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Sikh History

You are right that majority of Sikhs don't consider themselves as Hindus, especially in western countries.

However there is a minority of Sikhs who do consider themselves as Hindus.
We should not disown them.
"However there is a minority of Sikhs who do consider themselves as Hindus.
We should not disown them."

A tiny minority and I did not say anything about disowning them, if they consider themselves as Hindus i have no problem but our position regarding Sikhs as a community should be neutral, we should neither help them nor harm them. We have enough problems among ourselves so first we should unite all Hindus instead of begging Sikhs to be Hindus (which will only increase sikh separatism).

Some Hindus seem to get carried away by reading some Dasam Granth and finding stories about Hindu Avatars there but Guru Govind makes it clear that he does not consider the avatars to be God, if anyone has any doubts they should read this from the Dasam Granth:


I have searched for the quote "sakala jagat mein Khalsa panth gaje
jage dharma Hindu sakala bhanda bhajee" in that Dasam Granth but could not find it, it could be censored in that granth since its an uncomfortable quote but so far not one Hindu has shown me where they get that quote from.
<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Jul 27 2005, 04:35 AM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Jul 27 2005, 04:35 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->

I have searched for the quote "sakala jagat mein Khalsa panth gaje jage dharma Hindu sakala bhanda bhajee" in that Dasam Granth but could not find it, it could be censored in that granth since its an uncomfortable quote but so far not one Hindu has shown me where they get that quote from. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I belive it is in his autobiography(?) vichitra natak, not dasam granth, while explaining the purpose of Khalsa (a blend of Kshatriya and brahmin tej)
<b>Ram Swarup's Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 1/10)</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sikhs have always been honoured members of Hindu society. Hindus at large have always cherished the legacy left by the Gurus and venerated Sikh Gurudwaras no less than the shrines of any other Hindu sect. There has never been any bar on inter-marriage, inter-dining and many other modes of inter- mingling between the parent Hindu society on the one hand and the Sikh community on the other. Hindus and Sikhs share a common cultural heritage and a common historical consciousness of persecutions suffered and freedom struggles fought.

Sikh Spirituality: The Sikh sect was founded by Guru Nanak Dev ( 1469-1538 A.D.) and promoted further by nine other Gurus, the last of whom, Govind Singh (b. 1675), died in 1708 A.D. Guru Nanak came from a Vaishnava family in that part of the Punjab which went to pakis-tan after the partition  in 1947. He was born at a time when the sword of Islamic invaders had already swept over the length and breadth of India and done   immeasurable damage not only to the shrines and symbols of Hinduism but also to the self-confidence of Hindus. The Punjab along with North- West Frontier and Sindh had suffered more heavily than elsewhere. Many Hindus in these provinces had been converted to Islam by force. The rest had been reduced to second-class citizens who could not practise their religion publicly without inviting persecution at the hands of Muslim theologians and tyrants. It was in this atmosphere that Guru Nanak asserted the superiority of his ancestral spirituality as against Islamic monotheism which had divided mankind into hostile camps and set children of the same Divinity at each other's throats.

This was an act of great courage because Islam prescribed the penalty of death for anyone who said that Hinduism was a religion as good as Islam, not to speak of saying that Hinduism was superior. Many Hindus had been put to death for uttering such a "blasphemy. What Guru Nanak had Proclaimed was, however, a part of the Hindu response to the Islamic onslaught. The response was two- pronged. While Hindu warriors fought against Islamic invaders on many a battlefield all over the country, Hindu saints and sages created a countrywide spiritual upsurge which came to be known as the Bhakti Movement. The message of this Movement was the same every- where, based as it was on the Vedas, the Ithihasa Purana and the Dharma- Shastras. The only variation on the central theme was that while most schools of Bhakti deepened the spirit behind outer forms of Bhakti worship, some others laid greater emphasis on advaitic mysticism as ex- pounded in the Upanishads and the various traditions of Yoga.

The latter schools alone could flourish in the Punjab and the rest of the North-West which had been denuded of Hindu temples and where ritual Practices were forbidden by the Muslim rulers. It was natural for Guru Nanak to be drawn towards this school in the course of his spiritual seeking and sing its typical strains in his own local language. The Bhakti Movement produced many saints in different parts of the country, North and South, East and West. They spoke and sang in several languages and idioms suited to several regions. It was inevitable that their message should go forth from as many seats and centres. Guru Nanak established one such seat in the Punjab. Those who responded to his call became known as Sikhs (Sk. Shisyas, disciples). The fourth Guru, Ram Das (1574-1581A.D. ), excavated a tank which subsequently became known asAmrit- sar (pool of nectar) and gave its name to the city that grew around it. In due course, a splendid edifice, Hari-mandir (temple of Hari), rose in the middle of this tank and be-came the supreme centre of the Sikh sect. Its sanctum sanc-torum came to house the Adi Granth containing compositions of Sikh Gurus and a score of other Hindu saints from different parts of the country. The songs of a few Muslim sufis who had been influenced by advaita were also included in it. The compila-tion of the Adi Granth was started by the fifth Guru, Arjun Dev(1581 - 1606 A.D.), and completed by the tenth Guru, Govind Singh. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 2/10) </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There is not a single line in the Adi Granth which sounds discordant with the spirituality of Hinduism. All strands of Hinduism may not be reflected in Sikhism. But there is nothing in Sikhism, its diction, its imagery, its idiom, its cosmogony, its mythology, its stories of saints and sages and heroes, its meta-physics, its ethics, its methods of meditation, its rituals - which is not derived from the scriptures of Hinduism. Ragas to which the hymns and songs of the Adi Granth were set by the Gurus are based on classical Hindu music. Parikrama ( Peram-bulation ) performed by Sikhs round every Gurudwara, thedhoop(incense), deep(lamp), naivaidya (offerings) presented by the devotees inside every Sikh shrine, and the prasadam (sanctified food) distributed by Sikh priests resemble similar rites in everyother Hindu place of worship. A dip in the tank attached to the Harimandir is regarded as holy by Hindus and Sikhs in particular as a dip in the Ganga.

It is this sharing of a common spirituality which has led many Hindus to worship at Sikh Gurudwaras as if they were theirown temples. Hindus in the Punjab regard the Adi Granth as the sixth Veda, in direct succession to the Rik, the Sama, the Yajus, the Atharva and the Mahabharata. A Hindu does not have to be a Sikh in order to do homage to the Adi Granth and participate in Sikh religious rites. Similarly, till recently Sikhs visited temples of various other Hindu sects, went to Hindu places of Pilgrimage and cherished the cow together with manyother symbols of Hinduism.

Religion has never been a cause of conflict between Sikh and non-Sikh Hindus. Sikh History Guru Nanak's message came like a breath of fresh breeze to Hindus in the Punjab who had been lying prostrate under Muslim oppression for well over five centuries. They flocked to the feet of the Sikh Gurus and many of them became initiated in the Sikh sect.

The sect continued to grow till it spread to several parts of the Punjab, Sindh and the North-West Frontier. Gurudwaras sprang up  in many places. The non-Sikh Hindus whose temples had been destroyed by the Muslims installed the images of their own gods and goddesses in many Sikh Gurudwaras. The Hindu temples which had survived welcomed the Adi Granth in their precincts. In due course, these places became community centers for Hindu society as a whole.

This resurgence of  India's indigenous spirituality could not but disturb Muslim theologians who saw in it a menace to the further spread of Islam. The menace looked all the more serious because Sikhism was drawing back to the Hindu fold some converts on who Islam had sat lightly.

The theologians raised a hue and cry which caught the ears of the fourth Mughal emperor, Jahangir(1605-1627 A.D.), who had ascended the throne with the assistance of a fanatic Islamic faction. He martyred the fifth Sikh Guru,Arjun Dev, for "spreading falsehood and tempting Muslims to apostay. "Hindus everywhere mourned over the foul deed, while Muslim theologians thanked Allah for his "mercy." Guru Arjun Dev was the first martyr in Sikh history. Muslim rulers continued to shed Sikh blood till Muslim power was destroyed by resurgent Hindu heroism in the second half of the 18th Century.

