Sikh Missionary Society U.K. (Regd)
10, Featherstone Road. Southall, Middx, U.K. UB2 5AA
Tel: +44 020 8574 1902
Fax: +44 020 8574 1912
Reg Charity No: 262404
It was in the eleventh century that hordes of Arabs and Afghans came to India as invaders. They established their rule and were followd by Pathans and Turks until in the first quarter of the 16th century the Moghals came with their artillery and became rulers of India. They imposed their religion and culture on the subject people of India. Because they were Moslems, they considered it their sacred duty to convert non-moslems at the point of the sword. They reserved the right of bearing arms and riding horses for themselves. Millions of Hindus became Moslems through fear of the sword of the Moslem tyrants. The Hindus i.e. the Aryans - the followers of Buddha and Mahavira, of Rama and Krishans had become completely demoralised and were as if dead.
The Sikh Gurus, right from Guru Nanak, always stood as champions of the cause of tolerance and freedom of religion for all. In 1606 A.D. Guru Arjan, the fifth in line of the Sikh Gurus, was martyred in Lahore (Pakistan) on the orders of the Moghal emperior Jehangir. Then came the turn of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru who went to Delhi in 1675 to protest against the bigotry and oppression of emperor Aurangzeb. He was martyred in the square called Chandni Chauk (Old Delhi). This wave of merciless repression and religious oppression had to be halted.
The martyred body of Guru Tegh Bahadur lay in the square in the capital
but no Sikh dared to come and claim it for cremation. Some of the eminent
Sikhs had already been tortured to death. It was there that Bhai Mati Dass,
the chosen companion of the Guru, was sawn into two as if he were a log
of wood. The fear of the Moghal tyranny was such that no one dared to proclaim
his faith openly. There was also another reason -- the Sikh form was in
no way different from that of other common people and there was no significant
distinction between a Sikh and the rest of the populace. In the afternoon
of the tragic day, a dust storm overwhelmed the sky and two Ranghretta
Sikhs of Delhi at once appeard and took away the head of the martyred Guru,
wrapped it in fine cloth and marched to Anand Pur situated in the hills
of the Punjab, a distance of more! than 300 miles from Delhi, where the
young Guru Gobind Rai lived. Although only nine years old, the young Guru
received his father's head with gratitude and cremated it with honour.
He embraced the ~ two Sikhs and addressed them as the Guru's sons although
according to Hindu thinking these two Sikhs belonged to I untouchable castes.
Another Sikh of Delhi, then stole a chance of taking away the Guru's
body and cremated it by setting fire to his own house.
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