Banda Bahadur

Veer Vairagi alias Banda Bahadur was a great warrior and liberator
of the Hindus in Panjab, during the cruel and fanatical rule of the
Muslim rulers in the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Banda Bahadur’s life sketch

The story goes that Banda’s original name was Lachhman Dev.

He was born in Kartik 1727 Bikrami Samvat, October-November

1670, four years after the birth of Guru Gobind Singh. He belonged

either to Kashmir or Panjab. He was a Rajput cultivator. By

the time he was just turned twenty, his astonishing mind was set on

its task. He had a reputation of being a great hunter. One day he

killed a doe which immediately delivered itself of two cubs which

expired in his presence. The sight shocked him. He renounced

worldly life and became a Bairagi Sadhu or a wandering hermit

and ultimately settled at Nander on the banks of river Godavari in

Maharashtra. He won great fame as a sorceror under the name of

Madhodas and commanded thousands of followers.

Guru Gobind Singh went to his hermitage. Madhodas was away.

The Guru ordered his disciples to kill a few goats of the Bairagi and

cook meat there and then. The matter was reported to the Bairagi.

The Guru asked him who he was. Madhodas replied, he was Banda

or Guru’s slave. The Guru enquired, if he knew whom he was talking

  1. He said he was none other than Guru Gobind Singh. At

that time Banda was 38 years old and the Guru was of 42 yeaTS.

The Guru encouraged him to give up his present way of living and

resume the duties of a real Rajput. In a few days the Guru held a

durbar, conferred the title of Banda Bahadur on him and appointed

him his military lieutenant to punish the Governor of Sarhind who

had killed his two youngest sons, and was mainly responsible for

the death of his two elder sons, his mother and thousands of Sikhs

and Hindus. He was given a council of advisers of five Sikhs who

on their arrival in Panjab were to assure the Sikhs that Banda was

Guru’s nominee and deputy to organise them in order to lead an

expedition against Sarhind.

2 Evolution of Sikh Confederacies

Banda came to Panjab and was joined by thousands of Sikhs

and Hindus. He plundered all the Muslim towns and villages on

the way, conquered Sarhind and killed Wazir Khan, its Governor.

He appointed Sikh officers in place of Muslims in the Sarhind province

lying between the rivers Satluj and Jamuna up to Karnal and

Panipat. Then he extended his rule up to river Ravi and occupied

the whole of Indian Panjab and Haryana, while the Rajas of

Himachal Pradesh became his tributaries. He led expeditions into

the Ganga Doab also. He set up his headquarters at Lohgarh, a

small fortalice, situated in the lower Shiwalik hills south of Nahan

and north-east of Sadhaura, in Nahan district. After five years’ rule

he was defeated and killed by the Mughal Emperor, Farrukh Siyar.

Now three questions of importance arise: Where was Banda’s

original home, whether he was known to Guru Gobind Singh before

their meeting at Nander, and if Banda was baptised.

Banda’s original home

There are a couple of theories about the original home of Banda

Bahadur. Most of the historians hold that his birth place was at

Rajauri in Punchh district of Kaskmir. Sixty years after Banda,

James Browne wrote that he was born in the Jullundur Doab.l J.D.

Cunningham says, “he was a native of the south of India.”z The

present writer is of the view that Banda belonged to Sarmur State

now District of Nahan in Himachal Pradesh. This conclusion is

based on the following grounds:

  1. Guru Gobind Singh’s field of activities had been the region

lying between the rivers Satluj and Jamuna. He stayed at Paonta in

Nahan district of Himachal Pradesh from 1685 to 1688. The Guru

frequently went on hunting expeditions around Paonta as well as in

the hilly areas south of Paonta ar,d Nahan. This part of the country

surrounded by Paonta, Nahan, Morni, Kalka, Pinjor, Chandi

Mandir, Tilokpur below Momi, Tilokpur below Nahan, Kala Am

and Mukhlispur was the famous hunting ground for tigers, leopards,

bears, wild boars and deer, particularly in winter. Ahmad Shah

Abdali hunted tigers and bears here in February 1765. The Governor-

Generals from Calcutta came here to hunt. On March 28, 1838

Lord Auckland killed eight tigers near Kala Am in the dry bed of

river Markauda in a few hours.

Banda was also a mighty hunter. During these hunting excursions

the Guru seems to have met Banda many a time. Without

any previous acquaintance, the Guru would not have undertaken a

long journey of nearly two thousand kilometres and appointed Banda

his Deputy on a fortnight’s experience at Nander to guide the destiny

of his beloved Khalsa.

  1. Banda’s outward appearance as a Bairagi must have considerably

changed due to his long hair and ash-smeared body. The

Guru must have recognised him, but to make himself quite sure he

enquired who he was. Banda recognised the Guru at once, and

replied that he was Guru’s slave.

  1. Guru Gobind Singh spoke a language which was a mixture of

Hindi and Panjabi. Such a language must have been spoken by

Banda, otherwise the Sikhs would not have followed him so quickly

and Hindus would not have joined him so speedily. Both the Sikhs

and the Hindus took him as one of themselves for this reason.

This language is still spoken in Ambala district and southern parts

of Nahan district even today.

  1. Banda’s exploits in this region clearly prove that he was familiar

with every nook and corner of this tract.

  1. The establishment of his headquarters at Mukhlispur is

another proof of Banda’s knowledge of this area. Mukhlis Khan,

the Governor of Sarhind, often hunted in these jungles. In the heart

of a dense forest he built a rest house for himself on the top of a

hill in 16771 and called it after his own name Mukhlispur. It looked

like a small fort. That is why Khafi Khan calls it QUachi.

  1. Banda’s disappearance into the hills and emergence at Kiratpur

in one day indicates his familiarity with the submontane tract of

Shiwalik hills.

  1. After Banda’s escape from this fort in December 1710, Raja

Bhup Prakash of Nahan was arrested, put in an iron cage and sent

to Delhi. Banda passed through the states of Nahan, Nalagarh

Bilaspur, Kangra and Chamba. No action was taken against any

oth.:r state. It seems clear that the Raja of Nahan was punished not

that Banda escaped through his territory, but that Banda was his

subject, and it was his duty to apprehend him.

  1. Banda’s abolition of zamindari system also demonstrates his

knOWledge of this region. The land there belonged to zamindars

under the feudal system. This practice was not confined to Nahan

state but also extended to parts of Ambala district, lying at the foot

of Shiwalik hills. There the landlords were mainly Muslims and

tenants were mostly Hindu Jats and Gujars.

  1. Banda changed the name of Mukhlispur to that of Lohgarh.

From here he issued his own coins. In addition to the names of

Nanak and Gobind Singh, they bore the words ‘Sachcha Sahib.’

In the language of this tract ‘Sahib’ meant God. When a Hindu met

a Muslim, he greeted him with ‘Sahib Salaam’ (Salute to God),

and the reply given was ‘Sahib ko Salaam.’ The Hindus among

themselves greeted each other with ‘Ram Ram.’ Sachcha Sahib

therefore meant True Lord God. In his letters and orders Banda

used the words ‘Sri Sachcha Sahib,’ not for himself, but for God

and the Guru. The other Gurus after Nanak in their letters wrote

their names as Nanak. Banda eould not write Nanak as he was not

the Guru. He adopted the term of Sachcha Sahib. The word Sahib

was chiefly used there.

  1. In the battle of Sarhind Sher Muhammad Khan, Nawab of

Malerkotla, had fought hard against Banda. The Nawab was killed

while fighting. In order to punish the Nawab’s family, Banda attacked

Malerkotla. To save the town from pillage Kishan Das Banya,

an old acquaintance of the Bairagi, came to see him. Banda embraced

him. On his recommendation the town was saved on payment of

two lakhs of rupees as fine. l The shopkeepers of the plains visited

Shiwalik hills for the purpose of trade. They exchanged sugar, oil,

salt and cloth for the hilly products such as blankets, ginger, turmeric

and honey. In some of these visits Kishan Das might have met

Banda Bahadur.

Was Banda baptised by the Guru?

There is no doubt about it that Banda became a disciple of Guru

Gobind Singh, but he was not baptised according to his new ceremony

of administering pahul. It appears that the Guru did so deliberately

for certain reasons;

  1. Banda was already known as Guru in Maharashtra and he

commanded a large following. The Guru did not want to enhance

Banda’s prestige as a religious leader of the Sikhs.

  1. He was over-active and over-energetic (Bara-Tejdhari),2 both

in worldly life as well as in spiritual domain. The Guru was fully

familiar with the Masands’ role. He had abolished that institution,

and was not prepared to create another masand so aggressive and

powerful as Banda.

  1. By making him a regular Sikh, the Guru feared lest he might

claim Guruship in course of time. Without baptism the Khalsa

would not accept him as the Guru. This actually happened. Ratan

Singh Bhangu and Santokh Singh write that later on Banda declared

himself Guru, and the Khalsa rejected his claim. They insisted on

his getting himself baptised and t:’l.king meat diet. l

Bhai Santokh Singh in Suraj Granth says: “He was not in accord

with the Khalsa. Without the Guru’s approval he started his own

sect. He did not take baptism of the dagger. He did not adopt the

Sikh way of life (keeping five K’s). He did not eat meat and drink

wine, and did not wear black clothes.”2

Gian Singh also says that the Guru did not baptise him.3 Khazan

Singh is of the view that “although Banda became his disciple the

Guru did not deem it advisable to initiate him with Pahul.” lie

further observes: The Guru “selected and deputed Banda Bahadur,

not as successor and leader of the Khalsa, but as an avenging agent

without admitting him into the Khalsa order with the usual initiation

of Amrit baptism.”4

Kartar Singh Kalaswalia says that the Guru presented Banda at

the time of his departure for Panjab with his own special dagger

which he always wore around his neck. At this his Khalsa shouted:

“We will never allow a non-Khalsa to have it. We will sacrifice our

lives after killing him.” Further he says Banda “was neither a baptised

Sikh nor a Sahajdhari.”6

Karam Singh, the well-known Sikh historian, declares that “although

Banda had come within the fold of the Sikhs, he had no time

to take Amrit.”6

  1. Had Banda been baptised, he would not have changed the

Guru’s salutation of Wah Guruji ka Khalsa, Wah Guruji ki Fatah

to Fatah Darshan.

  1. In case of his being a regular Sikh, a schism could not have

taken place among his followers into Tatva Khalsa and Bandai


  1. There are no contemporary or near contemporary sources to

establish the fact that Banda had been baptised. All sources quoted

in support of this assertion are one hundred years or more later.

Banda invested with temporal authority

At a durbar held at Nander about the middle of September 1708,

the Guru conferred the title of Bahadur on Banda and invested him

with full political and military authority as his Deputy to carryon

the national struggle in the Panjab and to punish Wazir Khan of

Sarhind and his supporters. He was supplied with a standard and a

drum as symbols of temporal authority. He was given an advisory

council of five devoted Khalsa: Baj Singh, a descendant of the

family of the third Guru, Amar Das, his brother Ram Singh, Binod

Singh, who descended from Guru Angad, his son Kahan Singh and

Fatah Singh.l Twenty-five Sikh soldiers were given to him as his

bodyguard. A rescript called hukamnamah or a letter of authority

in the handwriting of the Guru instructing the Sikhs to join Banda

Bahadur in his national war against Mughal tyranny was provided.

As an insignia of his temporal authority invested in him, the Guru

gave Banda Bahadur his own sword, green bow and five arrows

from his quiver. Three hundred Sikh cavaliers in battle array accompanied

Banda to a distance of eight kilometres to give him the final

send off.

Banda on his journey, 1708-09

The Guru refused to accompany the Emperor beyond Nander.

He had been severely wounded by a Pathan set on the Guru by

Wazir Khan with the connivance of the court nobles. The despatch

of Banda to the Panjab had infuriated Emperor Bahadur

Shah. As a result of his intrigue the Guru passed away on October

7, 1708. Banda had not gone far when he heard the sad news. This

did not discourage him. On the contrary it doubled his zeal and set

the fire of vengeance ablaze in his heart. Besides Banda had seen

with his own eyes how Tara Bai. a young widow five years younger

than he. had set Aurangzeb’s teeth on edge from 1700 to 1707. Sir

Jadunath Sarkar writes. “During this period the supreme guiding

force in Maharashtra was not any minister but the Dc wager queen

Tara Bai Mohite. Her administrative genius and strength of character

saved the nation in that awful crisis that threatened it in consequence

of Rajaram’s death.”1 He now feared the safety of his own

person and his men on account of Emperor’s hostility. He wanted

to reach Panjab before the Emperor was free from the revolt of his

brother Kam Bakhsh at Hyderabad.

Banda seems to have travelled in disguise and by circuitous routes

to avoid detection. Generally he adopted the same route across

Maharashtra and Rajasthan as was followed by Guru Gobind

Singh. The distance between Nander and Hissar in Haryana by that

route was 1,600 kms.2 At the rate of 16 kms or 10 miles a day on

an average, Banda should not have taken more than 100 days during

his journey, but he actually took about a year. It means that he

might have been frequently in hiding. The Emperor should have

instructed his officers to make short work of Banda and his party,

as this much of diplomacy he could not have ignored. That is why

Banda travelled right across Maharashtra and Rajasthan, both of

which were in revolt against the Mughals.

Banda in Haryana, 1709

Narnau/: Banda arrived at Narnaul. There he saw complete destruction

of Satnamis with his own eyes. His blood boiled on learning

that the entire sect of Satnamis, men, women and children, one

and all, had been wiped out of existence. It was here that Banda

made up his mind to retaliate upon Muslims. Here he suppressed

some dacoits and robbers.1

Bhiwani: At Bhiwani Banda looted the government treasury and

distributed it among his followers. This liberality attracted a large

number of young men to join him.’

Hissar: In Hissar district called the Bagar desh where Banda

was in October 1709, he was well received by the Hindus and Sikhs

as a leader of the nationalist movement and deputy of Guru

Gobind Singh. Liberal offerings were made to him in the cause of

the country and dharam (religion and virtue) which he distributed

among his followers and the poor and the needy. In this region he

took to suppressing dacoits and robbers, seized thei.r booty and

gave it to the poor people. Young men of narrow means and daredevils

began to flock under his banners, and the number of his

retinue was swelling.3

Tohana: Here Banda issued letters to Malwa Sikhs to join him

in his crusade against Wazir Khan of Sarhind.

Never perhaps in the history of Panjab did the circumstances of

the time offer so fair a field to the ambition of a leader, conscious

of great talents, and calleo to the command of a warlike people,

only too eager to support him in any enterprise he might undertake.

The Emperor was away in the Deccan, and many of his notable

chiefs and commanders had been killed in the recently fought civil

war. The Governors of Delhi, Sarhind, Lahore and Jammu acted

independently and had no cooperation among themselves. Banda

directed his attention to the east towards Delhi. There were two

motives behind this move. He wanted to leave Mata Sahib Devi in

Delhi and plunder the Government officials and rich Muslims of

the fertile areas of Haryana. From Kharkhauda about 50 kms

north-west of Delhi, Mata Sahib Devi was sent to Delhi under proper

escort, to join Mata Sundari, who was acting as head of

the Khalsa. She might have resented Banda’s ignoring her for not

having visited her at the capital before starting on his crusade.

Sonepat: At Sonepat, 50 kms north of Delhi, early in November

1709 Banda commanded about 500 followers. He attacked the

IBanda’s arrival at Namaul and his suppression oflawless people is mentioned

by Giani Gian Singh, Shri Guru Panth Prakash, 4th edition, 345-46.

government treasury, plundered it and distributed it among his

retinue. This was his second success against the government and it

considerably raised his prestige. By slow marches he advanced towards


Kaitha/: Near Kaithal, about 100 kms farther north, Banda seized

a government treasury which was on its way from the northern districts

to Delhi. He kept nothing out of it for himself and gave it

away to his rank and file.

