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Sikh History Timeline

Today in Sikh History – 17th January


17th January

1766 Jahan Khan, the Commander of Ahmed Shah Abdali’s forces, attacked Amritsar. The united forces of the Sikh Misls, faced Jahan Khan and successfully deafeated the enemy forces at Putlighar, on the outskirts of Amritsar.

==> JAHAN KHAN was a minister and commander to Ahmed Shah Adbali’s son Taemur. He was designated as Subha of Lahore with primary objective to destroy the Sikhs. He held this responsibility from 1756 to 1758. He was killed by Dharamveer Dayal Singh, an associate of Baba Deep Singh, in the battle field of village Galorwal near Amritsar.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh

1846 The Khalsa Army of Ranjit Singh ransacked a garrision of East India Company at Ludhiana.
1872 Baba Ram Singh, Naamdhari Leader, was arrested by the British government. He was subsequently exiled from India.
1872 42 Naamdhari GurSikhs, accused of seccisionist acts, were bown-up at Malaerkotla, after being tied with the cannons while one boy was cut to pieces. These executions were carried out under orders of Mr. L. Cowan, Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana, Malaerkotla.
1922 All Akalis arrested in connection with the Keys agitation are released.
1925 A jatha of 500 Akali Sikhs, led by Lakha Singh JahanShah (Gujran Wala), ready to lay down their lives was stooped from proceeding to Gangsar, Jaito – the place of Sikh agitation, and arrested.

==> WHERE IS JAITO? A village under Nabha Riyaasat, now under the district Bhatinda, which falls on the Bathinda-Ferozpur railway line. It is 96 miles from Lahore and 17 miles from Bathinda. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JAITO? On this place situated near a fort, is a historical Gurudwara of Guru Gobind Singh Patshah. Maharaja Hira Singh constructed the beautiful buildings of this Gurudwara. The sarowar is popularly known as Gangsar. About a mile and a half north of Jaito is Tibhi Sahib Gurudwara, where Guru Gobind Singh Patshah used to organize and participate in the evening recitation of Rehras. Both Gurudwaras have extensive land sanctioned to it by the Nabha rulers. Additionally, extensive financial resources are made available on an annual basis from the Nabha rulers and the surrounding villages. A maela celebration is held every 7th of Pooh month (Dec.-Jan.) and Katak (Oct.-Nov.) Puranmashi. Jaito’s markets are well renowned. People come from far distances to buy and sell their herds.

WHY AKALIS COURTED ARREST? The key issue involved was resoration of Maharaja Ripudaman Singh of Nabha. Maharaja of Nabha, well-known for his pro-Tat Khalsa Proclivities, had a dispute with Maharaja of Patiala, known for this pro-government role. Although Maharaja of Nabha had absolutely no dispute with the government, as a result of mediation, he was forced to abdicate in July 1923. Col. Michin, with the help of troops and armoured cars, took the Maharaja by surprise on July 8, 1923 and taunted him with the query, Where is that Akali? The news of deposition by the government raised a strom of protest against the Government’s interefernce in Nabha and was decsribed as a challenge to the Akali movement. As a result tensions mounted. The Akalis, in defiance of state orders, continued to hold diwan indefinitely. The Nabha police in order to arrest all the Akalis, including the one reading the holy Granth Sahib, was said to have disrupted the Akhand Path on Sept. 14, 1923. This dispute took such a tragic shape and got so inflames by Feb. 21, 1924 that several people lost their lives. After sixteen shaheedi jathas apart from one from Bengal and another from Canada, the agitation process was completed two years later, on August 6, 1925, after the concurrent bhog of 101 Akand Paaths.

-Ref. Mahan Kosh
The Sikhs in History, by Sangat Singh, 1995

1927 Through a notification, Govt. of Punjab gave statutory recognition to Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee.
1960 Akali Dal won 136 of the 140 seats of the SGPC.
1977 The Morcha launched by Shiromani Akali Dal against Indira Gandhi’s emergency was successfully accomplished. National emergency was declared by Indira Gandhi on July 9, 1975 which resulted in extreme abuse of power by the government, para-military, and defense forces. It is widely believed that Indira Gandhi never forgave Sikhs for this agitation and that the 1980-90’s attrocities against Sikhs were merely to teach them a lesson once and for all. It is a great pitty that the lesson-teachers had to learn their own lessons.

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