Friday, 17 August, 2007

Letter From A Sikh Friend

I was standing at Jalandhar station when my attention went towards a Sikh youth standing near me wearing a black turban having a long beard and wearing a kirpan over his shirt looking similar to the classic terrorist pictures made popular by Bollywood movies & the Bhindranwale era.

After a while, one local train arrived, which was totally packed. The Sikh youth tried to get onto the train but failed to do so. Just then a voice was heard from the back coach 'Sardarji Barah Baj gaye' (Sir it's 12 o'clock!). The Sikh youth looked over at that voice maker who was a young mischievous type of person and instead of showing any anger smiled at him. The smile made was so enigmatic that it seemed as if some type of truth lies behind it. Not able to resist my temptation, I walked towards him and asked him why did he smile at that person who teased him. The Sikh youth replied, 'He was not teasing me but was asking for my help'. I was surprised with these words and he told me that there was a big history behind that which one should know. I was eager to know the history and the Sikh youth narrated:

During 17th Century, when Hindustan was ruled by Mughals, all the Hindu people were humiliated and were treated like animals. Mughals treated the Hindu women as their own property and were forcing all Hindus to convert to Islam and even used to behead people if they were refused to convert. That time, our ninth Guru, Sri Guru Teg Bahadurji came forward, in
response to a request by some Kashmiri Pandits to fight against all these cruel activities.

Guruji told the Mughal emperor that if he could succeed in converting him to Islam, all the Hindus would accept the same. But, if he failed, he should stop all those activities. The Mughal emperor happily agreed to that but even after lots of torture to Guruji and his fellow members, he failed to convert him to Islam and Guruji along with his other four fellow members, were tortured and sacrificed their lives in Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi )...That's why the Gurudwara there is named "Sheesh
Ganj"(Sheesh means head). Since the Mughals were unable to convert them to Islam they were beheaded. Thus Guruji sacrificed his life for the protection of Hindu religion. Can anybody lay down his life and that too for the protection of another religion? This is the reason he is still remembered as "Hind Ki Chaddar" (Shield of India). For the sake of whom he had sacrificed his life, none of the Hindus came forward to lift his body, fearing that they would also be assassinated. Seeing this incident our 10th Guruji, Sri Guru Gobind Singhji (Son of Guru Teg Bahadarji) founder of Khalsa made a resolution that he would convert his followers to such human beings who would not be able to hide themselves and could be easily located
in thousands.

At the start, the Sikhs were very few in numbers as they were fighting against the Mughal emperors. At that time, Nadir Shah raided Delhi in the year 1739 and looted Hindustan and was carrying lot of Hindustan treasures and nearly 2200 Hindu women along with him. The news spread like wild-fire and was heard by Sardar Jassa Singh who was the Commander of the
Sikh army at that time. He decided to attack Nadir Shah's Kafila on the same midnight. He did so and rescued all the Hindu women and they were safely sent to their homes. It didn't happen only once but thereafter whenever any Abdaalis or Iranis had attacked and looted Hindustan and were trying to carry the treasures and Hindu women along with them for selling them in Abdal markets, the Sikh army although fewer in numbers but brave hearted, always attacked them at midnight, 12 O'clock and rescued the Hindu women.

After that time whenever there occurred any similar incidents, people started to contact the Sikh army for their help and Sikhs used to attack the raiders at Midnight, 12 O'clock. Nowadays, these "smart people" and some Sikh enemies who are afraid of Sikhs, have spread these words that at 12 O'clock, the Sikhs go out of their senses. This historic fact was the reason which made me smile over that person's ignorance as I thought that his Mother or Sister would be in trouble and wants my
help and was reminding me by shouting aloud, 'Sardarji Barah Baj Gaye'

I just thought these little known facts about India should be brought out to our readers. Would love your feedback.

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