Samana: Samana, 50 kms farther north was the native place of

Jalal-ud-din Jallad, the professional executioner, who had beheaded

Guru Tegh Bahadur, while his son had beheaded the two younger

sons of Guru Gobind Singh. Ali Husain who by false promises had

lured Guru Gobind Singh to evacuate Anandpur also belonged to

Samana. It was an accursed place in the eyes of the Sikhs. The entire

peasantry of the neighbourhood was now up in arms, and

Banda’s following had risen to several thousands. Banda fell upon

the town on November 26, 1709. The inhabitants were massacred

in cold blood and the town was thoroughly squeezed.l Samana

was the district town and had nine parganahs attached to it. It was

placed under charge of Fatah Singh. Samana was the first territorial

conquest and the first administrative unit of Banda. A large

quantity of gold, arms and ammunition fell into his hands, while

everybody fighJng under him became rich and prosperous.2 Fatah

Singh was given a body of troopers to maintain peace and order.

Other Muslim Towns: Kunjpura, Ghuram and Thaska, inhabited

by Muslim Ranghars, notorious for rape and rapine, were destroyed

next.3 Damla was the village of those Pathans who had deserted

Guru Gobind Singh in the battle of Bhangani. It was ravaged.~

Shahabad Markanda, 25 kms south of Ambala, a Muslim town, fell

Banda’s victim. Mustafabad, 40 kms south-west of Ambala, was

laid waste. The Nawab of Kapuri who was lewd and lustful was

killed and his fort was razed to the ground.

Sadhaura: Usman Khan, the chief of Sadhaura, 25 kms distant,

had persecuted Sayyid Budhu Shah for helping Guru Gobind Singh

in the battle of Bhangani. The Muslim population maltreated the

local Hindus. On the approach of Banda the leading Muslims

gathered in a big and strongly built mansion. They were all massacred.

This building came to be called Qatal Garhi.1 Banda attacked

the town and destroyed it.

The contemporary historian Khafi Khan wrote: “In two or three

months’ time, four to five thousand pony-riders, and seven to eight

thousand warlike footmen joined him. Day by day their number

increased, and abundant money and material by pillage fell into

their hands. Soon eighteen to nineteen thousand men in arms under

him raised aloft the standard of plunder and persecution.”2 Further

on he says: “Numerous villages were laid waste, and he appointed

his own police officers (thanedars) and coIlectors of revenue (tahsildar-


Lohgarh: The ultimate aim of Banda was to punish Wazir Khan

and conquer Sarhind. It required time to consolidate his material

and territorial gains. He also wanted to study the military resources

of Sarhind. He was anxious to see what steps the Government

would take against him. He therefore established his headquarters,

i1J. the beginning of February 1710, at Mukhlispur situated in lower

Shiwalik hills south of Nahan, about 20 kms from Sadhaura. Its

fort stood on a hill top. Two kuhls or water channels flowed at its

base and supplied water to it. This fort was repaired and put in a

state of defence. AIl the money, gold and costly material acquired

in these expeditions were deposited here. He struck coins and

issued orders under his own seal. The name of Mukhlispur was

changed to Lohgarh, and it became the capital of the first Sikh

State. “Although he declared himself as the slave of the Guru, yet

the Khalsa looked upon him as the Guru and became his followers.”4

Banda ruled over the region bounded on the north by the Shiwalik

hills, on the west by river Tangri, on the east by river Jamuna, and

in the south by a line passing through Samana, Thanesar, Kaithal

and Kamal. He abolished the Zamindari system of land tenure

prevailing under the Mughals an<\ declared the actual cultivators as

the owners of land. Thus he established the peasant proprietorship,

and won the approbation and support of the overwhelming majority

of the population. Khafi Khan says that Banda “issued orders to

imperial officers and agents and big jagirdars to submit and give

up their business.”l So Guru Gobind Singh’s dream of political

sovereignty was realized within a year of his death.

Banda’s name struck terror into the hearts of lawless people,

and thefts and brigandage became a thing of the past. “In all the

parganahs occupied by the Sikhs,” writes Irvine, “the reversal of

the previous customs was striking and complete. A low scavenger

or leather dresser, the lowest of the low in Indian estimation, had

only to leave home and join the Guru, when in a short time he

would return to his birthplace as its. ruler with his order of appointment

in his hand. As soon as he set foot within the boundaries,

the well-born and wealthy went out to greet him and escort him

home. Arrived there, they stood before him with joined palms

awaiting his orders… Not a soul dared to disobey an order, and

men who had often risked themselves in battlefields, became so

cowed down that they were afraid even to remonstrate. Hindus who

had not joined the sect were not exempt from these.”2

Banda’s troops

Banda devoted three months in organizing his civil and military

administration. Bahadur Shah was still away from Delhi. The Delhi

Government had made no attempt to recover their lost territory

from him. Wazir Khan of Sarhind was making his own preparations

independently to meet the danger from Banda.

Banda’s troops consisted of two classes of people. The old Sikhs

who had fought under Guru Gobind Singh joined him purely to

punish Wazir Khan. They also wished to see the fulfilment of the

Guru’s prophecy for Sikh sovereignty in Panjab. They numbered

about five thousands. Another class of Sikhs of about the same

number comprised young men who wanted to punish and plunder

the enemies of their faith. The third group of Hindu Jats, Gujars

and Rajputs, about ten thousands in number were intent on plunder

alone. Most of them were untrained, raw levies, not fully armed.

Banda possessed no elephants, no good horses and no guns. His

followers had matchlocks, swords, spears, bows and arrows. According

to Khafi Khan the number of Sikhs had risen to thirty or forty


Wazir Khan’s preparations

Wazir Khan had proclaimed a jihad or a holy war against Banda.

He was joined by the Nawab of Malerkotla, all other Muslim chiefs

and jagirdars as well as by Ranghars in large numbers. His men

were fully equipped with fine, up-to-date arms. Majority of his

soldiers were trained men. Wazir Khan’s own troops were “five or

six thousand horse and seven or eight thousand musketeers (barqandaz)

and archers, and with these, some artillery and elephants.” In

addition there were about eight thousand ghazis. The total number

of his troops was about twenty thousands.

Banda advanced from Lohgarh and halted at Banur, near Ambala,

14 kms from Rajpura. The Muslims of that town used to seize cows

and oxen of Hindus and slaughter them in their presence. Banda

sacked it, and then went ahead towards Sarhind.

On hearing the news of Banda’s advance, the Sikhs of the

Jullundur and Bari Doabs gathered at Kiratpur to join his forces.

Their passage was barred near Rupar by Sher Muhammad Khan

of Malerkotla. He was defeated. They met Banda between Banur

and Kharar on the road leading from Ambala to Rupar.1

The battle of Sarhind, May 12, 1710

The battle was fought at Chhappar Chiri,2 20 kms from Sarhind

on May 12, 1710. On the Mughal side Sher Muhammad Khan,

Nawab of Malerkotla, was the leader of the right wing. Wazir

Khan was in command of the centre. Suchanand, chief secretary

of,the Nawab, was put on the left. On the Sikh side, Baj Singh

headed the right flank and Binod Singh the left flank, while Banda

c,ommanded the centre facing Wazir Khan. Shouts of Sachcha

Radishah, Fatah Darshan, Akal, Akal and Ya Ali, Ya Ali, rent

. tbe sky.3 Suchanand could not withstand the ferocity of Baj Singh.

He was soon vanquished and fled away. The artillery fire of the

Mughals told heavily on the plunderers in Banda’s camp. They

were equally divided between the forces of Banda and Binod, and

they took to flight. Sher Muhammad was about to overpower

:ainod Singh’s wing when he was suridenly struck by a bullet and

was instantly killed. His men immediately dispersed. Wazir Khan

was rushing upon Banda who stuck fast to his ground and discharged

arrows relentlessly. There a bloody battle was going on.

Baj Singh and Binod Singh now joined Banda. Banda and the Sikh

leaders now converged around Wazir Khan, who was killed.

Wazir Khan’s death is variously described. Khafi Khan says that

he was struck by a musket balJ.l Mir Muhammad Ahsan Ijad says

that Baj Singh rushed upon Wazir Khan. The Governor threw his

spear at him. Baj Singh caught hold of it. He flung the same spear

upon Wazir Khan. It struck the forehead of his horse. Wazir Khan

discharged an arrow which hit Baj Singh’s arm. He then rushed

upon him with his sword. At this juncture Fatah Singh came to the

rescue of Baj Singh. His sword cut the Khan from shoulder to the


Akhbarat-e-Durbar-e-Mualla dated May 13, 1710 stated that the

battle began in the morning and lasted until afternoon. Wazir Khan

was wounded by arrows and bullets and fell dead. His son and sonin-

law also perished.1

Latif writes that he was killed by an arrow which pierced hill

breast.4 Kanhiyalal says he was struck by a bullet in breast.5 Macauliffe

holds that his head was cut off by Banda himself in a scuffle.’

Pursuit offugitives

Wazil’ Khan’s head was stuck up on a spear and lifted high up

by a Sikh who took his seat in the deceased’s howdah. The Sikhs

with one voice and in a wild excitement raised the sky-rending

shouts of Sat Sri Akal. The Muslim troops on beholding the Nawab’s

head took alarm, and trembling fled helter skelter in dismay and

despair. The Sikhs fell upon them and there was a terrible carnage.

Blood flowed freely not only in the battlefield but on a wide tract

up to the city of Sarhind, 20 kms distant. Wazir Khan’s body was

dragged by oxen and was then burnt.7 Khafi Khan writes that in

the course of flight “not a man of the army of Islam escaped with

more than his life and the clothes he stood in. Horsemen and foot

men fell under the swords of the infidels who pursued them as far

as Sarhind.”1

The city ofSarhind

The Sikhs reached Sarhind by nightfall. The gates of the city were

closed. The guns mounted on the walls of the fort commenced

bombardment. The Sikhs laid siege to the place. They took rest in

the night and gained strength for another trial the following day.

Wazir Khan’s family and the Muslim nobles fled to Delhi at night.

Severe fighting took place on May 13, 1710. The fort guns caused

“great havoc among Sikhs, and about 500 of them lost their lives.

The Sikhs in knots were hammering at the gates, and the Mughal

gunners obviously were playing a losing game. By afternoon they

succeeded in breaking open a couple of gates, and Banda’s troops

entered the town. Inside the town destruction of life and property

knew no bounds. Whole families were wiped out of existence.

Every follower of Banda seized as much in calih and kind as much

he could carry home The Government treasury and moveable property

worth two crores fell into the hands of Banda and it was

removed to Lohgarh. Several Muslims of note saved their lives by

embracing Sikhism. Dindar Khan son of JaJal Khan Rohilla became

Dindar Singh. The official newswriter of Sarhind Mir Nasirud-

din changed his name to Mir Nasir Singh.2

The province of Sarhind occupied

The entire province of Sarhind consisting of twenty-eight parganahs

and extending from the Satluj to the Jamuna and from the

Shiwalik hills to Kunjpura, Kamal and Kaithal, yielding 52 lakhs

annually (Bawani Sarhind) came into Banda’s possession. Baj Singh

was appointed Governor of Sarhind. Ali Singhwas made his deputy.

Their chief responsibility was to be on guard against the Mughal

troops from Lahore and Jammu. Fatah Singh retained charge of

Samana..Ram Singh, brother of Baj Singh, became chief of Thanesar.

Binod Singh, in addition to his post of the revenue minister,

was entrusted with the administration of Kamal and Panipat. His

main duty was to guard the road from Delhi. Banda retired to his

capital at Lohgarh. His era began from May 12, 1710, the date of

his victory in the battle of Sarhind. The zamindari system was

abolished in the whole province at one stroke. l

Banda advances towards Lahore, June 17/0

Having set up the administrative machinery, Banda advanced

from Sarhind to Malerkotia to punish the family of Sher Muhammad

Khan. The town was saved for a ransom of two lakhs on the recommendation

of Kishan Das Banya, an old acquaintance of Banda.

From there he marched to Morinda. He chastized the Brahmins and

Ranghars who had made over Guru Gobind Singh’s mother and

his two youngest sons to Wazir Khan. Then he visited Kiratpur

and Anandpur to pay homage at the holy shrines. He took Hoshiarpur

and Jullundur and carried fire and sword everywhere. Banda

crossed the Beas and fell upon Batala. Shaikh-ul-Ahad, a leading

Muslim chief and theologian, was killed. Several other places including

Kalanaur were captured. 2 He went on a pilgrimage to Derah

Baba Nanak. At Amritsar Banda made large offerings. He invited

young men to embrace Sikhism promising remission of land revenue

and other rewards. Thereupon the people of Majha joined the


Banda marched to Lahore. Sayyid Islam Khan, the Governor,

mounted guns on the walls of the city. He was joined by all the

Muslims of the neighbourhood. A fierce action took place at a

distance from the city. Thousands were killed on both sides. The

Muslims were defeated. They assembled the next day, “but were

again defeated with great slaughter.”4 Lahore must have fallen, but

Banda was in a hurry to look after his Government.

Thus the city remained safe owing to its strong fortifications. But

the entire suburbs for miles around were completely devastated. In

this campaign Banda was joined by thousands of low-caste Hindus.5

Banda in the Upper Ganga Doab, July 1710

Banda returned to Sarhind, toured over the province to see that

the administration was going on well. Then he returned to Lohgrah.

In the course of his excursions tales of bigotry of the Muslims of

the Upper Ganga Doab were brought to his notice. He lost no time,

and crossed the river Jamuna at Rajghat near Buria and entered the

district of Saharanpur. He punished and plundered the people of

Saharanpur, Behat, Nanautah and Jalalabad. The people submitted

after a tough resistance. Thus Banda’s rule extended from the river

Ravi to the Ganga, and from the neighbourhood of Lahore to the

vicinity of Panipat.1

The Haidari Flag, September-October 17/0

Immediately on his return, the Musiims of Lahore district and

its vicinity declared a holy war against the Sikhs. Thousands of

Muslims gathered under a huge standard with a green flag, called

Haidari Jhanda, to crush the Sikh revolt. The Sikhs assembled under

their local leaders in self-defence. Three main battles were fought

at Qaila Bhagwant Rae, not far from Lahore, Kotla Begam near

Chamyari and Bhilowal. The Muslims were defeated and dispersed.2

The battle of Rahon, October-November 17/0

The Sikhs fell back. They captured Rahon situated on a high

mound near the Satluj in the Jullundur Doab. Shams Khan, faujdar

of the Jullundur Doab, had his headquarters at Sultanpur

Lodi. At the head of 5,000 men he marched against the Sikhs.

There were no provisions in the fort of Rahon. They left the fort

and came out to oppose Shams Khan. A hard battle was fought in

Yaqub Khan’s garden. Shams Khan was joined by his uncle

Bayazid Khan, Governor of Jammu. Umar Khan, an Afghan chief

of Kasur, also united with them. A tough fight followed. The Sikhs

held together for a few days. Finding the situation untenable they

entered Rahon in the night. The place was immediately besieged.

They stood their ground for some time, eating whatever could be

had from the deserted houses. The fort fell in November and the

Sikhs were driven away.3 Shams Khan then advanced upon Sarhind.

Baj Singh and Ali Singh were defeated. They fled away to Lohgarh.

Shams Khan occupied Sarhind and killed a number of Sikhs.

Bahadur Shah marches against Banda

Emperor Bahadur Shah had defeated and killed his only surviving

brother Kam Bakhsh in January 1709. He remained in the Deccan

for about a year to establish his own administration. Meanwhile

several Rajput princes had revolted in Rajasthan. Bahadur Shah

came there in May 1710. At Ajmer he got the news of Sikh

rebellion in Panjab. He hurriedly settled terms with the Rajputs

and left for Panjab towards the close of June 1710.

