Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

15th March

 

1553 Bhai Jetha, Guru Ram Das, married Bibi Bhani (Please NOTE that the exact date of this event is in doubt). One day, Mata Ram Kaur, wife of Guru Amar Das said to the Guru that Bibi Bhani was now young and should be married as soon as possible. On enquiry from the Guru that what type of boy was in her mind, Mata Ram Kaur pointed to Bhai Jetha, who had just entered the room. Guru Amar Das said that there was no one like Bhai Jetha. This event took place in February of 1553, when Bhai Jetha was about 19 years old. He was dramatically betrothed to Guru Amar Das's younger daughter Bibi Bhani and was soon married to her. Bhai Jetha was the right choice for Bibi Bhani. Bibi Bhani later became the most respected woman in the Sikh history; she was the daughter of a Guru, wife of a Guru and later mother of a Guru. She played a very important part in shaping the histroy of the Sikhs. Bhai Jetha and Bibi Bhani had three sons, Prithi Chand born in 1558, Mahadev born ion 1560, and Arjan born in 1563.

-Ref. "The Sikh Religion and The Sikh People," by Dr. S.S. Kapor,
Hemkunt Press, New Delhi, 1992

1749 Patiala Forces, under the command of Bibi Sahib Kaur, defeated Marhattha Army in a battle fought at near Ambala.

==> Bibi SAHIB KAUR, daughter of Raja Amar Singh Patiala and the elder sister of Raja Sahib Singh Ji, who married Jaymal Singh, son of Sardar Hakikat Singh, in sunmat 1834. She made extensive exemplary contributions to save and expand her brother's rule. She assumed the command of the forces in sunmat 1851 and taught a deadly lesson to the Marhattha army. Though, she was well-recognized for her smooth handling of the stately affairs, she was unappreciated by her brother. She died in 1799 (sunmat 1856).

-Ref. Mahan Kosh

1766 During the reign of 12 misls, the Khalsa Forces defeated the Maharattas in a battle near Dhaulpur.

==> HOW DID THE MISLS COME INTO BEING? For ten years after Banda Bahadhur's shahadat, Sikhs were quite. In 1726, Bhai Tara Singh of village "Vaa" accepted shahadat after fighting the ruling forces. This incident re-awakened the Sikhs and unrest erupted all over Punjab. The Subaedhar of Lahore and Delhi ruler, Mohammad Shah, agreed to an annual payment 1 lakh rupee compensation and viceroyalty (Nawabi) in return for peace in the region. On the Vaisakhi day of 1733, the Panth bestowed this resposbibility upon Sardar Kapur Singh. Henceforth, he came to be popularly known as "Nawab Kapoor Singh".

After Banda Bahadhur's Shaheedi, Diwan Darbara Singh was recognized as the Jathaedhar for the whole Sikh Panth. Upon his death in 1734, Nawab Kapoor Singh became Panth's Jathaedhar. By now the Sikh population has grown significantly. To ease the management of Panthic affairs, Khalsa forces were divided into two groups; namely, "Budha Dal" and "Taruna Dal". Budha Dal, under the leadership of Nawab Kapoor Singh, resided at Akal Bugha. The Taruna Dal was further split into five groups as follows:

  1. Jatha Shaheedi, under the leadership of Baba Deep Singh Ji. Additionally, Natha Singh and Gurbakash Singh were popular leaders of this Jatha.
  2. Jatha Amritsaria, under the leadership of Sardar Karam Singh and Sardar Dharam Singh.
  3. Baba Kahan Singh's Jatha, under the leadership of Kahan Singh Taehan. Other leaders include Sardar Miri Singh Taehan, Sardar Hari Singh Dhillo, and Sardar Bagh Singh Hallowalia.
  4. Jatha Dhalaewaliya, under the leadership of Jathaedhar Dasodha Singh Gill.
  5. Jatha of RangRaetae Sikhs, under the leadership of Bir Singh, Jiun Singh, Madan Singh, and Amar Singh.

During Taruna Dal's absence, when their jathas were touring various region of Punjab, the rulers repossessed Panth's jagir. As a result, the unrest erupted once again. When Nadir attacked Delhi in 1739 and shook the very roots of mughal empire, there was virtaully no government in Punjab, in any real sense. Sensing an opportunity, the Sikhs seized control of entire Punjab and built a fort, DalaeWal, on the banks of river Ravi. This fort was later destroyed by Khan Bahadhur.

The war between the Sikhs and the ruling forces persisted over time. More the government suppressed the Sikhs, more the Sikhs faought back and realised increasing gains. On Oct. 14, 1745, Dal Khalsa was broken into 30 small groups. These groups fought independent wars. However, they collectively defended the Panth's interest whenever it was threatened.

In Jan. 1748, Ahmad Shah Abdali started his attacks. This made the attainment of Panth's objective of establishing its rule, rather difficult. However, by now the number of small jathas had swelled to more than double, 66.

