Download 5.23 Mb.Pdf ko'rish
- Bu sahifa navigatsiya:
- Campaign against Zakarya Khan
- Singhpuria Misl 409 |
- Zakarya Khans campaign continued
- Origins of the 1746 Ghallūghārā
- Persecution of the Sikhs (1739–46)
- The Temerity of Bhai Bota Singh
- The Martydom of Mani Singh Shaheed
- The Golden Temple and Massa Rangar
- The Martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh
P a g e
Nawab Kapur Singh was born into a Jat Sikh Virk family in 1697. His native
village was Kaloke, now in Sheikhupura district, in Punjab (Pakistan). Kapur Singh was
eleven years old at the time of Guru Gobind Singh's passing on and nineteen at the time
of the massacre of Banda Bahadur and his followers in Delhi. Later, when he seized the
village of Faizullapur, near Amritsar, he renamed it Singhpura and made it his
headquarters. He is thus, also known as Kapur Singh Faizullapuria, and the small
principality he founded, as Faizullapuria or Singhpuria.
Initiation into the Khalsa fold
Kapur Singh underwent amrit-initiation at a large gathering held at Amritsar on
Baisakhi Day, 1721 from Panj Piarey led by Bhai Mani Singh. His father, Dalip Singh,
and brother, Dan Singh, were also among those who were initiated into the Khalsa fold
on that day. It was believed that some of the virk jatt Sikhs become part of the Ahluwalia
Misl to whom he had given the command of Dal Khalsa, that Baron name (Sultan-ul-
Quam) Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia.
Kapur Singh soon gained a position of eminence among the Sikhs, who were
then engaged in a desperate struggle against the Imperial Mughal government. Zakarya
Khan, who had become the Mughal governor of Lahore in 1726, launched a policy of
persecution against the Sikhs.
In those days, pursued by the bounty-hunters, as the governor of Lahore had put
a price on a Sikh's head, the Sikhs roamed the jungles of Central Punjab in small
groups. Kapur Singh headed one such band. To assert their high spirits despite being
hounded by government forces and bounty-hunters, and with a view to paralysing the
administration and obtaining food for their companions these groups would launch
attacks on government treasuries and caravans moving from one place to another.
Such was their success in this endeavour that the governor was soon obliged to make
terms with them.
In 1733, the Mughal government decided, at the insistence of Zakarya Khan, to
revoke all repressive measures issued against the Sikhs and made an offer of a grant to
them. The title of Nawab was conferred upon their leader, with a jagir consisting of the
three parganas of Dipalpur, Kanganval and Jhabal.
After a Sarbat Khalsa, the Sikhs accepted the offer. Kapur Singh was
unanimously elected as the leader and chosen for the title. He was reluctant, but could
not deny the unanimous will of the community. As a mark of respect, he placed the robe
P a g e
of honour ('Siropa') sent by the Mughals at the feet of the Panj Piare - amongst whom
were Baba Deep Singh, Bhai Karam Singh and Bhai Buddh Singh (great-great-
grandfather of Maharaja Ranjit Singh - before putting it on. The dress included a shawl,
a turban, a jewelled plume, a pair of gold bangles, a necklace, a row of pearls, a
Formation of the Dal Khalsa
Word was sent around to Sikhs passing their days in distant jungles and deserts
that peace had been made with the government and that they could return to their
homes. Nawab Kapur Singh undertook the task of consolidating the disintegrated fabric
of the Sikh Jathas. They were merged into a single central fighting force (The Dal)
divided into two sections - The Budha Dal, the army of the veterans, and the Taruna
Dal, the army of the young, Sardar Hari Singh Dhillon was elected its leader. The former
was entrusted with the task of looking after the holy places, preaching the word of the
Gurus and inducting converts into the Khalsa Panth by holding baptismal ceremonies.
The Taruna Dal was the more active division and its function was to fight in times of
Nawab Kapur Singh's personality was the common link between these two
wings. He was universally respected for his high character. His word was obeyed
willingly and to receive baptism at his hands was counted an act of rare merit.