Several Hindu chiefs such as Chatarsal Bundela1 and Udet Singh

Bundela followed in his train. The Governors of Allahabad,

Lucknow, Moradabad, Delhi and Sayyid Abdullah of Barah Sadat

in Muzaffarnagar district were ordered to join him.2

In July 1710 the Emperor appointed Zain-ud-din Ahmad Khan

Governor of Sarhind. In August 1710 Firoz Khan Mewati was

placed in command of the advance-guard. Muhammad Amin

Khan,3 Governor of Moradabad, with his son Qamar-ud-din Khan

(both of whom became prime ministers of Delhi later on) joined

the Emperor in Haryana. Another force under Sayyid Wajih-uddin

Khan of Barah Sadat was sent to reinforce Firoz Khan

Mewati. By a proclamation ingress into and egress from Delhi was

strictly forbidden. Kokaltash Khan was given charge of Sonepat.

Early in September 1710 all the Hindus in the camp were clean

shaved to avoid any resemblance with the Sikhs. Muslim chiefs

and jagirdars joined the imperial forces on their way. Churaman

Jat of Bharatpur reported himself on duty in the royal camp near


The Emperor was so much worried that he did not enter his

capital and marched straight to Sonepat in the last week of October.

Here he learnt the news of a couple of engagements with the Sikhs.

Firoz Khan Mewati had fought an action with Binod Singh at

Amin, 24 kms north of Kamal, and he presented 300 Sikh heads

to the Emperor at Sonepat. He was given one lakh of rupees and

appointed Governor of Sarhind in supersession of his previous

orders for the appointment of Zain-ud-din Khan.

Mewati fought two more battles against Binod Singh and Ram

Singh at Traori and Thanesar, defeated them and established bis

own military posts there. Hundreds of Sikh heads with their long

flowing hair were hung up on trees all along the road. He then

advanced to Shahabad, and captured it.

In November 1710 the Emperor passed through Panipat, Kamal,

Thanesar and Shahabad. He encamped at Barara. In one month

he covered a distance of 150 kms. In the beginning of December

1710 he reached Sadhaura which became the base of his operations.

There the Emperor received 300 Sikh heads sent by Shams Khan

from Sarhind. Firoz Khan Mewati was ordered to restore Emperor’s

authority in the rural areas.

Clashes with Imperial forces

Bahadur Shah planned to advance upon Banda’s stronghold at

Lohgarh. The Imperial forces were terror-stricken (tars-o-hariis).l

“According to the popular voice,” writes Irvine, “he was a most

powerful magician, greater even than he who made a calf to talk;

he could turn a bullet from its course and could work such spells

that spear and sword had little or no effect upon his followers.

Owing to those idle rumours the Emperor and the nobles and the

soldiers were much disturbed in mind and were disheartened. The

Sikhs, on the other hand, were encouraged by the belief instilled

into them by Banda that all who lost their lives in this war would

be recreated at once in a higher rank.”z

A strong Mughal force under Rustamdil Khan advanced from

their base at Sadhaura towards Lohgarh to examine the position

of Banda’s defences. At a distance of 5 kms they were suddenly

attacked by Banda’s troops. Khafi Khan writes: “It is impossible

for me to describe the fight which followed. The Sikhs in their

faqir dress struck terror into the royal troops. The number of the

dead and dying of the Imperialists was so large that, for a time, it

seemed they were losing ground. A nephew of Firoz Khan Mewati

was killed and his son wounded.”· In the battle Banda lost 1,500

Sikhs and two Sardars.’ Banda cut off convoys and other detachents,

and kilJed two or three faujdars. It rained for four or five

days and weather became very cold. Thousands of soldiers fell ill

and many horses died. Their stench was unbearable. The soldiers

attributed this calamity to the sorcery of Banda.

Another big contingent under command of Emperor’s son Prince

Rafi-us-Shan, was ordered to reinforce Rustamdil Khan. Kamwar

Khan in his Tazkirat-ul-Salatin writes: “This humble person was

then present with the troops of Prince Rafi-us-Shan, and saw with

his own eyes that everyone of the cursed Sikhs came out of the

entrenchments, challenged the Imper~al troops, and after great

struggle and trial, fell under the swords of the Ghazis.”t Rustamdil

Khan was raised to the mansab of 4,000 Zat and 3,000 Sawar with

the title of Ghazi Khan Rustam-e-Jang.

The siege of Lohgarh

Rustamdil Khan made a farther advance by 4 kms, and reached

the stream Som. From there the fort of Lohgarh was visible. It

was perched on the top of a hill. Between the stream Som and

Lohgarh lay a dense forest. It produced frightful sounds at night.

The imperial camp arrived there on December 9, 1710. The prime

minister Munim Khan and his son Mahabat Khan were assigned

the duty to guard the royal camp.

The foIlowing day on December 10, 1710, the Imperial army,

60,000 strong, pushed forward in battle array so as to surround

the fort of Lohgarh on all sides. Wazir Munim Khan, his son

Mahabat Khan and Chatarsal Bundela were in charge of the right

wing. Ddet Singh Bundela and Churaman Jat commanded the left

wing. Rustamdil Khan was in the centre. When they reached within

range of the Sikh guns, they were heavily shelled. The Mughal

troops entered the trenches at the foot of the hill. The Sikhs fought

hard, but they were repulsed. The survivors retreated up the hill.

Large numbers of Muslims were also killed.2

The fort of Lohgarh. was small. There was no space for storing

large quantities of grain and fodder. Their supplies had run short.

“The infidels bought what they could from the grain-dealers with

the royal army, and pulled it up with ropes,”3 In this exigency

Banda decided to escape. A Sikh Gulab Singh by name, a Khatri

and formerly a tobacco-seller, had a great resemblance with Banda

Bahadur. He put on Banda’s clothes and took up position in his

place. At 3 o’clock in the morning on December 11, 1710, a hollow

trunk of a big tamarind tree lying in the lower parts of the hill was

filled with gunpowder. The guns in the fort were also kept ready

to fire simultaneously. Just when the gunpowder in the tree trunk

was blown off and the guns in the fort fired, Banda and his men

escaped in the gre~ confusion prevailing in the Mughal camp.

They safely disappeared into the Sarmur hills. 1

From Sarmur right across lower parts of the Shiwalik hills, Banda

passed through Hindur (Nalagarh), Kahlur (Bilaspur), KutJehr,

Jaswan, Siba and Nurpur, to Chamba.

With the sunrise on December 11, 1710, the imperialists delivered

a vehement assault on the fort. Gulab Singh and his companions

kept on firing from the fort. The Mughal troopers continued

climbing up the hill. Gulab Singh and thirty of his companions

were captured. A number of women and children of the neighbouring

village had taken up shelter in the Sikh fort. They were

taken prisoners. The booty in the fort comprised many horses and

camels, five elephants, three big guns, seventeen light guns, a few

muskets and swords, a canopy with silver poles, gold and silver

coins worth eight lakhs of rupees, and from underground gold coins

to the value of twenty lakhs of rupees.s

There were great rejoicings in the Imperial camp. On December

12, 1710 a great durbar was held, and various honours were conferred

on all the commanders. In the evening it was discovered

that the real Banda had escaped and that it was his duplicate who

had been captured. According to Khafi Khan “the hawk had flown

and an owl had been All were thoroughly disappointed.

The Mughal camp wore a mourning appearance. The Emperor

summoned Prime Minister Munim Khan and administered to him

a sharp rebuke. The Wazir took the insult to heart, fell ill, and

died two and a half months afterwards, when the Emperor was

halting at BadhauJi not far from Sadhaura on his way to Lahore.’

On December 13, a contingent of Mughal troops was despatched

to seize the Barfis Raja of Nahan, Bhup Prakash, whose younger

brother had been offered the gadd; by Aurangzeb if he would

embrace Islam. The Raja was seized. He and Gulab Singh, Banda’s

substitute, were both put in an iron cage, sent to Delhi and imprisoned

in the Red Fort.l Gulab Singh’s thirty companions were

beheaded. Muhammad Khan came from Sarhind and presented to

the Emperor six cartloads of Sikh heads.2

It was the duty of the Raja of Nahan to supply ice in summer

to the Imperial capital. In winter ice was stored in pits at the foot

of hills. In hot weather it was carried wrapped in thick blankets by

porters to Dhamras on the river Yamuna. There it was packed in

boxes and floated down the river in rafts to Daryapur near Khizarabad

in Ambala district. At this place it was loaded in boats and

reached Delhi in three days.

Banda at Kiratpur, December 12,1710

One day after his escape from Lohgarh Banda arrived at Kiratpur.

On December 12, 1710 he addressed a number of letters to

various centres of Sikhs inviting them to gather at Anandpur immediately.

One of such letters was addressed to the Sangat at

Jaunpur in V.P. It is reproduced below:

One God! Victory to the Sect!3

This is the order of Sri Sachcha Sahib to the entire Khalsa of

Jaunpur. The Guru will protect you. Call upon the Guru’s name.

Your lives will be fruitful. You are the Khalsa of great Immortal

God. On seeing this letter repair to the presence, wearing five arms.

Observe the rules of conduct laid down for the Khalsa. Do not use

bhang, tobacco, poppy, wine, or any other intoxicant…

Commit no theft or adultery. We have brought about the golden

age (Satyuga). Love one another. This is my wish. He who lives

according to the rules of the Khalsa shall be saved by the Guru.

Poh 12 Samvat 1.”4

From Kiratpur Banda went to Anandpur, and passing through

the hills reached Chamba. Raja Vdai Singh offered Banda a princess

“a supremely beautiful girl. She had large eyes, her limbs were

graceful and delicate, and she is described by the enthusiastic

chronicler as the very image of the goddess of love.”l

Bahadur Shah died, February 28,1712

The Emperor marched in pursuit of Banda. Passing through

Sadhaura, Sarwarpur, Rasulpur and Badhauli, where his prime

minister Munim Khan passed away, he reached Rupar on April 30,

  1. He crossed the Satluj on May 17, 1711, and reached Hoshiarpur

on June 9, 171 I. The river Beas was crossed on June 23. He

arrived at Kahnuwan on July 17 where he enjoyed hunting water

fowls. He reached Lahore on August II, 1711. Some time afterwards

the Emperor developed signs of insanity and died on February

28, 1712.

The battle of Raipur-Bahrampur, November 1711

Banda came out of the hills in September 1711. He seized Pathankot

and Gurdaspur. At the latter place he built a fort and collected

stores ofmunition, grain and fodder. In November Qutb-ud-din Khan

Kheshgi, faujdar of Jammu, advanced to oppose him. Banda was

then subjugating the country in the neighbourhood of Batala and

Kalanaur. Qutb-ud-din lay encamped 40 kms to the north. His

nephew Shams Khan proceeded from Sultanpur to join his uncle.

Both the chiefs attacked Banda near Raipur-Bahrampur. In a severe

scuffle the Sikhs took to their heels. Shams Khan issued out in

their pursuit. Qutb-ud-din tried his best to prevent him, but he did

not care. The Sikhs suddenly came to a halt, and engaged the

Afghans in a fiercely contested battle. Shams Khan was shot dead,

while Qutb-ud-din was seriously wounded. He fell unconscious and

died after three days.2

Kalanaur and Batala

Banda marched upon Batala. Shaikh Muhammad Daim, the faujdar

of Batala opposed the Sikhs. He was defeated and he fled away

to Lahore. Kalanaur and Santokhgarh fell immediately afterwards.3

Two Mugha1 generals, Muhammad Amin Khan and Rustamdil Khan

issued in pursuit of Banda. He at once crossed river Ravi. The

Mughal forces pursued Banda. In the battle of Pasrur the Mughals

were victorious, and Banda fled away towards Jammu.

Muhammad Amin Khan and Rustamdil Khan maintained pursuit

of Banda. In other engagements fought at Parol 24 kms north-west

of Pathankot and at Kathua II kms east of Parol he was again

repulsed. Rustamdil Khan committed terrible atrocities on the

people of Parol-Kathua. He captured young men and women and

brought them to Lahore for sale in the slave market.1

Muhammad Amin Khan advanced to Jammu, fought a battle

with Banda and sent 500 Sikh heads to Lahore.2 Banda penetrated

into the hills and rested on the bank of river Chenab, 75 kms from

Jammu. The place came to be calIed Derah Baba Banda.

Banda recovers Sarhind and Lohgarh, March 1712

On the death of Bahadur Shah a civil war occurred among his

sons at Lahore on March 14-17, 1712. The Mughal governors joined

one side or the other. Eventually the eldest son Jahandar Shah

came out successful.

Banda took advantage of the situation. He appeared into the

plains early in March 1712. Islam Khan, Governor of Lahore, marched

to check Banda’s advance. In a pitched battle Islam Khan

was repulsed and he returned to the capital to participate in the

contest for the throne among princes.

Banda advanced upon Sarhind. Bayazid Khan, the Governor,

opposed him, but he was not successful. After the battle the Governor

retired into his tent. A Sikh entered his tent at night and

severed his head. Sarhind again fell into Banda’s hands. Having

appointed Sikh officers Banda took up his position at Lohgarh.3

Lohgarh besieged

Jahandar Shah ordered Amin Khan to seize Banda. He besieged

Lohgarh, but failed to capture the Sikh leader. When the Emperor

was going to Agra to suppress the revolt of Farrukh Siyar, son of

his younger brother Azim-us-Shan, he called Amin Khan to join

him. Jahandar Shah was defeated and killed on February 11, 1713.

Farrukh Siyar became the Emperor.

The new Emperor immediately turned his attention to suppress


the Sikh revolt. On February 22, 1713 Farrukh Siyar transferred

Abdus Samad Khan Diler Jang from Kashmir to Panjab, while his

youthful son Zakariya Khan was appointed faujdar of Jammu.

Zabardast Khan was given Kashmir. Zain-ud-din Ahmad Khan

was made in charge of Sarhind. Strict orders were issued to all of

them to put an end to the Sikh revolt and capture Banda.1 Abdus

Samad Khan and Zain-ud-din Ahmad Khan encamped at Sadhaura

in April 1713 and commenced fighting with the Sikhs. The Sikhs

fought so ferociously that the Mughal army was almost overpowered.

According to Khafi Khan “They over and over again showed the

greatest daring.” He again repeats that the Sikhs “showed the greatest

boldness and daring, and made nocturnal attacks upon the Imperial

forces.” He further emphasizes that “the enemy exhibited

great courage and daring.”2 Banda held his ground for six months.

When he ran short of supplies of grain and fodder he escaped into

the hills in the beginning of October 1713. This news was recorded

at Delhi on October 9, 1713.3

Banda retired to his Derah on the bank of river Chenab. Zakariya

Khan, the Governor of Jammu, led an expedition against him. A

number of Sikhs lost their lives. Their heads were cut off and sent

to Delhi. They were produced before Farrukh Siyar on December

13, 1713. Zakariya Khan was granted a robe of honour with the

rank of 3,000 Zat and 1,000 Sawars.4

Banda came out in August 1714 near Rupar with 7,000 Sikhs.

Zain-ud-din Ahmad Khan, Faujdar of Sarhind, fought an action

with him on August 26, 1714. He sent 200 Sikh heads to Delhi.6

Banda vanished into the hills.

Schism in Banda’s ranks, October 1714

A determined effort was now made by Farrukh Siyar to suppress

the Sikh rebellion through diplomacy as well as military action. He

was disappointed that the Mughal Empire with all the resources at

its command had failed in capturing the Sikh leader. He formed a

plan to use Mata Sundari widow of Guru Gobind Singh who was

living in Delhi. She was asked to persuade Banda to stop his lawl

less activities, accept jagirs for himself and other Sikh leaders, and

to get his Sikh soldiers recruited in the imperial army. On receiving

Mata Sundari’s communication Banda replied that he had no faith

in Government’s promises. The Emperor imprisoned Mata Sundari

and Mata Sahib Devi. The Emperor knew that the Sikhs would

ma~ submission in order to save the honour of Guru’s widows.

