Monday, December 05, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Brown, John
Secret Agent of the British in Lahore


An Englishman, who, deserting the East Indian Company's service in the Bengal artillery, came to Lahore and joined the Sikh artillery in 1826. He was later promoted colonel and placed in charge of the artillery depot at Lahore.

During the first Anglo-Sikh war, he acted as a British spy. Just before the battle of 'Aliwal, he went to Ludhiana and offered his services to his countrymen. He was told to continue serving with the Sikhs and be a secret agent of the British. He returned to Lahore and kept the British informed of the movements of the Sikh forces. During the battle of Aliwal he is said to have intentionally elevated the Sikh guns. Later he was taken prisoner by the British. After the annexation of the Punjab, the British rewarded him by giving him a high-ranking job in the police department. In 1856, he became blind and was retired from service on pension.

Source: TheSikhEncyclopedia.Com

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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