the truth, for five days we could not see the water of the Jehlum. Like logs floating down a river, from one end to the other Jehlum was filled with Sikh bodies and for five days the water flowed red with Sikh blood…"

Letter from The Forgotten Sisters

Akali jee returned to East Punjab. The Amore Camp captives had found out about his visit and began to send him letters. Some excerpts are below from these: "we are unfortunate that we too did not die, because of which for the past four years we have been captive and death too is scared to come near us…We began to hear that Chakar Kaur Singh jee and Akali Kaur Singh jee and other Singhs from Kashmir as well as a lot of the Khalsa in Punjab was still alive. But we suspected it was all lies. If there really were Singhs left, they would have taken care of us. They used to even free the women from other communities…"

Another letter reads "For four years we have not been able to fill our stomachs with food and have been making clothes and turbans from left over sacks. We were the children of wealthy people, but now we are wasting away. Now, neither death kills us nor these enemies nor our hunger or nakedness…We cannot run, we cannot die, we cannot go into the villages; If we are to do something, what should we do? We have heard that the Panth is the saviour of the poor and helpless, but four years have passed and neither our own nor any strangers have come to take care of us…For God and Guru's sake, please take us out from here. Or if not, then please pray that death may encourage our captors to kill us as well, or that some disease comes and we may all die here"

The one who had originally convinced these Sikh women and children to sign the letter saying they would stay in the camp (by telling them all Sikhs were dead) was Pandit Shiv jee. He sold Sikh women from the camp and also kept two or three for himself. He was the officer of the camp and kept the women and children in perpetual distress.


Eventually, Akali jee found a way to release these captives. The Commander of the Camp, Mohammed Sabar had been separated from his daughter Kulzam Akhtar, who was stranded with her sister in Srinagar. When Akali jee wrote to Sabar, he replied with the story of his daughter. Akali jee took the hint and managed to arrange for the return of the girl, despite diplomatic roadblocks and other hardships. Sabar was eternally grateful, and Kulzam had grown so fond of Akali jee, she referred to him as her second father. The captives were then released but taking care of them upon their return was again left only to Chakar Kaur Singh jee and Akali Kaur Singh jee Nihung. The women were put by the government in a new camp in the deserts of Bikaner in Rajasthan. Although many were later settled and lived happy lives, others continued to live in terrible conditions. No political leader nor any Singh Sabha nor any Sant helped in this matter of freeing the young women and children or in taking care of them. Many officials in the Indian government in fact tried to prove that Akali jee was a Pakistani spy.

Akali jee passed away in 1954, and till that time continued on as the father for all these helpless children.

The reality is that thousands of women and children remained in Pakistan and the Sikhs were unable to ever get them back.

1984: Repeat of Our Disgrace

This sad story does not end here. The Sikh community also forgot the widows and orphans of the 1984 riots. I once read an article about how many had been forced into prostitution and lived in abject poverty. The widows continue to this day to beg for their rights. The widows and orphans of the Shaheeds of the Freedom Movement are still not properly taken care of. Many live in poverty and people refused to marry into those families thinking they would be the victims of police harassment if they did.

When will we start taking care of our own again? When will the Sikhs remember their role as saviours of the helpless and save their own children, let alone saving those from other communities? May Guru Saahib have mercy on his Panth.

1978 Vaisakhi Massacre

Taken from Jasvant Singh Kanval's "Khoon Kay Sohilay Gaaveeaih Nanak" 