Mata Sundari again wrote to Banda to submit. Banda said that the

ladies must endure all the hardship because his submission implied

annihilation of the Khalsa, and failure of his mission entrusted to

him by the Guru. The Emperor tightened the restrictions imposed

upon the ladies. Mata Sundari ordered Banda immediately to submit

or face excommunication.

Banda replied that “he was merely a Bairagi Faqir and had

neither friend nor foe”l and that “he was merely carrying out the

orders of Guru Gobind Singh in regard to the campaign of vengeance

for the destruction of the tyrant, and the protection of the


Mata Sundari charged Banda with disobedience and non-observance

of Guru Gobind Singh’s instructions. She issued orders ·of

excommunication of Banda to all the Sikh leaders serving under

Banda on the ground that he had married, that he had substituted

Fatah Darsl:an for Wah Guru Ji ka Khalsa, Wah Guru Ji ki Fatah,

and that he wanted to rule over the Singhs as their Guru.

On the receipt of letters of excommunication many Sikh chiefs

immediately decided to separate themselves from Banda. The initiative

was taken by Miri Singh, a young man in early twenties. His

father Kahan Singh and grandfather Binod Singh, Banda’s companions

from Nander as his principal advisers appointed by Guru

Gobind Singh, broke away from .Banda with 5,000 Sikhs. Others

who hesitated pressed Banda to take pahul, begin to eat meat, drink

wine and wear black clothes instead of red clothes, in order to retain

their loyalty. Banda declined to do so. They also fell off and

joined Binod Singh. This party called itself Tatva Khalsa or the

real Khalsa. Those who stuck fast to Banda were called Bandai

Sikhs. They were almost equally divided, each group containing

about 15,000 Sikhs.

The Emperor sent presents of doshalas and arms and other articles

to the Tatva Khalsa. A contingent of 5,000 Sikhs under command

of Kahan Singh, his son Miri Singh, Fatah Singh of Bhagto,

and Sham Singh Naurangwalia was taken into service by the

Governor of Lahore. Each horseman was paid Rs. 30 p.m., a footman

Rs. 15 pm. and a Sardar Rs. 5 daily. The Sikhs who preferred

to stay at Amritsar were paid Rs. 5,000 monthly. The parganah

of Jhabal was granted to meet the expenses of the langar, and grain

and fodder for horses. l

The division in the Sikhs was to be confirmed at the sacred shrine

of Amritsar. Hence the Sikhs were allowed to celebrate the Diwali

at Amritsar in November 1714 without any fear of molestation.

On this occasion the Tatva Khalsa made a formal isolation from

Bandais, and offered their allegiance as well as active service

against the Bandais to the Governor of Lahore.

Revolt of Husain Khan Kheshgi of Kasur

To stabilize the bifurcation the Tatva Khalsa gave a practical

proof. Abdus Samad Khan was then busy in suppressing the rebellion

of Husain Khan Kheshgi of Kasur. There was only a small

force at Lahore. Banda marched from Amritsar and encamped near

village Kahali. The next halt was made at village Ghanayeki. He

then advanced upon Lahore. The Lahore army came out to oppose

him. Their advance-guard consisted of the Tatva Khalsa under Miri

Singh. At the sight of his comrades arrayed on the enemy side

Banda felt disgusted. He lost the ground and retired into the hills.2

Husain Khan Kheshgi had revolted against the Panjab Governor.

Khafi Khan says he was inCIted into rebellion by the Sayyid

Brothers who headed the Hindustani party in opposition to the

Turani party at the Mughal court. Abdus Samad was an important

leader of the Turani party. Husain Khan took possession of

IRatan Singh Bhangu, Prachin Pan/Ii Prakasli, Wazir-e-Hind Press, Amritsar,

date of publication not given, pp. 152-58, 1914 edition, pp. 192-99; santokh

Singh, Shri Gllru Prakash SlIra) Grant/I, Uttar Ain Ans XIII, 374; Giani

Gian Singh, Pallih Prakash, II, 4th edition, Amritsar, 30-31;

Religion, original edition, 218-20; Karam Singh, Banda Bahadur Kaun Tha

several places in the neighbourhood of Kasur. He turned out many

Imperial jagirdars and faujdars. Abdus Samad sent an expeditionary

force to punish him. The Mughal commander was killed in

the battIe, and his baggage and treasure were plundered by the


Husain Khan recruited an army of about nine thousand horsemen.

Abdus Samad also raised a force of equal number and marched

against him. Both the armies fought near Chunian, about 30 kms

south of Lahore. It was a long and fiercely contested battle. At

length an arrow struck Husain Khan: His elephant whose driver

had been killed ran about at random. A shower of bullets and

arrows feIl on it. The howdah caught fire. Husain Khan feIl dead.

Many of his Afghans were killed. The rest took to flight. The

Emperor conferred the title of Saif-ud-daulah (Sword of the State)

on Abdus Samad Khan.1

Banda captured alive, December 1715

The fall of Sikh power was now sure and certain. (Is ghar ko iig

lag gai ghar ke c1ziriigh se). Banda still had 14,000 combatants

with him. However, the courageous Banda did not lose heart and

continued to perform his mission of destruction anddevastation.2

Emperor Farrukh Siyar sent a strong force of 20,000 troops

from Delhi,3 under Qamar-ud-din Khan. He was joined by 5,000

troops from Sarhind. Orders were issued to Abdus Samad Khan

and his son Zakariya Khan to seize Banda alive. AIl the three

Turani leaders were related to one another. The mother of Qamarud-

din and wife of Abdus Samad Khan were real sisters. Zakariya

Khan, son of Abdus Samad Khan, was married to the sister of

Qamar-ud-din. Thus the campaign became a family affair of the

Turani party.

Banda was at that time carrying on operations to the north of

Amritsar. Just then the Mughal army appeared on the scene with

the determination of a crusader. Banda retired northward with a

view to take shelter in the fort of Gurdaspur. It had been recently

extended so as to accommodate sixty thousand horse and foot. Large

stores of grain and fodder had also been collected there. The

Mughal army converged upon him from three sides. The Delhi

IKhafi Khan, II,

force of 20.000 men under Qamar-ud-din Khan advanced from the

east. the Lahore troops about 10,000 under Abdus Samad Khan

marched from the south. and the Jammu soldiery nearly 5.000

under Zakariya Khan moved from the north. To the west lay river

Ravi. There was no bridge over it. All the boats had been withdrawn

to the opposite bank which was closely guarded by numerous

local chiefs and government officials. The pursuit was so tight

that Banda could not enter his fort at Gurdaspur. He turned west.

Finding that all the ways of escape had been barred he rushed into

the have/i of Dunichand which had a large open compound with a

wall around it at village Gurdas Nangal, 6 kms to the west of

Gurdaspur. In it Banda accommodated 1,250 men with a small

number of horses. The other Sikhs who could not be lodged therein

tried to flee in all directions. They fell an easy prey to the fury of

the Mugbal army. According to Khafi Khan three or four thousand

of them were massacred. He filled that extensive pain with

blood as if it had been a dish.l Khafi Khan further observes:

“Those who escaped the sword, were sent in collars and chains to

the Emperor. Abdus Samad sent nearly two thousand heads stuffed

with hay and a thousand persons bound with iron chains in charge

of his soo, Zakariya Khan. and others to the Emperor.'”

Banda dug a ditch around the enclosure and filled it with water

from the canal flowing nearby. The imperialists also dug trenches

all around the enclosure. It took place in the beginning of April

  1. This news reached Farrukh Siyar on April 17. 1715.

The siege lasted a little over eight months. The full summer

from April to June, the entire rainy season from July to September,

and half of winter from October to the beginning of December

passed in this condition with frequent sorties and occasional skirmishes.

Banda’s enclosure was closely invested on all sides. On the east

lay the Delhi troops under Qamar-ud-din Khan. On the north was

Zakariya Khan, faujdar of Jammu and Zain-ud-din Ahmad Khan.

Governor of Sarhind. To the south was Abdus Samad Khan of

Lahore. The western side on the river Ravi was guarded by petty

chiefs and jagirdars such as faujdars of Gujrat. Eminabad, Patti,

Kalanaur and R~s of Kaogra and Jasrota.s

Banda was popular in Sarhind province for having abolished the

Zamindari. In the Bari Doab the people did not support him. The

Sikhs offered the most stubborn resistance. Muhamad Qasim who

fought against the Sikhs in this campaign wrote: “The brave and

daring deeds of the infernal Sikhs were wonderful. Twice or thrice

everyday some forty or fifty of the black-faced Sikhs came out oftheir

enclosure to gather grass for their cattle, and, when the combined

forces of the Imperialists went to oppose them, they made an end

of the Mughals with arrows, muskets and small swords, and disappeared.

Such was the terror of the Sikhs and the fear of the

sorceries of the Sikh Chief that the commanders of this army prayed

that God might so ordain things that Banda should seek his safety

in flight from the Garhi.”l

Eventually all supplies of foodstuff and fodder came to a dead

stop. All animals died, and their flesh was eaten. Then their bones

and bark of trees were powdered and eaten. Many Sikhs died of

hunger and the rest were completely famished and reduced to


Seeing that resistance had completely ceased, the Mughal army

on December 7, 1715, ventured into the enclosure. About three

hundred men almost on the verge of death were beheaded. Their

bodies were cut up in search of gold coins which they were believed

to have swallowed. Banda with his 740 followers was captured.

The following articles were recovered from the enclosure:

Swords 1,000

Shields 278

Small kirpans 217

Matchlocks 180

Bows and arrow cases 173

Daggers 114

Rupees 600

Gold mohars 23

Gold ornaments a few

With this beggarly equipment in men, money and material and living

in a small house with an open compound, Banda had defied the

mighty Mughal Empire for over eight months. No better record

than this challenge can be traced anywhere else in world history.

Banda’s scoffing procession in Delhi

In chains and fetters Banda was put in an iron cage which was

hooked up on the back of a tall elephant. The others with ludicrous

paper caps on their heads were fastened on camels, horses and

asses, and later on chained on feet, waist and neck were tied in twos

and threes and were placed in bullock carts. Bandsmen, buglers

and drummers playing loudly went ahead, followed by 300 Sikh

heads stuck up on spears. Qamar-ud-din’s cavalry was in front of

all, while Zakariya Khan’s horsemen were in the rear. Last of all

followed the nobles, faujdars and rajas at the head of their troops.

While passing through towns and cities people thronged in the

bazars and streets and on house tops and in balconies in crowds.

In the countryside spectators stood on both sides of the road. l

The prisoners were first led to Lahore and then to Delhi. At

Lahore the mother of Bayazid Khan, the deceased Governor of

Sarhind, threw a heavy stone from the balcony of the house on the

Sikh procession and killed a Sikh. The number of Sikh heads went

on increasing by the execution of innocent Sikhs captured on the

way. At Lahore the number of Sikh heads was 700, and in Delhi

2,000. In Muslim towns such as Sarhind, Kamal and Panipat the

people treated the prisoners with utmost insolence, “usual with

bigots and common among barbarous or half-civilized conquerors.”

2 They heaped every indignity upon them. They used filthy

abuses, mocked, whistled, ridiculed, laughed to scorn, scoffed,

jeered, taunted, grinned, sneered at, hissed, hooted, pointed the

finger at, turned up their noses at, snapped their fingers at, and

spat at. The Sikhs drowned this mockery by singing in chorus

hymns from the holy Granth.3

They reached the Shalimar Garden near Delhi on February 25,

  1. Muhammad Amin Khan, father of Qamar-ud-din Khan, came

to receive them and the following morning led them to the Red Fort.

On February 29, 1716, the Hindu festival day of Holi, they were

taken out in a procession. Bands played ahead of all. Then followed

2,000 Sikh heads stuffed with straw fixed on’ spears and

bamboos, their long hair flowing with the wind. After them came

the dead body of a cat mounted on a long pole to show that not

even a cat or dog was left alive in Sikh homes. Behind it was Banda

in an iron cage on a lofty elephant. A red turban with borders

embroidered in gold was placed on his head. On his body was a

crimson robe of brocade wrought in flowers of gold. It was a mockery

of a bridegroom. A stalwart Mughal soldier in a coat of arms

with a shining sword in hand stood behind him The 740 prisoners

were behind Banda’s elephant. To vilify them their faces were made

black in order to have uniformity with their hair. Black sheep-skin

high-coned caps with glass beads sewn on them were placed on their

heads. Some were dressed in sheep-skins, the woolly side being outward.

Their left hands were tied to their necks with two pieces of

wood. They were bound back to back in pairs and two pairs were

mounted on the bare back of a camel. In the rear of the cavalcade

were Amin Khan (later on Prime Minister), his son Qamar-ud-din

Khan (also Prime Minister, and his son-in-law Zakariya Khan later

Viceroy of Panjab). They rode at the head of a strong contingent

of Mughal troops. The road from Shalimar Garden to the Red

Fort 10 kms long was lined on both sides with troops and lakhs of

exultant spectators.

The eye-witness Mirza Muhammad Harsi writes: On this day I

had gone to see the pageant (tamasha) as far as the Mandavi-eNamak.

From there I accompanied the procession to Qila-e-Mubarik.

There was hardly anyone in the city who had not come out to

see the spectacle of the accursed. There was such a crowd in the

bazars and streets as had rarely been seen. The Muslims could not

contain themselves with joy. But those unfortunate fellows who had

been reduced to this misery were thorougly contented with their

fate. Their faces bore not the slightest sign of dejection and humility.

In fact most of them on camels were busy in singing. If any

one of the spectators remarked: ‘Now you will be killed,’ they replied:

“Kill us. When were we afraid of death? Had we been afraid

of it, how could we have fought so many battles with you? It was

through sheer starvation and want of food that we fell into your

hands, otherwise the truth of our bravery is known to yoU.”l

Sayyid Muhammad was another beholder. He wrote: “At that

time I asked one of them by signs why they had committed such

rudeness (gustakhi) and mischief (shokhi). He placed his hand on

his forehead indicating that it was predestined. This expression

pleased me.”2

The procession passed along the 10 kms long road, abused, scoffed

and laughed at throughout. They were brought back to the

Red Fort after demonstration. Kahan Singh son of Binod Singh

was the leader of Tatva Khalsa who had gone over to the Mughals

and fought against Banda at Lahore. He declined to join the imperial

army in the siege of Gurdas Nangal. He was arrested and

sent in the retinue of Banda to Delhi. When the regular slaughter

of the Sikhs began in front of the Kotwali, Mata Sundari planned

to save Kahan Singh’s life. The Mughal officers and guards on

Sikh prisoners were heavily bribed, and Kahan Singh was substituted

by another Sikh.l Baj Singh who was a descendant of Gurll

Amar Das,2 also escaped. 3

714 Sikhs are beheaded at Kotwali

Banda and his twenty-six officials were separated from the rest

by Sarbrah Khan Kotwa!. The remaining Sikhs were divided into

seven groups, each of 100 Sikhs to be beheaded on all the seven

days of the week. The execution began on March S, 1716. The

Sikhs were led in batches to Kotwali and made to stand in rows of

ten in front of the police office where now stands the fountain

(Fuwara). Before execution an offer was made to spare their lives if

they could become Musalman. None volunteered to do so. They

uttered Wah Guru, Wah Guru, and tried to outbid one another in

offering themselves for sacrifice saying, “me, mukta (deliverer)! kill

me first,” was the prayer which constantly rang in the ears of the


All observers, Indian and Europeans, unite in remarking on the

wonderful patience and resolution with which these men met their

fate. Their attachment and devotion to their leader was astonishing

to behold. They had no fear of death, and they called the executioner

Mukta or the Deliverer.’

