Kaka Hakikat Rai

Dr. Kulwant Singh Khokhar

Kaka Hakikat Rai

Sikhs do not lie, even if they have to die.

The people of Punjab, both Hindus and Muslims, rose against the terrorist rule of the Nawab (Governor) of Sirhind. The Nawab was killed in 1710, i.e., just half a decade after he murdered the two innocent sons of Guru Gobind Singh. This brought a rule of peace and justice in the area of Punjab, east of Amritsar.

To again take over the control of Punjab from Banda, a strong army was sent from Delhi. The army generals feared to fight a battle with Banda, hence they tricked him with the pretension of having a dialogue with him for peace. They unarmed him and arrested him. His 700 men were also made prisoners along with a teenage boy, Hakikat Rai. All of them were taken to Delhi and asked to surrender to the Emperor. They refused bluntly. The government ordered the murder of everyone. About 100 Sikhs were murdered every day near Chandni Chauk, Delhi.

The mother of Hakikat Rai, whose only support and hope of life was her son, submitted a petition to the government to save the life of the boy. She narrated that her son was not a Sikh but was there in the Sikh camp when he was arrested. The Emperor ordered the release of the boy if the boy himself denied being a Sikh. The mother dashed with the release orders to the place where the Sikhs were being murdered. Her son was still waiting for his turn to be killed. Presenting the Farman - the order of the emperor - to the Kazi (Judge) supervising the murdering of the Sikhs, she requested the release of her son.

The Kazi called Hakikat Rai and asked him if he was a Sikh. The boy replied that he certainly was a Sikh. His mother intervened and told the Kazi that the boy was her son and she knew that he was not a Sikh. The boy emphasized that he was a committed Sikh. The son and the mother started arguing with each other. Khafi Khan, a Muslim historian, an eye witness who recorded these horrifying killings, was very surprised to hear those arguments.

The mother again asserted that her son was not a Sikh. However, the boy raising his voice retorted immediately that his mother was telling a lie in order to save his life. His father was dead, and he was the only support for her. Being a Sikh, he wanted to be murdered without further delay so that he may not be left behind by his Sikh associates already murdered. Before another word could be said by his mother, the boy was standing with his head bent before the butcher. The sword in the hand of the butcher lowered and Hakikat Rai attained his martyrdom.

Kaka Hakikat Rai being beheaded

Such blood curdling events of Sikh history made Sikhs stronger and even more fearless of the oppression let loose against them. Even today Sikhs don't hesitate to die for justice and human rights.

Even under a threat to their life, Sikhs do not tell a lie. They love to live as Sikhs or, they would prefer to die.