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The story of Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh
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Col Jaibans Singh | Date:31 Dec , 2018 18 Comments
Col Jaibans Singh
is a reputed Geo-strategic analyst, columnist and author of Jammu and Kashmir: The Tide Turns.

Some acts and deeds are so profound that they change the course of history! One such is the martyrdom of the two younger sons of the tenth master of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji! The young and innocent boys, Sahibzada (Prince) Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh attained martyrdom on 26, December, 1705, when they were brutally murdered by Wazir Khan the Mughal Governor of Sirhind.

The month of December has a special significance for the Sikh community. It was in this month that the combined forces of the Mughals and the small hill principalities used perfidious deceit to draw out Guru Gobind Singh, his family and followers from the Anandpur Sahib fortress and then sought their destruction. These forces, under Wazir Khan, promised the Guru a safe passage from Anandpur Sahib but attacked them with overwhelming numbers when they came out. The two Sahibzadas’ aged nine years and seven years, along with their grandmother Mata Gurjar Kaur got separated from the main contingent as they left the fort. They were promised refuge by an old retainer named Gangu in his native village Sahedi, but were handed over to the Sirhind administration of the Mughals, in what can be termed as the worst possible breach of trust and faith.

It is notable here that the main contingent of the Sikhs fought to the last man at Chamkaur where Guru Gobind Singh took up a defensive position with a handful of Sikhs. The elder sons of the Guru, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh attained martyrdom while fighting in the Battle of Chamkaur. The Guru lost his four sons and his mother in the ensuing tragic turn of events, but was saved in person by the bravery and sacrifice of his dedicated followers.

Wazir Khan came back to Sirhind a defeated and frustrated man having failed to kill or arrest the Guru. He would have been filled with fear at the prospect of the Guru’s reprisal for the deceitful manner in which he had behaved. It was against the backdrop of this fear and frustration that he attempted to gain control over the young Sahibzadas’ by converting them to Islam and then keeping them captive in his custody.

In order to achieve his evil objective Wazir Khan subjected the young princes to the worst form of torture and intimidation, he kept them and their grandmother in a Thanda Burj (a cold tower) that was designed to capture the cool night breezes of air drawn over water channels; a perfect place for the summers but very uncomfortable indeed in the middle of winters and that too at night, especially so for the very young Sahibzadas’.

Wazir Khan subjected the princes to a trial in his court which lasted for two days. On the first day the princes were cajoled to embrace Islam and offered immense riches and power on agreeing to do so. The princes rejected the offer with absolute disdain which left Wazir Khan flustered and very angry. On the next day in court he tried to pass of the sentencing to Sher Mohd Khan, the Nawab of Malerkotla, whose two brothers had been killed in battle by Guru Gobind Singh. Sher Mohd Kahn exhibited the highest form of chivalry by refusing to take revenge from ladies and children and advised Wazir Khan to release the Sahibzadas’ and their grandmother.

It was at this stage that Wazir Khan committed the most gruesome act which goes against all tenets of honour and principle. He declared the two innocent boys to be enemies of the Mughal Empire and ordered them to be bricked alive. The execution was slated for the next day.

History chronicles other atrocities and torture being committed on the young boys even as last minute attempts were made to intimidate them into changing their mind and converting to Islam. The courageous princes refused and were incarcerated into the wall. The wall, however, broke down before the boys lost their breath and then was committed the most ghastly acts of all! Wazir Khan ordered the executioners to slit the throats of the young princes. On hearing the news of the martyrdom their grandmother Mata Gurjar Kaur also breathed her last.

The manner in which the two Sahibzadas’ stood against injustice and discrimination has no parallels in the annals of history.  The ruthless depravity of their prosecutors constitutes the other side of the spectrum. The courage and fortitude exhibited by the young princes galvanised the Sikh/Khalsa community into rising against persecution and injustice. Guru Gobind Singh Ji charged his disciple, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, to avenge the murder of the Sahibzadas. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur came from Nanded (in modern day Maharashtra) to Punjab for the ordained task, Sikhs in large numbers joined him. He first took Samana and Sadhaura on the periphery of Sirhind and finally attacked Wazir Khan. The ensuing clash known as the Battle of Chappar Chiri took place on 22 May 1710. It witnessed the larger Mughal forces being crushed by the Sikhs. Wazir Khan was killed in the battle and Sirhind occupied in the next two days.