Among Banda’s followers there was a lad on whose face soft hair

was just appearing. Being the only son of a widow, he was the

centre of all her hopes and ambitions. According to the old custom

he had been recenty married as he wore the wedding thread on his

wrist. He was so deeply touched at the sight of the Sikhs

through his village on their way to Delhi, that he left his home and

joined Banda’s party. His mother and wife entreated him to return

home, but he did not yield. Both the women accompanied him

weeping and crying. They reached Delhi and sought help from

Ratanchand. Diwan of Prime Minister Sayyid Abdullah. They submitted

that the boy was not a Sikh prisoner nor the follower of the

Guru, and that his life should be spared. On the recommendation

of Ratanchand Sayyid Abdullah issued orders for his release. The

mother and wife reached the Kotwali and learnt that he was marked

for execution on that very day. He was found standing in a row

outside the Kotwali.

The further scene was witnessed by Khafi Khan and Khushhal

Chand. Khafi Khan says that when a police official was setting him

free, the boy declined to go. He shouted: “My mother is a liar. 1

am heart and soul a devoted disciple of my leader (Murshid). Finish

me quickly with my companions.”1 Khushhal Chand writes that

the lad declined to recognise his mother and wife saying: “I do not

know whose mother she is and from where she has brought this

girl. 1 do not understand what she talks. My companions have

gone. I have no time to lose. The delay is painful to me.”2

The heart-breaking lamentations of the mother and the bride,

persuasion of officials, and entreaties of bystanders bore no fruit.

He rushed back to his place, put his head before the executioner,

and lay dead in the twinkling of an eye.

The heads and bodies lay in separate heaps the whole day. In

the evening they were taken out of the city in carts and hung upon

trees along the roads.

Some Englishmen as representatives of the British East India

Company were then present in the capital. On March 10,1716, they

submitted a brief report on the “Arrest and Massacre c.f the Sikhs

at Delhi” to the Governor of Fort William, Calcutta, in which they

said about Banda: “He at present has his life prolonged with most

of his mutsuddys in hope to get an account of his treasure in the

several parts of his kingdom and of those that assisted him, when

afterwards he will be executed, for the rest there are 100 each day

beheaded. It is not a little remarkable with what patience they

undergo their fate, and to the last it has not been found that one

apostatised from their new formed Religion.”I

Banda executed near Qutab Minar

Banda’s wife, a princess of Chamba, his 4-year-old son AJai and

child’s nurse had been arrested at Chamba and brought to Delhi.

They were admitted into the harem of Darbar Khan Nazir. Banda

and his 26 officials were tortured for three months and a half to disclose

places of their hidden treasure. When all attempts had failed,

it was decided to execute Banda on June 9, 1716, and his officials

the following day.

The same old golden turban and cloak were put on Banda. Fettered

and chained all over he was placed in an iron cage which was

fastened on the back of an elephant. His companions were put on

the bare back of camels. They were preceded by Sarbrah Khan

Kotwal at the head of his police force. In the rear was Ibrahim-uddin,

Head of Artillery. The procession passed through the main

streets of Delhi. They were taken to the tomb of Khwaja Qutabud-

din Bakhtiyar Kaki near Qutab Minar in Mehrauli 16 kms distant

from the Red Fort. They were led around the tomb of the late

Emperor Bahadur Shah who had failed in suppressing Banda’s rebellion

so as to give satisfaction to his soul. The leading nobles had

already gathered there.

Banda was taken out of the cage and seated on the ground. As

usual he was offered life on his embracing Islam. The proposal was

rejected. Though heavily chained his right hand was freed. His son,

Ajai, was placed in his lap, and a dagger put in his right hand to

kill the child. Banda did not stir. Thereupon the dagger was thrust

into the body of the child, and his heart and entrails were thrust

into Banda’s mouth. He shut his mouth and he remained absolutely

unmoved.- Muhammad Amin Khan, later on Prime Minister, was

standing nearby. He came closer and intensely looked into the eyes

of Banda. He was deeply impressed with his noble features. He

remarked: “It is surprising that one, who shows so much acuteness

in hL. features, and so much of nobility in his conduct, should have

been guilty of such horrors.”

In complete composure and tranquillity Banda replied, “I will

II.T. Wheeler, Early Records of British lndia. Whenever men become so corrupt and wicked as to relinquish

the sence of equity and to abandon themselves to all kinds of

excesses, then the providence never fails to raise up a scourage like

me to chastise a race so depraved; but when the measure of punishment

is full then He raises up men like you to bring him to punishment.”


After this Banda’s right eye was dug out with a sharp pointed

dagger. Then the left eye was removed in a similar manner. With a

pause his left foot was chopped off. A little while afterwards both of

his arms were lopped off. Then with red-hot pincers his flesh was

cut off bit by bit. Later his legs, ears and nose were removed from

his body. His brain was blown out with a hammer. Last of aU his

remaining body was hacked to pieces.

This horrid savagery lasted the whole day. Banda displayed heavenly

calm, no tears, no cries, no groaning, no expression of grief,

no jerk in the body, and no sign of pain. Throughout he remained

composed and collected, serene and steady, unruflled and unstirred.

A curious creature was he, this Banda Bahadur. He had a power

of concentrating his mind on something away from his body and

his surroundings with such intensity as if he were in a trance.

This abominable scene was staged before the very eyes of Banda’s

officials who included among themselves Fatah Singh, Ali Singh and

Gulab Singh Bakhshi who had remained in the Lohgarh fort after

Banda’s escape.2 They were beheaded on June 10,1716, at the same


Banda did not die in vain. This tragic event changed the course

of not only Sikh history but also of the history of Panjab. Banda

had shown to the Sikhs the difference between those who were in

power and those who were out of it. The lesson of power once

practically taught could not be forgotten by a militant community.

They continuously worked to regain what they had lost and in half

a century became undisputed masters of the Land of Five Rivers.

Banda’s place in history

Banda was a Rajput. The blood of a Kshatriya flowed in his

veins. Thus he inherited the spirit of bravery, heroism, love of

independence &r.d self.sfcrifice from his race. This spirit was further

strengthened by his long residence in Maharashtra where he

had seen with his own eyes how Shambhuji, son of Shivaji, his

step-brother Rajaram and his widow, Tara Bai, had carried on a life

and death struggle against Aurangzeb who was personally leatiing a_

campaign of annihilation against the Marathas. His dormant spirit

of nationalism was awakened and put into its practical application

by Guru Gobind Singh. His national enthusiasm was further aroused

by the Guru’s sufferings and sacrifices and ultimately by his

death as a result of the Mughal trickery.

Curiously, Banda had a great resemblance in looks with Guru

Gobind Singh. He possessed the same medium height and bulk of

the body and colour of the face. Under his bushy beard and moustaches

and long hair on head, the facial features also looked alike.

Further both spoke the same language which was a mixture of Hindi

and Panjabi. Both were fond of covering themselves with arms capa-

pie. Both were in possession of a commanding voice and manner

which resulted in implicit obedience from their followers. Both

could arouse the zeal for supreme sacrifice of their devotees.

Banda aimed at national awakening and liberation of the country

from the oppressive government of the Mughals. Guru Hargobind

and Guru Gobind Singh had transformed the Sikhs from a peaceful

people into a class of warriors. They fought against the government

in self-defence. They never took any offensive. They did not

acquire territory, did not take prisoners, and did not seize enemy’s

property and wealth. The two Gurus never tried to establish their

own rule in their own territory. They believed it belonged to the

Government. The government rules were obeyed, and government

coins were used.

Banda, on the other hand, always took offensive. He fought battles,

took prisoners and killed them, seized the enemy’s property

and lands, and set up his own government. He issued his own coins,

had his own official seal and gave orders which had the force of

firmans of the Mughal Emperors. He did not want to weaken the

Mughal power, but to destroy its root and branch, and to establish

in its place national rule or self-government.

Banda was the first man who laid down the foundation of political

sovereignty of the Sikhs. He made Sikhism popular with the

people of Panjab, not by force or persuasion, but by his bravery

and generosity. In about a year, more than one lakh of persons

embraced Sikhism and became the Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh.

Those who had not heard the names of the Gurus, were attracted

towards Sikhism by Banda’s victories. Banda had shown what selfgovernment

meant. After his fall the lesson was not lost on the

Sikhs. He had brought about a revolution in the minds of the peo~

pie. A will was created in the masses. Heads could be cut off, but

the ideas remained, leading ultimately to ‘iuccess.

Banda was a great reformer. He broke down the barriers of caste,

creed and religion. He appointed sweepers and cobblers as big

officers before whom high caste Hindus, Brahmins and Kshatriyas

stood with folded hands awaiting their orders. He believed in socialism.

He distributed all his riches among his folowers. He abolished

the zamindari system and established peasant-proprietorship

making the actual tillers of the soil its masters. He was opposed to

the use of intoxicant drugs. He prohibited drinking of bhang and

wine and smoking of tobacco or charas.

He knew the real cause of the weakness of Hindus. The spirit of

mercy, compassion, sympathy, tenderness, forbearance and their

melting mood inculcated in them by religion (Daya Dharam ka mul

hai), had been responsible for the slavery of the Hindus by people

from the north-west. He showed that the only way to meet the eternal

foe was to adopt the policy of paying them in their own coin, a

tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye, and to payoff old scores.

The Sikhs learnt this lesson from Banda and admirably succeeded

in establishing their own rule in their homeland.

Banda possessed the high ideal of life, sincerity, honesty, indomitable

spirit, unbounded enthusiasm, rare daring, single-minded devotion

to his cause, dare-devilry of the highest type and nobility of

character. It was for this reason that none of his 740 followers renounced

his faith to save his life. Even a young lad who had been

pardoned by the Prime Minister refused to leave Banda in the face

of death.

Banda seems to have destroyed about haif a lakh of Muslims.

This brutality cannot be approved in any age by any people. But

some justification can be offered from the condition of the times.

Banda was a contemporary of Aurangzeb. He had killed all the

Satnamis even to a man, woman or child, numbering about 50,000.

The same number if not more of the Jats of Bharatpur-Agra-Dclbi

region were destroyed. Rajputs and Marathas must share between

themselves a loss of about 50,000 men each. The total number was

death was in addition. There was almost wholesale destruction of

Hindu temples and other religious institutions in northern India.

Banda had travelled from north to south and back again, and he

had seen all this destruction, rape and rapine with his own eyes.

The Rajput spirit was throbbing in him. It was lying dormant

under an ashes-smeared skin. This spirit was aroused by Guru

Gobind Singh, and retaliation was a natural consequence. Latif

says that Guru Gobind Singh had selected Banda for “avenging

the death of his father and two sons, for which purpose he could

not have singled out a better instrument than this ruthless bloodsucker.”}

After his conquest of Sarhind Banda considerably mellowed down

in his fury against the Muslim population. He placed no restrictions

on their Azan and Nimaz. At Kalanaur in April 1711 he recruited

5,000 Muslims in his army.2

To sum up, Banda was a demon in the eyes of Muslims, a great

national hero for Hindus, and for the Sikhs their first empire builder.

In Indian history he occupies the place of a genius spiritual,

political and military, consecrated or perverted as one might think.

In world history he should rank not less than Alexander the Great,

Halaku, Chingiz Khan, Nadir Shah, Ahmad Shah Abdali or Napoleon


(Courtesy:- History of the Sikhs  volume 2- Hari Ram Gupta)

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Here I am quoting verbatim a paragraph from Los Angeles Times dated Sept. 3, 1916. “In a videotaped January 1992 meeting with the staff at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, where she had been treated for pneumonia, she boasted of baptising as many as 29000 people who had died at Nimal Hriday since 1952. ”
That was the real face of Mother Teresa. She thought that by converting people on their deathbeds she was doing service to them, because when they go to the biased God He will favour them for coming to Him as Christians.What a crazy idea !
Or perhaps, on the Judgement Day when Christians will arise from their graves, she herself will get special treatment for swelling the flock of Christ. Again a crazy idea.

Hira Lal Kandhari
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धर्मवीर हकीकत राय

वीर हकीकत राय का जन्म 1720 में सियालकोट में बागमल पूरी के यहाँ हुया।इनकी माता का नाम कोरा था।बागमल सियालकोट के तब के प्रसिद्ध सम्पन हिन्दू व्यपारी थे।वीर हकीकत राय उनकी एकलौती सन्तान थी।उस समय देश में बाल विवाह प्रथा प्रचलित थी,क्योकि हिन्दुओ को भय रहता था कि कहि मुसलमान उनकी बेटियो को उठा कर न ले जाये।जैसे आज भी पाकिस्तान और बांग्लादेश से समाचार आते रहते है।इसी कारण से वीर हकीकत राय का विवाह बटाला के निवासी क्रिशन सिंह की बेटी लक्ष्मी देवीसे बारहा वर्ष की आयु में क्र दिया गया था।

उस समय देश में मुसलमानो का राज था।जिन्होंने देश के सभी राजनितिक और प्रशासिनक कार्यो के लिये फ़ारसी भाषा लागु कर रखी थे।देश में सभी काम फ़ारसी में होते थे।इसी से यह कहावत भी बन गई कि ,” हाथ कंगन को आरसी क्या,और पढ़े लिखे को फ़ारसी क्या”। इसी कारण से बागमल पूरी ने अपने पुत्र को फ़ारसी सिखने के लिये मोलवी के पास उसके मदरसे में पढ़ने के लिये भेजा।कहते है और जो बाद में सिद्ध भी हो गया कि वो पढ़ाई में अपने अन्य सहपाठियों से अधिक तेज था, जिससे वो मुसलमान बालक हकीकत राय से घृणा करने लगे।

कहते है कि एक बार हकीकत राय का अपने मुसलमान सहपाठियों के साथ झगड़ा हो गया।उन्होंने माता दुर्गा के प्रति अप्सब्द कहे,जिसका हकीकत ने विरोध करते हुए कहा,”क्या यह आप को अच्छा लगेगा यदि यही शब्द मै आपकी बीबी फातिमा (मोहम्द की पुत्री) के सम्बन्ध में कहु।इसलिये आप को भी अन्य के प्रति ऐसे शब्द नही कहने चाहिये।”इस पर मुस्लिम बच्चों ने शोर मचा दिया की इसने बीबी फातिमा को गालिया निकाल कर इस्लाम और मोहम्द का अपमान किया है।साथ ही उन्होंने हकीकत को मारना पीटना शुरू क्र दिया।मदरसे के मोलवी ने भी मुस्लिम बच्चों का ही पक्ष लिया।शीघ्र ही यह बात सारे स्यालकोट में फैल गई।लोगोने हकीकत को पकड़ कर मारते-पिटते स्थानीय हाकिम अदीना बेग के समक्ष पेश किया।वो समझ गया की यह बच्चों का झगड़ा है,मगर मुस्लिम लोग उसे मृत्यु-दण्ड की मांग करने लगे।हकीकत राए के माता पिता ने भी दया की याचना की।तब अदीना बेग ने कहा,”मै मजबूर हूँ।परन्तु यदि हकीकत इस्लाम कबूल कर ले तो उसकी जान बख्श दी जायेगी।” किन्तु वो 14 वर्ष का बालक हकीकत राय ने धर्म परिवर्तन से इंकार कर दिया।अब तो काजी ,मोलवी और सारे मुसलमान उसे मारने को तैयार हो गए।ऐसे में बागमल के मित्रो ने कहा कि स्याकोट का वातावरण बहुत बिगड़ा हुआ है,यहाँ हकीकत के बचने की कोई आशा नही है।ऐसे में तुम्हे पंजाब के नवाब ज़करिया खान के पास लाहौर में फरियाद करनी चाहिये।बागमल ने रिश्वत देकर अपने बेटे का मुकदमा लाहौर भेजने की फरियाद की जो मंजूर कर ली गई।स्यालकोट से मुगल घुड़सवार हकीकत को लेकर लाहौर के लिये रवाना हो गये।हकीकत रे को यह सारी यात्रा पैदल चल कर पूरी करनी थी।उसके साथ बागमल अपनी पत्नी कोरा और एनी मित्रो के संग पैदल चल पड़ा।उसने हकीकत की पत्नी को बटाला उसके पिता के पास भिजवा दिया।कहते है कि लक्ष्मी से यह सारी बाते गुप्त रखी गई थी।परन्तु मार्ग में उसकी डोली और बन्दी बने हकीकत का मेल हो गया।जिससे लक्ष्मी को सारे घटनाक्रम का पता चला।फिर। भी उसे समझा-बुझा कर बटाला भेज दिया गया।IMG_20160206_152909

