A GLIMPSE AT THE LIFE OF AMAR SHAHEED BABA JARNAIL SINGH JEE BHINDRANWALE
Childhood & Education
Baba Jarnail Singh jee Khalsa, Bhindranwale, was born in 1947 in the village RODE, in Panjab. He was the YOUNGEST of seven brothers. At the age of seven years Baba jee was entrusted to Mahapurakh Baba Giani Gurbachan Singh jee Bhindranwale, the then Jathedar of DAMDAMI TAKSAL BHINDRAN, which was a Gurmat Centre for Gurbaani and Shastar (weaponry) training. Baba jee received Gurmat education and training at MEHTA CHOWNK, Jatha BhindraN through Baba Giani Gurbachan Singh jee and his successor Baba Giani Kartar Singh jee. Baba Jarnail Singh jee was married to Mata Preetam Kaur, and had two sons.
Becoming Jathedaar (head) of Damdami Taksal
In 1977 Baba Giani Kartar Singh Ji passed away as a result of a car accident. Baba Jarnail Singh Khalsa was chosen as the successor of Baba Giani Kartar Singh Ji before Giani jee passed away. So, in August 1977 Baba Jarnail Singh Ji became appointed as the head of Damdami Taksal Bhindran.
Propagation of Gurmat through Panjab & India
For five years Baba Jarnail Singh jee toured Panjab and other parts of India in spreading the message of Sikhi and preaching Gurmat. Young Sikhs had fallen away from the path of Sikhi, disregarded their Sikh appearance and resorted to ALCOHOL and DRUGS. Baba Ji’s message appealed especially to the Sikh Naujawaan (youngsters) who in their thousands began KEEPING KESH (unshorn hair) again, DONNING DASTAARS (turbans) on their heads, stopped taking intoxicants and begged to be blessed with AMRIT by the Guru-Roop Panj Piaare. Baba jee’s message was SIMPLE but POWERFUL. He urged Sikhs to become AMRITDHARI, disregard drugs and alcohol, NOT to kill innocent people and to live in accordance to the Guru’s teachings and principles.
Speaking up and Demanding Rights
Being a true Gursikh and one who does not fear to speak the truth, Baba Jarnail Singh Ji fearlessly exposed the HYPOCRISY of the AKALI LEADERS of the time and fought against anti-Sikh cults and movements. Baba Ji not only preached Gurmat but PRACTICALLY LIVED the message of the Guru’s. People sought his advice and intercession for personal problems and conflict resolution. Khushwant Singh reports :
'On a later visit to Amritsar I got an inkling into the reasons of Bhindranwale's popularity. I will narrate two incidents to illustrate this. One day a young girl came to see Bhindranwale. ..... She clutched his feet and sobbed out her story of how she was maltreated by her husband's family for failing to extract more money from her parents and of her husband's unwillingness to take her side. Bhindranwale asked her name and where she lived. "So you are a daughter of the Hindus," he said. "Are you willing to become the daughter of a Sikh?" She nodded. Bhindranwale sent a couple of his armed guards to fetch the girl's family. An hour later a very frightened trio consisting of the girl's husband and his parents were brought to his presence. "Is this girl a daughter of your household?", he demanded. They admitted she was. "She tells me that you want money from her father. I am her father." He placed a tray full of currency notes before them and told them: "Take whatever you want". The three fell at his feet and craved forgiveness.'
Tension with the then Government
Indira Gandhi, the then Indian Prime Minister, considered the Sikhs as her enemy and wanted to punish them after the Sikhs protested against the 1979 state of emergency. She saw Baba jee’s growing popularity and movement within the Sikh Youth as a THREAT to her dictatorship style rule. As a result this she started using FALSE and DISTORTED propaganda to brand Baba Jarnail Singh jee Bhindranwale as an 'EXTREMIST' and 'MILITANT'. Government agents infiltrated the Sikh movement and committed crimes in order to DISCREDIT the Sikh movement and help to justify Indira Gandhi’s plans to attack the Sikh religion.
On June 1st 1984, Indira Gandhi ordered a full-scale attack on the holiest of all Sikh shrines, Sri Harmandar Sahib. This army attack was code named 'OPERATION BLUESTAR'. Indira Gandhi used the EXCUSE that she wanted to flush out "EXTREMIST MILITANTS" led by Baba Jarnail Singh jee who were apparently "HIDING" in Sri Akaal Takht Sahib Ji. However, the truth was that Mrs Gandhi ordered a full-scale army attack on Sri Harmandar Sahib during the SHAHEEDI GURPURB (Martyrdom day) of GURU ARJAN DEV JEE. This is one of the busiest times in Amritsar when Sri Harmandar Sahib has large gatherings of Sikhs travelling different parts of Panjab, India and the world to pay their respects.
The army mercilessly massacred nearly 3,000 innocent Sikh pilgrims. Sri Akaal Takht Sahib, the Sikh’s Supreme Seat of Authority, was attacked with bullets and fire from Army tanks, to be reduced to rubble. During the attack on Sri Harmandar Sahib, Baba Jarnail Singh jee and 300 chardikala Gursikhs freedom fighters laid down their lives and became SHAHEEDS (martyrs) fighting till their last breath to upkeep the sanctity and dignity of Sri Akaal Takht Sahib Ji and for Sikhs to have justice and freedom.
"Physical death I don't fear, death of conscience, is a sure death"Young and old were inspired by Baba Ji’s love for the TRUTH, FEARLESSNESS to speak the truth, and his CHARACTER of living the Guru's teachings. Today we should remember and honour Amar Shaheed Baba Jarnail Singh Ji and the other great Shaheeds who lived and died for Guru jee and the Panth. Let us all be inspired and strive to implement the qualities of FEARLESSNESS, COURAGE and their GURSIKHI JEEVAN into our lives.
- Baba Jarnail Singh jee Khalsa
ਧੰਨ ਉਹ ਧਰਤੀ ਧੰਨ ਉਹ ਬਾਪੂ, ਧੰਨ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਾਈ ।
ਢੰਗ ਜਿਉਣ ਦਾ ਜਿਸਦਾ ਪੁੱਤਰ, ਦੱਸ ਗਿਆ ਸਦੀਆ ਤਾਈਂ।
Blessed is that land, blessed is that father, blessed is the great mother. Who's son has shown the way to live, for centuries to come.
Bhul Chuk Maaf.
Parnaam Shaheedaa Nu.