Today in Sikh History – 22nd January
Mool Raj, Governor of Multan, revolted against the British but was defeated.
==> MOOL RAJ: During Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s reign, Mool Raj was an efficient and loyal Governor of Multan, He was the son of Diwan Sawanmal Chaupadhae and appointed Governor by the Lahore darbar. During his reign, two British officers were killed by the Lahore forces. As a result, the British Resident of Lahore, John Lawrence, wanted to dismiss Mool Raj. On account of his loyalty to the kingdom of Ranjit Singh, he revolted against the British East India Company who were forcibly annexing Ranjit Singh’s Punjab. He put up a brave defense of the fort of Multan but was defeated on this day. The British arrested and imprisoned him in Calcutta jail, where he died in 1850.
– Ref. Mahan Kosh
Multan fell to the British.
The additional session judge announced his judgement in the case of Indira Gandhi’s murder. Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh were to be hanged. The sentence was carried out on Jan. 6, 1989. Indira Gandhi was gunned down at her resident on Oct. 31, 1984.’ as a retribution for her role in operation Bluestar, during which the Indian Army attacked and desecrated Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar.
==> 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.