दूसरी तरफ स्यालकोट के मुसमन भी स्थानीय मौलवियो और काजियों को लेकर हकीकत को सजा दिलाने हेतु दल बना कर पीछे पीछे चल पड़े।सारे रास्ते वो हकीकत राय को डराते धमकाते,तरह तरह के लालच देते और गालिया निकलते चलते रहे।अगर किसी हिन्दू ने उसे सवारी या घोड़े पर बिठाना चाहा भी तो साथ चल रहे सैनिको ने मना कर दिया।मार्ग में जहाँ से भी हकीकत रे गुजरा, लोग साथ होते गये।

आखिर दो दिनों की यात्रा के बाद हकीकत राय को बन्दी बनाकर लानेवाले सेनिक लाहौर पहुंचे।अगले दिन उसे पंजाब के तत्कालिक सूबेदार ज़करिया खान के समक्ष पेश किया गया।यहाँ भी हकीकत के स्यालकोट से आयेमुस्लिम सहपाठियों,मुल्लाओं और काजियों ने हकीकत राय को मोत की सजा देने की मांग की।उन्हें लाहोर के मुस्लिम उलिमा कभी समर्थन मिल गया।नवाब ज़करिया खान समझ तो गया की यह बच्चों का झगड़ा है, मगर मुस्लिम उलमा हकीकत की मृतयु या मुसलमान बनने से कम पर तैयार न थे।वास्तव में यह इस्लाम फेलाने का एक ढंग था।सीखो के पांचवे गुरु श्री गुरु अर्जुनदेव और नोवै गुरु श्री गुरु तेगबहादुर जी को भी इस्लाम कबूलने अथवा शहीदी देने की शर्त रखी गयी थी।

परन्तु यहाँ भी हकीकत राय ने अपना धर्म छोड़ने से मना क्र दिया।उसने पूछा,”क्या यदि मै मुसलमान बन जाऊ तो मुझे मौत नही आएगी?क्या मुसलमानो को मौत नही आती?” तो उलिमयो ने कहा,”मौत तो सभी को आती है।” तब हकीकत राय ने कहा,” तो फिर मै अपना धर्म क्यों छोड़ू ,जो सभी को ईश्वर की सन्तान मानता है और क्यों इस्लाम कबुलु जो मेरे मुसलमान सहपाठियों के मेरी माता भगवती को कहे अपशब्दों को सही ठहराता है ,मगर मेरे न कहने पर भी उन्ही शब्दों के लिये मुझसे जीवित रहने का भी अधिकार छिन लेता है।जो दीन दूसरे धर्म के लोगो को गालिया निकलना,उन्हें लूटना,उन्हें मारना और उन्हें पग पग पर अपमानित करना अल्ला का हुक्म मानता हो,मै ऐसे धर्म को दूर से ही सलाम करता हूं।”

इस प्रकार सारा दिन लाहौर दरबार में शास्त्रार्थ होता रहा,मगर हकीकत राय इसल कबूलने को तैयार ना हुआ।जैसे जैसे हकीकत की विद्वता ,साहस और बुद्धिमता प्रगट होती रही,वैसे वैसे। मुसलमानो में उसे दिन मनाने का उतसाह भी बढ़ता रहा।परन्तु कोई स्वार्थ,कोई लालच और न ही कोई भय उस 14 वर्ष के बालक हकीकत को डिगाने में सफल रहा।

आखिरकार हकीकत राय के माता पिता ने एक दिन का समय माँगा,जिससे वो हकीकत राय को समझा सके।उन्हें समय दे दिया गया।रात को हकीकत राय के माता पिता उसे जेल में मिलने गए।उन्होंने भी हकीकत राय को मुसलमान बन जाने के लिये तरह तरह से समझाया।माँ ने अपने बाल नोचे,रोइ,दूध का वास्ता दिया।मगर हकीकत ने कहा,”माँ! यह तुम क्या कर रही हो।तुम्हारी ही दी शिक्षया ने तो मुझे ये सब सहन करने की शक्ति दी है।मै कैसे तेरी दी शिक्षाओं का अपमान करू।आप ही ने सिखाया था कि धर्म से बढ़ के इस संसार में कुछ भी नही है।आत्मा अम्र है।”

अगले दिन वीर बालक हकीकत राय को दोबारा लाहौर के सूबेदार के समक्ष पेश किया गया।सभी को विश्वास था कि हकीकत आज अवश्य इस्लाम कबूल कर लेगा।उससे आखरी बार पूछा गया कि क्या वो मुसलमान बनने को तैयार है।परन्तु हकीकत ने तुरन्त इससे इंकार कर दिया।अब मुलिम उलमा हकीकत के लिये सजाये मौत मांगने लगे।ज़करिया खान ने इस पर कहा,” मै इसे मरतुयु दण्ड कैसे दे सकता हु।यह राष्ट्रद्रोही नही है और ना ही इसने हकुमत का कोई कानून तोड़ा है?” तब लाहौर के काजियों ने कहा कि यह इस्लाम का मुजरिम है।इसे आप हमे सौंप दे।हम इसे इस्लामिक कानून(शरिया) के मुताबिक सजा देगें।दरबार में मौजूद दरबारियों ने भी काजी की हाँ में हाँ मिला दी।अतह नवाब ने हकीकत राय को काजियों को सौंप दिया कि उनका निर्णय ही आगे मान्य होगा।

अब लाहौर के उल्मायो न मुस्लिम शरिया के मुताबिक े हकीकत की सजा तय करने के लिये बैठक की।इस्लाम के मुताबिक कोई भी व्यक्ति इस्लाम ,उसके पैगम्बर और कुरान की सर्वोच्चता को चुनोती नही दे सकता।और यदि कोई ऐसा करता है तो वो ‘शैतान’ है।शैतान के लिये इस्लाम में एक ही सजा है कि उसे पत्थर मार मार क्र मार दिया जाये।आज भी जो मुसलमान हज पर जाते है,उनका हज तब तक पूरा नही माना जाता जब तक कि वो वहाँ शैतान के प्रतीकों को पत्थर नही मारते।कई मुस्लिम देशो में आज भी यह प्रथा प्रचलित है।लाहौर के मुस्लिम उलिमियो ने हकीकत राय के लिये भी यही सजा घोषित क्र दी।

1849 में गणेशदास रचित पुस्तक,’चार-बागे पंजाब’ के मुताबिक इसकेलिय लाहोर में बकायदा मुनादी करवाई गई कि अगले दिन हकीकत नाम के शैतान को (संग-सार) अर्थात पत्थरो से मारा जायेगा और जो जो मुसलमान इस मौके पर सबाब(पूण्य) कमाना चाहे आ जाये।IMG_20160206_152756

अगले दिन बसन्त पंचमी का दिन था जो तब भी और आज भी लाहौर में भी भरी धूमधाम से मनाया जाता है।वीर हकीकत राय को लाहौर की कोतवाली से निकल कर उसके सामने ही गड्डा खोद कर कमर तक उसमे गाड़ दिया गया।लाहौर के मुसलमान शैतान को पत्थर मारने का पूण्य कमाने हेतु उसे चारो तरफ से घेर कर खड़े हो गए।हकीकत राय से अंतिम बार मुसलमान बनने के बारे में पूछा गया।हकीकत ने अपना निर्णय दोहरा दिया कि मुझे मरणा कबूल है पर इस्लाम नही।इस ने लाहौर के काजियों ने हकीकत राय को संग-सार करने का आदेश सुना दिया।आदेश मिलते ही उस 14 वर्ष केरीती बालक पर हर तरफ से पत्थरो की बारिश होने लगी।हजारो लोग उस बालक पर पत्थर बरसा रहे थे,जबकि हकीकत ‘राम-राम’ का जाप क्र रहा था।शीघ्र ही उसका सारा शरीर पत्थरो की मार से लहूलुहान हो गया और वो बेहोश हो गया।अब पास खड़े जल्लाद को उस बालक पर दया आ गयी की कब तक यह बालक यु पत्थर खाता रहेगा।इससे यही उचित है की मै ही इसे मार दू।इतना सोच कर उसने अपनी तलवार से हकीकत राय का सिर काट दिया।रक्त की धराये बह निकली और वीर हकीकत राय 1734 में बसन्त पंचमी के दिन अपने धर्म पर बलिदान हो गया।

दोपहर बाद हिन्दुओ को हकीकत राय के शव के वेदिक रीती से संस्कार की अनुमति मिल गई।हकीकत राय के धड़ को गड्ढे से निकाला गया।उसके शव को गंगाजल से नहलाया गया।उसकी शव यात्रा में सरे लाहौर के हिन्दू आ जुटे।सरे रास्ते उस के शव पर फुलो की वर्ष होती रही।इतिहास की पुस्तको में दर्ज है कि लाहौर में ऐसा कोई फूल नही बचा था जो हिन्दुओ ने खरीद कर उस धर्म-वीर के शव पर न चढ़ाया हो।कहते है कि किसी माली की टोकरी में एक ही फूलो का हार बचा था जो वो स्वयं चढ़ाना चाहता था, मगर भीढ़ में से एक औरत अपने कान का गहना नोच कर उसकी टोकरी में डाल के हार झपट कर ले गई।1 पाई में बिकने वाला वो हार उस दिन 15 रुपये में बिका ।यह उस आभूषण का मूल्य था।हकीकत राय का अंतिम संस्कार रावी नदी के तट पर क्र दिया गया।

जब हकीकत के शव का लाहौर में संस्कार हो रहा था,ठीक उसी समय। बटाला में उसकी 12 वर्ष की पत्नी लक्ष्मी देवी भी चिता सजा कर सती हो गई।बटाला में आज भी उनकी समाधि मौजूद है, जहाँ हर बसन्त को भारी उतसाह से मनाया जाता है।IMG_20160206_153044

लाहौर में हकीकत राय की दो समाधिया बनाई गई।पहली जहाँ उन्हें शहीद किया गया एयर दूसरी जहाँ उनका संस्कार किया गया।महाराजा रणजीत सिंह के समय से ही हकीकत राय की समाधियों पर बसन्त पंचमी पर मेलेIMG_20160206_153211

लगते रहे जो 1947 के विभाजन तक मनाया जाता रहा।1947 में हकीकत राय की मुख्य समाधि नष्ट कर दी गई।रावी नदी के तट पर जहाँ हकीकत राय का संस्कार हुआ था,वहाँ लाहौर निवासी कालूराम ने रणजीत सिंह के समय में पुंरूदार करवाया था।इससे वो कालूराम के मन्दिर से ही जाने जाना लगा।इसी से वो बच गया और आज भी लाहौर में वो समाधि मौजूद हैIMG_20160206_152344

हकीकत राय के गृहनगर स्यालकोट में उसके घर में भी उसकी याद में समाधि बनाई गई, वो भी 1947 में नष्ट कर दी गई।IMG_20160206_152440

इस धर्म वीर के माता पिता अपने पुत्र की अस्थिया लेकर हरिद्वार गए,मगर फिर कभी लोट के नही आये।

वीर हकीकत राय के बारे में पंजाब में वीर गाथाये लिखी और गायी जाती रही।सर्वप्रथम अगरे ने 1772 में हकीकत की गाथा काव्य शैली में लिखी।इसके अतिरिक्त सोहन लाल सूरी,गणेशदास वढेरा,गोकुलचन्द नारंग,स्वामी श्रदां नंद,गण्डा सिंह और अन्य सिख इतिहासकारो ने भी हकीकत राय पर लिखा है।

हम आज बसन्तपंचमि के शुभ अवसर पर इस धर्म वीर अमर बलिदानी वीर हकीकत राय और उनकी पत्नी श्री लक्ष्मी देवी को उनके बलिदान दिवस पर शत शत नमन करते है।

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The massacres at Ajnala

During the days of Mutiny, the British officers mercilessly suppressed even the slightest signs of unrest in the Punjab, They perpetrated gruesome cruelties on the people and made an indiscriminate murder of guilty and innocent alike. Fredrick Cooper’s action at Ajnala against  the disband Hindustani soldiers is one of those ghastly incidents which he himself described in his book,”the Crisis in the Punjab”.

The Indian soldiers of the 26th Native Infantry, after being disarmed by Robert Montgomery, became a problem for the government .They could neither be left to themselves nor allowed to go.They were like birds which strive an outlet through the bars.On 30th  July ,they decided to escape from their barracks with the intention of ultimately reaching Delhi. But Delhi was for off. When The British officers came to know of their intention , they went to their barracks to asses the situation.The Sepoy became restive and attacked their officer  Major Spenser and put him to death.The Seargent Major who tried to intervene also met the same fate.  The disarmed Sepoywith no better weapons than hatchets and knives fled away from Mian Mir.An unexpected dust storm provided them with the much wanted cover and it was not known at first in which direction  they had gone.On 31th July, a large body of them appeared on left side of the Ravi near Balaghat asking for information as to the fords.The villagers of Ajnala reported  their presence to the Tehsildar of Ajnala . The latter quickly brought down every available policemen and attacked the Sepoy. An encounter followed in which 150 sepoys were killed.

At this juncture ,Fedrick Cooper , the Deputy Commissioner ,Amritsar arrived at the scene with a party of 80 horsemen . He found Indian sepoys ,” crouching like a flock of wild fowl” taking shelter in an Island midstream.Boats were procured,and zealous villagers brought the capatives ashore with their hands tightly pinioned. About fifty prisoners plunged into thr river in despair who were drowned or shot dead while trying to swim away.  The rest numbering 280 were marched off to Ajnala, where they reached at night. Their execution  was  delayed till morning.About 220 were lodged in the local police station and the rest of them were locked up in a small dungeon of a newly built house meant for the  Tehsil office.

The massacres at Ajnala

The Deputy Commissioner had ordered for a large number of ropes to hang the culprits. In his eyes, the prisoners were all murderers, so he decided that,”that should all die”. But the ropes were in short supply, and were not sufficient to hang all ofthem. So it was decided to blow them with guns in small batches.

In the morning, those locked up in the Thana ( Police station) were brought out in batches of ten. Confronting them was a firing party and when the unfortunate victims were at point-black range, the trigger clicked and every one of the batch of ten day dead. The next batch followed to meet the same fate and this continued till all the men locked up in a small dungeon of the new building. When the door of the room was opend to drag the captives out, of the 66 locked up only 11 came out to be executed. The remaining had already died of suffocation  and nothing remained but to pull their bodies out. Fedrick Cooper, the author of the ghasty carnage himself writes,”The doors were opened and behold  Unconsciously, the tragedy of Holwell’s Black Hole had been re-enacted. No cries had been heard during the night. Forty five bodies dead from fright, exhaustion, fatigue and heat and partial suffocation, were dragged into light, and consigned in common with all others bodies, into one pit(a well at Ajnala) by the hands of the village sweepers”. His description of his own exploits,”reveals a fiendish mentality which is rare perhaps even among the brutalized military officers of these days.” About  47 Hindustani sepoys were subsequently captured and were sent back to lahore. After a sentence of Court Martial, they were blown from guns in the presence of a whole brigade.

Cooper, justifying his action, wrote that the position of the British was very critical and it was necessary to give aweful punishment to the mutineers. He tells that his righteous act was incomplete in the opinion of the assembled native to whom the crime was fully explained. According to him, “they marvelled at the clemency and justice of the British for not killing the rabble of men, women and children who bad joined the mutineers”.

 The Government approves of Cooper’s action.

