Yesterday, 29th April 2011, whole world was gripped with fever of Royal wedding, wedding of Prince William of British Royal Family(second in line of succession to British Throne) . While most of the people enjoyed the wedding, I was feeling uncomfortable with all the euphoria, all the hype around this wedding. To be honest, I don’t have anything personal against the wedding or any of the people who were part of celebrations, but The Sikh inside me was bit disturbed and angry.
We Sikhs had a strong Kingdom, a strong Army, a vibrant and developed economy, Respect, honour, freedom, and pride, everything a free soul can dream of. Our elders, after a struggle of 80 years had established a Kingdom which was known as Khalsa Raaj, and whose government was known as Sarkar-Khalsa. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh ruled over Punjab and over hearts of Punjabis. But this Kingdom in North-Western India was the only which British could not win and enslave, while entire sub-continent lied in their feet. So, the honour-less, soul-less Generals were bribed and bought, Khalsa Fauj lost the battles it was destined to win, and on 10th February 1846, last pillar of Khalsa Raaj, Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala fell in battle of Sabhrawan. British Army marched to Lahore, Kesri Nishan was taken down and Union Jack hoisted over Lahore Fort, 5-year old innocent Dalip Singh was taken into ‘care’ by British, his helpless Mother Jind Kaur, beloved Queen of Shere-Punjab was arrested, dishonoured and humiliated in Jail and then sent away to a Jail in Uttar Pradesh in modern day India. From there, she would run away to Nepal, stay there for 12 years, cry day in and out in memory of her beloved son. She lost her eyesight. It’s a painful, long and heart-rending story of separation, humiliation, suffering, betrayals and Tears.
Well, we lost Our Kingdom to British Empire (which is still intact, full of its glory and grandeur, royalty and Pride). From that day, 10th February 1846 started a long story of bravery, chivalry, sacrifice and slavery. Free Souls, like Baba Maharaj Singh, Baba Raam Singh, Sardar Sher Singh and Chattar Singh Attari were captured and sent away to exile when they tried to free Punjab. Kookas, Babbar Akalis, Bhagat Singhs and Kartar Singhs were blown with canons and hanged to death when they fought for freedom. We Sikhs tried our best, but were always failed by those who were leading us. Don’t know why it happened to us Sikhs only? Why we had and still have so many Dhian Singh and Laal Singh Dogras, Teja Singh Bahmans, Tara Singh and Baldev Singhs, Harchand Singhs and Parkash Singh Badals. List of traitors is very long, very long, and interesting is the fact that we have been led by traitors from 1846 till today, more interesting is the fact that we know Traitors rule over us, but we have become so helpless that we are unable to remove them, throw them away from body of Panth. They are like Leeches, sucking blood of Panth, but Panth was and is so helpless that we are unable to remove those leeches.
In all this darkness, 132 years after Shaheedi of Sardar Shaam Singh Attariwala, Panth saw a ray of Hope, a breeze of fresh air, an atom of Life- Sant Baba Jarnail Singh ji Khalsa Bhindranwale (MHSICK).Santji woke up this nation of Lions, infused it with Spirit of Kurbaani, Sewa and Azaadi. It looked as if a Jathedar from 18th century had descended on Earth with His Misal. It was he who shook us, told us what Honour is, what freedom is and what value of Freedom is. I don’t have any words to describe him, Just that ‘May Waheguru keep him in Chardi Kala, wherever He is’.
Inspired by his words, thousands got ready to walk on Path of Freedom, illuminated by blood of Shaheeds and Light of Sant Jarnail Singh ji.
The day was yesterdays, 29th April, but a different year and different century. On 29th April 1986, Khalsa Panth declared its Independence, and declared its War of Freedom. This struggle of Khalsa Panth was to re-create the Khalsa Raaj of Sarkar Khalsa, which was destroyed 140 years ago by British Empire. This was the war of brave hearts, war of wronged, war of born revolutionaries against ruthless Indian Empire, descendant of British Empire. Panth was alone in its struggle, with only support of Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. No military or economic or political power of world came to our help. Not even UN came to listen to our plight, because we our lives, our freedom didn’t matter to those who know just about business.
All this didn’t happen much time back, just a few decades ago, guns were blazing in Punjab and innocents were killed daily in hundreds. Lovers of Freedom were captured, tortured like beasts and killed like animals. Men, young and old were killed. Women were arrested, tortured and raped in police stations and interrogation centres of Punjab. So the blood flew, flew this much that a sixth river of blood flew on land of Punjab. 250,000 innocent Sikhs were killed in police stations, on banks of rivers and drains, in fields of Punjab, those very fields which had given food to Hungry India, filled empty stomachs of Indians and sufficed it with Food grains. Those hard working farmers of Punjab were killed in their very fields.
Human rights activists shouted at top of their voice to people of world, to nations, to so called custodians of Human Rights, to Royals and Powerful, but no one came to listen to our plight. No one came to share our suffering, to ask what was happening to us. Leave aside Indian police, courts, human rights groups, media, politicians, they had no reason to share our pain as we were and are nothing more than slaves to them, but what hurt was, no one in so called democratic, developed western world raised a voice against atrocities and injustice being committed against us.
A time came; Freedom fighters and the great Generals leading them were all killed, by bullet, by deception, by treachery. Freedom Movement, which had begun to fulfil Ardas Khalsa Panth, did at Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib on 29th April 1986 come to a standstill. We weren’t killed by just bullets of enemies, we were killed by our own, who looked like us, we were killed by those who looked like our brothers , joined our ranks, but shot us at first given moment. Raavan had one brother who deserted him and led to his downfall, we had thousands of them, majority of whom are today well- setteled in western countries, enjoying the riches they accumulated from blood of Shaheed brothers. Indian Empire won, its police and army, its brutality and injustice, its rapes and murders, its economy and its diplomacy won and we lost.
