The nation observes the 343rd martyrdom day of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, on Saturday.
Guru Tegh Bahadur undertook the divine sacrifice to protect secularism, one of the most important rights of humanity on 24 November, 1675.
Guru Tegh Bahadur: Protector Of Humanity
In 1669, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb deviated from the policy of tolerance which was practiced by his predecessors and initiated the policy of religious persecution against non-Muslims. He forced the Kashmiri Hindu pundits to adopt Islam as their religion under the threat of death.
Terrified by Aurangzeb’s deadline of conversion, the Kashmiri Pandits approached Guru Tegh Bahadur for his assistance at Chak Nanki, Kahlur (now known as Anandpur Sahib).
He told the Pandits to inform Aurangzeb that if he could convert Guru Tegh Bahadar to Islam, they would all convert. Otherwise, the Mughals should leave them alone, he warned.
Consequently, when the Guru was brought to Delhi, he asserted that he would embrace death instead of giving up his faith and freedom.
After five days of imprisonment and torture, when he did not agree to conversion, one of his devotees (Bhai Mati Das) was sawn alive, another (Bhai Dyal Das) was boiled in the cauldron and the third, Bhai Sati Das was roasted alive before him.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was publicly executed through beheading on the charge that he was a stumbling block preventing the spread of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. The exact location of the beheading is marked by Sis Ganj Gurudwara in Old Delhi.
Since then, he is affectionately titled as “Hind-di-Chadar“, the Shield of India.
Casting off his bodily vesture on the head of Suzerain Of Delhi; Teg Bahadur departed to the Realm of God.
None who came into the world performed such glorious deeds as him.
On his departure, there was dismay in the world.
This world cried, “Alas, Alas”. The Heavens rang with greetings of victory.
-Guru Govind Singh, Tenth Sikh Guru
A Warrior With Undaunting Courage
Guru Tegh Bahadur, originally known as Tyag Mal was born on 18 April, 1621 and became the Ninth Sikh Guru on 16 April, 1664.
During his childhood, he was taught archery, horsing and fighting with a sword.
When Tegh Bahadur was 13 years old, he accompanied his father to fight against Painde Khan who had attacked their village and the Mughals in a battle over Shah Jahan’s hawk. Tegh Bahadur outperformed in the Battle of Kartarpur and won it.
Tyag Mal was renamed then, ‘Tegh Bahadur’, meaning brave sword wielder.
He is the founder of the town of Chak-Nanki in Punjab. Guru Gobind Singh later expanded it into the city of Anandpur Sahib.
A poet as well, he embodied a message of freedom, courage and compassion; “Fear not and frighten not.”
(Note- All the photos have been taken from sikhiwiki.org)