On Vaisakhi Day, the Nirankaris held their yearly smaagam at Sree Amritsar. In the open grounds in front of GobindGaRh fort, they erected a large tent and virtually erected a new Nirankari town. First the Nirankaris took out a procession through the town. In the procession, they shouted out their own slogans like "Today's Nanak has arrived! The saving-one has arrived!". Some Singhs who heard these slogans went and informed Sant Jarnail Singh jee at Manjee Saahib. He was the leader of Damdamee Taksaal. Sant jee was very saddened to hear about all these happenings. He could not tolerate anyone claiming equal status with Guru Nanak and sacrilegious comments about GurbaaNee. He immediately appealed to the Sangat to stop this sloganeering. At the same time, The AKJ Singhs were having their yearly smaagam in Ajeet Nagar, singing uninterrupted and pure keertan. This attachment to keertan was the gift of the great patriot Bhai Sahib Bhai Randheer Singh jee. Because colonialism was eating away at the Sikhs, Bhai Saahib wanted to bring people back to the pristine path of Gurmat and follow it in high spirits. To stop all kurehits, he relied primarily on keertan of GurbaaNee. So, Sant Jarnail Singh sent a Singh to Ajeet Nagar to inform those Singhs.

The messenger too was a Tat-Khalsa and he went and told the stage announcer:
"Singh jee, Sant Jarnail Singh has sent me. In the Nirankari procession, such slogans were shouted against Gurus and GurbaaNee that they cannot be tolerated and are challenging the honour of all Singhs. Come, let us all stop this procession!" He then repeated the disgusting slogans.

"Such horrible slogans!" the announcer said in passion. He immediately, without seeking any advice, said to the gathering "Beloved Sadh Sangat jee! Sant Jarnail Singh has sent a message that the Nirankaris are shouting slogans against the Gurus in their procession. Come let us go stop this procession. It is the Khalsa's responsibility to stop the disrespect of the Gurus and stopping their slander. We have been called to Manjee Sahib."

One of the Keertanee Jatha's leading young men, Fauja Singh, was at that time in the Langar kneading flour. He heard the call on the loud speaker and immediately began to wash his hands of the dough. He said to himself upon hearing all this "there is such a situation and you are still kneading dough?"

Hearing the announcer's call, half the sangat rose up. Again a voice from the mike spoke, "Children, the elderly and our sisters will not go to stop the procession"

The Singhs did an ardaas and left with the calls of Jaikaaray. The group moved towards Manjee Saahib chanting Satnaam Vahiguru, Vahiguru, Vahiguru. Sant Jee was at this time not at Manjee Saahib but was in Guru Ram Das Saraa(n). The Singhs arrived there. Bhai Avtar Singh began,

"You are Sant Jarnail Singh jee? You had sent a message for the Akhand
Keertanee Jatha?"
"Yes" said Sant jee
"Now what are your orders?"
"The Narkdhaaree procession has passed, but we should go stop their smaagam"
"Then come, rise. Will you lead the Singhs?"
"The Sangat has forbidden me from going. I am helpless. Bhai Sahib jee, you take the lead" Sant jee said, motioning to Bhai Harinder Singh. One young man in the Sangat called out in anger "Then Bhai Fauja Singh and Bhai Harinder Singh too will not go! You are the ones that called us." Bhai Avtar Singh silenced the young man with a motion of his hand.
"No problem, don't go" Sant Jarnail Singh said to Bhai Fauja Singh and Harinder Singh.

"But I have done an ardaas before Guru Maharaj. How will the Guru forgive one who backs down after an ardaas?" Bhai Sahib showed his steadfastness.

Some talk took place and then a group from both Jathas moved towards GobindGaRh. Some men had long sticks. The Taksalis had two .303 rifles, which served no use at the time of the confrontation. One rifle was defective and did not fire and the person who held the other backed away from the fight. In other words, these weapons did nothing in the fight.
While repeating Satnam Vahiguru, the procession reached the Railway Crossing where they were stopped by a Police Inspector. The Police had been informed that a group of 250 Singhs was coming towards the Nirankari smaagam.

