Today in Sikh History :3rd May
|1705||Siege of Anadpur was initiated. It lasted seven months and ended on Dec. 4, 1705.|
|1718||Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was born.
==> Sardar JASSA SINGH AHLUWALIA was born in 1718. He was son of Ahluwalia resident Bader Singh. His close association with Nawab Kapur Singh influenced him in service of GurPanth. Raja Amir Singh of Patiala was introduced to amrit by him. He was a great General of the Khalsa forces during the 18th century and was called Sultan-ul-Quom, king of the nation, his heroic deeds and qualities of leadership. He killed Hakim SalabatKhan of Amritsar, in 1748, and captured the surrounding region. In 1789, he helped Diwan KodhaMal in removing ShahanWadh from Multan. In 1753, he defeated Hakim Adinabaegh and conquered Fataibad. He won the successful release of enslaved Hindu men and women from Ahmad Shah Durani. As a result he came to be popularly known as BandiShoadh (liberator). He bravely fought in Wada Ghulughara (the big holocaust). Even after receiving 22 grave bounds, he kept fighting. He was head as well as the life of the Ahluwalia Misl. In 1774, he captured Kapurthala state, established his capital there, and issues coins under our Gurus name. He was extremely popular among our Panth. He dies in 1783 in Amritsar. A monument in his memory was erected near Baba Atal, in Amritsar.
-Ref. Mahan Kosh
|1914||Morcha launched for Rakab Ganj Gurudwara.
==> RAKAB GANJ Gurudwara marks the place where Guru Teg Bahadhur’s beheaded body was cremated. When Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded by Aurangzeb in Chandni Chowk Delhi and his body was carried away by Bhai Lakhi Rai (Shah), his disciple, to his residence at Rikabganj, he put his whole house to flames to creamate the body of Guru Sahib. Later he placed the remains in a metal vessel, buries it at the exact location of creamation hoping to build a shrine to commemorate the Guru’s martyrdom. In 1707, when Guru Gobind Singh came to Delhi, the shrines were built at Sis Ganj and Rakab Ganj. Rakab Ganj is the place where the body of 9th Guru was cremated. Later in 1790, when Bhagael Singh conquered Delhi, he constructed the Gurudwara on this location. Today, RakabGanj is situated on Gurudwara road in New Delhi, right opposite the goverment buildings.
==> MORCHA OF RAKAB GANJ
With the transfer of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911, preparations began to be made to build the Viceregal Lodge opposite the place where Gurdwara Rakab Ganj is situated. The government considered that the old six-cornered enclosures walls of the Gurdwara was too ugly to stand in front of the Viceroy’s palace and proposed that it should be demolished. In 1912 under the Land Acquisition Act the government acquired from an accommodating Mahant the whole land lying between the Gurdwara and the outer wall.
The Cheif Khalsa Diwan, whom the British government accepted as the only representative body of the Sikhs, seemed inclined to accept the Government position in view of the fact that the government did not want to do so to injure the feelings of the Sikhs but simply to improve the appearance of the Gurdwara.
On January 14, 1914, the British Indian Government razed the wall of the Gurdwara to the ground on the pretence of making the road straight. The wall was 400 long, 2 feet thick, and 11 feet high. The bricks of this wall were used for the construction of the raod. 50 Bighas of land (about 25 acres) belonging to the Gurdwara was also taken for the purpose of constructing a raod and a sum of Rs. 8000 was deposited to take possession of the Garden within the wall. This wall too was razed to the ground.
The Sikh community was shocked and had justified fears that the whole historical shrine might be demolished in the due course. The Cheif Khalsa Diwan came under fire and was blamed for permitting the British government to commit this act of sacrilege. While the ultra loyalists like Arur Singh, Raja Sir Daljit Singh and Gajjan Singh of Narangwal supported and even encouraged the Government to go ahead with its plan, Sir Sunder Singh Majithia and his Chief Khalsa Diwan Executive soon realized that they has committed a blunder.Sardar Harbans Singh Attari and Sardar Harchand Singh (members of Cheif Khalsa Diwan Executive) walked out of a ChieF Khalsa Diwan meeting by saying that Chief Khalsa Diwan was betraying the Sikhs by its abject submission to the British Government.
The first thing S. Harchand Singh did was to meet with Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh and explain to him the inside story as to how some of the ultra loyalists had sold the interests of the Sikhs to the British government. Only Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh could awaken the masss. Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh took up the cause seriously and brought about the awakening of the type Baba Ram Singh brought some decades ago. The first telegram of strong protest against the demolition of the wall was sent to the Viceroy by him on behalf of his Jatha which he called Tat Khalsa Sangat, Narangwal.
On April 12, 1914 on the Baisakhi festival Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh organized a large Panthic Conference with the help of Baba Jawand Singh Nihang of Patti. Thousands of people attended the conference. A resolution was passed that a strong agitation would be launched to prevent the descration of the historical temple.
Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh announced, he alongwith a Shahidi Jatha of 500 would sacrifice his life to prevent the descration and demolition of the historical shrine. Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh was later arrested under Second Lahore Conspiracy Case and spent about 16-17 years in the Indian prisons.
The wall of Gurdwara Rakab Ganj was rebuilt on April 28, 1921.
-Ref. 1. Sri Amritsar Ji De Darshan Ishnan ate 500 Sala(n) Di Itihasik Directory.