The sixth Sikh Guru Har Govind (1606-1644 A.D.), took uparms and trained a small army to resist Muslim bigotry. He wassuccessful and Sikhs escaped persecution till the time of the sixth Mughal emperor. Aurangzeb ( 1658-1707 A.D.), who was a veritable fiend in a human form so far as Hindus were concerned. He summoned the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur (1664-1675 A.D.),to the imperial seat at Delhi and martyred him in cold blood on his refusal to embrace Islam. Some followers of the Guru who had accompained him were subjected to inhuman torture and torn to pieces. This was as it were a final signal that there was some-thing very hard at the heart of Islam - a heart which the Gurus had tried to soften with their teachings of humanism and univer-salism. Sikhism had to accept the challenge and pick up the sword in defence of its very existence. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 3/10) </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This transformation of Sikhism had been started already, though in a small way, by Guru Har Govind. The tenth Guru,Govind Singh, completed the process when he founded the Khalsa(Party of the Pure) in 1699 A.D. He was a versatile scholar who knew several languages, kept the company of learned Brahmins and composed excellent poetry on varied themes. He had been been fascinated by the Puranic story of Goddess Durga, particularly in her incarnation as Mahisasuramardini.

He performed an elaborate Yajna presided over by pandits of the ancient lore and invoked the Devi for the protection of dharma. The Devi came to him in the shape of the sword which he now asked some of his followers to pick up and ply against bigotry and oppression.

Those who could muster the courage and dedication to die in defence of dharma were invited by him to become members of the Khalsa by wearing the five emblems of this heroic order--Kesh(unshorn hair) Kangha (comb), Kada (steel bracelet), Kachha(shorts) and Kirpan (sword). A new style of initiation termed pahul was ordained for this new class of Sikh warriors--sipping a palmful of water sweetened with sugar and stirred by a double-edged sword. Every member of the Khalsa had to add the honorofic Singh (lion) to his name so that he may be distinguished from the non-Khalsa Sikhs who could continue with their normal attire and nomenclature. No distinction of caste or social status was to be recognised in the ranks of the Khalsa. The Khalsa was not a new religious sect. It was only a martial formation within the larger Sikh fraternity, as the Sikhs themselves were only a sect within the larger Hindu society. It was started with the specific mission of fighting against Muslim tyranny and restoring freedom for the Hindus in their ancestral homeland. Soon it became a hallowed tradition in many Hindu families, Sikh as well non-Sikh, to dedicate their eldest sons tothe Khalsa which rightly came 'to be regarded as the sword- arm of Hindu society.' Guru Govind Singh was forced to fight against a whole Muslim army before they could consolidate the Khalsa. His two teen-aged sons courted matyrdom along with many other members of the Khalsa in a running battle with a fully equipped force in hot pursuit.

His two other sons who were mere boys were captured and walled up alive by the orders of a Muslim governor after they refused to embrace Islam. The Guru himself had to go into hiding and wander from place to place till he reached Nanded town in far-off Maharashtra. He was murdered by a Muslim fanatic to whom he had granted an interview inside his own tent. But the mighty seed he had planted in the shape of the Khalsa was soon to sprout, grow speedily and attain to the fullstature of a strong and well-spread-out tree. Before he died, Guru Govind Singh had commissioned Banda Bairagi, a Rajput from Jammu to go to the Punjab and punish the wrong-doers. Banda more than fulfiled his mission. He was joined by fresh formations of the Khalsa and the Hindus at large gave him succour and support. He roamed all over the Punjab, defeating one Muslim army after another in frontal fights as well as in guerilla warfare. Sirhind, where Guru Govind Singh's younger sons had been walled up, was stormed and sacked.

The bullies of Islam who had walked with immense swagger till only the other day had to run for cover. Large parts of the Punjab were liberated from Muslim depotism after a spell of nearly seven centuries. The Mughal empire, however, was still a mighty edifice which could mobilize a military force far beyond Banda's capacity tomatch. Gradually, he had to yield ground and accept defeat as his own following thinned down in battle after battle. He was captured, carried to Delhi in an iron cage and tortured to death in 1716 A.D. Many other members of the Khalsa met the same fate in Delhi and elsewhere. The Muslim governor of the Punjab had placed a prize on every Khalsa head. The ranks of the Khalsa had per force to suffer a steep decline and go into hiding. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 4/10)</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The next upsurge of the Khalsa came in the second half of theCentury. The Marathas had meanwhile broken the back of Mughal power all over India and the Mughal administration in the Punjab had disintegrated speedily. A new Muslim invader, Ahmad Shah Abdali, who tried to salvage the Muslim rule, had to give up after several attempts from 1748 to 1767 A.D. His only satisfaction was that he demolished the Harimandir and desecrated the sacred tank with the blood of slaughtered cows, two times in a row.

But the Sikh and non-Sikh Hindus rallied round the Khalsa again and again and rebuilt the temple every time. The Khalsa had a field day when Abdali departed finally from the scene. By the end of the century, Muslim power evaporated allover the Punjab and several Sikh principalities came up in different parts of the province. The strongest of them was that of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1783-1839 A.D ) who wiped out the Muslim rule from Kashmir and the North West Frontier as well. He would have conquered Sindh and Afghanistan also but for the steam-roller of British imperialism which took over his farflung kingdom as well, soon after his death.

The British had conquered India through their superiority in the art of warfare. They could not hope to hold such a big country by means of military might alone. They had to devise policies of divide and rule. The residues of Islamic imperialism had become their allies quite early in course of the conquest. Now they had to contend with the national society constituted by Hindus. It became the main plank of their policy, therefore, to fragment Hindu society and pit the pieces against each other. At the same time, they tried to create pockets of solid support for their regime in India. One such pocket was provided by Sikhs. The British planned and put into operation a move to separate and seal off the Sikh community from its parent Hindu society by converting it into a distinct religious minority like the Muslims and the Christians.

Tutored Sikh theolgians and scholars were patronised to make them pronounce that Sikhism was a decisive departure from Hinduism, the same as Christianity was from Judaism. The labours of Christian missionaries and the timings of Western Indology were mobilized in order to achieve this end. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 5/10) </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Christian missionaries had discovered quite early in their evangelical endeavours that the strength of Hindu society and culture lay ultimately in the mainstream of Hindu spirituality as expounded in the Vedas, the Puranas and the Dharmashastras.

It was this spirituality which had  served Hindu society in meetingand defeating several foreign invaders. The missionaries had,therefore, subjected this spirituality  to a sustained attack by misnaming it as Brahminism and misrepresenting it as a system of Polytheistic and idolatorous Paganism leading to sin in this world and perdition in the next. At a later stage, Western Indologists had joined forces with Christian missionaries, sometimes inadvertently due to their ignorance of Indian culture and sometimes deliberately due to mischievous political motives. According to the "scientific studies" carried out by the Indologists, 'Brahmanism was an alien imposition on India brought in by "Aryan invaders" who had driven the "native Dravidians" to the South around 1500 B.C.

Their "higher criticism" had "revealed" that the core Brahminism consisted of "primitive animism, puerile priest craft and caste oppression of the enslaved aborigines.- They Presented Buddhismand Jainism as "revolts" against the social system created by Brahminism.

The "revolt" was stated to have been continued and carried forward by some schools of the medieval Bhakti Movement of which Sikhism was supposed to be the foremost. It was now relatively easy for some Sikh theologians and scholars to prove that Sikhism was closer to Christianily and Islam than to Hinduism. They forced Sikhism into the moulds of Semitic theologies. Sikhism, they pronounced, was monotheistic while Hinduism was Polytheistic. Sikhism had a Book in the Adi Granth like the Bible and the Quran, while Hinduism had no Book. Sikhisim, like Christianity and Islam, had an apostolic tradition in its ten Gurus, while Hinduisim knew no Prophets. Sikhism frowned upon idolatory while Hinduism was full of it. Sikhism had no use for the Vedas, the Puranas and the social system of the Dharmashastras which formed cornerstones of Hinduism. And so on, this exercise in alienating Sikhism from its parent Hinduism has been painstaking as well as perisitent.

No wonder that this perverted version of Sikhism should start showing signs of fanaticism and bigotry which have all along characterised monotheistic creeds like Islam and Christianity. Monotheism is the mother of all closed societies and closed cultures. It always divides mankind into believers and non-believers, momims and kafirs, and sets the one against theother. Sikh Gurus had struggled indefatiguably to rid this country of this ideological barbarism brought in by Islamic invaders.

They had stood squarely for humanism, universalism and pluralism which have always been the hallmarks of Hindu spiri- tuality. By forcing Sikhism into monotheistic moulds Sikh scholars have betrayed the Gurus. Sooner this scholarship is disowned by the Sikh society at large, the better it will befor its spiritual and cultural welfare.

There is no dearth of Sikh scholars who continue to see Sikh spirituality in the larger and older spiritual tradition of the Upanishads and the Puranas. But the dominant Sikh politicians who control the SGPC purse have progressively extended their patronage to the misinterpreters of Sikh scriptures.

Let us hope that it is a passing phase and that truth will triumph in the long run. The Sikh scholars who cherish the spirituality bequeathed by the Gurus should come forward and make themselves heard more and more. Their voice is bound to ring true in theheart of the Sikh masses--a heart which is still tuned to Sabad-Kirtan, singing the ancient strains of Sanatana Dharma. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 6/10) </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->To fulfil a certain need of the hour, Guru Govind,Singh- preached the gospel of the Khalsa, the pure or the elect.Those wo joined his group passed through a ceremony known as pahul, and to emphasize the martial nature of 'their new vocation, they were given the title of Singh or "lion".

Thus began a sect not based on birth but which drew its recruits from those who were not Khalsa by birth. It was wholly manned by the Hindus. Military organisation has taken different forms in different countries at different times. The Khalsa was one such form thrown up by a tyrannized people, weak in arms but strong in determination. This form worked and the people of the Punjab threw away the Mughal tyranny. But fortunes change; in 1849, the British took over the Punjab.

The old style Khalsa was no longer possible and the recruitment to it almost ceased. The Punjab Ad-ministration Report of 1851-52 observes: "The sacred tank at Amritsur is less thronged than formerly, and the attendance at the annual festival is diminishing yearly.

The initiatory ceremony for adult is now rarely performed." Not only did the fresh re- cruitment stop, but also a new exodus began. The same Report says that people leave the Khalsa and "join the ranks of Hinduism whence they originally came, and bring up their children as Hindus." The phenomenon continued unabted.

The Administration Reportof 1854-55 and 1855-56 finds that "now that the Sikh commonwealth is broken up, people cease to be initiated into Sikhism and re-vert to Hinduism." At about this time, a census was taken.

It revealed that the Lahore division which included Manjha, the original home of the Sikhs, had only 200,000 Sikhs in a population of three million. This exodus may account at least partly for this small number. The development raised no question. To those who were involved, this was perfectly in order and natural. Nobody was conscious of violation of any code. Hindus were Sikhs and Sikhs were Hindus. The distinction between. them was functional, not fundamental.

A Sikh was a Hindu in a particular role. When under the changed circumstances, he could not play that role, he reverted to his original status. The Government of the day admitted that "modern Sikhism was little more than a political as- sociation, formed exclusively from among Hindus, which men would join or quit according to the circumstances of the day." This development, perfectly in accord with Indian reality,was not liked by the British. They considered it as something "to be deeply deplored, as destroying a bulwark of our rule." Imperialism thrives on divisions and it sows them even where they do not exist.

The British Government invited one Dr. E.Trumpp, a German Indologist and missionary, to look at Sikh scriptures and prove that their theology and cosmology were dif-fernt from those of the Vedas and the Upanishads. But he found nothing in them to support this view. He found Nanak a "thorough Hindu," his religion "a pantheism, derived directly from Hindu sources." In fact, the influence of Islam on subsequent Sikhism was, according to him, negative. "It is not improbable that Islam had a great share in working silently these changes, which are directly opposed to the teachings of the Gurus," he says. However, to please his clients, he ,said that the external marks of the Sikhs separated them from the Hindus and once these were lost, they relapsed into Hinduism. Hence, Hinduism was a danger to Sikhism and the external marks must be preserved by the Sikhs at all costs.

Precisely because there was a fundamental unity, the accidental difference had to be pushed to the utmost and made much of. From then onwards, "Sikhism in danger" became the cry of many British scholar-administrators.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 7/10) </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Lepel Henry Griffen postulated that Hinduism had always been hostile to Sikhism and even socially the two had been antagonistic. One Max Arthur Macauliffe, a highly placed British administrator, became the loudest spokesman of this thesis.He told the Sikhs that Hinduism was like a "boa constrictor of the Indian forests," which "winds its opponent and finally causes it to disappear in its capacious interior. "The Sikhs "may go that way," he warned. He was pained to see that the Sikhs regarded themselves as Hindus which was,"in direct opposition to the teachings of the Gurus."

He put words into the mouth of the Gurus and invented prophecies by them which anticipated the advent of the white race to whom the Sikhs would be loyal. He described "the pernicious effects of the up-bringing of Sikh youths in a Hindu atmosphere." These youths, he said, " are ignorant of the Sikh religion and of its prophecies in favour of the English and contract exclusive customs and prejudices to the extent of calling us Malechhas or persons of impure desires, and inspire disgust for the customs and habits of Christians."

It was a concerted effort in which the officials, the scholars and the missionaries all joined. In order to separate the Sikhs, they were even made into a sect of Islam. For example, one Thomas Patrick Hughes, who had worked as missionary for twenty years in Peshawar, edited the Dictionary of Islam.

The work itself is scholarly but, like most European scholarship, it had a colonial inspiration. The third biggest article in this work, after Muhammad and the Quran, is on Sikhism. It devotes one-fourth of a page to the Sunnis and, somewhat more justly,seven pages to the Shias, but devotes eleven and a half pages tothe Sikhs! Probably, the editor himself thought it rather exces-sive; for he offers an explanation to the Orientalists who "may,perhaps be suprised to find that Sikhism has been treated as asect of Islam." Indded, it is surprising to the non-Orientalists too.

For it must be a strange sect of Islam where the word 'Muhammad' does not occur even once in the writings of its found-er, Nanak. But the inclusion of such an article "in the presentwork seemd to be most desirable." It was a policy matter. Macauliffe and others provided categories which becamethe thought equipment of subsequent Sikh intellectuals.

But the British Government did not neglect the quicker administrative and political measures. They developed a special Army Policy which gave results even in the short run. While they disarmed the nation as whole, they created privileged enclaves of whatthey called martial races. The British had conquered the Punjab with the help of Poora-biya soldiers, many of them Brahmins, but they played a rebellious role in 1857. So the British dropped them and sought other elements. The Sikhs were chosen. In 1855, there wereonly 1500 Sikh soldiers, mostly Mazhabis. In 1910, there were33 thousands out of a total of 174 thousands, this time mostlyJats--just a little less than one-fifth of the total army strength. Their very recruitment was calculated to give them asense of separateness and exclusiveness.

Only such Sikhs were recruited who observed the marks of the Khalsa. They were sent to receive baptism according to the rites prescribed by Guru Govind Singh. Each regiment had its own granthis. The greetings ex-changed between the British officers and the Sikh soldiers were Wahguruji ka Khalsa ! Wahguruji ki Fateh.

A secret C I.D.Memorandum, prepared by D. Patfie, Assistant Director, Criminal Intellegence, Government of India (1911), says that "every en-deavour has been made to preserve them (Sikh soldiers) from the contagion of idolatory," a name the colonial-missionaries gaveto Hinduism. Thanks to these measures, the "Sikhs in the Indian Army have been studiously nationalized," Macaulille observed.

About the meaning of this "nationalization", we are left in nodoubt. Petrie explains that it means that the Sikhs were "en- couraged to regard themselves as a totally distinct and separate nation."

No wonder, the British congratulated themselves and held that the "preservation of Sikhism as a separate religion was largely due to the action of the British officers," as aBritish administrator put it. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 8/10) </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The British also worked on a more political level. Singh Sabhas were started, manned mostly by ex- soldiers. These worked under Khalsa Diwans established at Lahore and Amritsar. Lateron, in 1902, the two Diwans were amalgamated into one body--the Chief Khalsa Diwan, providing political leadership to the Sikhs. They all wore the badge of loyalty to the British.

As early as 1872, the loyal Sikhs supported the cruel suppression of the Namdhari Sikhs who had started a Swadeshi movement. They were described as a "wicked and misguided sect." The same forces described the Ghadarites in 1914 as "rebels" who should be dealt with mercilessly.

These organisations also spearheaded the movement for the de-Hinduization of the Sikhs and preached that the Sikhs were distinct from the Hindus. Anticipating the Muslims, they represented to the British Government as far back as 1888 that they be recognized as a separate community. They expelled the Brahmins from the Har Mandir, where the latter had worked as priests. They also threw out the idols of "Hindu" Gods from this temple which were installed there. We do not know what these Gods were and how "Hindu" they were, but most of them are adoringly mentionedin the poems of Guru Nanak. At any rate, more often than not, iconoclasm has hardly much spiritual content; on the other hand, it is a misanthropic idea and is meant to show one's ha-tred for one's neighbour. In this particular case, it was also meant to impress the British with one's loyalty. Hitherto,the Brahmins had presided over different Sikh ceremonies which were the same as those of the Hindus. There was now atendency to have separate rituals. In 1909, the Ananda Marriage Act was passed. Thus the seed sown by the British began to bear fruit.

In 1898, Kahan Singh, the Chief Minister of Nabha and a pacca loyal- ist wrote a pamplet: Hum Hindu Nahin Hain (We are not Hindus). This note, first struck by the British and then picked up by the collaboratonists, has not lacked a place in subsequent Sikh writings and politics, leading eventually in our own time to an intransigent politics and terroristic activities.

But that the Sikhs learn their history from the British is not peculiar to them. We all do it. With the British, we all believe that Indiais merely a land where successive invaders made good, and that this country is only a miscellany of ideas and peoples-- in short, a nation withour a nomos or personality or vision of its own.

The British played their game as best as they could, but they did not possess all the cards. The Hindu- Sikh ties were too intimate and numerous and these continued without much strain at the grass-root level. Only a small section maintained that there was a "distinct line of cleavage between Hinduism and Sikhism"; but a large section, as the British found, "favours, or at any rate views with indifference the re-absorption of the Sikhs into Hin-duism."

They found it sad to think that very important classes of Sikhs like Nanak Panthis or Sahajdahris did not even think it"in- cumbent on them to adopt the ceremonial and social observances of Govind Singh," and did not "even in theory, reject the authority of the Brahmins."

The glorification of the Sikhs was welcome to the British to the extent it separated them from the Hindus, but it had its disadvantages too. Mr. Petrie found it a "constant source of danger," something which tended to give the Sikhs a "wind in the head." Sikh nationalism once stimulated refused British guidance and developed its own ambitions. The neo-nationalist Sikhs thought of a glorious past and had dreams of a glorious future, but neither in his past nor in his future' "was there a place for the British Officer," as a British administrator complained.

Any worthwhile Sikh nationalism was incompatible with loyalty to the British. When neo-nationalists like Labh Singh spoke of the past "sufferings of the Sikhs at the hands of the Muhammadans," the British found in the statement a covert reference to them-selves.

When they admired the Gurus for "their devotion to religion and their disregard for life," the British heard in it acall to sedition. Sikh nationalism was meant to hurt the Hindus, but in fact it hurt the British. For what nourished Sikh nationalism also nourished Hindu nationalism. The glories of Sikh Gurus are part of the glories of the Hindus, and these have been sung by poets like Tagore and others. On the other hand, as Christians and as rulers, the British could not go very far in this direction. Infact, in their more private consultations, they spoke contemptuously of the Gurus. Mr. Petrie considered Guru Arjun Dev as"essentially a mercenary," who was "prepared to fight for or against the Mughul as convenience or profit dictated;" he tells us how "Tegh Bahadur, as an infidel, a robber and a rebel, wasexecuted at Delhi by the Moghul authorities." As imperialists, they naturally sympathised with the Moghuls and shared their view-point. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 9/10) </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->While the British were devotedly busy consolidating the Empire, other forces detrimental to their labour were also at work. Indians were an ancient people and they could not be kept in subjugation for long. The Time-Spirit was also against the British. Even during the heydays of Sikh loyalty to the British, there were many rebellious voices. One Baba Nihal Singh wrote (1885) a book entitled Khurshid-i-Khalsa, which "dealt in an objectionable manner with the British occupation of the Punjab."

When Gokhale visited the Punjab in 1907,he was received with great enthusiasm by the students of the Khalsa College, an institution started in 1892 specifically to instill loyalty in the Sikh youth.The horses of his carriage were taken out and it was pulled by the students.

He spoke from the college Dharamsala from which the Granth Sahib was specially removed tomake room for him. It was here that the famous poem, Pagri Sainbhal, Jatta, was first recited by Banke Dayal, editor of Jhang Sayal; it became the battle-song of the Punjab revolutionaries,

There was a general awakening which could not but affect the Sikh youth, too, Mr. Petrie observes that the "Sikhs have not been, and are not, immune from the disloyal influences which have been at work among other sections of the populace." A most powerful voice of revolt came from America where many Punjabis, mostly Sikh Jat ex-soldiers, had settled. Many of them had been in Hong Kong and other places as soldiers in the British regiments.

There they heard of a far-away country where people were free and prosperous. Their imagination was fired.The desire to emigrate was reinforced by very bad conditions at home. The drought of 1905-1907 and the epidemic in its wake had killed two million people in the Punjab. In the first decade of this century, the region suffered a net decrease in population. Due to new fiscal and monetary policies and new economic arrangements, there was a large-scaie alienation of land from the cultivators and hundreds of thousands of the poor and middle peasants werewiped out or fell into debt: Many of them emigrated and settled in British Columbia, particularly Vancouver.

Here they were treated with contempt. They realized for the first time that their sorry status abroad was due to their colonial status at home. They also began to see the link between India's poverty and British imperialism. Thus many of them, once loyal soldiers who took pride in this fact, turned rebels. They raised the banner of Indian nationalism and spoke against the Singh Sabhas, the Chief Khalsa Diwan and the Sardar Bahadurs at home. They spoke of Bharat-Mata; their heroes were patriots and revolutionaries from Bengal and Maharashtra, and not their co-religionists in the Punjab whom they called the "traffikers of the country." The earlier trends, some of them mutually opposed, became important components of subsequent Sikh politics. The pre-war politics continued under new labels at an accelerated pace. During this period, social fraternization with the Hindus continued as before, but politically the Sikh community became more sharply defined and acquired a greater group-consciousness.

In the pre-war period, an attempt had been made to de-Hinduize Sikhism; now it was also Khalsaized. Hitherto, the Sikh temples were managed by non-Khalsa Sikhs, mostly the Udasis, now these were seized and taken out of their hands. Khalsa activists, named Akalis, "belonging to the Immortal," moved from place to place and occupied different Gurudwaras.

These eventually came under control of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee in 1925. From this pointonwards. Sikh religion was heavily politicalised. Those who controlled resources of the temples controlled Sikh politics. The SGPC Act of 1925 defined Sikhs in a manner which excluded the Sahaja dharis and included only the Khalsa. SGPC, Akalis, Jathas became important in the life of the Sikh community. Non-Khalsa Sikhs became second-grade members of the community. The Akalis representing the Khalsa, acquired a new self- importance.

In their new temper, they even came into conflict with the British on several occasions. The Government was less sure now of their unquestioning loyalty. As a result, their share in the Army fell from 19.2 percent in 1914 to 13.58 percent in 1930; while the Muslim share rose from 11 to 22 percent during the same period. The pericd of the freedom struggle was not all idealism and warm-hearted sacrifice. There were many divisive forces, black sheep, and tutored roles. But the role of the Akalis was not always negative.

They provided a necessary counterweight to the Muslim League politics. On the eve of independence, the League leaders tried to woo the Akalis.

But, by and large, they were spurned. For a time, some Akali leaders played with the idea of a separate Khalistan, and the British encouraged them to present their case. But they found that they were in a majority only in two Tehsils and the idea of a separate state was not viable. Independence came accompanied by division of the country and large displacement of population. The country faced big problems but she managed to keep above water.

We were also able to retain democracy. But just when we thought we had come out of the woods, divisive forces which lay low for a time reappeared. Theold
drama with a new cast began to be enacted again. Muslim separative politics,helped by huge Arab funds, has become active again.

Christian missions have their own ambitions. They both are looking at the politics of extremist Sikhs with great hope and interest and they find it fits well with their own plans. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Hindu-Sikh Relationship (part 10/10) </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->When the British showed solicitude for the minorities, national India resented it and called it a British game. But surprisingly enough, the game continues to be played even after the British left. The minorities are encouraged to feel insecure and aggrieved. The minority stick is found handy to beat the majority. Hindu-baiting is politically profitable and intellectually fashionable. Constantly under attack, a Hindu tries to save himself by self-accusation; he behaves as if he is making amends for being a Hindu. The atmosphere provided hot-house conditions for the growth of divisive politics. Our Sikh brethren too remembered the old lesson (never really forgotten), taught to them by the British,that they were different. Macauliffe's works published in thefirst decade of the century were reissued in the sixties.

More recent Sikh scholars wrote histories of the Sikhs which were variations of the same theme. In no case, they provided a different vision and perspective. In the last two decades, another separating factor too has been silently at work.

Thanks to the Green Revolution and varioaus other factors, the-Sikhs have become relatively more rich and prosperous. No wonder, they have begun to find that the Hindu bond is not good enough for them and they seek a new identity readily available to them in their names and outer symbols. This is an understandable human frailty. ***"You have been our defenders," Hindus tell the Sikhs.

But in the present psychology, the compliment wins only contempt --and I believe rightly. For self- despisement is the surest way of losing a friend or even a brother. It also gives the Sikhs an exaggerated self-assessment. ***Under the pressure of this psychology, grievences were manufactured; extreme slogans were put forward with which even moderate elements had to keep pace.

In the last few years, even the politics of murder was introduced. Finding no check, it knew not where to stop; it became a law unto itself; it began to dictate, to bully. Camps came up in India as well as across the border, where young men were taught killing, sabotage and guerilla warfare. The temple at Amritsar became an arsenal, afort, a sanctuary for criminals.

This grave situation called for necessary action which caused some unavoidable damage to the building. When this happened, the same people who looked at the previous drama, either helplessly or with an indulgent eye, felt outraged. There were protest meetings, resolutions, desertions from the army, aid committees for the suspects apprehended,and even calls and vows to take revenge. The extremists were forgotten. There were two standards at work; there was a complete lack of self-reflection even among the more moderate and responsible Sikh leaders.

The whole thing created wide-spread resentment all over India which burst into a most unwholesome violence when Mrs. Indira Gandhi was assassinated. The befoggers have again got busy and they explain the whole tragedy in terms of collusion betweenthe politicians and the police. But, a growing resentment at the arrogant Akali politics is the main cause of this fearful happening. However, all is not dark. The way the common Hindus and Sikhs stood for each other in the recent happenings in the Punjab and Delhi show how much in common they have.

In spite of many recent provocations, lapses and misunderstandings, they have shown thatthey are one in blood, history, aspiration and interest. In a time so full of danger and mischief, this agelong unity proved the most solid support. But seeing what can happen, we should not take this unity for granted. We should cherish it, cultivate it, re-emphasize it. We can grow great together; in separation, we can only hurt each other.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
"I belive it is in his autobiography(?) vichitra natak, not dasam granth, while explaining the purpose of Khalsa (a blend of Kshatriya and brahmin tej)"

No it is not because the Baichittar Natak is also part of the Dasam Granth and it starts on page 94 and ends on page 175 but I did not find that quote there.
The Akal Takht, has, quite a number of times declared themselves as a part and parcel of the Hindu Samaj. The last instance I believe was in 2000 (or 1999?) when the then Jathedar of the AT Gyani Joginder Singh Vedanti declared Sikhism as a part of Hinduism (in fact he used the term 'sword arm'). It came out in all the major dailies in India. A Google search on the name would reveal the news items. But when he retired his successor backtracked.

The whole controversy which you speak of is more to do with politics than with religion. The extremist Khalistani fringe denounce their Hindu identity (the Mann group, Babbar Khalsa, etc.), the Sikhs supporting the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat proclaims it. The majority in the middle keep quiet. The Western Media actively promotes this sense of seperation. As a deeply divided Hindu society at war with it self is a sure way to keep India weak and unassuming. Their handmaidens in the lefty psec Indian press follow suit. God knows what benefit they hope to derive out of this.

There is also another point worth pondering. In India the minority is the king. A religious minority status is a guarranteed assurance for government largesse. More importantly its a guarrantee against governmental involvement and meddling in your community affairs and religious and social institutions. In other words it pays handsomely to be in the recognised minority in India. Do you remember a couple of years back the venerable Ramakrishna Mission, the official custodians of the legacy of Swami Vivekananda, filed a preposterous suite claiming minority status? They claimed that they were not Hindus but Ramkrishnites! They had to do it to save themselves from serious meddling in their institutions by the Left Front Govt. of West Bengal.

I'm in a hurry today, more later. What do you and the other members say on the above points?
When Manmohan Singh, the first Sikh Prime Minister, was in USA, Sikhs were demonstrating for a separate homeland in Washington, D.C. In Canada, Sikhs often demonstrate in support of Khalistan (Kanishka has not died down as yet). In UK, the Sikh federation does the same thing.

The fact is that Sikhs do not like to be called Hindus or even part of Hindus. Whatever may be the reality, if you visit any Sikh forum you will find anti Hindus postings and discussions on 1984 riots. However, they forget 500 years of their history and only remember 1984. What about pre '84 events..transistor bombs, mass killings, Kansihka downing, taking help of Pakis when the same people were responsible for atrocities on Sikhs during partition and others....'84 was wrong but what about the causes...

Even RSS (forced to change now) agrees these days that Sikhism is a separate religion. What radical Sikhs do not consider is that what are the chances of survival near pakis/islamofacists without support of Hindus. Which country in the world has two minority leaders leading the country? In today's world any terrorist activity to achieve politcal goals is a non starter and this is just the beginning. There will be total polarization in the world between those who are against terrorism and those who support terrorism. It is the high time that saner Sikh elements in the communirty should recognize this fact and isolate the radical elements.
Aryawan exactly my point, on every sikh forum all u see is Hindu bashing, especially Brahmin bashing, they only talk about the 1984 riots but never about partition massacres. Some of them even say Hindus are indirectly responsible for the killing of Sikhs during partition, their logic goes something like this, the Hindu congress of Gandhi did not agree to share power with Muslims which led to Muslims asking for a separate state because of Hindu communalists and Sikhs were just caught in the crossfire in a conflict that was created by Hindus.

Hindus should recognize that nothing good will ever come from begging Sikhs to be Hindus or forcing the Hindu label on them when they clearly do not want to be called as Hindus, infact it will only give more power to the Khalistanis because they can say Hindus are trying to finish off Sikhism by insisting that Sikhs are Hindus. All Hindu orgs should formally issue a statement saying that Sikhism is a separate religion and that the Khalsa was not created to defend Hindus, they should be indifferent towards Sikhs, enough is enough, time Hindus learnt to have some self respect. We have enough problems among ourselves so let us solve those and unite Hindus instead of begging Sikhs to be Hindus and wasting our time. Sikhs can take care of their own religion, no need for VHP to try and stop evangelism amongst Sikhs, we should only care for Hindus and as long as evangelism is not affecting our community we should do nothing for Sikhs and we should categorically reject this false slogan of Sikhs being Hindus.
Bhatti never stops!

Most likeable Sikh.


posted:<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Some tips are:

For Capt Amarinder Singh — Before levelling charges against me, learn how to tie your own turban.

For Mr Badal — I know you cannot tie your own turban. You have friends to help you do that.

For Capt Amarinder — Don’t scratch your beard if you don’t know the answer. The lice will not help you defend yourself.

For Mr Badal — I know you get your dandruff cleared on government expense.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Sikhs a separate religious community: VHP</b>
Finally VHP did something right for a change, no Hindu organisation should ever again say nonsense about Sikhs being Hindus or Sikhs being the sword arm of Hindu society. But seems like Hindus will never learn to face reality, even after VHP declared that Sikhs are a separate religious community, the following Hindu nutcases still cling to their fantasy of Sikhs being Hindus:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This man, Ashok Singhal has gone mad or he was born mad,He and few like him have made Hinduism weak and rediculous through their silly comments and definitions. A sikh is the purest form of Hinduism.A Sikh, not necessarily with beard and turban,is a better Hindu than Singhal who misinterperates Guru Gobind Singh's actions.He was not merely spritual Guru but had to take-up arms and fight for Hindus and naturally people of his Panth who were/are Hindus.There are thousand many Panths and sects within Hindu religion and some of them doesn't want to have anykind of relation with the main stream.If he sees some faux-pas by Guru Gobind Singh he has to confirm it and be absolute sure about what is being spread and propagated in the falsified history of India.He should know it was British who wanted to break Hinduism into different sects and even they had started wrting Hindu-Sikh,Jat-Sikh and Majbi-Sikh etc. to create more friction among Hindu communities.Moreover Singhal should see how many tainted Hindu gurus are there and still they are claimed to be Hindus.Because of baseless contraversies and limited knowledge he has no right to say Sikhs have different identity.Sikhs are Hindus.

Posted by: romesh.sharma, Germany, 10-08-2005 at 2119 hours IST

The Sikhs are the Air and Soul of our Hinduism.In the olden days the eldest Hindu son use to serve the army as a Sikh warrior.

I do not understand why is this Ashoki Singhal al-Qaedawala type interfering into eveything,because this jerk does not represent our Hinduism,he represent himself as a hard core fanatic and even our true Hindu Sadhu's have told him to mind his own business,but he keeps on commenting on behalf of Hinduism.
This jerk is the one who has blotted our Hindu Dharma and therefore this guy could not be taken seriously.

Posted by: Reader, India, 10-08-2005 at 1914 hours IST


Hindus will never learn.

It's a heads-I-win-tails-you-loose situation for Singhal. If Singhal had said that Sikhs are Hindus half of psecwadis would have called him a racists bigot for not respecting the Sikhs choice and identity and a bunch of Hindus imposing their faith on other minorities.

When Singhal had said Sikhs are different commuinty and one which is source of pride and admiration of our nation, we have other half of the psecwadi rascals getting their undies twisted into knots as is evident in the posts at expressindia site.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->From the time of Guru Gobind Singhji only, Sikhs grew as a separate religious community. <b>That is why like other schools of Bharatiya religion, VHP looks upon the Sikh panth with great admiration and pride</b>", he said in a letter to National Minorities Commission chairman Tarlochan Singh.

Singhal was responding to a letter from Singh seeking a "definite statement" on the issue from VHP in the wake of a complaint from the Punjab Rights Forum about the recent Amritsar conclave of the Sangh Parivar outfit in which public announcements were reportedly made that Sikhs were part of Hindus.

So it's not a matter of average Hindus learning or not. It's the mischief of these self styled seculars one has to keep an eye out for.
It’s very difficult to differentiate. Lot of families is mixed families. In Punjab till 60s, families used to offer eldest sons to Guru or Sikhism as a symbol that he will protect our family from enemies (Muslim invaders) or to get blessing from Guru. In our extended family we have Sikhs. But after demand for separate state after independence this practice stopped and after Khalistan demand even mix marriages stopped or just negligible. In Punjab Sikhs and Hindus visit temples or Gurudawara in same number. Sikhs participate Navaratra or Tuesday fasting. Culture is same.
After agitation, there is a drop in Sikh population. Mainly it’s because of feticide, those who initially got converted are returning back to Hinduism or atleast raising there kids as Hindu and conversion is very rare.

Noise from Amritsar groups are more political than anything. These people are converting religion into political party.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It’s very difficult to differentiate. Lot of families is mixed families. In Punjab till 60s, families used to offer eldest sons to Guru or Sikhism as a symbol that he will protect our family from enemies (Muslim invaders) or to get blessing from Guru.

The moderator of www.jattworld.com claims that this was true only for the Khatri community. He says Punjabi Jatts were never Hindu to begin with. Is his claim correct?
"He says Punjabi Jatts were never Hindu to begin with. Is his claim correct?"

Load of crap, ofcourse Punjab jatts were Hindu once upon a time, they are ashamed of their Hindu past and are trying to cover it up by making up such myths, so what religion exactly did Jatts follow before sikhism was founded, did they follow some top secret mythical religion that the whole world doesn't know about or what.
Viren ok let us assume those 2 comments were from secularvadis but by today there are comments worth of 3 pages on that article and almost all Hindus saying that sikhs are Hindus while all sikhs there saying that Sikhs are a separate religious community, do u honestly believe that all these are secularvadis, no they are the common Hindus who bury their head in the sand and refuse to listen to what Sikhs are saying and have been saying for the past 100 years about their religion. I have come to the conclusion that Hindus have a serious inferiority complex regarding Sikhs, otherwise why would they keep begging and groveling before Sikhs and asking them to be Hindus even after the Khalistani movement and the 1984 riots fiasco, time we Hindus concetrate on our own community and stop labeling Sikhs as Hindus, maybe these dumb Hindus need the treatment that Khalistanis gave to Hindus in the 80's which will bring them back to their senses.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The moderator of www.jattworld.com claims that this was true only for the Khatri community<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
It happened in every caste and every social group.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Punjabi Jatts were never Hindu to begin with<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Those who deny are basically recently indoctrinated in Khalistan movement. Punjab interior villages were 100% Sikh, it happened after mass conversion after repetitive attack by muslims invaders and local mullahs. Jatts were Hindu farm labors and started following Guru (during that time it was just a Hindu sect) to protect themselves from Muslims.

But now trend is changing, People are reverting and shedding Sikh symbols. Jatt are first to cut hair. I have seen visible difference in culture after end of Khalistan movement in Punjab, people who are changing are Sikhs.
Hari Singh Nalwa is one of those heroes who is virtually unknown in India, the muslim appeasing gov't never cared to put material on either him or even Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Hari Singh Nalwa was a terror for the pathans, even today pathan women say that Nalwa is coming if they want their kids to behave, no wonder he is not mentioned by the Gandhian brainwashed historians, he took pro Hindu/Sikh measures as soon as he captured Kashmir, for example:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hari Singh Nalua was appointed Governor of Kashmir. Immediately, he ordered to ban cow slaughter, such was an effect that to this day, Kashmiri Muslims don't eat beaf. Jaziya, etc , the taxes which Hindu and Sikh population had to pay to their Muslim rulers for "not being a Muslim" were eradicated.