Rise of the Misls
Under Hari Singh's leadership, the Taruna Dal rapidly grew in strength and soon
numbered more than 12,000. To ensure efficient control, Nawab Kapur Singh split it into
five parts, each with a separate centre. The first batch was led by Baba Deep Singh
Shaheed, the second by Karam Singh and Dharam Singh, the third by Kahan singh and
Binod Singh of Goindwal, the fourth by Dasaundha Singh of Kot Budha and the fifth by
Vir Singh Ranghreta and Jivan Singh Ranghreta. Each batch had its own banner and
drum, and formed the nucleus of a separate political state. The territories conquered by
these groups were entered in their respective papers at the Akal Takht by Sultan ul
Quam Baba Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. From these documents or misls, the principalities
carved out by them came to known as Misls. Seven more groups were formed
subsequently and, towards the close of century, there were altogether twelve Sikh Misls
ruling the Punjab.
P a g e
The founder of the rule-by-Misl system was Nawab Kapur Singh. Nawab Kapur
Singh was a great warrior. He fought many battles. The last battle that he fought was
the battle of Sirhind. After the fall of Sirhind in 1763, a considerable portion of present-
day Rupnagar District came under the Singhpuria Misl. These areas included Manauli,
Ghanuli, Bharatgarh, Kandhola, Chooni, Machli, Bhareli, Bunga and Bela.
By 1769, the Singpuria Misl had the following territories in its possession:- Some
parts of the districts of Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur in Doaba, Kharparkheri and Singhpura
in Bari-Doab and Abhar, Adampur, Chhat, Banoor, Manauli Ghanauli, Bharatgarh,
Kandhola, Chooni, Machhli Bhareli, Banga, Bela, Attal Garh and some other places in
the province of Sirhind.
The entente with the Mughals did not last long and, before the harvest of 1735,
Zakarya Khan, sent a strong force and occupied the Jagir. The Sikhs were driven out of
Amritsar into the Bari Doab and then across the Satluj into Malwa by Diwan Lakhpat
Rai, Zakarya Khan's minister. They were welcomed by Sardar Ala Singh of the Phulkian
Misl of Malwa. During his sojourn in Malwa, Nawab Kapur Singh conquered the territory
of Sunam and made it over to Ala Singh. He also attacked Sirhind and defeated the
Nawab Kapur Singh led the Sikhs back to Majha to celebrate Diwali at Amritsar.
He was pursued by Lakhpat Rai's army near Amritsar and forced to turn away. The
Taruna Dal promptly came to his help. The combined force fell upon Lakhpat Rai before
he could reach Lahore and inflicted a severe defeat. His nephew, Duni Chand, and two
important Faujdars, Jamal Khan and Tatar Khan, were killed in the battle.
In the summer of 1739, Nadir Shah, the Persian invader, was returning home
after plundering Delhi and Punjab. The Dal lay in wait, not far from the route he had
taken. When he reached Akhnur, on the Chenab (in the present-day Jammu region),
they swooped down upon the rear guard, relieving the invaders of much of their booty.
On the third night they made an even fiercer attack and rescued from their hands,
thousands of girls who were escorted back to their families. For a long part of his return
journey, the Sikhs pursued Nadir Shah in this manner.
Zakarya Khan's campaign continued
Zakarya Khan continued to carry out his policy of repression with redoubled zeal.
A pitiless campaign for a manhunt was started. Sikhs heads sold for money and the
Mughals offered a prize for each head brought to them. According to the historian,
Ratan Singh Bhangu, "He who informed where a Sikh was received ten rupees, he who
killed one received fifty."