Cooper’s action met with immediate official approval. Lawrence wrote ,”I congratulate you on your success against the 26th Native Infantry. You and your police acted with much energy and spirit, and deserve well of state. I trust the fate of these sepoys will operate as a warning to others. Every effort should be exerted to glean up all who are at large.” His act was equally commended by Robert Montgomery who wrote, “All honour to you for what you have done, and right well you did it…it will be a feather to your cap as long as you live”

Cooper congratulated himself that,”within forty eight hours of the date of the crime,there fell by the law nearly 500 men”.”What crime ? What law ?”. asked Montgomery Martin,”demanded the extermination of a helpless multitude?” Referring to such criticism of Cooper’s action a British historian T.R. Holmes, feels sorry that for his ‘splendid work’.Cooper was “assailed by the hysterical cries of ignorant humanitarians “.The sacrifice of five hundred villainous lives for the murder of two English is a retribution that will be remembered”. At this Thompson apathy observes,”Yes it is one of the memories OF India, as Cawanpur is of England.”. Cooper’s narration of the Ajnala massacres reached its climax in these words,”There is a well an Cawnpur , but there is also in Ajnala”. Majumdar remarks,”Here Cooper has blurted out a great truth which no one , particularly no Englishman should forget”. Thompson again rightly says,”I see no reason why he (Cooper) should be denied the immortality he craved so earnestly. Let his name be remembered with Nana Sahib’s”.

The gruesome incident of Ajnala was by no means an exception . Everywhere in the Punjab and Northern India, the English officers made an indiscriminate massacre of guilty and innocent alike to overawe the people and ti bring them to submission. Historically the importance of such atrocites as remarks Dr. Ishwar Prasad,” consisted in the creation of that racial hatred which disfigured our social life in post-mutiny India”.

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Nelson Mandela & Mahatma Gandhi

Nelson Mandela, Man of the century ,great freedom fighter ,he ever be remember.
even Mahatma Gandhi also could learn TOO many things from this  great  BLACK MAN with GODEN HEART.

THEY both know for their non-violence(philanthropist) ideology. both have  many similarities.both face  racism, inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Where, first half of last century belong to Mahatma Gandhi. Second, defiantly a Nelson Mandela’s era.

But both have known for some separate reason also.When we compare their successes Gandhi not stood near Nelson Mandela. where Mahatma Gandhi becme India & its people  a   libtory  for his political , religious , sexual & social experiments which of mostly proved disaster & nation paid it with its own blood. Where  Gandhi failed to stop riots, killings, rape of women before &after part ion  of India. Even after 65 year of Independence riots, different law s  for different peoples, unequally & poverty.     IN Indian Government’s ECNOMICLE POLICES , no space for Gandhi’s ideology. even for Jawahar Lal Nehru who become India’s first prime Minster  without public & party support .& only with Gandhi’s own desire never took his ideology seriously .In 1924 FOR Multan (punjab) riots Gandhi totally blame Arya Samaj & Hindus. He even took fast in Delhi with demand that Hindus took back all their cases against Muslims.In 1927 He criticizes Swami Shardhnand for his support for  shudhicaran of Muslims.   Mahatma Gandhi never give importance secular Jinah  ,but communal Jinah became like a prophet for him  But later  Jinah & Muslim League know Gandhi’s this weekness & ashamefully but stongly use it for making Paksthan.

In the 1946 election for the Congress presidency, Patel stepped down in favour of Nehru at the request of Gandhi. The election’s importance stemmed from the fact that the elected President would lead free India’s first Government. Gandhi asked all 16 states representatives and Congress to elect the right person and Sardar Patel’s name was proposed by 13 states representatives out of 16, but Patel respected Gandhi’s request to not be the first prime minister. As the first Home Minister, Patel played a key role in integration of many princely states into the Indian federation.

On other Hand, Nelson Mandela  never compromise  on unity & equality of his nation & its people. Mandela’s administration inherited a country with a huge disparity in wealth and services between white and black communities. Of a population of 40 million, around 23 million lacked electricity or adequate sanitation, 12 million lacked clean water supplies, with 2 million children not in school and a third of the population illiterate. There was 33% unemployment, and just under half of the population lived below the poverty line. Government financial reserves were nearly depleted, with a fifth of the national budget being spent on debt repayment, meaning that the extent of the promised Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) was scaled back, with none of the proposed nationalisation or job creation. Instead, the government adopted liberal economic policies designed to promote foreign investment, adhering to the “Washington consensus” advocated by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Under Mandela’s presidency, welfare spending increased by 13% in 1996/97, 13% in 1997/98, and 7% in 1998/99. The government introduced parity in grants for communities, including disability grants, child maintenance grants, and old-age pensions, which had previously been set at different levels for South Africa’s different racial groups. In 1994, free healthcare was introduced for children under six and pregnant women, a provision extended to all those using primary level public sector health care services in 1996. By the 1999 election, the ANC could boast that due to their policies, 3 million people were connected to telephone lines, 1.5 million children were brought into the education system, 500 clinics were upgraded or constructed, 2 million people were connected to the electricity grid, water access was extended to 3 million people, and 750,000 houses were constructed, housing nearly 3 million people.

The Land Restitution Act of 1994 enabled people who had lost their property as a result of the Natives Land Act, 1913 to claim back their land, leading to the settlement of tens of thousands of land claims. The Land Reform Act 3 of 1996 safeguarded the rights of labour tenants who live and grow crops or graze livestock on farms. This legislation ensured that such tenants could not be evicted without a court order or if they were over the age of sixty-five. The Skills Development Act of 1998 provided for the establishment of mechanisms to finance and promote skills development at the workplace. The Labour Relations Act of 1995 promoted workplace democracy, orderly collective bargaining, and the effective resolution of labour disputes. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997 improved enforcement mechanisms while extending a “floor” of rights to all workers, while the Employment Equity Act of 1998 was passed to put an end to unfair discrimination and ensure the implementation of affirmative action in the workplace.

Many domestic problems however remained. Critics like Edwin Cameron accused Mandela’s government of doing little to stem the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country; by 1999, 10% of South Africa’s population were HIV positive. Mandela later admitted that he had personally neglected the issue, leaving it for Mbeki to deal with. Mandela also received criticism for failing to sufficiently combat crime, South Africa having one of the world’s highest crime rates; this was a key reason cited by the 750,000 whites who emigrated in the late 1990s.

Mandela stepped down as ANC President at the December 1997 conference, and although hoping that Ramaphosa would replace him, the ANC elected Mbeki to the position; Mandela admitted that by then, Mbeki had become “de facto President of the country”.

From all of this you itself  find where both stood as a national or international equality ,peace & brotherhood .

 Rajiv Kumar

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Attacks on Dalits by Muslims in Gujarat- ignored by the media


  There are people who claim to be ‘Champions of Dalits’, many of whom are full of hatred for Hindus and Hindu religion. Some people try to raise slogans like “Dalit-Muslim bhai bhai” trying to bring Dalits and Muslims together against the Hindu society, like Dr Udit Raj, formerly known as Ram Raj. Udit Raj is a man burning with hatred for Hinduism, which he left and adopted Buddhism. In 1995, BSP leader Mayawati became Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, and hurled abuses at Lord Ram, fabricated cases against upper caste people under the SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act. Many people, from politicians like Sonia Gandhi, Ramvilas Paswan, Mayawati, Communists to social activists like Arundhati Roy, Medha Patkar etc claim to be fighting for the cause of Dalits, the oppressed classes and other weaken sections. 

   Some of these people also falsely launch a campaign against Hindu organisations like RSS, VHP etc accusing them of being organisations of ‘upper caste Hindus’ with a ‘anti-Dalit’ bias. Organisations like RSS, which was praised for its caste-less character by Dr Ambedkar in 1939 during his visit to a RSS camp in Pune, have been trying hard to unite the Hindu society for the past 88 years. No one except the Sangh Parivar even talks of uniting the Hindus. But the media and so-called champions of Dalits try their utmost to paint the dedicated Hindu organisations as anti-Dalit.  But what is the truth? When other caste people commit atrocities on Dalits, the media highlights the case and a hullabaloo is raised (and rightly so, so it should). Even if the attacks have nothing to do caste, or even if they are caste-based, when other caste people are involved, they are almost always projected as caste-based.

After 12 Dalits were killed in Bihar under Lalu’s rule in 1998-99, Sonia Gandhi herself visited Bihar immediately and declared that the state government has no right to be in power. (But then when the then Central Government tried to impose President’s Rule in Bihar, Sonia Gandhi opposed it and supported the RJD Government, allying with Lalu within 3 months).

But what happened when the attacks on Dalits were by Muslims?

The post-Godhra riots of 2002 in Gujarat were falsely projected as ones in which only Muslims suffered. But the truth is of course, that even after Godhra, Muslims were equally on the offensive and attacked and killed Hindus. Many of these Hindus were Dalits who suffered heavily in the Gujarat riots. India Today weekly reported in its issue of 15 April 2002:

“The next few days saw mayhem. In Ahmedabad, violence broke out on March 17 when Dalits in Danilimda area were attacked by Muslims”.

The report of Dr Suvarna Rawal published in Marathi daily Tarun Bharat dated 21 July 2002 is a must read. Here it is in full.


“Dalits suffered heavily during Gujarat riots

   The news of Godhra inferno and the subsequent riots which erupted in other parts of Gujarat were highly disturbing events for the minds of any person interested in the welfare of the society. Yet among them, those of fights between Muslims and Dalits and Muslims and Adivasis were very surprising. Generally the slogan of ‘Dalit, Muslims – Bhai Bhai’ is raised and given a high pitch. There is also a talk of forming a federation of Dalit and Muslim by alienating Dalits from Hindu society. On this background, the news of Muslim crowds attacking Dalit localities or Adivasis shattering the Muslim localities was astonishing. The apprehension that perhaps, the Dalits are being used as shields in the Hindu Muslim riots also came to mind. This was the background in our minds, when we proceeded to visit Gujarat on behalf of the Survey Committee of Samarasata Manch.
   But what awaited us was quite different.
   …In the group of Ramsevaks in Sabarmati Express which was burnt to charred remains by Muslim fundamentalists, there were some Dalit youths also. Just as they became martyrs in the carnage, there were many Dalit brothers living in slums of different parts of Ahmedabad who were victims of Muslims attack. We heard a number of heart-rending reports from the relatives and neighbours of the dead persons during our sojourn in Gujarat. I am giving below a few of them by way of samples.
      Ramjibhai Parmar was a 24 years youth from Gomatipur area which is inhabited by Valmiki community. He saw Constable Amarbhai Patil patrolling near the Masjid was being attacked with swords by Muslims and went to rescue him but Muslims fired at him and shot him dead. (This was also reported by India Today dated 20 May 2002 and quoting the MoS Gordhan Zadaphiya on 22 April 2002)
   Devendrabhai Solanki from Radhanpur, working in the Ahmedabad Sales Tax Office as Notice Server had come to the Nanu Wadkar house for Holi. On 30th March, stone-throwing started in the direction of this house. Children were playing in front of the house and to take them inside the home, he came out. A mob of about 5000 Muslims rushed on him while Darmesh some how slipped out, but one of them cut his face with sword. He lost his front teeth. Miss Dipti Solanki, daughter of Dendrabhai Solanki weeping incessantly, told us bitterly that after 13 days, the dead body of Devendrabhai were found cut in 25 pieces. 
(4 Muslims were convicted for this on 18 May 2006. Link for conviction:
   25 years old Vasantkumar Parmar, earning Rs.1000 p. m. by working in a private factory, was looking after his old father and unmarried sister. After curfew was withdrawn, bombs were thrown near his house, the lights went out and by the deafening sound of explosion Vasantkumar rushed out of house running. The Muslims which were hiding in an ambush on the way-out, attacked him with swords and killed him on the spot. His death cries shocked his sister-in-law Gitaben but she had the presence of mind to beat the Dish (Thali) loudly and collected people nearby. Muslims attacked this locality of 125 families from all four sides. If we had weapons, we would have fought with them better. Gitaben was sobbing saying, “My younger brother-in-law became a victim without any reason.
   Pravinbhai Mooljibhai Solanki, a 25-year-old youth, living in the Ramanpura area, Saatchaali was running a Panpatti shop on lease. On Ramanavami day (21st April 2002) while he was returning home after closing his shop, Muslims attacked and killed him. Mooljibhai told us that Muslims from Daryapur-Kalupur area came in our locality and exploded a bomb. As the children and women were running away, Muslims fired on them. If Dalits kept arms with them for their protection, the Police took action on them, but they take no action on the Muslims when they keep them. He said they had a serious gripe against Police for this discrimination.
   In the Khariwadi of Shahpura slum, there are about 220 Hindu and 10-15 Muslim families. To the left of the slum, there is a restaurant Relief Club.The Muslim manager of this hotel, got together fanatic Muslim youths from the same locality and set the houses in the locality on fire, first taking care to remove all inhabitants of Muslim houses to a safe place. They burnt houses of 35 Hindu families. Everywhere there was a desperate cry. Two girls from two houses were burnt alive. Seeing this spectacle, a 10 year Hindu boy, Suresh Mehru died of the shock. The Sindhi owner of the Hotel Reviera which is to the right of the slum, gave asylum to all these people and made arrangements for their food. These people of the slum belonging to Vaghari community were running the business of selling old clothes.
   Behrampura is a Muslim-majority area having a population of 1,20,000. We found that in the minds of the Dalit community, there was a terrible anger against Muslims who had shattered the life of their community. Yusuf Ajmeri with a 1000 strong mob and with swords and guptis in their hands rushed to Hindu locality shouting “Kill Hindus, Allah is with us”. On 28th February, Kisanbhai Bhikabhai Dantani who was returning from work, was attacked on his chest with swords and was killed on the spot.  His 70 year old mother was telling with deep sorrow depicted on her face.  She told that this treachery was done by their neighbours who were living along with them for last 8-10 years. She said, “They had come to finish us. My son was killed, my daughter-in-law could not stand it and has left for her village. What will be the fate of my grandson Sanjay? They have completely made our life desolate and barren.”
   Muslims living in Behrampura have houses with 2-3 storeys. They resorted to heavy stone-throwing on the Dalit localities. Jaisinghbhai Shyamjibhai, who had passed 9th Standard and working in a Hosiary shop was standing near his house. A heavy brick came down spinning at a great speed and hit Jaisinghbhai on the chest. The impact was so disastrous that his chest cage nearly broke open and he died on 1st March. Father of Jaisinghbhai works on daily wages in the Municipality. He was narrating us this history along with his children, all of them were terrified and jittery.
   Dani-Limda area of Ahmedabad has a large population of weavers community. Piyushkumar a youngster living in the Annpurna Housing Society was told by Mustak Kania, Mohamed Rafique, Kasimbhai Ganichiya and Mustak Menon from Dhruv Society just in the front side, that they were planning to launch a rocket from their building and as the rocket will take off, Mecca – Madina will be visible. Believing this story, he went to see it with curiosity, but on going there, was riddled with bullets in the throat and liver. His father and other youths from the society took him to Lallubhai Govardhandas General Hospital, but before anything was done, he died on 12th April at 6 p.m. His parents were unable to speak anything to us and hence, his grand father related us this terrible story. 
 (Muslims were convicted for this on 28 March 2006. Link for conviction:
   Dayabhai Rathod from Nirmalpura had taken Voluntary Retirement and was living along with his wife, 3 daughters and his only son Pinakin of 26 years old. When stone-throwing started, a bullet from the Police hit him and he was killed on the spot. We were simply short of any words of consolation for the continuously weeping parents. His maternal uncle was expressing terrible anger against the Police.
   Ms Induben Laljibhai Gohil living in the Municipal Sweepers Colony near Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar bridge in Chamunda died of a Police firing. Jitu of Marwari community living in Behrampura locality also died in Police firing.
Dinesh Kantilal Makwana from Damodar Chawl was returning on 3rd March from his work. Near the graveyard, two Muslim youths stabbed him to death. His address was found by the police from some papers in his pocket and his body which had undergone post-mortem, was handed over to his grandmother who was the only relative he had.
   Soft Target:
   Generally, Muslim community lives close together. In many areas, there are Dalit localities or slums alongside. Around such area there are many small factories run by Muslims and Dalit labourers working in them, live surrounded by the factories and Muslims. Those Dalit brothers who could not go out due to curfew, got caught in the deadly grip of Muslims. These financially weak people were the soft target for the Muslims. From the terraces of houses, it was easy and safe for Muslims to attack the single storeyed houses, slums or sometimes two storeyed houses with stones, and crude bombs. In the closed Muslim locality of Gomatipur, even an electric current was sent preventing Police to enter.
   Crooked and selfish Politicians:
   These stories are indicative and not exhaustive. Atrocities on Dalits were done on such a vast scale, but no secular politician from Sonia Gandhi to Ramvilas Paswan felt like visiting the affected Dalit localities. The reporters of English press or channels did not come at all to these areas. No progressive person wearing the mask of ‘anti-fanaticism’ felt like to wipe the tears of Dalits. Anti-fanaticism means unleashing criticism on Hindus is their equation and they have firm belief in the convictions that the love for Dalits is only a point for propaganda. The Dalits in Gujarat have got the test of this naked truth in the recent riots.
   At the same time, Dalits got experience of the people from so-called Anti-Dalit organisations, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal etc. coming to their rescue risking their own lives.
   During this survey, we came to know as to how true was the minute analysis of Muslim mindset done by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.”