The martyrdom of the Sahibzadas’ thus heralded the creation of the Sikh Empire from the debris of Mughal as well as the Afghan principalities, changing the very destiny of the South Asian region in general and Punjab in particular. The Sikh Empire created by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, though short lived, is known for a just, benevolent and secular rule based in the tenets of law.

Independent India has witnessed a similar sense of righteous nationalism permeating from the small Sikh community that remains in the forefront of every national endeavour, be it safeguarding of the sovereignty of the nation or contributing to its progress and prosperity. All of this finds motivation, in no small measure, from the story of the young Sahibzadas’

The story of the Sahibzadas’, needs to be disseminated far and wide within India and across the world as a true example of standing up for what is just and righteous. Effort needs to be directed towards this end by the Sikh community and its institutions as also by the Indian government and other cultural bodies of the nation. There is a need institute studies, create literature and make all efforts to disseminate the historical facts in a manner that they motivate all humanity.

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18 thoughts on “The story of Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh

  1. This martyrdom … supreme sacrifice for justice is unparalleled. We were taught during childhood and in the family but the text-books those days hardly expressed such bravery of the country. WHY NOT the text-books today should be featuring such facts more vividly for the benefit of generations.

  2. Misleading! Reacting over British war on Turkey and abolition of Caliphate, the Sahibzadas were all Muslims who migrated from Indo-Pakistan subcontinent to Afghanistan and settled there. They were officially granted nationality and permeant residence in Afghanistan.

  3. This history should be known to every citizen of the world.
    Unfortunately we have not learned enough from the history.
    Even today the same kind of barbarism continues in different forms.
    Equality is a huge Myth.
    The silence by good people is causing too much harm and allowing injustice in the society.
    The politicians are very corrupt and not interested in making this world a better place, rather they are just busy in full filling their own personal interest.

  4. Why don’t the Govt include such inspiring stories in the indian History books.
    Every body needs to read such facts in the school level itself. This will instill a strong sense of belongingness and patriotism.

    • No way to verify the authenticity of this tale. Muslims claim similar atrocities. Christians bang on about the Romans massacres of Christians ,yet look at the untold hundreds of millions butchered by Christians from Spain,France Portugal,Italy and UK during empire days! None are faultless. Sikhs and Hindus raped and murdered Muslim women during partition,it was not one sided .

      • You seem to justify the killing of two young sons of guru Gobind Singh.No doubt such actions on part of rulers were widespread and history contains narration of horrendous acts in name of the religion. But murdering people for refusing to convert was common only in Christianity and more so in Islam. Killing of innocent is forbidden in Islam and yet Wazir Khan and his religious advisors completely ignored the addicts.

  5. Dhan dhan Baba Jorawar Singh ji and Dhan Dhan Baba Fathe Singh ji. Aap ki mahima aprampar aap ji ke charno me apna mastak rakh aap ko namn karu. Aap ki kurbani sun meri akhe paani se bhar aati hai. Aap darshan do muzhe kripya kar ke . Satnam shri Vaheguru ji. Dhan Dhan Mata Gujri ji aap sab se mahan hai aap ne sab kuch desh or dharam pe kurban kar diya . Aap muzhe maaf kar do. Aap ki kurbani sun sareer kamp uthta hai. Mata ji aap amar hai . Amar rahenge jab tak sristi rahegi. Jai mata Gujri ji aap shakti ka sawroop hao. Aap bahut badi shakti hai mata ji dhah dhan mata gujri ji aap ke pairo me me sar rakh kar namaskar karta hu. Kripya muz papi ko darshan do ji

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