P a g e
To cut off the Sikhs from the main source of their inspiration, the Harimandir at
Amritsar was taken possession of and guarded by Mughal troops to prevent them
visiting it. Sikhs were then living in exile in the Shiwalik hills, the Lakhi Jungle and in the
sandy desert of Rajputana. To assert their right to ablution in the holy tank in Amritsar,
they would occasionally send riders, who, in disguise or openly cutting their way through
armed guards, would reach the temple, take a dip in the tank and ride back with
lightning speed. Zakarya Khan, sent a strong force under Samad Khab to seek out the
Sikhs. The force was defeated and their leader, Samad Khan who had been the target
of the Sikhs' wrath since he had on June 24, 1734 executed Bhai Mani Singh was killed.
Nawab Kapur Singh now made a plan to capture Zakarya Khan. With a force of
2000 men all of whom were in disguise, he entered Lahore and went on to the Shahi
Mosque where, according to intelligence received, the Mughal governor was expected
to attend the afternoon prayer. But Zakarya Khan did not visit the mosque. Kapur Singh
was disappointed at the failure of the mission. Throwing off the disguise and shouting
their war cry of Sat Sri Akal, the Sikhs marched out of Lahore and vanished into
Sikhism began in the days of Guru Nanak (1469
1539) and grew to be a
distinctive social force especially after the formation of the Order of Khalsa in 1699. The
Khalsa was designated to oppose the tyranny of the Mughal Empire and any other form
of injustice. Through much of the early eighteenth century, the Khalsa was outlawed by
the government and survived in the safety of remote forests, deserts, and swamplands
of the Punjab region and neighbouring Kashmir and Rajasthan.
Zakaria Khan, the Governor of Lahore, offered lucrative rewards for the discovery
and killing of Sikhs. A blanket was offered to anyone who managed to cut off the
distinctive mane of a Sikh or Khalsa. A substantial monetary reward was offered for
information on the whereabouts of a Sikh, and a larger sum for the delivery of a Sikh
scalp. The plunder of Sikh homes was made lawful and anyone giving shelter to or
withholding information about the movements of the Sikhs was liable to themselves
being executed. Zakaria Khan's police scoured the countryside and brought back
hundreds of Sikhs in chains. They were publicly executed at the horse market of
Lahore, since renamed "Shahidganj", "place of the martyred".
The Temerity of Bhai Bota Singh
In those days of dire persecution, Bhai Bota Singh lived in the forest by day and
would come out in search of food from sympathizers under the cover of darkness.
P a g e
Occasionally, he would visit Amritsar by night and take a dip in the sanctifying waters of
the holy pool around the temple. One day, he was noticed from afar by some people
who thought he was a Sikh. But a member of the party objected he could not have been
a Sikh, for had he been one, he would not have concealed himself so.
Vexed by the observer's remark, Bhai Bota Singh set on a plan whereby he and
his companion Bhai Garja Singh took up a position on the main highway. There, they
proclaimed the sovereignty of Khalsa and collected a small toll from each passerby. For
maximum effect, he sent a notice with a traveller for the governor. One hundred
horsemen came to apprehend the two Sikhs, but they spurned the offer to surrender
and died instead fighting.
Bhai Mani Singh was a respected Sikh scholar and teacher who lived in the city
of Amritsar, founded by Guru Ram Das and holy to the Sikhs. For many years, Sikhs
had customarily gathered at Amritsar in the spring and fall for the holidays of Vaisakhi
and Diwali. Under the persecution of the Mughals, these festivals had been disrupted.
Bhai Mani Singh sought and obtained Zakaria Khan's permission to hold the
Diwali celebration in Amritsar on payment of a tax of 5000 rupees. When Mani Singh
found out that the governor had dispatched a large number of soldiers to annihilate the
Sikhs gathered at Amritsar, he sent word out to the Sikhs in their forest and desert
hideouts, forbidding them from coming.
In consequence, no money was collected and Bhai Mani Singh was prosecuted
for not paying the stipulated sum. After a summary trial, he was given the choice of
embracing Islam or facing death. Bhai Mani Singh chose the latter and as his
punishment was to cut him to pieces, joint by joint.