After a demolished Akaal Takhat, 2000 burnt saroops of Guru Granth Sahib ji, 10,000 dead innocents in Darbar Sahib complex and 35,000 more dead in Rural areas, we were still portrayed as Terrorists and world believed it. Then we hit back, killed the demon-goddess and another round of massacres started, with 20,000 killed all over India, and we were again shown as Terrorists. Then we took up the Gun for our Honour and Freedom, for the spilt blood of brothers and sisters, and more 200,000 of us were butchered down, and again, we were shown as terrorists and world believed what our enemy said.
Yesterday as world watched Royal Wedding of those whose ancestors brought down our royalty, enslaved our people, brought down our Kesri Nishan, I was deep down, in memories of Lost Glory, of fallen brothers and sisters, of the Dreams which still live in Millions of eyes across the world. I don’t know how many remembered or celebrated ‘Declaration of Independence’ yesterday, how many thought about it, wrote about it, decided to do something about it, because nowadays we have thousands of ‘Day revolutionaries’. These are the people who talk big about Sikhi and Freedom, about Khalistan and Revolution, about Santji’s mission and dreams of Shaheeds, BUT, only when it is convenient, when it will give them some fame and name, but don’t wish to do anything for it. They prefer talking and after talking, they are just normal people, who chill and hang around with friends, eat out, talk crap whole day and sleep soundly in the night. These are people who talk about tortures and Shaheediya, but fear CCTV’s in their respective countries, who ask Sikh Naujawan of India to get up and fight and die, but are not ready to come to India themselves for even a month to ‘do something’ for Revolution.
But as someone said, Blood of Martyrs is never wasted, and I have firm belief, that blood of more than 250,000 Innocent Sikhs will not go waste. The dream they had, the mission they started, the journey they set upon, we have to fulfil that dream, to complete the mission, to finish the Journey. They bachans which Sant Jarnail Singh ji Khalsa gave on 3rd June 1984 and Ardas which Khalsa Panth did on 29th April 1986 will be fulfilled one day. But for that day to come, I don’t know how many rivers of blood will flow, how many mothers and sisters and wives will have to go through pain of separation of their sons, brothers and husbands, how many fathers will lay down their lives on day their son or daughter is born.
Everyone wants to live, everyone wants to prosper, to have a good and peaceful life, a good social and personal life, but ever thought? Even those Shaheeds had personal lives, even they had dreams, even they had small wishes, I know of Sons whose fathers saw them only once, sons and daughters who never saw their fathers, mothers who lost all the sons they gave birth to, fathers who had to cremate their young sons, even they were human beings like us, even they could have lived their lives peacefully, but they preferred fighting it out in battlefield with the enemy and die than live. There were those who wanted to live, but were never given a chance by butchers and killed in cold blood.
We laying down our arms, we shying away from struggle, we making excuses for our weakness will be betraying those Shaheeds, those beloved sons of Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj. Time is coming, if you cannot do anything, then don’t pretend, and if you wish to do something, then do it properly.
We lost our glory, our honour, our Freedom in 1846, and in 1986, our elders introduced us to it again. They created the path with their blood, flesh and bones, and we just have to walk on this path and reach our destination. Its at the destination where Life awaits us, where Glory and Honour await us. To have a dream is a big thing, we Sikhs lost our dream in 19th century, but those Shaheeds of 1984 gave us our dream back. Today we have the dream; we just need to act to fulfil it.
Sant Baba Thakur Singh ji Khalsa’ Bachan are a guide, a inspiration and a ray of hope for all of us, that the blood which has been spilt, the blood which is being spilled, and which will be spilled in future will not go waste. There will be Khalsa Raaj, We will have Our Sarkar- Khalsa once again, and the Ardas done at feet of Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj will be fulfilled.
Paying homage to all the Shaheed Singhs and Singhaniya of present movement, I would end with the lines Maharaani Jind Kaur wrote towards Shaam Singh Attariwala to fight for Khalsa Panth’s Honour in Battlefield. It was at call of Queen Mother Jind Kaur that Sardar Shaam Singh Attariwala fought in battlefield of Sabhrawan and laid down his life for Freedom and Protection of Khalsa Raaj. Poet writes –
ਜਿੰਦਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਜਕਲੰਬ ਦੇ ਲਿਖੀ ਚਿੱਠੀ, ਪੈ ਚੱਲੀ ਏ ਸ਼ਾਮ ਵੇ ਸ਼ਾਮ ਸਿੰਘਾ,
ਜੇ ਤੂੰ ਬੈਠਾ ਤਾ ੳਠ ਖਲੋ ਛੇਤੀ, ਝਬਦੇ ਘੋੜੀ ਨੂੰ ਚਾੜ ਲਗਾਮ ਸਿੰਘਾ,
ਵੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਰੋਸੇਆਂ ਦਾ ਕਿਨੇ ਮਾਨ ਕਰਨੈ, ਜਦੋ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ ਦੇਸ਼ ਗੁਲਾਮ ਸਿੰਘਾ,
ਵੇ ਸ਼ਾਨ ੳੱਚੇ ਦੁਮਾਲੇ ਦੀ ਜਾਊ ਕਿੱਥੇ, ਜਦੋ ਕਰਨੀ ਪਈ ਸਲਾਮ ਸਿੰਘਾ ॥
Akaal ji Sahai
KamalJeet Singh ShaheedSar