Along with this, let us now take a look at the report of The Indian Express dated 10 May 2002, Friday, written by Palak Nandi:
   “A home for long now just a death trap
   Posted online: Friday, May 10, 2002 at 0000 hours IST
     AHMEDABAD, MAY 9: Prem Darwaza in Ahmedabad is another Panwad, though here Hindus are at the receiving end unlike the Vadodara village. The locality stands out with its burnt houses, and broken bangles, steel utensils and torn bed sheets scattered across the streets.
   A half damaged wall full of charcoal scribbles summarises the Vaghri Vas locality’s feelings: ‘‘Mini Pakistan’’; ‘‘Miya Vad, Karachi’’; “Don’t come back or you’ll pay a heavy price’’, and ‘‘Hindus not allowed’’.
   Before the riots, around 800 people lived at Vaghri Vas, mostly Hindu Dalits. In the hate wave that followed, both communities were targeted. While the Dalits fled, some Muslims dared to stay put.
   Now things have changed. Unlike earlier, the minority community now calls the shots. Jeetendra Datania, an autorickshaw driver, said: ‘‘We were living here for almost 40 years. Though outsiders attacked their (Muslim) homes on February 28, they avenged it by driving us out on March 21. Now, not one of us dares to enter the locality.’’
   A daily wager’s wife, Bhavnaben Naranbhai, said: ‘‘We were more in numbers. But we dare not enter our locality now. If we try, they shoo us away saying ‘Jo tha, sab khatam ho gaya. Chale jao, varna pachtaoge(Life’s no longer the same. Run or you’ll regret it).’’
   The Dalits have put up at a nearby temple for when they returned home about a week back, they found dead animals in their houses. ‘‘The walls were full of warnings,’’ said Raju, Bhavnaben’s younger brother.
   Life is much the same at Bhanderi-ni-Pol in Kalupur locality. As many as 518 riot-hit people from Kalupur Darwaza and Kalupur Tower now stay at the Bahuchar Mata nu Mandir. ‘‘We have no choice. My shop was looted, our house pelted with stones and handmade petrol bombs,’’ said Jaswantbhai Modi.
   The locality of the temple is the ‘‘the border’’ for just across live Muslims. ‘‘A constant flow of stones, petrol bombs and even bullets from across the border is regular,’’ Nirmalaben Dave said. She lost her house in the riots. ‘‘We avoid going close to the border.’’
   Though the camps here are registered, the refugees have not been allotted a building to stay in. Refugees in Kalupur sleep on the streets and those in Dariapur spend the days in a building under construction.”
This clearly proves that Muslims attacked Dalits. None other than The Indian Express reported this.
   It is worth reading another front-pages article in the same newspaper, i.e. The Indian Express, dated 7th May 2002, also written by Palak Nandi:
  “With no relief, they turn to religious places for shelter
   Ahmedabad, May 6: THESE are the 1,000-odd riot victims for whomrelief is an eyewash. While some have been driven away from their houses, others had no choice but to leave their houses badly damaged in the riots.
   Relief seems to be a far-fetched idea because since the past 15 days, theyhave been spending their days either on the streets or in a half-constructed building.
   About 550-odd residents of the Prem Darwaja Vagheri Vas, Dariyapur, had no choice but to leave behind their belongings and take shelter in a near-by temple, following the violence of March 21. These Dalit families claim that they had been attacked by the people belonging to the minority community, who damaged their houses, property and drove them out of the area.
   ‘‘We had no choice but to take shelter at this temple. However, the temple cannot accommodate all of us hence, we are compelled to live in this half-constructed building,’’ says Gautamiben Dhirabhai, a resident of the Vagheri Vas.
   This half-constructed building is right opposite the temple, in the same premises and though it does not have a single fully-built room, it is the ‘house’ for more than 400 people, while the remaining sleep in the temple.
   The situation is no different at a similar relief camp in Kalupur. The Bahuchar-Mata-nu-Madir, located at Bhanderi-ni-Pol at Kalupur, is currently accommodating about 518 riot-affected victims. They are the residents of areas located between Kalupur Darwaja and Kalupur Tower and which witnessed violence on March 21.
   While a few of these people sleep at their neighbour’s house, some sleep in the temple while the rest, mainly the men, sleep in the lanes, just outside the temple. The temple area is called as ‘border area’ by the local residents, as across the temple is the locality of the Muslims. ‘‘There is a continuous flow of stones, petrol bombs and even bullets at times, from across the border. All of us avoid even going close to the border,’’ says Nirmalaben Dave, whose house has been damaged during the riots.
   The inmates of both the camps have demanded for a building, but as yet none of them have been allotted one. ‘‘We have been demanding for the Kalpur Municipal school number 14 and 19, for a long time now, but we have not been allotted the school building. Because of the space shortage, these people have no choice but to eat and sleep in the lanes,’’ says Paresh Thakkar, organiser of the camp, who lives nearby.
   For years, both Hindus and Muslims lived together in the area. Now the mutual trust and faith between the two communities has been replaced by fear, panic and hatred.
   ‘‘For more than 60 years, we lived peacefully and there was never any problem. However, on March 21, a few people of my locality came to me and told me that I should leave my house for good and if I return, they will not be responsible for the consequences,’’ says Badamiben Prajapari, who lives alone with her son.
   ‘‘It is not safe for these people to live here as one does not know when the stone-pelting and violence will begin. Already, the third floor of my building has been damaged due to the petrol bombs,’’ says Bhagyovadan Khatri, trustee of the temple. But the refugees are apprehensive about returning to their houses.
   ‘‘About five of us were injured in a private firing on March 21. All of us now are very careful and avoid going to their area, except in a group’’, says Hitendra Shah, who was injured in the incident.”

This is a clear proof of the fact that Dalits suffered heavily in the riots, at the hands of Muslims. But the entire non-Gujarati media generally kept quiet on this issue. 

The reporters of English press or channels did not come at all to these areas. On the contrary, they tried to push these atrocities under the carpet, ignore them, and act as if there were no atrocities on Dalits done by Muslims at all. Arundhati Roy, Brinda Karat, Medha Patkar, etc also did not bother to even let the world know these atrocities, not to talk of helping the affected Dalits and exposing the attackers (Muslims) and demanding harsh punishment to the attackers. No progressive person wearing the mask of ‘anti-fanaticism’ felt like to wipe the tears of Dalits. 

These attacks exposed 4 catagories of people:

1- Media: It often reports cases which have nothing to do with caste as caste-based attacks. The genuine attacks and sufferings must always be reported, but in case of atrocities done by upper caste people, the media at times exaggerates. But when the attacks were done by Muslims, the media totally ignored them and pretended as if nothing happened.
2- A section of Muslims: Those who talk of uniting Dalits and Muslims against Hindus in general and RSS in particular were so fanatic that they did not spare even those with whom they plan to ally in other areas. The true face of fanatics is always that non-followers of their religion will suffer, be they of any caste or any other religion. 
3- So-called Dalit leaders: So-called champions of Dalits like Mayawati, Ramvilas Paswan, Udit Raj etc who would have raised a hulabaloo had the atrocities on Dalits in Gujarat committed by Muslims instead been committed by upper caste Hindus, did not even notice and tried to suppress all these atrocities.
4- Hindu organisations like RSS, VHP: Volunteers of these Hindu organisations gave great help to Dalits often coming to their rescue at a great risk to their own lives. 


   When this writer talked to some ‘secularists’ on the attacks by Muslims on Hindus and Dalits in particular, he got interesting answers. In Muslim-dominated areas of Ahmedabad and other places, the Hindus living in minority, (often microscopic minority) many of whom were Dalits, suffered horribly, were thrown out of their homes, attacked and killed by Muslims. Not only that, even in other areas like Sindhi market and Bhanderi Pole areas of Ahmedabad the Muslims attacked the Hindus. The Muslim backlash started on 1 March 2002, 1 day after 28 February when the Hindus attacked Muslims in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya, Gulbarga Society and other areas. The ‘secularists’, after listening to these facts of Muslim attacks said to me:“It is natural and inevitable. If Hindus attack and kill them in Naroda Patiya, they will obviously attack, kill, render homeless the Hindus living in minority in their dominated areas in the next days”. This response has 2 important implications:
1- When Muslims attack Hindus, they think it is ‘natural’ and ‘inevitable’ because of attacks by Hindus on 28 Feb in Naroda Patiya. But for them Naroda Patiya attacks were not ‘inevitable’ and ‘natural’ because of Godhra killings of Hindus!
2- They know and admit that Muslims attacked Hindus even after Godhra, when they say its ‘natural’ and ‘inevitable’. If you know that its ‘inevitable’ that Muslims will attack Hindus in their areas and also other areas if riots last weeks, then why do they lie that Muslims were massacred in one-sided attacks ignoring attacks on Hindus, in particular, Dalits?  
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CBI on Ajit Jogi cash-for-MLAs scam

 The CBI has targetted now the former Rajasthan Home Minister and Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria in the Sohrabuddin case. This is actually to frame innocent leaders, Amit Shah was targetted as he is Narendra Modi;s truested aide and now they want to target other leaders as much as possible. No evidence was found against Amit Shah and despite very weak, if any, evidence CBI has targetted both Amit Shah and Kataria. But what has CBI done on another case with evidence? 
Congress leader Ajit Jogi once spilt the BJP in Chhattisgarh in December 2001, when he walked away with 12 MLAs through money power. In December 2003, when the BJP won Chhattisgarh, winning 50 out of 90 seats, Ajit Jogi tried to split the BJP again and form the Government. He wrote a letter to the then Governor saying, “Our Congress Party’s all 37 MLAs give their support to a government to be formed under the leadership of Baliram Kashyap, MP. Please give us the chance to form the government”. This letter of Jogi was openly brought out in the media and Ajit Jogi admitted that he wrote the letter.
The same day as this letter went out, an audio tape having conversation between Ajit Jogi and a BJP leader of Chhattisgarh on phone was aired. In that tape, Jogi was talking of giving money to buy BJP MLAs to split the party. Jogi later said that the letter to the Governor was his, but the voice in the tape was not his. But this lie was exposed by the forensic lab report which said that the voice in the tape was indeed of Ajit Jogi. This single lie itself is enough to nail Ajit Jogi. This report shows that the lab said it was Jogi’s voice only.

But just on 4th June 2012 the CBI said that it cannot prosecute Ajit Jogi and has filed a closure report.

For bribing the MLAs, 45 lakh rupees were paid in cash to a BJP leader, directly by Ajit Jogi and his son Amit Jogi. These 45 lakh were handed over to the CBI as well in December. Despite this clear evidence the CBI first said in January 2007 that it cannot prosecute Jogi and now again has said in June 2012 (of course on Congress Government’s orders.

Now let us look at the contents of that conversation.

First is here are some excerpts of that talk between Jogi and BJP leader Virendra Pandey carried by a Congress sycophant weekly like Outlook. Note that this Congress loyalist weekly carefully deletes the reference to Sonia Gandhi in the excerpts. And this tape has been proved to be genuine by the Forensic Lab on 22 Jan 2006. 
The Transcript
Virender Pandey is Chhatisgarh state BJP vice-president. ‘Khunte’ referred to in the conversation is the BJP MP who had defected to the Congress before the (2003) elections. Now of course he claims that he was under pressure.


Ajit Jogi: Hello
Virender Pandey: Jogiji, tell me…
Ajit Jogi: Pandeyji I had sent you a message.
Virender Pandey: I received it but some things need to be clarified.
Ajit Jogi: Tell me.
Virender Pandey: First the numbers. You have 37, right?
Ajit Jogi: Take it as 39, two from BSP
Virender Pandey: Have you spoken to them?
Ajit Jogi: Yes
Virender Pandey: So we need to arrange seven more to achieve the figure of 7
Ajit Jogi: The speaker is our man. He will not disqualify them.
Virender Pandey: So they have joined you. Now you’ll have to go to the Governor, it is better if the whole thing is done this evening
Ajit Jogi: True
Virender Pandey: But there is a slight problem. Balli Ram has a great stature in the party, in fact, Bal Thackeray had even called him an uncut diamond. He has such an ability to pull people. So if he leaves, he will be putting his life’s reputation at stake.
Ajit Jogi: That shouldn’t be a problem
Virender Pandey: The other thing we need is a guarantee that they will not withdraw support for five years. So your party should make an announcement that these people are joining us against communal forces, and then they should say which is why we shall not withdraw support. Then we can work out a common minimum programme.
Ajit Jogi: That can be easily done.
Virender Pandey: It’s important because we all know what happened with the Chandrashekhar Government.
Ajit Jogi: Chandrashekhar is a different story, I am Jogi and I shall do what I say.
Virender Pandey: I got a call from Khunte and I spoke to him and told him to think about who are the people who can leave. In his Lok Sabha constituency there are four people – his son, Bedu Ram Kashyap, Lachchu Kashyap, Mahesh Baghel. These four-five names are doing the rounds, but for the other names we will need cash, without that nothing happens now days.
Ajit Jogi: That will be arranged.
Virender Pandey: We will have to pay them some money in advance, 2 to 4 lakhs right now, today, the rest can be settled later.
Ajit Jogi: That’ll be done.
Virender Pandey: So send 15 – 20 lakhs to me through Khunte, then I shall talk to Balli Ram and then get back but send the money in the next two hours
Ajit Jogi: I shall call Khunte right away. How much? About 15 – 20 ?
Virender Pandey: Yes about 20 – 25 is enough.
Ajit Jogi: I shall send it, but only if the deal is done.
Virender Pandey: Definitely, only if it comes through, otherwise the money will come back to you.  

Congress loyalist weekly Outlook carefully deleted the reference to Sonia Gandhi in its excerpts published. Here is this reference included in experts by another daily The Telegraph. The original tape and full text may have even more. 

Ajit Jogi is a very cunning and a very dangerous man. Note that former BJP chief Bangaru Laxman was convicted and given 4 years imprisonment on a fictitious case, where all the so-called dealers and deals were unreal. If he could be convicted for an imaginary thing, then Jogi can definitely be convicted for this real attempt to split the BJP giving 45 lakh in cash, which were given to CBI and this was second attempt to split the BJP after splitting once in 2001, also through money. All anti-corruption crusaders like Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev etc should be asked to raise this issue to nail the CBI and the Congress for trying to let Jogi get away with this.
And this CBI has evidence against Amit Shah and Kataria, but not against Ajit Jogi! 
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