The Golden Temple and Massa Rangar
To prevent the Sikhs accessing the holy shrine of Amritsar, built in the time of
Guru Arjan, and known as the Harmandir Sahib or the "Golden Temple", a Mughal
military officer named Massa Ranghar was stationed there. Massa Rangar was
physically very strong, a fit man, 5'11" tall. Ranghar not only occupied the holy place,
but committed sacrilege by carousing with dancing girls and consuming meat and
alcohol in the Sanctum Sanctorum situated in the midst of the sacred pool.
This offence continued until news of it reached an isolated band of Sikhs in
Rajasthan. Of them, Mehtab Singh and Sukkha Singh set off to cross the distance to
Amritsar. Finding the city strongly guarded, the two disguised themselves as revenue
officials. In this guise, they entered the Harimandir, cut off Ranghar's head and escaped
before the Mughal soldiers could realise what had happened. This took place on 11
P a g e
Sukkha Singh was wounded in the defensive action involving the first Sikh
massacre and later died in battle with the invading Afghan army of Ahmed Shah Durrani
The Martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh
Zakaria Khan, the governor of Lahore, experienced great frustration in his effort
to decimate the Sikhs. He once asked his men, "From where do the Sikhs obtain their
nourishment? I have debarred them from all occupations. They realize no taxes, they do
not farm, nor are they allowed to do business or join public employment. I have stopped
all offerings to their Gurdwaras. No provisions or supplies are accessible to them. Why
do they not die of sheer starvation?"
A sworn enemy of the Sikhs directed the governor to the village of Puhla, where
lived a young Sikh named Taru Singh. According to the informant,
There are Sikhs in the world who would not eat until they have fed their brothers.
They may themselves go without food and clothing, but they cannot bear their
comrades' distress. They would pass the winter by fireside and send them their own
clothes. They would sweat to grind grain and have it sent to them. They would do the
hardest chores to earn a small wage for their sake... (Taru Singh) tills his land and pays
the revenue to the officials. He eats but little and sends what he saves to his brothers in
the forest. His mother and sister both toil and grind to make a living. They eat sparingly
and wear the coarsest homespun cloth. Whatever they save, they pass on to the Sikhs.
On hearing this, the governor sent a detachment of soldiers to Bhai Taru Singh's
village to arrest him and bring him to the provincial capital of Lahore. The year was
1745. When the Sikh heard of their approach, he came out of the village. Wishing to
spare his neighbours any sort of hardship, the 25-year-old Taru Singh surrendered
peacefully to the governor's men.
When Mehtab Singh, who had dispatched Masse Khan Ranghar at the
Harimandir with Sukkha Singh, heard of Bhai Taru Singh's arrest, he surrendered
himself so that he might die by his side. The two Sikhs had their bodies broken on the
wheel of torture. When only Taru Singh survived, he was given the choice of Islam or
death. When he refused to convert, his distinctive long hair was painfully scraped from
his scalp and the young Sikh left to die. Young Taru Singh was given over to a gracious
Sikh family who tended to him for his remaining days.
It was in this atmosphere of persecution that the Chhōṭā Ghallūghārā took place
in 1746. Early in that year, Jaspat Rai, a military commander was killed in an encounter
with a roving band of Sikhs. Jaspat's brother, Lakhpat Rai, who was a revenue minister
at Lahore, vowed his revenge.
P a g e
With the help of the new governor, Yahiya Khan, Lakhpat Rai mobilised the
Lahore troops, summoned reinforcements, alerted the dependent rulers of the kingdoms
in the Himalayan foothills, and roused the population for a genocide of the "infidel"
Sikhs. The Sikh inhabitants of Lahore were first rounded up, then executed on 10 March
Lakhpat Rai next set out for the swampy forest of Kaahnoovaan, near the town of
Gurdaspur, about 130 kilometres (81 mi) to the north-east of Lahore, where Sikhs were
reported to have concentrated. Lakhpat had with him with a large force of mostly
cavalry, supported by cannon, with which he surrounded the forest and began a
systematic search for their prey.