"Where are you going?" the Inspector asked, shaking his stick. Bhai Avtar Singh took the discussion into his own hands.
"We are going to request the Nirankaris to stop speaking ill of GurbaaNee and the Gurus. You too are a Sikh, tolerating the slander of the Gurus is very hard."
"You want to do something illegal? You're going to disrupt a religious smaagam?"
"No sir, we are going to preserve religious sentiments. To disrupt is to insult religion, and that is what the Nirankaris are doing. You did not hear what kinds of slogans they were yelling in that procession. Our hearts are hurt by those awful slogans. We are going to express our outrage at their words."

"You stop here, I'll go stop them myself"
"We have to stop their smaagam" Bhai Fauja Singh said.

Seeing the enflamed passions of the group, the Inspector took a softer approach.

"Ok young man, I'll try my best" and the Inspector began to walk towards the smaagam.

The Sangat sat down on the road and began to repeat "Vahiguru". The meditation continued, while waiting for the Inspector to return. Fauja Singh was sure that the Inspector would do nothing. This was like rubbing salt on an open wound. "They are trying to cool our passion. He probably is gone to warn the Nirankaris."

Both Jathas understood the government was behind the Nirankaris, supporting them. The Inspector returned,

"Bhai Sahib! This is not in my control, but you too shouldn't go"

"We had listened to you so that no one would think that we were being extreme" said Bhai Avtar Singh calmly, "But no Sikh can tolerate the slander of BaNee or the Gurus."

"You stand aside, only that will happen now, that the Guru wills" said Bhai Fauja Singh moving past the Inspector. He drew a line on the road with his kirpan. "Whichever Singh wants martyrdom can cross this line. Whoever values his life should go back."

About 125 Singhs crossed the line: 150 stood there like statues. Some amongst them were gawkers as well. The Police could not calm the Singhs passion. The Singhs moved forwards shouting Jaikaras. The Inspector sent an urgent message for reinforcements.

Around the smaagam, countless trucks and cars were parked. When the Singhs neared the smaagam, many Nirankari youth dressed in police-like uniforms came out. They were all armed. They called to the Singhs: "Turn back! Go back! You have no work here!"

"We have come to speak to your leader. Why are you slandering the Gurus?" Bhai Avtar Singh replied.

The Nirankaris opened fire. In the first burst, three or four Singhs fell. The Singhs too unsheathed their swords. The Singhs advanced and began to cut at the Nirankari guards. But what match is there between guns and swords? The Nirankaris had started their smaagam with full preparation. They had arranged for weapons and fighters.

The Singhs had not thought they would have to play Holi of blood with the Nirankaris. Such was the clamour and confusion that all lost their senses. A lot of Nirankaris left the tent. The Singhs had bricks, arrows, stones and bullets rain upon them. But the Singhs did not lose heart and continued to move forward. Some Singhs, afraid of death, began to run back. Bhai Fauja Singh called them, "No one will call you Singhs of Guru Gobind Singh! Come back and fight!" But they did not stop.

"At least give us the two rifles??!!"
But they did not hear any of this and ran away. Bhai Fauja Singh was a Gatka fighter and using different Pentras, he was fighting the gunners. One burst of fire hit him in his eye. He fell. And then again he immediately rose and continued to attack. Two more bullets hit him the head and again he fell. At that time, Bhai Keval Singh came and lay on top of him

"Brother Fauja Singh, you can't leave all alone! You have to take me with you!"

Two bullets also struck Bhai Keval Singh and he was martyred on the spot. Bhai Avtar Singh had already passed on.

Bhai Fauja Singh was still alive and a river of blood was coming from his body. Bodies were lying all around, of which most were the wounded. The tent was emptied by those running away. The Rickshaw drivers left their cars and ran. Both sides had lost about 15-20, but the injured could not be counted.

The gun fire slowed. Two Singh children of about 12/13 years recognised Bhai Fauja Singh. They pulled him aside. Bhai Fauja Singh's body was like that of an elephant. With bravery, those boys put his body below the rickshaw seat. While one held the body, the other began to pull the rickshaw. Once they had started to move, a Police party arrived. At the Hall Gate the Police stopped the rickshaw

"Oi, this body? Where are you taking it?"

