BRAVEHEART: A Tribute To Banda Singh Bahadur

By Dr. Shamir Singh Virk Ph.D.

Banda Singh Bahadur (27 October, 1670 to 9 June, 1716) was born at Rajouri now in Jammu and Kashmir state of India, as Lachhman Dev. At the early age of 15 he left home to become an ascetic and was given the other name Madho Das. He established a monastry at Nanded in Maharashtra state on the bank of Godavari. Where in Sept. 1708, he was visited by and become a true and devoted disciple of Guru Gobind Singh, who after baptising him gave the present name Banda Singh Bahadur.

Having been guided and commanded by Guru Gobind Singh, he established his authority and Khalsa Raj in Punjab. Later in the regime of Khalsa Raj he abolished Zamindari System and granted the rights of property to the tiller of the land. In Punjab Banda Singh Bahadur fought wars against Mughal Empire at Sonipat, Samana, Chapper Chiri, sadhaura, Lohgarh and Gurdas Nangal. Banda Bahadur totally demolished Sirhind-“Itt nal Itt waja Ditti-“ the martyrdom place of younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh- Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh.

However, on 7th Sept. 1715, Banda Singh Bahadur was persecuted and imprisoned alone with his loyal warriors by Mughals at Gurdas Nangal. He was brought to Delhi in procession alone with the other prisoners. After three months of confinement, on 9th June ,1716, Banda Bahadur’s eyes were gouged out, his limbs were severed and his skin was notched. The crux of the cruelty and cowardliness of the Mughal empire was forcing Banda to struck dagger in the poly of his son Ajay singh.

Noble Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore upholds that –‘ the seaming defeat of the Sikhs was a victory in the test of history. It is victory of the spirituality over the brutal forces they had to encounter.’ He further asserts –‘that is why Sikh Ideal Survives as a dynamic force of the noble heritages that will propel the Indian Nation forward .’ Further Tagore in his poetic narrator glorifies the valour and patriotic emblem of Banda Bahadur’s – ‘Glory to Guruji’-

“From thousands of heart’s torn apart, for destination divine in their lark-, the heroes putting their sacred blood mark, on the forehead of the motherland, there around the five rivers so dear and grand.”

A war memorial has been raised where the Battle of ChapparChiri was fought, to glorify the heroic life legend of Banda Singh Bahadur

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