Bhagat Singh, Rajguru & Sukhdev – still not awarded ‘Martyr’ status

We have seen true patriots over centuries past. We have seen soldiers die for their love of this great country. There have been martyrs and there have been heroes. And then there were Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev…

We have seen true patriots over centuries past. We have seen soldiers die for their love of this great country. There have been martyrs and there have been heroes. And then there were Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev…

What was it or rather what is it about them that makes them our undisputed role models? We have been reading about many brave hearts across our history who willingly and with a wide smile on their faces looked death in the eye and numerous of them accepted it as their fate just for their love of India. Still… the way Bhagat Singh embraced death for the love of nation… is something that gives me goosebumps.

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Born on 28th September 1907, Bhagat Singh came to be known as a prominent freedom fighter. People don’t know that even his father, Kishan Singh was a true patriot and he was in jail at the time of Bhagat’s Singh’s birth. His uncle, Sardar Ajit Singh too was a great Indian freedom fighter. He established the Indian Patriot’s Association. It will only be fair to say that the love for their nation flowed in their very veins and patriotism was in their blood.

Bhagat Singh was the voice of the young India then and he had very clear notions and thoughts about the current situation of the country.

While opposing Simon’s Commission, Lala Lajpat Rai with Pandit Madan Mohan had started a silent protest march in Lahore. It was during this protest march that Superintendent of Police James Scott hit Lala Lajpat Rai repeatedly with lathi that caused his death. Bhagat Singh was an eye witness to this act and decided to kill Scott as revenge. But dues to some identity misunderstanding, he killed a junior officer.

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On April 8, 1929, Bhagat Singh, along with freedom fighter Batukeshwar Dutt, hurled two bombs inside the Central Legislative Assembly in New Delhi to protest against an unfavourable Bill. He willingly got arrested while shouting the slogans of ‘Inquilab Zindabad ‘. 

We know him as “Shaheed Bhagat Singh” because he was one of the youngest to have sacrificed his life for the freedom of our country. He was a prominent leader of the “Hindustan Social republican Association” and was hanged till death by the British on 23rd March, 1931. But sadly, Indian government has not yet accorded Bhagat SIngh or Rajguru or Sukhdev the status of martyrs!

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There can never be any match or words to describe the role of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru in India’s freedom struggle. Their courage, intellect, dedication, commitment, sincerity, selflessness, patriotism, non-communal stance, and love for the downtrodden makes them an inspiration for generations to come. I request PM Narendra Modi Ji to accord them the status of martyrs. That would be the best tribute to their selfless sacrifices. #JaiHind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rabindranath Tagore paid tribute to Sikh heroism through his poems

Not many people know that Nobel laureate and revered poet Rabindranath Tagore Ji was inspired by Sikhism and the valour of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji so much that he wrote three beautiful poems titled ”Gobind Guru”, ”Veer Guru” and ”The Last Lesson” on Guru Sahib.
He has also written a composition titled ”Bandi Veer” about Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and an essay on Guru Nanak”s Sacha Sauda at the age of 21 years for a Bengali children”s magazine called ”Balak”. Isn’t it amazing – Banda Bahadur never set foot in Bengal, but Tagore’s work enshrined his name in Bengali literature.

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I read in a book that Rabindranath Tagore had studied the Sikh Religion deeply and was very impressed by the splendid philosophy of Sikhism and the Sikh way of life. The fact that he returned his Knighthood back to Britishers hen the ‘Jallianwala Bagh Massacre’ took place shows how much respect he had for Sikhs and how deeply he was pained at the way Sikhs were treated.

I feel that Tagore must have bonded with Sikhism from his childhood days when he visited Amritsar with his father. Marinating in the peaceful ambiance of Sri Harmandir Sahib must have cemented his bond with the Sikh legacy. One can even see the impact of Gurbani in Tagore’s own poetry like –

“Jodi e amaro hridaya –

duaro bandha rahe go

Kabhu dwar bhenge

Tumi asho, more prané,

Phiria jao na, Prabhu!”

I want to tell people that the  inspirational poem on Banda Singh Bahadur written by Rabindranath Tagore is taught in Bengali schools. Ironically, it has never been translated into Hindi or English or even Punjabi and is not a part of school curriculum in North India!

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As I get ready to visit West Bengal, I pay tribute to the great poet and social reformer of India. His legendary work and beautiful compositions are timeless treasures of our nation.

Is Kejriwal unaware about the truth of Tipu Sultan?

Why has Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal chosen to put portrait of Tipu Sultan (The controversial figure- The Tyrant of Mysore) among 70 Indian heroes as freedom fighter at the Portrait Gallery in Delhi Assembly? Is he unaware of the black deeds of Tipu Sultan or does he wish to gain something like please a particular community by doing so?

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Let me tell you how history describes Tipu Sultan as – A tyrannical king who was neither patriot nor secular. During his rule, he persecuted minorities (especially Hindu & Christians) particularly in Coorg, Calicut, Cochin, Malabar, Bednur and Mangalore.

Isn’t Kejriwal aware that Tipu Sultan himself had written to Burduz Zamaun Khan on 19 January 1790, “Don’t you know I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam“? Is Kejriwal so ignorant that he forgot history narration how during the siege of Mangalore, Tipu’s soldiers daily exposed the heads of many innocent Brahmins within sight from the fort for the Zamorin and his Hindu followers to see.

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Let me also tell Kejriwal that famous Hindu Temples -Thalipparampu and Thrichambaram of Chirackal Taluqa, Ponmeri Temple of Badakara, and Thiruvangatu of Tellicherry were smashed by Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan declared his kingdom as Islamic State and implemented Sharia rule & calendar.

In Malabar, the main targets of Tipu Sultan’s atrocities were Hindus and Hindu temples. According to Lewis B. Boury, the atrocities committed by Tipu Sultan in Malabar were far more barbarous than those committed by the notorious Mahmud of Ghazni, Alauddin Khalji, and Nadir Shah. In fact, Tipu Sultan has been called “Aurangzeb of the South” but cunning politicians like Arvind Kejriwal continue painting him as a hero, patriot, and freedom fighter. All for a few votes, Kejriwal Ji?

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He changed the names of historical cities & villages and gave them Islamic colours like Mangalore or Mangalapuri was changed to Jalalabad, Mysore to Nazarabad, Bepur to Sultanpatanam, Cannanore to Kusanabad, Gooty to Faiz-Hissar, Dharwar to Quarshed-Sawad, Dindigul to Khaliqabad, Ratnagiri to Mustafabad, Kozhikode to Islamabad, and Dindigul to Khaliqabad.

Putting his portrait as a freedom fighter in Delhi Vidhan Sabha gallery has badly hurt the sentiments of Indians. Kejriwal Ji, it is time to rectify history and pay tribute to real heroes like Baba Baghel Singh, Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, Prithviraj Chauhan, Porus who fought against foreign invaders- Muhammad Gauri, Mughals, Nadir Shah, Ahmed Shah Abdali etc. Name of Bhai Randhir Singh should also be included as he was one of the leading freedom fighters against British.

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The story behind Maghi Jod Mela at Muktsar

Do you know the story how the famous city of Punjab, Muktsar, got its name? Let me tell you this beautiful story of valour and sacrifice that not only resulted in naming Khidrana as Muktsar but also is the reason why Maghi Jod Mela is commemorated every year at Mukstar.

Do you know the story how the famous city of Punjab, Muktsar, got its name? Let me tell you this beautiful story of valour and sacrifice that not only resulted in naming Khidrana as Muktsar but also is the reason why Maghi Jod Mela is commemorated every year at Mukstar.

Maghi Jod Mela is celebrated in the memory of forty Sikh martyrs who are also called Chalis Mukte. These forty brave men had once deserted Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji under pressure from Mughals at Anandpur Sahib. They had done so by giving a Bedahwa, the letter disclaiming them being a Sikh of the Guru. But then they ended up meeting with Mai Bhago Ji who made them realize their mistake and helped them take the corrective action.

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The forty brave men rejoined Guru Sahib and stood firm in their battle against Mughals which was led by Wazir Khan in 1705 December.

This battle was fought near the dhab or lake of Khidrana, also called Isharsar, on 29 December 1705 against a Mughal force who was desperately chasing Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. These brave 40 men stood like a wall and gave time to Guru Sahib to escape the army.

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History narrates that when Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji was collecting the dead bodies for cremation, He found one of them named Mahan Singh still clinging to life. Guru Sahib took him in his embrace, and sat down with him. Mahan Singh tearful and exhausted, requested Guru Sahib to forgive them and destroy the Bedahwa.

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Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji blessed the martyr and owing to Guru Sahib’s blessings, these martyrs were known as Chali Mukte, the Forty Immortals.

So because of this story, Khidrana came to known as Muktsar which means ‘the Pool of Liberation.’

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Every year, pilgrims visit Muktsar on Maghi and take a dip in the sacred water tanks of Muktsar. Maghi mela is held at Muktsar Sahib every year to pay obeisance to the forty Sikh martyrs.

It’s time to review our history books…

Our history books arefull of details and discussions on Delhi Sultanate, Mughal rulers, Mughal architecture and the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian freedom struggle. Doesn’t this incomplete and biased history bother you?

Each one of us, despite our dislike for history, remembers the lessons we read in class 9 and 10 in our NCERT history books. They are full of details and discussions on Delhi Sultanate, Mughal rulers, Mughal architecture and the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian freedom struggle. Doesn’t this incomplete and biased history bother you?

