Saturday, April 28, 2007
In 1739, Zaikriya Khan launched an all out campaign of persecution of Sikhs. Rewards were offered for the capture and extermination of Sikhs. It was declared law-ful to plunder Sikh houses and to seize their property. The whole machinery of the government, including chaudhris and zamindars, were put into motion to crush the Sikhs. Thousands of Sikhs were murdered. Cartloads of their heads were taken to Lahore for obtaining rewards from Zakariya.
Under such conditions of persecution, Sikhs took shelter in the Shivalik hills, Lakhi jungle, and the sandy deserts of Rajputana. A few, who still chose to remain in Majha, had to pass their days in local forests, bushes, or by taking shelter in Khulasa (Sahajdhari or slow adopting Sikhs) houses. Sometimes Muslims, and even Hindus, would boast that Sikhs were afraid of appearing in the plains. Such taunts would cause some daring Sikhs to come out of their hiding places and make their presence felt.
The Sikhs, as a collective body, refused to oblige the enemy by venturing out of their hideouts in large numbers. However, individual Sikhs made history by openly challenging governmental authority. One of them was Bota Singh, from the village of Bharana. He, along with Garja Singh, brought much ridicule to Zakariya Khan. In spite of the Governor's ban on Sikhs visiting Amritsar, these two would time and again come to have a dip in the holy sarovar in the night and then disappear into the bushes near Taran Taran.
One day, a party of passers by noticed Bota Singh and Garja Singh near Noordin.
One of the passers by said, "Look, there in the bushes are two Sikhs." The other way-farer replied, "They can't be true Sikhs. They must be some cowards who are afraid of showing their faces in the open. The Sikhs are not afraid of coming out."
This remark stung Bota Singh and Garia Singh. They knew that a Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh Ji is as brave as a lion. So, Bota Singh and Garja Singh decided to come out and make their presence felt even to the government. They took a position on the Grand Trunk Road, near Sarae Noordin, and as a show of bravado, began to collect a toll of one anna per cart and one paisa per donkey-load.
Bhai Bota Singh & Bhai Garja Singh fighting against 100 soldiers of Zakariya Khan
None dared to refuse the demand and nobody reported it to the government. Bota Singh's aim in collecting the toll was to prove to Zakariya Khan that in spite of all his efforts to exterminate Sikhs, they were very much in existence. He therefore informed the Governor, through a letter, of his new pastime. In the Panjabi folklore, this letter is still sung as follows:
Chithi likhae yun Singh Bota, hath hai sota; vich raah khaIota; Anna Iaiya gade nu, paisa Iaiya khota; Akho Bhabi Khano nu, yun aakhe Singh Bota.
Thus writes a letter Singh Bota. With a big stick in hand, on the road I stand. Levying an anna for a cart; and a paisa for a donkey. Tell my sister-in-law Khano; thus, says Singh Bota
The Governor, highly incensed, sent a force of one hundred horsemen to arrest him. But, the two Sikhs refused to surrender and died fighting after nearly demolishing the Mughal soldiers. Their only weapons were big sticks cut from kikkar trees.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Vasaikhi was celebated across the World wherever there are sikhs. Vaisakhi in the UK was celebrated through Akhand Paths and Nager Kirtans in the UK. I am going to include some images of the celebrations below. Please leave a comment and tell the sangat how your town/city celebrated vaisakhi 2007.
Above are images of the Vaisakhi Nager Kirtan from Gravesend 2007 where the Panj Payare and Guru Granth Sahib and sangat went round the whole town past the New Gurdwara in Khalsa Avenue.
Above are a few images taken from the Southall Nager Kirtan 2007 the Panj Payare and with Shri Guru Granth Sahib the Nager Kirtan went through Southall.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
sangat ji urgently please give your comments and ideas for the blog and how the seva can be carried on we want your involvement on what you want the blog to include. The blog has jsut been given a new face and shape the setting have been changed please let us know what else you want on the blog