The Sikhs held out for some time and struck back whenever they could. Heavily
outnumbered and under-equipped, they decided to escape to the foothills of the
Himalayas to the north. The Sikhs crossed the River Ravi and came in sight of the
foothills, a 65-kilometre (40 mi) trek with the enemy in pursuit, only to find the armies of
the hill rajas arrayed to oppose them.
Caught between these two armies and running out of food, the Sikhs suffered
heavy casualties. At last, they managed to break through the encirclement and to
recross the River Ravi in a desperate attempt to reach the safety of the Lakhi Jungle,
near Bathinda, some 240 kilometres (150 mi) to the south. In the river crossing, many of
the weakened Sikhs were swept away by the current. With Lakhpat Rai's forces still in
hot pursuit, they crossed two more rivers, the Beas River and Sutlej, before finally
arriving at the sanctuary of the Lakhi Jungle.
An estimated 7,000 Sikhs were killed and 3,000 captured during this operation.
The captives were marched back to Lahore, paraded in the streets and publicly
beheaded. Given the small numbers of the Sikhs in those days of persecution, the
losses will have been a very substantial proportion of their population, perhaps a quarter
to a third of the total.
Lakhpat Rai went on to order Sikh places of worship destroyed and their
scriptures burnt. He went so far as to decree that anyone uttering the word "Guru" be
put to death. Even saying the Punjabi language word for sugar, "gur", which sounded
like "Guru", could be cause for the death penalty.
Nawab Kapur Singh requested the community to relieve him of his office, due to
his old age, and at his suggestion, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was chosen as the supreme
commander of the Dal Khalsa. Kapur Singh died in 1753 at Amritsar and was
succeeded by his nephew (Dhan Singh's son), Khushal Singh.
Khushal Singh who succeeded him as the leader of the misl. Sardar Khushal
Singh played a significant role in expanding the territories of the Singhpuria Misl on both
P a g e
the banks of the Satluj river. The most important of the possessions of Khushal Singh
were Patti, Bhartgarh, Nurpur, Bahrampur and Jalandhar. Khushal Singh also occupied
Ludhiana. He had to divide the district of Banur with Patiala. He died in 1795 leaving his
misl stronger than ever it was and with territorial possessions far larger than those he
Khushal Singh was succeeded by his son Budh Singh. When Abdali returned
home after his ninth invasion of India, the Sikhs had occupied more territories in the
Punjab. Sheikh Nizam-ud-din was the ruler of Jalandhar at that time. Sardar Budh Singh
defeated Nizam-id-din on the battle-field and occupied Jalandhar. He also took
possooession of Bulandgarh, Behrampur, Nurpur and Haibatpur-Patti. This victory
brought him yearly revenue of three lakhs of rupees.
However, Budh Singh could not equal Khushal Singh's talents. The Singhpuria
Misl began to decline and ultimately all its possessions on the west of Satluj were
annexed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. On his possessions on the east of the Satluj,
Budh Singh died in 1816, leaving seven sons behind him. His eldest son, Amar Singh,
retained possession of Bhartgarh and divided the rest of the territories among his six
brother as under:-
Gopal Singh: Manauli.
Lal Singh: Bunga.
Gurdyal Singh: Attalgarh.
Hardyal Singh: Bela
Dyal Singh: Kandhola.
The descendants of these Sardars still live on their respective estates.
The village of Kapurgarh in Nabha is named after Nawab Kapur Singh.
Extensive looting of the Mughal government
The Khalsa held a meeting to make plans to respond to the state repression
against the people of the region and they decided to take procession of government
money and weapons in order to weaken the administration, and to equip themselves to
face the everyday attacks. Kapur Singh was assigned to plan and execute these
Information was obtained that money was being transported from Multan to the
Lahore treasure; the Khalsa looted the money and took over the arms and horses of the
guards. They then took over one lakh rupees from the Kasoor estate treasury going
Download 5.23 Mb.
Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling