The Price of Our Independence

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Hi there, as we are real history fanatics so this Independence Day we take it as an opportunity to highlight some facts about the lives of some unsung heroes of Indian freedom struggle right from the medieval to the modern times. 

As every Indian becomes a patriot only on 3 days every year and  independence day being one of them so I hope a lot of people will read this small effort of ours to light the magnificent lives of these great people. 
The article is bit long but please try to keep yourself intact till the end, i'm sure you wont regret. 

1) Maharana Pratap  (1540-1597): Often considered as the 1st freedom fighter of Indian history who is mainly remembered for his struggles against the Mughal emperor Akbar. 
Well we are talking about Maharana Pratap this Independence Day as the 'Government of Rajasthan' declared to rewrite the history belonging to Maharana's freedom struggle and the decisive 'Battle of Haldighati. 

Well what should I say about him, words won’t be just enough to highlight the great life of the Maharana. When most of India accepted Akbar as the ruler the Maharana opted for freedom.
A life full of sacrifice, courage, glory and love for the motherland.

 

Battle Of Haldigahti(1576)-Akbar sent his able general Maan Singh to defeat the Maharana. The forces of Maharana were outnumbered against the 80,000 mughal soldiers. Noticing this fact, the Generals of Maharana- Maan Singh Jhala and Hakim Khan Suri forced him to leave the battlefield. The episode also saw the sacrifice of the devine horse ‘Chetak’, in which he jumped a 22 feet canal to save his master and scarified his life.

 

After the battle of haldighati, the Maharana was compelled to live in the forest of the aravalis along with the family where he took the oath that he would never have any comforts of a king until freedom is achieved and used to eat Rotties made up of Grass.

Battle Of Dewar (1582)- Maharana Pratap defeated mughal general Sultan Khan and registered the greatest win by any Indian ruler against the mughals at that time. 

Maharana Pratap was able to capture back most part of Rajasthan but unfortunately he was not able to free back Chittorgarh. 

Trivia: according to Akbarnama By Abul Fazal, even Akbar mourned over the sudden death of Maharana pratap due to hunting accident.

Maharana Pratap was the inventor of the first ever guerrilla warfare tectics in India which was later adopted by Shivaji, Tantya Tope and even by revolutionaries in Bengal during Indian Freedom struggle.

"Mai Ehda Poot Jun, Jehda Rana Partap
Akbar Suto Oj Ko, Jaan Sirhane Saanp" 
(O Mother, give birth to sons like Rana Pratap
Afraid of whom Akbar used to
sleep in the protection of Snakes). 

 

 

 

2)Tantya Tope (1814 –1859): was one of the leaders in the 1857 revolution who was one of the leaders under Nana Sahib in Kanpur. After the execution of Rani Lakshmi Bai and Kunwar Singh of Bihar in the revolution an exile of Nana Sahib and Hazrat Begum to Nepal, Tantya Tope was the only revolutionary who proved to be a continuous nightmare for the Britishers as he opted for guerrilla warfare tactical. 
But unfortunately he was captured and later executed in 1859.

 
Trivia: Tantya Tope practiced the guerrilla type warfare which was invented by Maharana Pratap.
 

 

 

3) Kartar Singh Sarabha(1896-1915):  was an Indian Sikh revolutionary who as a top leader of the Ghadar Party along with Lala Hardyal. Gadhar Party was one of the 1st revolutionary party of india aginst Britishers which operated from US, Canada and India. He was the main operator of the Ghadar conspiracy in which it was decided to revolt and uprise against the British Raj but it failed due to betrayal.
Considered as one of the youngest revolutionary he was executed at a young age of 19.

Trivia: Legendary Bhagat Singh considered him as his guru. 
He was just 19 when he was executed in Lahore for ghadar conspiracy.
Ghadar Party became a leading party after Kamagata Maru Accident.


 

 

 


4)Madan Lal Dhingara (1883–1909): was an Indian revolutionary freedom fighter. While studying in England, he assassinated Curzon Willy a British official, hailed as one of the first acts of revolution in India. He was a member of Abhinav Bharat under Veer Savarkar. He is considered as inspiration for revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad. He was hanged till death in Pentavilla ( Britain).

 

 

 

5) Chandrashekhar Azad(1906-1931): considered as the mentor of Bhagat Singh he, became the leader of HRA in 1925-26 after the execution of Ram Prasad Bismil.
Under his leadership HRA changed its name to HSRA in 1928 in Firoz shah Kotla. He was ambushed by British forces at Alfred Park of Allahbad where he shot himself and remained ‘Azad’ forever.

Trivia: even as a congressman, Notilal Nehru offered aid and financial help to Chandrasekhar Azad.
The actual face of Azad was not seen by anyone expect Bhagat Singh, the pictures of him that we see today are just manipulated piece of work by painters.

 

 

 

 

6) Surya Sen(1894-1934) : known and remembered by few people today, Surya Sen was a school teacher in the Chittagong district of Bengal. 
He is known for the Chittagong Armory raid on 18th of April 1930,where Surya Sen with his group of revolutionaries in order to loot the arms, ammunition and to disconnect the Chittagong from rest of the world and weaken down the British powers in Bengal. Unfortunately the plan failed and he was forced to escape. Later he was captured and executed.

Trivia: He was appointed the Chairman of INC in 1921 of Chittagong Branch but opted to follow the principles of HRA later.

 

 

 

7) Shaheed Udham Singh(1899-1940): well who can forget the deadly and bloody massacre of Jalliahwala Bagh on 13th April 1919, where General Michael ‘O’ Dyer ordered to open fire on 379 innocent people. Well the order given by Gen. Dyer proved to be fatal for him as a son of india was affected to deepest of his heart and chased him throughout his life to take the revenge of the innocent people. Gen Dyer was assassinated by Udham singh in London and later he was executed. He was also a member of HSRA.

Trivia: The soldiers that fired at the Satyagrahi Samaji were from the Gurkha Regiment.
Gen Dyer was assassinated at the age of 75 and true justice was achieved.

Happy Independence Day

From the  whole team of ZindagiPro we wish all our subscribers, followers and visitors a very happy 71st Independence Day

Guru Arjan Dev Ji : The 5th Sikh Guru

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Today in the morning when i was passing by Kalina Military Camp, Mumbai I saw some soldiers of the 25th Air Defense Regiment arranging for distribution of cold and sweetened water for all the passersby which is traditionally called 'Chabeel' . It was a rather nostalgic sight for me as I hail from Chandigarh where 'Chabeel' of this kind throughout the year is quite common and I have also many a time quenched my thirst by drinking from such 'Chabeel'. 

As being a Punjabi myself, the next thing that came into my mind was to write about the relevance of these 'Chabeels' and the 'Langars'(community kitchens) and importantly to write about why these 'Chabeels' are arranged?

 

Throughout the year, the Sikh community arrange such 'chabeels' throughout the world as a gesture to pay homage to the teachings of the 10 gurus and to pay respect for the gurus who sacrificed their lives for the betterment of the society and the protection of faith. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One such historic event is today i.e. Guru Arjan Dev Ji Shaheedi Diwas(Guru Arjan Dev ji Martyrdom Day) 

 

In this post we will tell you all about the significance of the 5th Sikh Guru Shree Arjan Dev Ji.

Guru Arjan Dev: A symbol of secularism.

Guru Arjan ; (15 April 1563 – 30 May 1606) was the first martyr of the Sikh faith and the fifth of the ten Sikh Gurus, who compiled the first official edition of the Sikh scripture called the Adi Granth, which later expanded into the Guru Granth Sahib (commentaries of all the sikh gurus compiled) . He was born in Goindval, Punjab the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Mata Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He was the first Guru in Sikhism who was born in a Sikh family.

 

Guru Arjan led Sikhism for a quarter of a century. He completed the construction of Darbar Sahib at Amritsar.

 

Guru Arjan was arrested under the orders of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and asked to convert to Islam.He refused, was tortured and executed in 1606 A.D.

 

According to the Sikh tradition, before his execution, Guru Arjan instructed his son and successor Hargobind to take up arms, and resist tyranny. His execution led the Sikh Panth to become armed and pursue resistance to persecution under the Islamic rule.

 

 

 Accordingly, as a gesture of this non-sectarian universalness of Sikhism, Guru Arjan had specially invited Muslim Sufi saint, Hazrat Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of the Harmandir Sahib(the Golden Temple). The four entrances (representing the four directions) to get into the Harmandir Sahib also symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions.

 

 

 

The Completion of The Golden Temple and the expansion of new Cities

The foundation of The Golden Temple i.e. The Harmandir Sahib was laid down by Guru Ram Das ji (father of Guru Arjan Dev) along with the city of Amritsar (literally, the tank of nectar of immortality). After the death of Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan Dev  continued the infrastructure building effort of his father. The town expanded during the time of Guru Arjan, financed by donations and constructed by voluntary work. The pool area grew into a temple complex with the gurdwara Harmandir Sahib near the pool. Guru Arjan installed the scripture of Sikhism inside the new temple in 1604. The city that emerged is now known as Amritsar, and is the holiest pilgrimage site in Sikhism.

Continuing the efforts of Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan established Amritsar as a primary Sikh pilgrimage destination. He wrote a voluminous amount of Sikh scripture including the popular Sukhmani Sahib. Guru Arjan is credited with completing many other infrastructure projects, such as water reservoirs called Santokhsar (lake of peace) and Gangsar (lake of Ganga), founding the towns of Tarn Taran, Kartarpur and Hargobindpur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily for worship, and also partake jointly in the free community kitchen and meal (Langar) regardless of any distinctions, a tradition that is a hallmark of all Sikh Gurdwaras.

(The Golden Temple is the largest free-eatery in the world)

 

 

 

 

The free community kitchen at The Golden Temple feeds thousands of people daily.

 

Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev

In 1606 Jahangir Supressed the rebellion of his son Prince Khusrau and the prince was imprisoned. The fifth Guru Arjan Dev was sentenced to torture and death for his blessing to the rebel prince and not stopping the to preach the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev.

 

The Guru was made to sit on a burning hot sheet while boiling hot sand was poured over his body. After enduring five days of unrelenting torture, Guru Arjan Dev Ji was taken for a bath in the river. As thousands watched he entered the river, never to be seen again.

 

 

The Texts from "Tuzuk-i-Jahagiri"

This is what Emperor Jahangir had written in his diary the "Tuzuk-i-Jahagiri" ("Memoirs of Jahangir"):

"In Goindwal, which is on the river Biyah (Beas), there was a Hindu named Arjan, in the garments of sainthood and sanctity, so much so that he had captured many of the simple-hearted of the Hindus, and even of the ignorant and foolish followers of Islam, by his ways and manners, and they had loudly sounded the drum of his holiness. They called him Guru, and from all sides stupid people crowded to worship and manifest complete faith in him. For three or four generations (of spiritual successors) they had kept this shop warm. Many times it occurred to me to put a stop to this vain affair or to bring him into the assembly of the people of Islam."

 

 

"At last when Khusrau passed along this road this insignificant fellow proposed to wait upon him. Khusrau happened to halt at the place where he was, and he came out and did homage to him. He behaved to Khusrau in certain special ways, and made on his forehead a finger-mark in saffron, which the Hinduwan (the people of India) call qashqa, (Tilak) and is considered propitious. When this came to my ears and I clearly understood his folly, I ordered them to produce him and handed over his houses, dwelling-places, and children to Murtaza Khan, and having confiscated his property commanded that he should be put to death."

The 1st Day of Torture

Guru Arjan Dev was not given anything to eat or drink. He was not allowed to sleep at night and was kept awake. He bore all this calmly. He remained immersed in Simran and repeated from his lips, "Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru..." and sang Shabads from the Gurbani.

The 2nd day of Torture

On the following day,  the Guru was made to sit in a large copper cauldron. He had his men fill the vessel with water and ordered a fire to be lit underneath it. The water began to get hot and after some time, the water began to boil. It scalded the Guru's body, but Guru Arjan Dev sat calmly and quietly. He felt no pain, nor did he cry out or even sigh. He felt no anger against those who were torturing him. He remained absorbed in the sweet remembrance of Waheguru and repeated,

"All is happening, O Waheguru, according to Thy Will. Thy Will is ever sweet to me."

