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Sikh History Timeline

Today in Sikh History :25th June


25th June


1700 Sikhs forces defeated the combined forces of Hill chiefs and imperial troops.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s’ forces routed the 10,000 combined forces of Hill chiefs and the imperial troops. It was from the Baisakhiof 1699 that the hill chiefs became thirsty for Guru Gobind Singh’s blood and resolved to destroy the Sikh Panth which they considered inimical to varnashram dharam. They resolved to try all venues suggested to them by Kautilya’s statecraft: weakening the movement from within; instigating people of other faiths against it; and involving it straight away in an armed struggle with the forces of the state to retard its momentum, if not destroy it. This was the first battel of Anandpur Sahib.

==> GURU GOBIND SINGH’S FIRST BATTLE OF ANANDPUR: The creation of Khalsa was very likely to invite the interference which it was intended to withstand. The conflict, however, that followed immediately upon the institution of the Khalsa arose from the natural enmity of the chief of Kehlur wishing to assert his authority over the Guru. After the creation of the Khalsa, sangats paid visits to the Guru at Anandpur Sahib in large numbers. While some of the disciples left after paying homage to the Guru other stayed on. This was not liked by Ajmer Chand, the then ruler of Kehlur as he thought the increasing strength of the Guru was a threat to his rule. Koer Singh writes that the Sikhs did not get sufficient food for their increasing numbers and received provisions from the neighbouring villages. In collaboration with the local inhabitants, the hill chiefs debarred the Sikhs from any local purchase making a clash inevitable.

Ajmer Chand resolved to thwart the martial concerns of the Guru with the help of his companion hill rulers and also by seeking the support of the Mughal Empire. Sainapat states:

Gobind Singh Anandpur subs basse teh than
Parsat sangat dars jeh pawat naam nidhan
Ketak Sikh bida bhai ketak rake hazoor

As Emperor Aurangzeb had been away to the Deccan, the complaint of the hill chiefs was forwarded to the Emperor along with the signatures of some of the Nazis, muftis and naqashbandis who wrote in reply that the Emperor’s army could be sent to the support of the hill rajas only if they could bear its expenses. As the hill rulers gave their consent, a detachment under Dina Beg and Painda Khan, the Panj Hazari, was despatched to subdue Guru Gobind Singh. Ajmer Chand wrote to the ruler of Handur State to lay siege to Anandpur Sahib and fight against the Guru. Sainapat points out:

Raav kehlur hei bhav likha Handur ko
Eh raja tu aan mohe hazur ko
Tu aghe te aav, yea bid kijie
Jo beech gher ke Me Judh inn kije

Ajmer Chand wrote to Guru Gobind Singh to either pay him tribute or quit Anandpur. If the Guru was not prepared to do so he was to ready himself for a clash:

Bhej dio likh ke oeh ne ab chhodo Suruji bhum hamari
ked kachhu dam daya kar deeje, keh judh kargo yea baat bichari

Guru Gobind Singh’s plea was that his father Guru Tegh Bahadur had purchased the piece of land at Anandpur Sahib where the Guru was staying at that time, and there was no rational reason to leave it. Sainapat writes:

Raja aav hazur tun jo chai so lei: kai kachchu judh birudh
kar kar so ek na dei.

Raja Ajmer Chand of Kehlur, Bir Singh of Jaswal and Medni Parkash from Sirmur State joined the imperialist force on their way to Anandpur Sahib. Guru Gobind Singh appointed the five beloved ones chosen at Anandpur Sahib on the Baisakhi of 1699 while instituting the Khalsa to the command of the Sikh force. The two armies met on the battlefield of Anandpur Sahib. The Guru himself took his stand in the midst of his forces to impart necessary instructions to his men. Sikhs of the Guru like Mohkam Singh, Daya Singh, Himmat Singh, Sahib Singh, Dharam Singh, Ude Singh and Alam Singh directed their divisions in the battlefield. The imperialists laid siege to Anandpur Sahib on all sides. During the battle, both the armies showed great skill in arms like swords, shields, spears, bows, arrows and guns. Arrows shot from the bows appeared as a shower of rain from the sly. Guru Gobind Singh’s soldiers gave such a tough fight to the enemy that it considered negotiations. Sainapat states that the ministers of the hil rajas advised them to give the Sikhs a strong fight and not to run away as it did not become the rajas to flee from the field. Sainapat writes that Sahibzada Ajit Singh showed conspicuous feats of warfare in the battle. The battle continued for some days:

Ketan din eh bhant kar bahavio yudh sangram

During the course of the battle Painda Khan challenged the Guru to a hand to hand combat. The offer was accepted by the Guru. Painda Khan shot two arrows and missed his mark. Guru Gohind Singh’s arrow struck the Pathan who fell down to the ground. Gurpartap Suraj Granth records that the Guru with his sword segregated his head from his body. On seeing this, the toops of the hill chiefs took to their heels. Dina Beg also retreated after receiving injuries. The enemy was pursued by the Sikhs upto Khiderabad.

Guru Gobind Singh diverted his attention towards cremating the dead bodies of the Sikhs when the battlefield was vacated by the enemy. There is a local tradition that the cremation took place immediately after the enemy quit the place. While some of the dead bodies were identified others were cremated even without identification. This battle took place in 1700 A.D.

1889 Maharaja Dalip Singh sent message from Geneva to initiate uprising against the British government. 1924 9th Shahidi Jatha of 500 Akalis, led by Sardar Kaesar Singh of Vidang (Amritsar), courted arrest upon reaching Jaito.

==> WHERE IS JAITO? A village under Nabha, 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

1944 Simla conference held to decide the future of British India. 1975 Indira Gandhi imposed Internal Emergency on whole India.

Indira Gandhi imposed Internal Emergency (suspension of civil liberties) and all prominent leaders except communist party of India, were arrested. This was a most potent and sustained protest of all democratic rights and liberties. The Akalis won the admiration for their solidarity and for their powers of mobolization and stamina. The moment threw up from among them a clam and determined leader in the person of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal. For more than two years, he ran the civil resistance campaign with the knack of a born leader and won universal applause for his qualities of tact and resolution.

-ref. "1984" by Prof. Harbans Singh, The Sikh review, v. 42:6, No. 486, June 1994.



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