Martyrdom of Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh

Dr. Kulwant Singh Khokhar

Martyrdom of Zorawar Singh, Fateh Singh

Why lose your faith to save your life,
Faith lives with you, even after you die.

The joint forces of the emperor and the rajas of the Himachal, not considering their solemn promises given to the tenth Guru, attacked him when he left the fort of Anandpur Sahib. It was a cold winter night of December, 1704. Attack by the enemy forces and difficulties of crossing the flooded Sirsa river resulted in the separation of the Sikhs. As mentioned in the previous sakhi, Guru Gobind Singh with his two elder sons and forty Sikhs reached the village Chamkaur. The two younger sons of the Guru and his mother were lost and reached the village of Kheri. They went to the house of Gangu, who used to serve them at Anandpur. To obtain awards from the government for helping them arrest the children and the mother of the Guru, Gangu reported the matter to the police stationed at Morinda. The policemen quickly came to Gangu's house, arrested them and took them to the Governor of Sirhind, to obtain rewards for catching the "rebels".

What greater catch could the governor dream of than capturing alive the family of the Guru, particularly because he had failed to kill the Guru? He decided to convert the young sons of the Guru to Islam by any means. He offered many baits to the children and made promises of royal life if they agreed to become Muslims. The boys, however, remained firm in their faith. Therefore, the governor adopted force and a harsh attitude to pressure them into becoming Muslims.

Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh at the Mughal Court

To torture them, the children and their grandmother were locked up in a watchtower, which was very cold. They sat all night without even a blanket to put around them. The elder son, Baba Zorawar Singh was just 8 years old, while the younger son, Baba Fateh Singh was only 6 years old.

The children exhibited no fear at all when they were presented the next day in the court of Wazid Khan, the governor. They acted gracefully like princes and with great self confidence uttered, Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. This angered Wazid Khan very much. He was annoyed that the children had not bowed before him, to show him respect. He personally threatened them with many forms of punishment and torture if they did not act according to his wishes and embrace Islam. The children again firmly refused to give up their faith.

Having failed to frighten the children and mold them to his wishes, Wazid felt humiliated. When Baba Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh bluntly told him they would not adopt Islam under the threats of death or torture, he ordered them to be bricked alive in a wall.

Younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh being bricked alive

While being bricked, the children showed no sign of fear or sadness on their faces. When asked to save their lives by giving up their faith, they again firmly said, "No!" When the wall reached their shoulders, it is said it fell down. The children were taken out from the debris and were heartlessly murdered in cold blood.

This sacrifice of Guru Gobind Singh's sons, only six and eight years old, will forever be remembered by young and old alike to learn lessons from their lives. Firm belief in faith, freedom of worship, and refusal to submit to any kind of attack by rulers is the way to live or to die.

Retaining his faith for a Sikh, is superior to retaining his life. Whatever we may do, inevitably we are going to die. Why not die with courage?

Note: These kinds of tyrannical acts of the rulers revealed the imbalance of their minds and their unsuitability to run the government. The people were enraged and revolted against them. When Banda Singh Bahadur came to Punjab, the people attacked Sirhind in 1710, destroying all roots of the oppressive rule.