Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sikh History in December - Part 5: Arrest of Younger Sahibzaade...


Crossing River Sirsa
Baba Fateh Singh jee is aged 7 and Baba Zoravar Singh jee is aged 9. It was the early morning of 21st December. The sun had not yet risen and it was dark with stormy weather. The Sikhs and Guru jee's family were all separated into three directions. There is a historical manuscript, Katha Gur Sutan Kee Granth, written near the time by a Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh jee called Bhai Duna Singh jee. Bhai Duna Singh jee retraced the steps of Sahibzaade and composed this historical manuscript which went missing in 1984 during the Indian army attack on Sri Harimandir Sahib. However, thankfully a copy of this historical source was made by late historian, Professor Piara Singh Padam before the Sikh Reference Library was burnt. In accordance to this manuscript, in one direction were Mata Gujar Kaur jee and the two younger sons of Guru jee on horseback, accompanied by Bhai Duna Singh 'Hindoria' and his wife. Guru Kian Sakhian (page 155) also states that when Bhai Dya Singh jee told Guru Gobind Singh jee about what happened with the younger Sahibzaade, he had obtained the information from Bhai Duna Singh of Handoor.

Rest in the Hut of Bhai Kumma jee
Mata Gujjar Kaur jee and Baba Fateh Singh jee were on one horse and Baba Zoravar Singh jee and the bags of their valuables were on the other horse. Both Duna Singh jee and his wife walked along with the horses. They travelling in the direction of village Chaunte and on the way they rested in the small hut of Bhai Kumma jee Maashki (boatman), also known as Kareema Mallaah, in the village Chakk Dera in Ropar. He used to be a Hindu and was known by the name Karma Jheevar. He was forcibly converted to Islam, but still practised Hindu religious rites. As the hut was small and it was cold outside, Bhai Kumma jee rested outside and allowed Mata jee, the Sahibzaade and the 2 Sikhs to rest inside. The neighbour of Bhai Kumma jee was a Brahmin lady by the name of Bibi Lakshmi jee. She assisted in looking after the Guru's family.

Meeting Gangu
During this time Gangu Brahmin met Mata jee and the younger Sahibzaade. Gangu used to be regular visitor of the Guru's House for 16 years and served as domestic worker. According to Principal Satbir Singh he was called "Gangu Rasoeeyaa" because he had a bad temper and was always irritated. A rasoyee (kitchen) is always hot when food is cooked. Since Gangu was always in bad mood, some started calling him Gangu Rasoee i.e. Gangu the kitchen. From this some historians misinterpreted that he was a Rasoeeyaa (cook) in the Guru's House. Arriving at the village Chaunte, Gangu was asked by Mata jee escort them to Chamkaur Sahib. However, seeing the bags of valuables Mata jee was carrying with them, his intentions changed and he became tempted with greed. He said, "I cannot take you to Chamkaur because the whole area of Ropar has be surrounded by the Imperial Forces and therefore it would be dangerous to go there. Come with me to my village Saheri." Arriving his village Saheri, he provided uneatable food for the Sahibzaade and Mata Gujjar Kaur jee. Despite being hungry, the Sahibzaade couldn't eat the food that Gangu had provided and they complained to Mata jee it was unfit for a dog to eat. Going to sleep on an empty stomach, in the middle of the night, Gangu stole the bags of valuables and hid them in the earth.

In the morning when Mata jee learnt of Gangu's lowly act, she said to him, "If you needed some money then you could have asked. Why do such a bad thing like stealing?" Gangu replied back to Mata jee, "You are accusing me? I bring you to my house, and this how you treat me?" Speaking in anger he left the house and locked the doors from outside so that Mata jee and the Sahibzaade could not escape. He immediately went to Morinda to the nearby police station. He informed the officers Jani Khan and Mani Khan that Guru's mother and younger sons were detained in his house. In exchange it was agreed that he would receive a reward from the Governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan.

According to Bhai Duna Singh jee's account in Katha Gur Sutan Kee, the Sahibzaade and Mata jee were arrested at Gangu's home. The Sahibzaade had their hands handcuffed and their feet were tied up. They were then put in sacks and tied up. The sacks were loaded on to a horse. On the other hand, Mata Gujjar Kaur jee had here hands tied behind with rope and placed on another horse.  Bhai Duna Singh jee in his account also describes that Mata Gujjar Kaur jee had chillies tied to over her mouth as form of torture and then her face was veiled. Mata jee and the Sahibzaade were taken to Morinda police station where they spent one night. They were given no food or water in order to torture them and in the hope their spirit and morale would break.

To be continued...


Anonymous said...

As per Bhai Dunna Singh Handooriya, persons who got Sahibzadey arrested were Darbari and Dhunna, not Gangu. Infact name Gangu is completely missing from this eywitness account.

King Basra said...

Waheguru.. Please share

Unknown said...

sahibzaade were arrested by masands (dhoomaa and darbari) not by gangu as notedsikh scholar Harjinder dilgeer and pyara singh padam validates the point