"To the Hospital. This is Bhai Fauja Singh, he's still alive." The boys said fearlessly.

"Get out of here or we'll beat the hell out of you!" said the officer swinging his staff.

The boys left the rickshaw and the police took the body to the hospital. Other bodies were also arriving there. All of Amritsar was gripped in fear. All faces were blank and could say nothing. The Nirankaris took some of their dead, loaded them on trucks and took them to some unknown location.
All the hired thugs were told to run away to avoid arrest. The Nirankari leader himself left for Jalandhar in a government car. A high official had advised him to run away. The collusion between the Hindu Press, the Police and Nirankaris was clear to all of Amritsar. It was the talk of the town, "did the Vaisakhi massacre just happen, or was it orchestrated?"

..The news of this massacre had also reached Ajeet Nagar. All of Amritsar had been shaken like a tornado. Bhai Fauja Singh's wife had insisted on accompanying the Jatha but all women were restricted from doing this. Bhai Fauja Singh's wife had said to her husband,

"I won't let you go alone. Keep me with you"
"It's not your turn yet. You have many other tasks to accomplish yet" Said Bhai Fauja Singh with a laugh. "Try picturing my dead body"

"Hai! I'll die with you!"

"No, you don't have the order for that"

"I want to follow YOUR order" she said, standing beside him.

"And that's why I'm saying you will not go with us"

Bhai Fauja Singh already had one murder case going on him and he was out on bail.

In Deena Nagar, a youth had raped a Sikh woman. Bhai Fauja Singh tried to talk with him,
"All daughters and sisters are the same. You didn't do the right thing"
"Who are you to explain anything to me?" Said the youth. "I've just come to make this request. There are bad results for acts like this" "I'll do this again. Who can stop me?" Said the increasingly argumentative youth.
"No, this isn't right. You should keep the community in mind too"
"You can use your force and do what you want. I'll keep doing this" "Fine, remember your maker then." Said the Singh as he dug his spear into the youth's chest. "keep doing what you want now". The young goon died on the spot.

Bhai Fauja Singh's wife sighed.

"One case hasn't finished, and you're ready for a second"
"All have to act according to Hukam, you will not come" Fauja Singh forbid his wife.

She stayed back in sadness.

The Fake Gurus Rested After Drinking the Blood of the Sikh

By Giani Gurdit Singh in Singh Sabha Patrika, May 1978

The indifferent attitude of the Sikh Kaum, the daily increase in fake Gurus and the careless attitude adopted towards these frauds has finally produced a very bitter fruit which the Sikh Kaum has now been forced to taste like hot iron. On the day of the creation of the Khalsa, Vaisakhi, the fake Nirankaris made a daring decision to challenge the Sikh people in Amritsar and did so in a very grand fashion. In Amritsar, where before only the Sikhs and Hindus took out separate processions, saw the fake Nirankaris on Vaisakhi day, take out a procession with hundreds of thousands of followers. They dared the Sikh community by gathering all their followers using full-page advertisements in anti-Sikh newspapers. All the walls in Punjab were plastered with their advertisements.

The Nirankari Mahant sat his wife beside him and on the main street of Amritsar took out a procession fit for an emperor. To hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs they shouted insulting slogans, one of which is reported to have been, “On this day Guru Gobind Singh chose the Punj Pyaaray. I will pick the Sat Sitaaray (seven stars).”

It should be remembered that to annoy the Sikhs, these people had earlier called themselves equal to Guru Nanak and had appointed a woman cult-member as “Bibi Nanaki” and some men were appointed to the positions of “Bhai Mardana”, “Bhai Bala”, “Bhai Gurdas” and “Baba Buddha” along with other historical Sikh personalities. Just like a neighbour names his dog after his enemy, the Nirankaris have used the same method.

