Friday, September 30, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

2nd June

 

1818 Maharaja Ranjit Singh's forces annexed the province of Multan into the Sikh State, after several years of fierce battles.

==> CONQUEST OF MULTAN (1818): The nawab of Multan, Muzaffar Khan had agreed to pay tribute to the Khalsa army. He had also made a resolution and had agreed that he will not conspire against the Khalsa Darbar. Later, however he gave asylum to Raes Ahmad Khan of Jhang and plotted against the Khalsa army with Kutubdin. He broke his word and never paid tribute on time. As a result the forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh attacked Muzaffar Khan who was ready to defend himself with an army of 20,000 and a large number of holy warriors (mujahuddins). The Khalsa army, under the command of several Sikh generals attacked the fort of Multan and broke the wall at two places, but they were repaired quickly. The enemy had put up a stiff resistance. The stand-off continued for three months.

Then Maharaja Ranjit Singh went to the Golden Temple and prayed for the victory. Here he met Akali Phula Singh and told him the whole story. From here he moved to Multan with the brave Akalis. The Sikhs bombarded the fort of Multan again with cannon fire and the wall broke again. Akali Phula Singh wasted no time and entered the fort with his band. The nawab fought with great courage. After a long battle Akali Phula Singh killed Muzaffar Khan. Five sons of the nawab (Niwaz Khan, Aiaz Khan, Mumtaz Khan, Haq Niwaz Khan and Shabab Khan were also killed. The rest of the army ran away. Both ace generals Akali Phula Singh and Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa got injured in this battle.

A famous cannon Zam Zama was used in this battle to break the wall of the fort. With each shot it sent eighty pounds of solid metal hurling into the wall and tore large pieces of it.

The conquest of Multan was very significat to the Khalsa Darbar. It ended te Afghan influence in the Punjab and broke the solid array of Muslim states in the south. After this victory Khalsa subdued the chiefs of Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismael Khan and Mankera.

- Ref:
1. Sher-i-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh bu Baba Prem Singh Hoti
2. A History of the Sikhs - Khushwant Singh
3. Tawareekh Guru Khalsa - Giani Gian Singh

1839 Maharaja Ranjit Singh had partially recovered from his stroke of 1838 yet was very feeble, when he suffered another stroke accompanied by dropsy and fever. Dr. Steel was sent by British to treat the Maharaja.
1984 Indian Armed forces replaced the Central Reserve Police force (CRPF) as a readiness step towards the Operation Bluestar.

==> BLUESTAR OPERATION is the code name for the June 1984 attack on Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, by the Indian Armed Forces. This attack was conducted under the pretext of flushing out terrorists but was designed for maximum damage. The attack took place on the day of Guru Arjan Dev Patshah's Shahadat Gurpurab observations. Further this operation was sanctioned under the direct orders of Indira Gandhi (then prime minister) and Zail Singh (then President). The Golden Temple Complex was attacked by the Indian Armed Forces using tanks, helicopters, and other heavy artillery, under the command of Major General Kuldip Singh Brar. Sri Akal Takhat was desecrated during this attack. Sri Darbar Sahib sustained at least 300 bullet holes. Thousands of innocent people were murdered in cold blood. Their fault? They were attending the Martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The brave GurSikh soldiers in the Akal Takhat, numbering about 250, gave extremely tough resistance to the Indian army. However, their resistance was no match to the large number of tanks, helicopters, bombs, and other heavy artillery that destroyed the Akal Takhat. The whole Sikh nation rose as a whole to protest against this ghastly attack. Thousands of Sikhs were martyred in the holy precincts of Darbar Sahib. Many gave their lives in attempts to reach for Darbar Sahib's protection. All roads to Amritsar were blocked. Every Sikh approaching these blockades were asked to remove their kirpan and turban. Those refusing were immediately killed or arrested. Anyone with blue or saffron turbans were particularly targeted and killed. Those arrested were blind folded and their hands tied behind their backs with their own turbans. Arrested Sikhs were packed in groups of 60-70 in small rooms with liitle room for any mobility.

In protest, many respected Sikhs returned their Padam Bushan medals/honors bestowed upon them by the Indian government and sacrificed their high positions. Several Sikh Army personal deserted their posts in protest and marched straight to protect Darbar Sahib. However, Indira Ghandhi did receive retribution for her black deeds on Oct. 31st, that same year.

For detailed description of events surrounding this attack, readers are referred to the following:

Gurbhagat Singh, "Kommi Ajadi Wal - Panjab Tae Punjabi Sabhiyachar Da Bhawish," Vichar Prakashan, 1993
Major Singh, "Punjab Khuni Dahakae Di Ghatha," Vichar Prakashan, 1993
Naraen Singh, "Kau Kito Visahau?" Singh Brothers, Mai Sewa, Amritsar, ISBN 81-7205-003-8, 1986, 1990, 1992.
Naraen Singh, "Sikh Vira Nu Haluna," Singh Brothers, Mai Sewa, Amritsar, ISBN 81-7205-085-2, 1987, 1989, 1993.
Harbir Singh Bhanwer (Tribune reporter), "Diary de Panne," This book is in Punjabi. It is hard to come by. I found it to be most authoritative books on this event. Mr. Bhanwer was the person who provided quite a bit of basic information to Mark Tully and Mr. Jacob for their book "Amritsar: Indira Gandhi's Last Battle."
Dr. Mohinder Singh, "Blue Star Ghalughara," This book was published in 1991 (several years after Dairy de Panne), but is more detailed.
Jathedar Kirpal Singh, "Saka Neela Tara." This book is written by thim when he was the Jathedar of Akal Takhat. I have not read it, but I think it has extremely valuable information.
 
1984 Punjab Sealed off to foreigners.

 

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