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Sikh History Timeline

Today in Sikh History – 20th January


20th January

1706 Guru Gobind Singh Sahib reached Talwa(n)Di, where he set camp, outside the village, is the location of Gurduara damdamaa Sahib. dam damaa means breathing place. That is take a breather after the many battles he had been through.
1841 After Gulab Singh left Lahore, Sher Singh occupied the fort. Dhian Singh became the Wazir. The Sandalwalia Sardars, hostile to the ruling group, started entering into intrigues.
1926 The British Government announced the judgement in Babbar Akali case. As a result, 5 Babbar Akalis were ordered to the hanged, 11 were sentenced to life imprisonment, and 38 were imprisoned four years. Approximately 90 religious, high spirited, daring fighters formed the Babbar Akali group. They had promised freedom to the masses and vigorously fought the British, especially in the Duaba and Malwa regions.

==> BABBAR AKALI MOVEMENT: Babbar is an Arabic word which means a lion. Sher and Akali are Punjabi words which mean lion and without death, respectively. In Sikh context Akali is a Sikh who worships the Almighty and who is without death or fear. When combined with word Babbar, word Akali means a Sikh who is without death and is fearless and brave, like a lion. This is how the Babbar Akalis really were. They defied death, fought with great courage, and received martyrdom. They fought the holy war without any selfish motive.

Babbar Akalis had established their rule in the Doaba region of Punjab in the early 20s. Commissioner Towshed of Jalandhar wrote a long letter to the Governor of Punjab,

The British rule is over in Doaba. No one is ready to cooperate with the government for the fear of the Babbars. There are some people, loyal to the British goverment, who visit my residence in a very secret manner and utter the news, in a low tone, into my ear.

In addition ot the brave men of Doaba, several Sikhs from the Majha and Malwa region also gladly accepted martyrdom. Those include Babu Santa Singh son of Sardar Suba Singh of village Shoti Harion (Tehsil Samrala); Babbar Nikka Singh son of Sardar Buta Singh, village Alowal, Tehsil Tarn Tarn.

Source – Babbar Akalian da Itihas by Dr. Bakhshish Singh Nijjar.

There are some books available on the Babbar Akalis. Two prominent books about this topic are by Dr.’ Bakhshish Singh Nijjar (M.A. PhD in history, M.A. Punjabi, M.A.M.L.O. Farsi). He is a Rtd. director of Punjab State Archives and curently living in USA. His books are:
1. Babbar Akalian da Itihas (Punjabi)
2. Babbar Akali Lehar da Itihas
3. History of the Babar Akalis

There is another gentleman, Dr. Gurcharan Singh Aulakh who recently wrote his PhD thesis on the Babbar Akalis. His book is called, Babbar Akali Movement and is published by Aman Publications, Punjab.

Two other useful books on the Akalis and Babbar Akalis are:
Babbar Akali Lehar (Punjabi) by Sunder Singh Babbar
Akali Lehar (Punjabi) Partap Singh Giani.

1986 Sentences handed in the case of Indian Airline hijacking.

To protest against the invasion of the Indian army on the Darbar Sahib, nine Sikhs belonging to the Sikh Students Federation hijacked an Indian Airliner from Jammu to Lahore on July 5, 1984. The hijackers were:
. Parminder Singh Harfam Maula (Leader)
. Dalip Singh,
. Manjit Singh Babbar
. Gurdip Singh Pardesi
. Malaghar Singh Babbar
. Harbhajan Singh
. Harminder Singh
. Gurvinder Singh
. Ravinder Singh

On this day, three of them were sentenced to death, two were sentenced to life-imprisonment and four were acquited. Later in 1989 the death sentence was commuted to life-imprisonment under the orders of a general amnesty. Two of the four acquited were killed by the Indian army while they were returning to India.


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