It is a rumour in Amritsar that Sant Jarnail Singh Mehta (Bhindranvalay) and his Jatha had arrived in the city to stop the false propaganda of the Nirankaris, as they had done in some earlier much talked about instances. On Vaisakhi day, after arriving at Manji Sahib Divan Hall, Sant jee expressed his grievance to Jathedar Jeevan Singh Umranangal (Punjab Minister), who was present to give a speech. Jathedar jee, as it has been told to us, told Sant jee, “Whatever was going to happen has happened. Their final congregation is going on and their procession has ended. The government cannot act at this point.”

Umranangal also said that the Chief Minister could stop the Nirankari congregation only. After this, the Minister and Sant jee had a hot exchange of words and Sant jee left by saying “whatever is going to happen now, we’ll do ourselves”.

Sant jee arrived in Guru Ram Das Saraa(n) and it was decided that they would go to the Nirankari Divan and tell them that they should not hurt Sikh sentiments any further. Sant Jarnail Singh is also reported to have announced, “We are leaving. Whatever is going to happen can happen.” This news was received in Manji Sahib Divan Hall and also Ajit Nagar where a Smagam in honour of Bhai Randhir Singh’s 100 year birth anniversary was being held. Bhai Hazara Singh DSP (Rt.) announced that a message from Sant Jarnail Singh had come and those Singhs who wanted to come could come, but women and the elderly should stay behind. No disturbance should be caused.

Singhs Receiving Word

The Akhand Kirtani Jatha’s Singhs were enjoying the bliss of keertan when a person sent by Baba Jarnail Singh Mehta came and delivered the message that Sant jee, after doing an ardaas, had decided to go towards the Nirankari gathering to tell their leaders not to hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs.

This information came through Bhai Joginder Singh jee that Baba Jarnail Singh Mehta had sent a message that his Jatha would go towards the Nirankari gathering to tell the “Nirankari Baba” not to insult the Sikh Gurus. “Whatever Singhs want to go may also come but everyone should stay peaceful.” In our opinion, this decision was reached in haste without taking into account what preparations the other side had made.

After this announcement, about 100 Singhs rose from the congregation and after bowing to Guru Granth Sahib, made their departure................

Bhai Fauja Singhs Letter

Respected Amarjeet Kaur jeeo,

Vaahiguru jee ka khasa vaahiguru jee kee fateh!

I have accepted your advice and have forgotten that Singh. He can do whatever he wants. What is it to us?

Otherwise, I have a request I want to make of you. We have finished our worldly lives and taken birth in the Guru’s house and even more than that, we have enlisted in the Guru’s army. It is the responsibility of every Sikh born in the Guru’s house that he does some seva, and we have as of yet not been able to do this seva with our own hands. But we certainly should do some seva. You should consider the case you are fighting as seva of Gursikhi and do so in a heartfelt, happy and thankful spirit, knowing that Satguru jee is teaching something and something good will come out of this lesson.

If you stay laughing and happy, then know that his will is sweet. There is almost no Sikh spirit left in Singhs now. If you stay laughing and happy, then forget just Fauja Singh, know that you will break the jail of the entire world. If you lose this battle or feel scared/worried, and if you go sit alone in regret, then know that the livng example of Sikhi has begun to falter. Become like how Singhs and Singhnees are supposed to be. Make your life embody those principles. That hot air (hard time) you are in now, should become cool after touching your body. Those jungles that you must go through should remain laughing by your spirit for years to come. Those oceans which you must cross, their deepness and terror should always be reduced. Those paths that you are going to walk on, should forever bear your marks. That life which rises above cowardice becomes like a spring of love. It becomes a tower of sacrifice. Those people who call sacrifice “being destroyed”, let them say it. This is what suits them. Those people who enjoy sleeping on their comfortable beds, and call this “life”, let them talk. This is their delusion.

