Martyrdom of Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh

Dr. Kulwant Singh Khokhar

Martyrdom of Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh

Sawa lakh se ek laraoon
Tabe Gobind Singh Nam Kahaoon

Truth is stronger than a gun.
Millions can be defeated by one.

With the objective of killing or capturing Guru Gobind Singh, the joint forces of the emperor of Delhi and the rajas of Himachal Pardesh attacked Anandpur Sahib. They encircled the town, and did not allow any food to be taken inside, in the hope of starving the Guru and his followers out. They lost thousands of men while attacking the Guru who was occupying the forts. Having failed to defeat the Guru, they promised him, on solemn oath, a safe passage if he voluntarily left the place. They further assured him that later on, he could come back again to Anandpur as and when he desired. The army generals hoped to give the emperor an appearance of victory if they could make the Guru leave Anandpur Sahib.

When the Guru left the fort, the generals broke their oath and the army attacked him with all their might. To make conditions worse for the Sikhs, the nearby river Sirsa was in flood. While fighting and crossing the river, many Sikh lives were lost and those who could cross the river were dispersed. Guru Gobind Singh with his two elder sons and only 40 Sikhs reached a nearby village called Chamkaur where they occupied a mud house called garhi, a mini fort.

The pursuing forces in great numbers tented around it and challenged the Guru that he would not be allowed to leave alive. With the hope of arresting the Guru they attacked the Garhi. The Guru would send a small band of Sikhs to go out and fight the enemy to keep them away from the gate of the Garhi and not let them enter it. The Guru himself sat at the top shooting arrows to check the attacking columns of soldiers. One of the army generals lost his life while attempting to get near the Guru to kill him. The fast arrow shot by the Guru hit the general in the chest and brought him down from his horse, killing him then and there. This struck fear in the army, which quickly retreated. Afterwards, they moved forward very cautiously and slowly towards the Garhi.

Ajit Singh fights bravely

When the fighting was at its height Baba Ajit Singh, the eldest son of the Guru and then only 18 years of age, requested that his father let him join the defending jatha. The Guru gladly agreed to permit him to fight the army to keep them away from the Garhi. Having been blessed by his father, Baba Ajit Singh armed himself and went outside the Garhi along with other Sikhs. He fought bravely and fearlessly. He exhibited great fighting skills which surprised the enemy soldiers. The Guru saw all that with his own eyes, and was very satisfied at the bravery of his son. Finally, Baba Ajit Singh fell in the battlefield and thus attained martyrdom.

Jujhar Singh fighting bravely

His younger brother Jujhar Singh was also watching him fight on the battleground and decided to follow the lead of his brother. He went to his father and expressed his desire to go out with the next jatha and continue the struggle to blunt the sword of state terrorism. Though only 14 years old, he was permitted by his father to sacrifice his life to protect the principles of the Sikh faith. Along with other Sikhs, Baba Jujhar Singh put up a good defense like an experienced soldier, as he had obtained thorough training at Anandpur Sahib. The Guru was very much satisfied with his fighting skill. Having resisted the wave of enemy soldiers for a long time, he followed his elder brother and became a martyr.

The Guru thanked the Almighty, that his children attained martyrdom before his own eyes. They gave their lives so that other children could live in peace and freedom from oppression by the state.

The resistance offered by the fearless and brave Sikhs was so great that the soldiers could not enter the Garhi during the day-long fighting. At night the Guru along with three Sikhs left the Garhi and passed safely through the army camps to finally defeat the army at Mukatsar five months after that.

This unique and great sacrifice by the sons of the Guru would be remembered forever by the people who respect human rights and freedom to worship.

When all other efforts fail, it is justified to take a sword and protect your life and right of worship.
NOTE: The Guru along with the two pyaras, Bhai Daya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh left the garhi at night, leaving Bhai Sangat Singh and a few other Sikhs behind. They were told to keep the army engaged the next day when the fighting restarted. In the morning when the army attacked the Sikhs they were ready to defend themselves. Finally, when all Sikhs fell fighting the soldiers entered the Garhi. The commanders were overjoyed to see the dead body of Sangat Singh because they mistook him for the Guru. Later, when more people were shown the dead body, they identified it not to be that of Guru Gobind Singh. The commanders felt ashamed of their failure to kill or capture the Guru. This is how they learned the lesson that truth is stronger than a gun, and millions can be defeated by one.