These are the real heroes of India who should be honoured.
The following is an account of Banda Singh Bahadur and the Sikhs by
Khafi Khan from "The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians.
The Muhammadan Period Sir H. M. Elliot Edited by John Dowson", It is
in Muntakhabu-l Lubáb, of Kháfí Khán which is available online here:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->THIRD YEAR OF THE REIGN, 1120 A.H. (1708-9 A.D.).
The Sikhs.
[Text, vol. ii. p. 651.] There is a sect of infidels called Gurú, more commonly known as Sikhs. Their chief, who dresses as a fakír, has a fixed residence near Láhore. From old times he has built temples in all the towns and populous places, and has appointed one of his followers to preside in each temple as his deputy. When any one of the sect brought presents or offerings for the Gurú to the temple, the deputy had to collect them, and, after deducting sufficient for his own food and expenses, his duty was to send the balance faithfully to the Gurú. This sect consists principally of Játs and Khatrís of the Panjáb and of other tribes of infidels. When Aurangzeb got knowledge of these matters, he ordered these deputy Gurús to be removed and the temples to be pulled down.
At the time that Bahádur Sháh marched towards Haidarábád, Gobind, the chief Gurú of the sect, came to join him with two or three hundred horsemen bearing spears and some footmen. After two or three months, he died from the wounds of a dagger, and his murderer was not discovered. When the news of his death reached the Panjáb, where the bulk of the Sikhs were living, an obscure member of the sect, about the name* given to whom there are various statements, gave out that in the course of transmi¬gration, which the Sikhs believe in and call avatár, he had taken the place of the murdered Gobind, who had come to life again as a bearded man in his body, for the purpose of taking revenge. This worthless dog, having published this statement, stirred up disaffection in the sect, and raised the standard of rebellion. By jugglery, charms, and sorcery, he pretended to perform miracles before credulous people, and gave himself the name of Sachá Pádsháh “True King.”
He began to plunder in the Panjáb and the country about Sihrind, and in the course of three or four months he gathered round him four or five thousand pony (yábú) riders and seven or eight thousand motley footmen. His numbers daily increased, and much plunder fell into his hands, until he had eighteen or nineteen thousand men under arms, and carried on a predatory and cruel warfare. He fought with two or three faujdárs who went out to punish him, defeated them and killed them. In many villages which he plundered he appointed thánádárs and tahsíldárs to collect the revenues of the neighbourhood for him, and matters came to such a pass that with three or four thousand infidels who were leagued with him, he wrote orders to the Imperial officials and the managers of the jágírdárs, calling upon them to submit to him, and to relinquish their posts.
Wazír Khán, Faujdár of Sihrind, had held the charge of the civil and revenue affairs of that district for a long time. He had some troops and treasure, and had obtained a reputation by his firm management. When he heard how districts in his charge had been ravaged and plundered, he set about collecting troops and warlike equipments. He joined with him four or five faujdárs and zamíndárs of name, prepared lead and gunpowder, mustered five or six thousand horse and seven or eight thousand musketeers (barkandáz) and archers, and with these and some artillery and elephants he marched out to give battle and to punish that perverse sect. After marching three or four kos, he came up with the enemy.
The accursed wretches had got warning of the movement of Wazír Khán, and advanced to meet him. All his followers kept shouting “Sachá Pádsháh” and “Fath daras.” The battle began, and great bravery was shown on both sides, but especially by the confederate sectarians. They advanced sword in hand against the elephants, and brought two of them down. Many Musulmáns found martyrdom, and many of the infidels went to the sink of perdition. The Musulmán forces were hardly able to endure the repeated attacks of the infidels, when a musket-ball made a martyr of Wazír Khán, and they were put to flight. Money and baggage, horses and elephants, fell into the hands of the infidels, and not a man of the army of Islám escaped with more than his life and the clothes he stood in. Horsemen and footmen in great numbers fell under the swords of the infidels, who pursued them as far as Sihrind.
Sihrind was an opulent town, with wealthy merchants, bankers, and tradesmen, men of money, and gentlemen of every class; and there were especially learned and religious men in great numbers residing there. No one found the opportunity of saving his life, or wealth, or family. When they heard of the death of Wazír Khán, and the rout of his army, they were seized with panic. They were shut up in the town, and for one or two days made some ineffectual resistance, but were obliged to bow to fate. The evil dogs fell to plundering, murdering, and making prisoners of the children and families of high and low, and carried on their atrocities for three or four days with such violence that they tore open the wombs of preg¬nant women, dashed every living child upon the ground, set fire to the houses, and involved rich and poor in one common ruin. Wherever they found a mosque, a tomb, or a gravestone of a respected Musulmán, they broke it to pieces, dug it up, and made no sin of scattering the bones of the dead. When they had done with the pillage of Sihrind, they appointed officers to collect the rents and taxes in all the dependent districts.
Accounts of the calamity which had fallen upon Sihrind reached 'Alí Muhammad Khán, Faujdár of Saháranpúr, and he was terror-struck. Although a number of gentlemen and Afgháns gathered round him and urged him to act boldly and to put his fortifications in a state of defence, it was of no avail; he went off to Dehlí with his property and family. The men of the town assembled, and, moved by one spirit, they threw up breastworks all round. When the villainous foe arrived, they made a manful resistance, and fighting under the protection of their houses, they kept up such a discharge of arrows and balls, that they sent many of their assailants to hell. Many men of noble and respectable families fell fighting bravely, and obtained the honour of martyrdom. The property and the families of numbers of the inhabitants fell into the hands of the enemy, and numerous women, seeing that their honour was at stake, and captivity before them, threw themselves into wells. A party of brave gentlemen collected their wives and families in one spot, and kept up such a manful resistance that they saved the lives, the property, and the honour of their families.
After a large booty of money, jewels, and goods of Sárangpúr had fallen into the hands of the enemy, they took measures to secure the surrounding country, and they sent severe orders to Jalál Khán, Faujdár of Jalálábád, who had founded the town and built the fort, and was famed for his boldness and valour throughout the country. When the letter of the accursed wretches reached him, he ordered the bearers to be exposed to derision and turned out of the place. He set his defences in order, collected materials of war, and did his best to protect the name and honour of those around him, and to get together a force sufficient to oppose the infidels. Intelligence was brought in that the enemy were only three or four kos distant, and they had attacked and surrounded two villages dependent on Jalálábád, the forts and houses of which were full of property belonging to merchants.
Jalál Khán sent out three or four hundred Afghán horse, and nearly a thousand musketeers and archers, under the com¬mand of Ghulám Muhammad Khán, his own grandson, and Hizbar Khán, to relieve the besieged places and drive off the infidels. Their arrival greatly encouraged the people who were assailed. Four or five hundred brave musketeers and bowmen and numbers of peasants, armed with all sorts of weapons, and with slings, came forward boldly to oppose the enemy, and the battle grew warm. Although the enemy fought with great courage and daring, and Hizbar Khán with a great many Musulmáns and peasants were killed, the repeated attacks of the Afgháns and other Musulmáns of name and station routed the enemy, and they fled, after a great number had been slain. Several fights afterwards took place between Jalál Khán, and the infidels received two or three defeats; but they still persevered with the investment of Jalálábád.
At length seventy or eighty thousand men swarmed together from all parts like ants and locusts. They brought with them two or three hundred movable morcháls made of planks, on which they had placed wheels as upon carts, and with them surrounded Jalálábád as with a ring. It is impossible to relate in full all the brave deeds done by the Afgháns in their conflicts with the enemy. The assailants advanced their morcháls to the foot of the wall, when they discharged arrows, musket-balls, and stones, and raising their cry of “Fath daras,” they strove in the most daring way, with four or five hundred pickaxes and other implements, to undermine the wall, to pass over it by ladders, and to burn the gate. The Afgháns threw open the gate, and went out with their drawn swords in their hands, and shields over their heads, and in every attack killed and wounded a hundred or two of the infidels. Many Musulmáns also fell. Attacks were also made upon the enemy at night. For twenty days and nights the besieged could get neither food nor rest. At length the in¬fidels, having lost many thousand men and gained no advantage, raised the siege. They went off to reduce Sultánpúr and the par-ganas of the Jálandhar Doáb. They sent a letter to Shams Khán, the Faujdár, calling upon him to submit, to carry out certain instructions, and to come to meet them with his treasure. * *
Shams Khán, with four or five thousand horse and thirty thousand foot, armed with matchlocks, bows and all kinds of weapons, which they had possessed for a long time or newly acquired, went forth accompanied by the zamíndárs. Gentlemen of every tribe, peasants, and mechanics, principally weavers, came forth boldly to stake their lives and property in resisting the in¬fidels. They pledged themselves to support each other, and con¬tributed their money for the general good. More than a hundred thousand men so assembled, and went forth from Sultánpúr with great display. The infidels, on hearing of these bold proceedings of Shams Khán, and of his coming forth with such an army and implements of war, moved with their whole force, amounting to seventy or eighty thousand horse and foot. They had with them the guns they had brought from Sihrind, their plank construc¬tions, bags full of sand for making lines, and lead and gunpowder. Plundering everywhere as they went, they came to Ráhún,* seven kos from Sultánpúr. There they had halted, and took post by a brick-kiln, all the bricks of which they used for making a sort of fort; and having thrown up lines all round, they made ready for battle. They sent out patrols in all directions, and they wrote threatening orders to the chaudharís and kánúngos calling upon them to submit.
Shams Khán had many thousands of brave Musulmáns on his right hand and his left, all animated with desire for a holy war and hope of martyrdom, who encouraged each other and said, “If Shams Khán is defeated and killed, our lives and property and families are all lost.” Vying with and inspiriting each other, they advanced boldly to within cannon-shot of the enemy. At the close of the first watch of the day, the battle began with a discharge of guns and muskets. Ten or twelve thousand balls and stones from slings came rattling like hail upon the forces of Islám, but by God's mercy produced no great effect, and no man of note was killed. Shams Khán forbade haste and a useless dis¬charge of ammunition. He went steadily forward, and after a volley or two from the infidels, he sent forward an elephant supported by forty or fifty thousand Musulmáns who had come together from all parts. They raised their war-cry, charged the infidels, and killed and wounded great numbers.
The infidels, after fruitless struggles, were overpowered, and being discouraged, they took refuge in the fort of Ráhún, of which they had obtained possession before the battle. This was invested, and a general fire of muskets and rockets began. The garrison of the fort of Ráhún had left in it their warlike stores and provisions when they evacuated it, and of these the infidels took possession and stood firm in the fort. They were invested for some days; but at night parties of them came out, and attacked the forces of Islám, killing men and horses. Both sides were in difficulty, but especially the enemy. They evacuated the fort at night and fled. Shams Khán pursued them for some kos, and took from them a gun and some baggage, camels and bullocks, with which he returned to Sultánpúr.