Those who see jail and the noose as manmat, let them rest. They cannot resolve any affair of the Kaum. Those who become terrified by the crackle of the gun, let them jap naam so their cowardice can be eliminated.

Those who cannot protect their own life, faith and daughters and sisters, let them act smart because they cannot do kurbani (sacrifice). Those who are attached to their daughters, sons and property, let them remain intoxicated in that. They know a lot of excuses and they cannot bear any hardships due to their nature.

Do not feel bad about those who use the excuse of bhagti and do not pay attention to the work of the Kaum. This is their karma.

Don’t speak to the frog of the well about the ocean. Understanding the ocean is not something it is capable of doing. Those Kaums who smoke cigarettes and use tobacco are rising to new heights. The Singh children of Dasam Guru, the free Kaums, are crying for their saviour.

Sat Sri Akaal to the Sarbat Khalsa.

Fauja Singh

Memories of Bh. Fauja Singh: Interview with Bibi Amarjit Kaur

Taken from So Kaheeat Hai Soora, August 2004 


When a time of darkness falls upon a community and its people are in a deep sleep, then Akaal Purakh sends some blessed souls who may only spend a short time on the earth but light the way of their people for centuries. These blessed souls spread the rays of truth, remove the darkness and awaken the long sleeping people.

In 1978, the Sikh youth were in a deep sleep. Akaal Purakh at that time sent such a blessed soul, who, with the splashes of his blood, woke the Panth. That soul was Shaheed Jathedar Bhai Fauja Singh jee. The entire Sikh community was falling into the pit of Communism, Brahminism and faith in false human-gurus. The martyrdom of Bhai Fauja Singh and his companions started a new chapter for the Sikhs.

Here is an interview with that brave warrior’s wife, Bibi Amarjit Kaur.

? Respected Bibi jeeo! Will you tell us about the Khalsa Farm that was started by Bhai Sahib Fauja Singh ?

-Inside him (Bhai Fauja Singh) there was a blazing inferno to reinvigorate the Sikhs. He wanted every Sikh to be both religiously and politically aware. He wanted the community to take the Khalsa form and move towards Khalsa Raj.

Once, he (Bhai Fauja Singh) was in vairaag and he went from Amritsar to MachheevaaRaa, near the Satluj river and went into Bhai Hardial Singh and Darshan Singh’s fields to do solitary simran. Those Singhs respected him very much and when he wanted to return after spending quite a bit of time there, they would not let him leave. They were even willing to give him some land there. When I found out about this, I reminded him, “you yourself used to tell me that across the river in Gazneepur you have some land and used to suggest making a farm there to start Sikhi camps…”

He liked my suggestion. This is how Khalsa Farm was started.

In the Farm, all the Singhs woke up around 2am and did amrit vela. After that there was keertan, gatka practice, etc. that lasted the entire day. He (Bhai Fauja Singh) used to jap naam very loudly. When the camp concluded, all the Singhs would be sad to be separating and departing and would even begin to weep. They did not feel like leaving.

Fauja Singh used to say that this was the place of Shaheed Singhs from the smaller Ghalooghaaraa. Many other Singhs also felt the presence and patrol of Shaheed Singhs. The location was very peaceful. Because it was isolated, it was very good for simran, keertan and gurbaaNee.

He had immeasurable desire to see Sikhi grow and blossom but Vahiguru did not give enough time…

? While staying with Bhai Sahib, can you tell us about any unforgettable memories?

-There are so many memories. Actually, the entire time spent with him was unforgettable. I will never forget them…even now I feel his presence. He had such a personality that everyone was attracted to him. He was always surrounded by both worldly people and religious people. I too couldn’t help but be effected by him.

There was a pull towards him, but I did not even think of marriage with him. I did not tie a keskee back then, but I did do keertan. I also went to the Akhand Keertanee Jatha’s smaagams. But I had no desire to be married. In truth, I was quite afraid of household life. To take care of children and prepare food was no easy taks for me because I had very little desire to do those sort of things.

