Maintain solemnity of martyrdom anniversary at Fatehgarh Sahib



Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, December 6: It is not that this has happened for the first time and that only the Shiromani Akali Dal is the culprit. Even  Khalistan slogans used to be raised from the soil of Fatehgarh Sahib on the anniversary of unparalleled martyrdom of the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh. Sahibzada Zorawar Singh (9) and Sahibzada Fateh Singh (7), were brick alive for two days at Fatehgarh Sahib on the orders of Governor of Sirhind before they were martyred  as they spurned every type of allurement. Their grandmother Mata Gujri breathed her last after hearing the news of their death. The three had been arrested from near Morinda after they got separated from the main group led by Guru Gobind Singh when they left Anandpur Sahib. The Guru had come into confrontation first with the  chieftains of the neighbouring hill states and later the Mughal Empire.

The Sikhs destroyed the structure where the three had been detained in the name of renovation.

For decades, almost all the political parties have been organising their conferences on the occasion. Lakhs of devotees participate in the 3-day congregation known as the Jor Mela in the memory of these two youngest martyrs of the Sikh Nation. The parties try to cash upon the sentiments of the people for votes. One can also gauge political mood in the state from such conferences, especially in the election year. The final showdown would be on Maghi next month at Muktsar close to the elections.

The nincompoop chiefs of Akal Takht at times have make ineffective interventions to check this rot by calling upon political parties to maintain norms. This saga is example of extreme brutality of the state during those times in the confrontation with the Sikhs.

It is the body language of the leaders that too must give out the right signals at such solemn occasion rather than that of arrogance. It would not be proper to mention any leader from any of the parties in this context.

Both Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Shiromani Akali Dal President and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal talked little of the great sacrifice made by the Sahibzadas. It may be mentioned that their two elder brothers, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, had been martyred a few days earlier at Chamkaur Sahib in the unequal battle with the Mughas army. Guru Tegh Bahadur, father of Guru Gobind Singh, had also sacrificed his life for human rights. He was martyred in Chandni Chowk, Delhi on the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb.

The two leaders who talked in Panthic idiom were the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar and its member Karnail Singh Panjili. Panjoli called upon the youth to connect themselves to the Sirhind Di Deewar. It may be mentioned that the same issues can be raised very subtly by using the Panthic idiom but then one has to have command over Sikh doctrine and theology. Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra was the one leader who had this command. Panjoli is part of that tradition. Prof Badungar called for dialogue to end any differences in the Panthic stream.

Badal spoke at length without raising any concrete issue. Sukhbir hammered ‘his’ achievements, saying repeatedly ‘I did this’ while referring even to his water bus. He called upon the people to vote Akali Dal to maintain the present tempo of development. There was no new agenda. He talked of 20 year rule.

The father-son duo reverted to the same issues of Operation Bluestar and November 1984 massacre of the Sikhs following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards. The Akali Dal should get out of this narrative. AAP was seen as threat to Punjab’s socio-cultural structure as outsider. Sukhbir attacked AAP as party of lumpen and all those who have been banished from their homes. For the last several months, he has been using the term ‘topiwalas’ to deride AAP.

It is the Akali Dal that should take the lead in setting norms for conferences on this solemn occasion. Sikh religion is synergy of religio-political and as such, political message can be delivered without the use of rhetoric and hyperboles. It is the sanctity of this most tragic event in Sikh history that must be maintained. This would be the right message in itself. The message is the cause for which they sacrificed their lives at such tender age.


Jagtar Singh


[email protected]

Related Editorials