Next day about a thousand of the enemy attacked the garrison which Shams Khán had placed in Ráhún, drove them out and occupied it themselves. The enemy then proceeded to plunder the neighbourhood of Láhore, and great alarm was felt in that city and all around. Islám Khán, the Prince's díwán, and náíb of the súba of Láhore, in concert with Kázim Khán, the royal díwán, and other officials, after setting in order the fortifications of the city, went out with a large muster of Musulmáns and Hindús, and encamped four or five kos from the city, where he busied himself in cutting off the patrolling parties of the enemy. The people in Láhore were safe from danger to life and property, but the outskirts up to the garden of Shálimár, which is situated two kos from the city, were very much ravaged.
For eight or nine months, and from two or three days' march of Dehlí to the environs of Láhore, all the towns and places of note were pillaged by these unclean wretches, and trodden under foot and destroyed. Men in countless numbers were slain, the whole country was wasted, and mosques and tombs were razed. After leaving Láhore, they returned to the towns and villages of Shádhúra and Karnál, the faujdár of which place was slain after resisting to the best of his ability. Now especially great havoc was made. A hundred or two hundred Hindús and Musulmáns who had been made prisoners were made to sit down in one place, and were slaughtered. These infidels had set up a new rule, and had forbidden the shaving of the hair of the head and beard. Many of the ill-disposed low-caste Hindús joined themselves to them, and placing their lives at the disposal of these evil-minded people, they found their own advantage in professing belief and obedience, and they were very active in persecuting and killing other castes of Hindús.
The revolt and the ravages of this perverse sect were brought under the notice of His Majesty, and greatly troubled him; but he did not deem its suppression so urgent as the putting down of the Rájpút rebellion, so the royal armies were not sent against them at present. Giving the Rájpút difficulty his first atten¬tion, the royal army marched from Ujjain towards the homes of the Rájpúts.
The Sikhs.
[vol. ii. p. 669.] The Emperor came near to Dehlí, and then sent Muhammad Amín Khán and * * * with a strong force against the Sikhs. His instructions were to destroy the thánas (military posts) established by the enemy, to re-establish the Imperial posts, and to restore the impoverished people of Sháhábád, Mustafa-ábád, Shádhúra, and other old seats of population, which had been plundered and occupied by the enemy. Forgetful of former defeat, the enemy had resumed his predatory warfare, and was very daring. On the 10th Shawwál, 1121 (5th Dec., 1709), the royal army was four or five kos from Shádhúra, and a party was sent forward to select ground for the camp, when the enemy, with thirty or forty thousand horse and countless numbers of foot, shouting their cry of “Fath daras,” attacked the royal army.
I cannot describe the fight which followed. The enemy in their fakír clothing struck terror into the royal troops, and matters were going hard with them, when a party of them dis¬mounted from their elephants and horses, charged the enemy on foot, and put them to flight. The royal commander then went and took post in Shádhúra, with the intention of sending out forces to punish and drive off the enemy. * * But rain fell for four or five days, and the weather became very cold. * * * Thousands of soldiers, especially the Dakhinís, who were un¬accustomed to the cold of those parts, fell ill, and so many horses died that the stench arising from them became intolerable. The men attributed it to the witchcraft and sorcery of the enemy, and uttered words unfit to be spoken. News also was brought in of the daring attacks made by the enemy on the convoys and detachments of the royal army, in which two or three faujdárs of repute were killed. Jumlatu-l Mulk Khán-khánán, with one son, and * *, were sent under the command of Prince Rafí'u-sh Shán to repress the enemy.
After repeated battles, in which many men were killed on both sides, the infidels were defeated, and retreated to a fastness in the hills called Lohgarh, which is near the hills belonging to the Barfí Rája (Icy King),* and fortified themselves. * The Gurú of the sect incited and encouraged his followers to action by assuring them that those who should fall fighting bravely on the field of battle would rise in a state of youth to an everlasting existence in a more exalted position. * Continual fighting went on, and numbers fell. * * The provisions in their fortress now failed, and the infidels bought what they could from the grain-dealers with the royal army, and pulled it up with ropes. * * The infidels were in extremity, when one of them, a man of the Khatrí tribe, and a tobacco-seller by trade, resolved to sacrifice his life for the good of his religion. He dressed himself in the fine garments of the Gurú, and went and seated himself in the Gurú's house. Then the Gurú went forth with his forces, broke through the royal lines, and made off to the mountains of the Barfí Rája.
The royal troops entered the fort, and, finding the false Gurú sitting in state, they made him prisoner, and carried him to Khán-khánán. Great was the rejoicing that followed; the men who took the news to the Emperor received presents, and great commendation was bestowed on Khán-khánán. The prisoner was taken before Khán-khánán, and the truth was then discovered—the hawk had flown and an owl had been caught. Khán-khánán was greatly vexed. He severely reprimanded his officers, and ordered them all to dismount and march on foot into the hills of the Barfí Rája. If they caught the Gurú, they were to take him prisoner alive; if they could not, they were to take the Barfí Rája and bring him to the presence. So the Rája was made prisoner and brought to the royal camp, instead of the Gurú. Clever smiths were then ordered to make an iron cage. This cage became the lot of Barfí Rája and of that Sikh who so devotedly sacrificed himself for his Gurú; for they were placed in it, and were sent to the fort of Dehlí.
In this sect it is deemed a great sin to shave the hair of the head or beard. Many of the secret adherents of the sect be¬longing to the castes of Khatrí and Ját were employed in service with the army, at the Court, and in public offices. A pro¬clamation was issued requiring Hindús in general to shave off their beards. A great many of them thus had to submit to what they considered the disgrace of being shaved, and for a few days the barbers were very busy. Some men of name and position committed suicide to save the honour of their beards.
FOURTH YEAR OF THE REIGN (1126 A.H., 1714 A.D.).
War with the Sikhs.*
[Text, vol. ii. p. 761.] The violence [of the Sikhs] passed all bounds. The injuries and indignities they inflicted on Musul-máns, and the destruction of mosques and tombs, were looked upon by them as righteous meritorious acts. They had built a fort at Gurdáspúr in the Panjáb, ten or twelve days' journey from Dehlí, and extended its limits so that fifty or sixty thousand horse and foot could find protection. They strengthened the towers and walls of the place, took possession of all the cultivated land around, and ravaged the country from Láhore to Sihrind, otherwise called Sirhind. 'Abdu-s Samad Khán Diler Jang was appointed Súbadár of Láhore, and was sent thither with * * and with a select army and artillery. 'Abdu-s Samad engaged the vast army of the Gurú near his fort. The infidels fought so fiercely that the army of Islám was nearly over¬powered; and they over and over again showed the greatest daring. Great numbers were killed on both sides; but Mughal valour at length prevailed, and the infidels were defeated and driven to their stronghold.The infidels on several occasions showed the greatest boldness and daring, and made nocturnal attacks upon the Imperial forces. 'Abdu-s Samad Diler Jang, while lying in front of their poor fortress,* was obliged to throw up an intrenchment for the defence of his force. He raised batteries, and pushed forward his ap¬proaches. The siege lasted a long time, and the enemy exhibited great courage and daring. They frequently made sallies into the trenches, and killed many of the besiegers. To relate all the struggles and exertions of 'Abdu-s Samad and his companions in arms would exceed our bounds. Suffice it to say that the Royal army in course of time succeeded in cutting off from the enemy his supplies of corn and fodder, and the stores in the fort were exhausted. [Great straits and sufferings of the besieged.]
Being reduced to the last extremity, and despairing of life, the Sikhs offered to surrender on condition of their lives being spared. Diler Jang at first refused to grant quarter; but at length he advised them to beg pardon of their crimes and offences from the Emperor. Their chief Gurú,* with his son of seven or eight years old, his díwán, and three or four thousand persons, became prisoners, and received the predestined recompense for their deeds. 'Abdu-s Samad had three or four thousand of them put to the sword, and he filled that extensive plain with blood as if it had been a dish. Their heads were stuffed with hay and stuck upon spears. Those who escaped the sword were sent in collars and chains to the Emperor. * * 'Abdu-s Samad sent nearly two thousand heads stuffed with hay and a thousand persons bound with iron chains in charge of his son, Zakaríya Khán, and others, to the Emperor.
In the month of Muharram, the prisoners and the stuffed heads arrived at Dehlí. The Bakhshí I'timádu-d daula Muhammad Amín Khán received orders to go out of the city, to blacken the faces and put wooden caps on the heads of the prisoners; to ride himself upon an elephant, place the prisoners on camels, and the heads on spears, and thus enter the city, to give a warning to all spectators. After they had entered the city, and passed before the Emperor, orders were given for confining the Gurú, his son and two or three of his principal companions, in the fort. As to the rest of the prisoners, it was ordered that two or three hundred of the miserable wretches should be put to death every day before the kotwal's office and in the streets of the bázár. The men of the Khatrí caste, who were secretly members of the sect, and followers of the Gurú, sought by the offer of large sums of money to Muhammad Amín Khán and other mediators to save the life of the Gurú, but they were unsuccessful. After all the Gurú's companions had been killed, an order was given that his son should be slain in his presence, or rather that the boy should be killed by his own hands, in requital of the cruelty which that accursed one had shown in the slaughter of the sons of others. Afterwards, he himself was killed.Many stories are told about the wretched dogs of this sect, which the understanding rejects; but the author will relate what he saw with his own eyes.
When the executions were going on, the mother of one of the prisoners, a young man just arrived at manhood, having obtained some influential support, pleaded the cause of her son with great feeling and earnestness before the Emperor and Saiyid 'Abdu-llah Khán. She represented that her son had suffered imprisonment and hardship at the hands of the sect. His property was plundered, and he was made prisoner. While in captivity, he was, without any fault of his own, introduced into the sect, and now stood innocent among those sentenced to death. Farrukh Siyar commiserated this artful woman, and mercifully sent an officer with orders to release the youth. That cunning woman arrived with the order of release just as the executioner was standing with his bloody sword upheld over the young man's head. She showed the order for his release. The youth then broke out into complaints, saying, “My mother tells a falsehood: I with heart and soul join my fellow-believers in devotion to the Gurú: send me quickly after my companions.”
It is said that I'timádu-d daula Muhammad Amín Khán, when he had an interview with the Gurú, said to him, “The marks of sense and intelligence are visible in thy countenance: how is it that you never thought about the recompense of your deeds, and that in a short span of life with a dreadful futurity you have been guilty of such cruelty and of such detestable actions to Hindús and Musulmáns? He replied, “In all religions and sects, whenever disobedience and rebellion among mortal men passes all bounds, the Great Avenger raises up a severe man like me for the punishment of their sins and the due reward of their works.
‘When He wishes to desolate the world,
He places dominion in the hands of a tyrant.’
When He desires to give the tyrant the recompense of his works, He sends a strong man like you to prevail over him, and to give him his due reward in this world: as you and I can see.”<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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