Once, he (Bhai Fauja Singh) saw me doing keertan at Bhai Bakhtaavar Singh (Chayharta)’s house and asked Bhai Bakhtaavar Singh about me. When Bhai Bakhtaavar Singh’s Singhnee asked me, I said in cry clear words that I don’t know much about cooking or other housekeeping and I’m very afraid of raising children and because of this I have decided to not get married.

He replied that he already prepares his own food and he didn’t feel any need to have children and that all Gursikh’s children were like his own and he gave them just as much love.

After this, my mother and father saw him. A year after our engagement ardaas, we had our anand kaaraj. During this time, I began to tie a dastaar. He kept both his promises: for his entire life he made his own food.

? Will you tell us about any words Bhai Fauja Singh spoke before his martyrdom about the future?

-Quite a bit before his martyrdom, he began to say that there was another battle to be fought. It was about this time that S. Gajinder Singh’s poem “Gangoo dee Rooh” (Gangoo’s spirit) was published. He would read the lines from this poem many times:

“There’s Gandhi, there’s Nehru and there’s Nehru’s daughter. They are all just Gangoo, what else is there here?”

He said they would try to bring Sikhi down with any way possible and that to stop them, every Singh would have to be shastardhaari (carry weapons). He would say to me many times, “Every time you’re left behind. And then I have to take birth again for you. This time I won’t leave you behind.”

Every day, at least ten times a day he would say to me, “Don’t cry when you see my body…this is going to happen. Accept BhaaNaa. “

One day, he came to get me from my school. My fellow teachers were with me and they also respected him a lot (this was April 11th). He said to my fellow teachers, “Bhain jee, the divine call is coming. I’m going to leave…and I’m ready.”

Once we went to meet Bhai Avtaar Singh of KhuDaa(n) Kalaa(n) and he too said, “Bibi, me and Bhai Fauja Singh are going to leave very soon. You should keep working…” At that time I didn’t understand what he meant but when it happened, only then did I understand what he was trying to say.

He used to also say, “If the Sikh Kaum became solid in BaaNee, BaaNaa, sevaa and simran, Satguru jee is willing to give them raj even today.” He used to say that as soon as the Kaum becomes pure, Khalsa Raj will come.

? What was the relationship like between Bhai Sahib and Sant Giani Kartar Singh jee Bhindravale?

-There was a very loving relationship. Sant Giani Kartar Singh jee used to have a lot of love and respect for him. He would spread his hazooriya on the ground for him (Bhai Sahib) to sit on.

It was in those days that some mischievous people disrespected Sree Guru Granth Sahib jee in Gurdwara Guru Kay Mehal and he (Bhai Sahib) had arrived there along with his companions. The incensed mob threw rocks and bottles of acid at the Singhs. Their clothes burnt off but their bodies were alright. After this incident, we along with the Bhindravala Jatha took out a march through Amritsar and at this time Sant jee gave his full support.

It was also at this time that we would go to Mehta Chownk to do Akhand Keertan. Sant Giani Kartar Singh was very opposed to human Gurudoms and because of this, he (Bhai Sahib) had a lot of love for him. To stop the Narakhdari attacks, we started a common front.

And in addition, he also had a lot of love for Sant Baba Harnam Singh Rampur Khaeray vaalay. One time Sant jee came from Khaera Sahib to Sree Amritsar and his avasthaa was very vairagi. I met him in Guru Ram Das Saraa(n) and I asked him to come to our home. Sant jee had not eaten for four days.

He (Bhai Sahib) said to Baba jee, “Baba jee, please give my message to Guru Gobind Singh jee” Baba jee replied, “Alright son, I’ll give it.” What that message was, I didn’t know nor did he ask.