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Why do our history books only talk about what Gandhi did? Why don’t we learn about what Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chandrashekhar Azad and Maharana Pratap did for the freedom? Most of the history books don’t even mention what Sikhs did for the freedom of India.

Our history books don’t even narrate the story of Battle of Saragarhi which is considered an iconic event when 21 Sikhs faced over 10,000 Pashtuns at Saragarhi and won.

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It has been rightly said that History is written by the winners and the winners in Indian History have been foreign invaders. First it were foreign invaders and later the Britishers. Though Britishers were the recent invaders but our history is highly biased in favor of Islamic rulers as they left a very strong legacy and culture in India.

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How will our children come to know about the valour and sacrifices of vernacular heroes if our history books don’t even mention that?

Noticing this void, I had requested Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi Ji to direct NCERT to include a chapter on the life of Chaar Sahibzaade (sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji were lovingly called Sahibzaade). My request has been accepted and soon our NCERT history books will include a chapter on the story of Chaar Sahibzaade and their unparalleled sacrifice.

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But this is not just about Sikh history or Chaar Sahibzaade. Right now, our youngsters are facing a worse identity crisis and they need to discover their heroes. They should be made aware about countless Bhagat Singhs, Maharana Prataps and Rani Laxmi Bais.

If we do not raise our voice now, our kids will be left to imagine that the only fascinating part of Indian history was centered around Mughals and they will have to read through Google about heroes like Baba Banda Singh Bahadur!

 

Paying tribute to Diwan Todar Mal

Todar Mal did not shun his responsibility and proved his love for Guru Sahib and his family by happily giving away his wealth.

Paying tribute to the supreme sacrifice of Chaar Sahibzaade would be incomplete if I do not remember the selfless deeds of Diwan Todar Mal.

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Diwan Todar Mall was a wealthy Hindu merchant of Sirhind who devoted his life to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib by heart and in spirit. It was he who performed the cremation of the three martyred bodies of the two younger sons Sahibzaada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh along with their grandmother, Mata Gujri Ji.

It so happened that when Sahibzade were bricked alive by the Mughal authorities on the 12 December 1705 for not renouncing their faith, Mata Gujri Ji also left for holy abode owing to the grief and shock of losing her beloved grandsons. Mughal authorities refused to hand over their bodies saying that these could not be cremated on government land.

The greedy Mughals asked for covering the required ground for cremation with gold coins to get the release of the three bodies.

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In those times landowners around the Sirhind Fort were scared of Mughals so they would not permit him to hold the cremation in their fields, until one Chaudhari Atta agreed to sell him a plot. Diwan Todar Mal Ji then produced the gold coins and bought the piece of land he needed for the cremation. Historians estimate that Diwan Sahab gave nearly 7,800 gold coins to buy the required land.

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Sikh community is indebted to Diwan Todal Mal who performed the last rites for the three. Todar Mal did not shun his responsibility and proved his love for Guru Sahib and his family by happily giving away his wealth.

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NCERT to include a chapter on Chaar Sahibzaade in its textbooks

What motivated me to take up this mission is the zeal to make the next generation aware of  supreme sacrifice made by Chaar Sahibzaade for the nation and humanity.

Every time I shared some post or video about the story of Chaar Sahibzaade, friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook would express their desire to know more. Many often said that their story should be taught as a part of our history books. Today, I am so glad that from next academic year, NCERT books will include a chapter narrating the story of Chaar Sahibzaade.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has agreed to consider inclusion of a chapter on ‘Char Sahibzaade’ of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji in its syllabus from next year.This was communicated by NCERT.

WhatsApp Image 2017-12-22 at 4.31.00 PM The credit for the same goes to out Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narinder Modi Ji. I had urged him to issue suitable directions for accomplish this task.

In a communiqué written to me on the issue, the Secretary of the NCERT Major Harsh Kumar stated that Director NCERT has appreciated my concern regarding inclusion of story of ‘Chaar Sahibzaade’ for their unparallel valour and supreme sacrifice in India.  He informed that new policy of education is in progress which will give direction for development of National curriculum framework, syllabi and curricular material for schools.  His letter states that this suggestion will be  placed before the expert committee/text book development committee while developing syllabi and curricular material for social science  in general and history in  particular.

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What motivated me to take up this mission is the zeal to make the next generation aware of  supreme sacrifice made by these four Sahibzaadas for the nation and humanity. There is no parallel in the world of the sacrifice they made at such a tender age. That’s why it is imperative for the children of the nation to know how and when  incidents of historical importance took place which shaped the destiny of the country.

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I now urge all the education boards of different states to include chapters on history  of supreme sacrifice in their syllabi so that children studying in these states can get equipped with these incidents of historical importance.

I also seek support of all in requesting our PM Modi Ji to consider dedicating Children’s Day to the life of Chaar Sahibzaade. That would be true tribute to their supreme sacrifice.

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