TRIBUTE TO YOUNGER SAHIBZADAS’ MARTYRDOM

Shaheedi Sabha is a three day annual religious congregation organized every year at Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib in the Fatehgarh Sahib district on 26th,27th and 28th December.

India

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Chandigarh, December 26, 2022:

Shaheedi Jor Mela or Shaheedi Sabha is a three day annual religious congregation organized every year at Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib in the Fatehgarh Sahib district on 26th,27th and 28th December to commemorate the sacrifices and martyrdom of Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, the youngest sons of the Tenth Sikh Guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Fatehgarh Sahib Martyrdom Fair turns the city into Basanti when the Sikh Masses are robed in their attire and diffuse the fragrance of Sikhi all around. This annual fair is an eye-opener for the Sikhs to derive the spirit of valour and victory, strength and stamina.

Fatehgarh Sahib shrine is the symbol of victory of truth and determination over falsehood. The two younger sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji who were martyred on December 27, 1705 symbolise the tyranny of the Moghul rule. Thousands and thousands of devotees, irrespective of caste and religion, pay their obeisance and homage where nine year old Zorawar Singh and seven year old Fateh Singh were bricked alive. Their grandmother Gujri Ji was martyred in the Thanda Burj (Cold Tower).It was Diwan Todar Mal, Hindu Merchant of Sirhand, who on 13 December, 1705 performed the cremation of the three martyred bodies of Zorawar Singh, Fateh Singh and Mata Gujri. The wealthy merchant had to cover the required ground for cremation with gold coins to get the release of three bodies. Todar Mal forsake everything for his love of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. That is why the Sikhs hold Dewan Todar Mal in High esteem. To perpetuate the memory of the noble minded Seth, a road in Sirhand town and a hall in Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib have been named after him.

The victory and valour of the other two sons Jujhar Singh and Ajit Singh who were martyred in Chamkaur Sahib teach us to remain steadfast, strong and patient and adhere to the principles even in the most trying situations and hardships of life. The sacrifices imbibe in us the spirit to fight against injustice and tyranny. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji uttered: “I have sacrificed my four sons. So what if my four sons are martyred, When thousands of Singhs are alive.”

The annual congregation at Fatehgarh Sahib reminds us how the two younger sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji were bricked alive who refused to give up their religion and embrace Islam by the Mughal Emperor, Wazir Khan. He offered them treasure and comforts of the world if they embrace Islam religion but they refused boldly and stuck to their faith in Sikhism. Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib, north of the Sirhand marks the site of their live entombment. Their mortal remains were cremated at a nearby place where Gurudwara Jyoti Sarup is situated.

To pay homage to the valiant innocent martyrs a Golden Palaquin of ‘Panj Pyaras’is taken out in pageant which moves from the Gurudwara Sri Fatehgarh Sahib to Gurudwara Sri Jyoti Sarup. The Shaheedi Joe Mela is accompanied with performances of martial arts known as ‘Gatika’. So the community that is replete with valiant, vigorous, enthusiastic and heroic personalities is sure to move ahead with prosperity. That is why the vanity and egoism and the high-sounding pride of the Mughals was shattered.

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The First day of the Fair is observed purely in religious spirits. Earlier, the second day was reserved for rallies and meetings by political parties. But recently, this system has stopped and only tributes to younger Sahibzadas are paid peacefully. Shiromani Gurudwara Management Committee arranges congregation programs where Sikh Preachers, ‘Raagis’, ‘Dhadi Jathas’ sing Shabads and narrate the history of the Sikh culture. People of adjoining areas organize ‘Langar’ which is served on the way to lacs of people. Women folk prepare food in Community Kitchen and serve with full faith to ‘Sangat’.

The cooperation and enthusiasm of locals is seen during the fair with full affection and fervor. An important custom of Shaheedi Jor Fair is the organization of ‘Akhand Path’ to get the blessings of divine souls who were martyred.

Even Prime Minister of India has announced to celebrate ‘Veer Bal Diwas’ on the martyrdom of younger sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The P.M. will participate in a programme at Major Dhayan Chand National Stadium, Delhi on December, 26.  He will also flag off a march past by over 3000 children. Interactive programmes will be held to educate the citizens about the exemplary courage of the younger sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.   

The history of Sirhand goes back to before Christ times but its growth was witnessed from 1000 A.D. to 1764 A.D. when it was finally razed to the ground. Wazir Khan’s involvement of attack on Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1708 A.D. led to his death and with this the destruction of Sirhand followed. Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s prophesy about Sirhand proved true and its wreckage was scattered over the entire area between Yamuna and Satluj. It was Banda Singh Bahadur who formed a peasant army and fought battles as ordained by the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs. Sirhand was ultimately captured in January 1764 by the Khalsa Army. Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib had a small gathering initially in 1800 A.D. but it grew to manifold with the passage of time.

The holy ambience of the Gurudwara is uplifting. The visiting devotees are a force of determination that none can weaken the Sikh community who are ingrained with full faith in the tenets and principles of Sikhism. The legacy of the sacrifice should pervade through the generation to generation.

Dr. Jaswant Singh Puri, Doctor of Letters (HonorisCausa), Social Activist. Punjab Rattan, Member, Dewan Family, Erstwhile Princely State of Patiala ,(Author of the world acclaimed book ‘Rise and Decline of the Mughal Empire’,Presented to His Highness & Nobel Laureate, Dalai Lama of Tibet)

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