The boiling water made the Guru's flesh soft and his body blistered for the length of the torture.

 

 

 

 

Day 3 of Torture

On the third day, Chandu Shah(one of the hindi ministers in Jahangir's court)  ordered, "Make some sand red hot in iron pans. Seat the Guru in boiling water. Then pour the red hot sand on his head and body." The water boiled the Guru's flesh from below while the burning red hot sand burned the Guru's head and body from above. The persons engaged in torturing him were wet with sweat. They felt very uncomfortable because of the heat. It was the hottest summer month. But Guru Arjan Dev kept calm and quiet. Again, the Guru felt no pain, nor did he cry out, sigh, or feel anger. He kept thinking of Waheguru and doing Simran. Guru Ji repeated:

 

Teraa kee-aa meethaa laagai.O Waheguru!

(Your actions seem so sweet to me)

Har naam padaarath naanak maaNgai.

(Nanak begs for the treasure of the Naam, the Name of the Lord)

 

His friend and devotee, Mian Mir, a Muslim saint, rushed to see him. When Mian Mir saw the ghastly scene, he cried out and said, "O Master! I cannot bear to see these horrors inflicted on thee. If you permit me, I would demolish this tyrant rule" (Mian Mir is said to have possessed supernatural powers at that time). The Guru smiled and asked Mian Mir to look towards the skies. It is said that Mian Mir saw Angels begging the Guru's permission to destroy the wicked and the proud.
Guru Sahib said, "All is happening in accordance with the will of Waheguru. Men who stand for Truth have to suffer often. Their sufferings give strength to the cause of Truth. Go, brother. Pray for me. Pray for the success of my cause. Pray for victory to truth."
Mian Mir asked, "Why are you enduring suffering at the hands of these vile sinners when I possess superpowers?"
The Guru replied, "I bear all this torture to set an example to the Teachers of the True Name, that they may not lose patience or rail against God in affliction. The true test of faith is in the hour of misery. Without examples to guide them, ordinary people's minds would tremble in the midst of suffering." Upon hearing this, Mian Mir departed, commending the Guru's fortitude and singing his praises.

 

 

 

Day 4 of Torture

On the fourth day, the Guru was made to sit on a plate of iron that was heated from below until it became red hot. Then, scalding hot sand was poured over his body. Guru Arjan Dev sat calm and quite, without a cry or sigh, feeling no pain. He sat with his mind fixed on Waheguru, living the message of Gurbani as he accepted the Will of Waheguru sweetly.

 

 

Day 5 of Torture

On the fifth day, Chandu Shah thought to suffocate him in a fresh cowhide, in which he was to be sewn up. Instead the Guru asked for a bath in the Ravi River which flowed along the walls of the city of Lahore. Chandu reveled at the thought that the Guru's body, full of blisters, would undergo greater pain when dipped in cold water and so he permitted him to bathe in the river. The soldiers were sent to escort the Guru and his disciples saw him leaving. He looked at them, and still forbade any action. He said, "Such is the Will of my God, submit to the Divine Will, move not, stand calm against all woes."

Crowds watched the Guru standing in the river and having a dip. Light blended with Light and the body was nowehere to be found. His disciples cried, "Hail to the Master! Thou art Wonderful - Martyr, the greatest. Thou art the Greatest!"

Guru Arjan Dev Ji sowed the seed of martyrdom, which became the heritage of the Sikhs.

Share your Thoughts in the comment Section

In the end i would like to say that the sikh community is a community which is known for sacrifices, be it for faith, humanity, dignity of women, nation or religion. 

 

It has been rightly said by Legendary Singer Gurdas Maan in one his songs: 

 

" marjaneya maana ve, guru di sikhi barhi neyari sir katt-da katt jave, sikh di keyam rahe sardari" 

(Guru's teachings are very peculiar, he says that you should always abide by your faith even if your head goes off for the protection of humanity)