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!

 

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Setu – The signage now shows the great warrior’s name

The very idea behind naming roads and monuments after great personalities is to keep reminding the younger lot about our glorious heroes of the past

Today, we did something that delighted our hearts – we ensured putting signage boards in the Delhi flyover at Barapulla which Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convener Mr. Arvind Kejriwal had promised to rename after the legend national hero Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

The important thing to note is –

  • CM Kejriwal made the announcement of changing the name of Barapulla flyover to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Setu before Punjab elections.

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  • A full page AD was given announcing the name change; it has been more than a year but the changed signage was never put despite my repeated reminders and letters.

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  • CM Kejriwal is an habitual offender and a liar who always forgets his promises once the elections season is over.

Many people including Arvind Kejriwal fans asked me that since the name exists in Google Map, what is the need of a Signage or a road side board?

Let me answer – The reason we name roads and monuments after great personalities is to keep reminding the younger lot about our glorious heroes of the past. I am very sure whenever a family crosses Kautilya Road or Baba Kharak Singh Marg or Tilak Marg, children sitting with you will ask who was Kautilya or Baba Kharak Singh and so on. And that’s how conversation about our rich past starts.

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The same has been the motive in my mind when we ensured putting up the signage highlighting Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Setu. I want more and more people to read about Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, the great warrior who defeated Mughals and ensured justice for the masses.

Mr.Kejriwal, by ignoring to change the signage has tried to belittle the great national hero about whom Pm Sh. Narinder Modi Ji himself had said that nation owes it survival to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur ji and he bows his head before this great personality.

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Keeping the sentiments of the people in mind, we have today put up signage of renaming this bridge Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Setu and hence after today it will be known by this name.

I would like to say that making an announcement is one thing; following it up with action at ground level is another! Until Mr Kejriwal walks the talk, he would be called a manipulator and a fraud… by every Delhite, sooner or later!

5 things that make Baba Banda Singh Bahadur the greatest Sikh warrior!

Not many people know about the valour of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur; a fact I truly feel sorry about. Our History books should be narrating the stories of great warriors born in India who made Mughals and Britishers dread the sons of soil.

Not many people know about the valour of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur; a fact I truly feel sorry about. Our History books should be narrating the stories of great warriors born in India who made Mughals and Britishers dread the sons of soil. Instead, our children end up reading about the lavish ways of Akbar the great and Delhi Sultanate.

I am sharing this piece just to make Indian aware about Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi Ji has also spoken in length on Baba Banda Singh Bahadur when the country celebrated the great warrior’s 300th martyrdom at New Delhi in 2016. PM Narendra Modi Ji also took part in the commemoration releasing a book and souvenir on his life.

Take a look at five most amazing aspects of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur’s life –

  1. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur had become a bairagi as he renounced his comfortable life and left his home at the age of 15. It was Dasham Pitah Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji who created an awareness in him that he is a Sikh and a warrior and he should fight for the people and justice. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji gifted Banda Singh five arrows, one Nagara, five Khalsa Singhs and a handwritten message for Sangat. Their meeting happened at Nanded.

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2. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur created a Sikh army of warriors and  succeeded in capturing back large part of Punjab by defeating Mughals in the Battle of Samana. He established Sikh rule and minted coins in the name of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

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3. The biggest conquest for Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was the victory in Sirhind where  he defeated Wazir Khan, the cruel Governor of Sirhind who ordered the execution of Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh Ji in 1705. Historians account that Wazir Khan was beheaded by the Sikh army in the battle of Chappar Chiri in May 1710. Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP led Punjab Govt built a monument, Fateh Burj, at Chappar Chiri to pay tribute to the great warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

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4. He not only defeated the Mughals with his strength but also with his wit. When Mughal army laid a siege at Lohgarh to capture Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, he fooled the Mughals by making his General Gulab Singh dress like him. The plan worked and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur escaped the siege successfully.

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5. It is said that emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was very scared of Baba Banda Singh’s valour. His army succeeded in capturing Baba Banda Singh in 1715 along with his son and many Sikh warriors. The Mughal army bound all the captives head and foot in chains and paraded them all the way to Lahore. Mughals inflicted goriest torture on Sikh soldiers and asked them to accept Islam. Upon refusal, Mughal army pulled out the Sikh warriors’ eyes and chopped off their hands and feet. Mughals humiliated Baba Banda Singh by carving out the heart of his son and forcing it into Baba Banda Singh’s mouth. Despite such torture, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur didn’t betray the spirit of Sikhsim.

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Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has installed his huge statue near the Mandi House metro station in New Delhi. Delhi govt led by Arvind Kejriwal had refused to extend any help for the same so the land was provided by Punjab Government led by S. Parkash Singh Badal Ji and the statue was also gifted by him.

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No words can suffice his gallantry and committed administration. If we truly wish to pay a tribute to this great Sikh warrior, we should narrate his story to our children.

Stories & actions of Mughals which get no mention in history books!

The fanaticism, cruelty and dogmatic behaviour of Mughals has been known worldwide; still we continue to call them the great rulers in our History books – a fact I truly dislike!

From calling Akbar ‘the great ruler’ to naming Shah Jahan as a connoisseur of Architecture… History books in India paint a very rosy picture about Mughals. The truth, however, is quite the opposite. Mughals were barbaric and discriminating. Their blood-thirsty approach and behaviour is known to the rest of the world yet children in our own country are told that right from Babur to Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan were fair and competent rulers.

I am sharing some of the eye-opening truths about Mughals which I gathered from Sikh history and the books written by travellers other than those who were funded by Mughals during that time.

Mughal emperor Jahangir himself wrote in his autobiography Tuzk-e-Jahangiri that too many people were becoming persuaded by Guru Arjan’s teachings and he was scared of Guru Sahib’s presence. He forced Sri Guru Arjan Dev ji to convert into Islam and upon Guru Sahib’s refusal, he tortured and executed Guru Sahib. Sheer cowardice of a Mughal ruler!

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Even Akbar was responsible for the massacre of 30,000 captives during the Siege of Chittorgarh (20 October 1567 – 24 February 1568) followed by Rajput women committing Jauhar.

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Akbar was a womanizer who had more than 300 wives. The actual number of women in the harem was nearer to 5,000. Many of these were older women, but there were also young servant girls, or Amazons of Russia or Abyssinia as armed guards, all with the status only of slaves.

Aurangzeb, the cruelest of all, destroyed temples and Gurdwaras in India. It was he who ordered Brahmin Pandits of Kashmir to convert to Islam. Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur came forward to protect Kashmiri Pandits from the torture of Aurangzeb.

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The sad part is – our History books do not even mention about the supreme sacrifice of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur for the protection of the most fundamental of human rights – the right of a person to freely practice his or her religion without interference or hindrance.

Mughals were known for their inhumane torturing methods. Such was their cruelty that they made Baba Banda Singh Bahadur watch his own son’s heart getting carved out by the executioners which was thrust into Baba Banda Singh’s mouth!

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Mughals were known for destroying temples and Gurdwaras and erecting mosques in their place like Mughal emperor Shah Jahan desecrated the sacred Sri Baoli Sahib in Lahore, Pakistan and erected a mosque in its place. Babri Masjid follows the same pattern.

The fanaticism, cruelty and dogmatic behaviour of Mughals has been known worldwide; still we continue to call them the great rulers in our History books – a fact I truly dislike!

Let us demand CBSE to change the curriculum and at least include real heroes of our history rather than these inhumane rulers.