On March 29, 1748, Vaisakhi day, all these jathas gathered in Amritsar. On this occasion, Nawab Kapoor Singh, put forth a proposal for establishing a strong common leadership for the Panth. This proposal was accepted by everyone and the common leadership was called "Dal Khalsa". Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was anonymously elected as the leader of Dal Khalsa. Under his leadership, 11 misls were established; namely,

  1. Misl Ahluwalia, under the leadership of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia.
  2. Misl Faejullapuria or Singpuria, under the leadership of Nawab Kapoor Singh.
  3. Misl Sukarchakiya, under the leadership of Jathaedhar Nodh Singh, the great grandfather of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
  4. Misl NashanaWali, under the leadership of Jathaedhar Dasodha Singh.
  5. Misl Bhangia, under the leadership of Jathaedhar Hari Singh Bhangi.
  6. Misl Kania, under the leadership of Jathaedhar Jay Singh Kania.
  7. Misl Nakia, under the leadership of Jathaedhar Hira Singh Nakai.
  8. Misl Dalaewali, under the leadership of Jathaedhar Gulab Singh.
  9. Misl Shaheeda, under the leadership of Baba Deep Singh "Shaheed".
  10. Misl Karodha Singia, under the leadership of Jathaedhar Karodha Singh.
  11. Misl Sanghniya, under the leadership of Jathaedhar Nand Singh. It later came to known as Ramgharia Misl.

NOTE:- the 12th misl Phulkia, under the leadership of Sardar Alla Singh Patiala, is a separate misl from the above 11 misls. Unfortunately, this misl often worked against the Panthic interests. Among the damage they did to the Panth was the reinforcement of the Brahminincal tradition of Nirmalae Sikhs and in total disrespect to women many Patialites kept countless Ranis, performed anti Sikhi parades, etc.

The above misl were announced on the Vaisakhi day and every Sikh soldier given an opportunity to select his own leader. Everyone could join any misl they desired to. It was agreed that each misl would be autonomous in terms of its internal affairs but shall abide by the command of Dal Khalsa's Jathaedhar for all common and Panthic affairs.

This arrangement worked well for the Sikhs. Numerous surrounding areas came under their protection, some willingly on their own while others were forcibly brought under their control. However, this arrangement did not last for too long, as Abdali attacked for the fourth time in Nov. of 1756. During this attack, the whole organization of the Sikhs fell apart and they had to start its re-establishment from scratch. During the fifth attack, Abdali encouraged the Marathas. However, as he left for Kabul, Sikhs captured Lahore and issued their own coins under the name of Jassa Singh. When Abdali heard this news, he attacked for the sixth time, this time specifically to destroy the Sikhs. Feb. 5, 1762 saw a grave war in which 10-12 thousand Sikh soldiers and 18-20 thousand Sikh children and women were killed. This day is marked as the "Major Holocaust" in Sikh history. Despite such enormous destruction, Sikhs became extremely fearless and only eight months after the major holocaust, they successfully defeated Abdali in the war of Pipli Sahib, Amritsar, on Oct. 17, 1762.

After Abdali's retuirn to Kabul, Sikhs gathered once again in Amritsar in Dec. of 1762. During this meeting, Dal Khalsa's common leadership was reestablished from scratch. Panth was divided into two major groups; namely, "Budha Dal" and "Taruna Dal". Budha Dal, under the leadership of Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia had six misls; namely, Ahluwalia, Singhpuria, Dalaewaliya, KarodhaSinghs, NashanaWali, and Shaheedi. This group was assigned the responsibility of eliminating the enemy. Taruna Dal came under the leadership of Jathaedhar Hari Singh and had five misls; namely, Bhangia, Ramgarihia, Kania, Nakia, and Sukarchakia. This group was given the responsibility for security and maintenance of Amritsar and all religious places.

Taruna Dal captured Kasur region while Budha Dal captured Duyaba and Jaladhar. Together they captured Batala. The killing of Sirhind Subhaedhar during the bloody war of Jan. 14th, 1764 and successfully capture of Sirhind, marked the beginning of Misl Raj. Slowly, the Punjab region from Jamuna to Attak came under the collective control of the misls. On May 15, 1765, Sikhs gained complete control of Lahore.

Subsequently, Abdali attacked for the ninth time and Sikhs had to leave Lahore. However, they reassumed control as soon as he returned to Kabul. The final two attacks of Abdali were extremely weak. During his last attack he did not dare proceed any further and simply returned from Jaehlam. By now the Sikhs had successfully established their rule over the entire Punjab.

-Ref. "Sikh Misla Tae Sardar Gharanae", (in Punjabi)
by Sohan Singh Sital

1959 300,000 GurSikhs join a march in Delhi to protest against Indian government interference in the Sikh Shrines.
1960 Akali Dal execcutive asked the Sikh members to resign Congress Legislative party and form a separate Group.
1966 Hindu terrorists set fire to a shop in Karnal and roasted alive three innocent persons.
1981 SGPC, Akali Dal, Dal Khalsa, and Sikh Students had been demanding associate membership in the UNO for the Sikh nation. On March 15, 1981, the pro-Congress "Sikh Educational Conference" demanded at Chandigarh, that the Sikhs should be granted associate membership of the UNO. The credit for the passing of this resolution in the above Conference on that day goes to the Dal Khalsa workers who compelled the organisers to pass such a resolution, i.e. Harsimran Singh, Karan Singh, Satnam Singh, Satnam Singh of Chandigarh, Gurprit Singh, Rupinder Singh of Nagari, etc., These persons created Pandemonium in the Conference and refused to be calmed unless organisers assured the passing of such a resolution. Later, Ganga Singh Dhillon claimed the credit for the passing of the resolution.

-Ref. THE SIKHS' STRUGGLE FOR SOVEREIGNTY, An Historical Perspective
By Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer and Dr. Awatar Singh Sekhon
Edited By: A.T. Kerr Page 110-119

1984 Indian Government imposed restrictions on All India Student Federation. As a result, the Federation threatened to disrupt University exams until these restrictions were lifted. Government attempted to hold university exams in April but they were unsuccessful. These exams were finally held under military rule in the month of July.

 

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