The next day Sant jee said, “Son, I gave your message to Guru Sahib. Guru Sahib has said, “So Sikh sakhaa bandhap hai bhai jo gur kay bhaanay vich aavai…”

At that time I didn’t understand what Guru Sahib’s bhaaNaa was. When he became shaheed though, I understood everything about what bhaaNaa Sant jee was talking about.

? At the time of Bhai Sahib’s martyrdom, what do you think Sant Giani Jarnail Singh jee Bhindranvale’s mental state was?

-I felt that because of his (Bhai Sahib’s) shaheedee along with the shaheedee of his companions, Sant jee was feeling a lot of pain. The pain in his heart was visible on his face. He used to say that he was indebted to these Singhs who had spilled their blood for Shabad Guru. “I will pay off this debt by spilling my own blood. The whole world will be left watching…”

? Usually in the media and in the religious-political groups, you are presented as having been opposed to Sant jee. How much truth is there in this?

-There is no truth in this at all. I truly respected Sant Giani Jarnail Singh jee from my heart and will continue to do so. He used to have a lot of respect for me as well. I remember that when we used to meet in the Parkarma, he would say Fateh first and would say over and over, “Well Bibi jee, are you well? Is there any seva…if you need anything let me know. My head bows before you and because you are the wife of a Shaheed, I respect you from my heart.”

? This year is the 20th anniversary of the Blue Star Operation. Will you share your experiences with the Sangat?

-During Operation Blue Star, I was here inside (Sree Darbaar Sahib). On June 4th, at amrit vela, the bombardment began. On June 5th, I was successful in reaching Darbar Sahib to matha taek. There, I met Ragi Amrik Singh who was blind. I said to him, “Bhai sahib jee, keertan should not stop in Guru Ram Das jee’s home.” He agreed and even though there was bombardment, he kept doing keertan. In the end, he was martyred after being hit by a bullet near the Lachi Baer. We all became used to the sounds of bullets. We came and went to Darbar Sahib in a hail of bullets. My younger sister Paramjit Kaur was also here. She did the seva of tending to injured Singhs. She gave water to the fighting Singhs and in the end she was martyred by the chhabeel (water station). One Singh came from the Babbar’s side and took me to the Saraa(n). I didn’t want to go but he forcibly took me.

One thing is for sure, everything that happened (all the planning and fortifications) can be attributed to Gen. Shabegh Singh’s mind. That amazing warrior-General did something that the whole world will remember. I bow my head before the bravery and daring of Sant Jarnail Singh and his companion Singhs. They ended up being great shaheeds of the Kaum.

? What would you like to say about the Sant-vaad growing under the name of Sikhism in Punjab today?

- In truth, “Sant” is not the name of some type of special dress, it is the name for the nature of a Gurmukh who has lived his life according to GurbaaNee. Today there are a lot of Sant Babas in the Kaum who talk about the Guru. They attach the sangat to the Guru Ghar and they are to be congratulated. But if someone attaches others to himself, then he is dangerous. The Kaum today needs Mahapurakhs. If they are like Baba Harnam Singh Khaeray vaalay, they are welcom. But if they are frauds and hypocrites, then the Sikhs must begin to think, because it is they themselves that give bundles of money to the Sants.

? Will you tell us something about Bhai Fauja Singh Trust?

-That is our home. We don’t charge any child. We enroll four types of children: 1) Those effected by the Punjab problem including the children of Kharkoos and the children of those killed by kharkoos. We don’t discriminate. No matter what side that child came from, he can be enrolled. 2) Orphan children with no mother or father. 3) Widow families and the children of women who have been widowed for whatever reason. 4) Those children from poor families who want to study and are smart.

We don’t take help from any government agency. I want that this house becomes the children’s own and orphaned children consider it their own home.

? In the end, do you have any message for the Panth’s youth?

-This is a difficult question. They are themselves wise. I just have one request, “Man maeray satgur kai bhaaNai chal. Nij ghar vaseh(n) amrit peeveh(n) taa(n) such laheh(n) mahul.”