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Bhai Fauja Singh

Articles, Stories and Letters remembering the life of Bhai Fauja Singh and others. All material on this website came from the 1978 Spring issue of the "Beads of Truth" Magazine.


Baisakhi Day, 1978 and the Martyrs of Amritsar

It was out of this spirit of devotion, this sense ' of duty towards the Guru and towards the essence of the spirit of `Khalsa' that these beloved ones felt the call on Baisakhi Day, the 13th of April, 1978. It was in the city of Amritsar, and official permission had been given to the-,'Sant Nirankaris to hold a procession through Amritsar, carrying the man they call their 'guru', Gurbachan Singh around the city on a palki, waving a chouri over his head. It would not take much wisdom to imagine that in the very city of Amritsar, the holiest of holy places for Sikhs. a renegade sect of Nirankaris being allowed to demonstrate their exaltation of a human being over and above the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, that such an action might cause some reaction among the Khalsa.

However, nothing was done on an official level to prevent the procession or the subsequent meeting which was to take place.

Watching this insult, a group of Sikhs met to discuss a way of deal­ing with the situation. They determined to send a group of 100 peaceful pro­testers to do kirtan outside of the Nirankari meeting. They requested that the leadership and officials of Amritsar give them their support and assistance but this was denied. Nonetheless, the 100 protesters set out, unarmed except with their required Kirpans.

Approaching the meeting place, the police stopped the protesters, under the guise of granting them official and safe passage. During this half-hour stop, an ambush was set in motion. Trucks filled with acid-soaked bricks and acid-filled bottles pulled in behind the peace­fully protesting Sikhs. Armed units of Nirankaris surrounded the area, and when the 100 protesters were allowed to pass through the police lines, they were barraged on every side, first with bricks and bottles of acid, then with shot guns, rifles and pistols, even machine gun fire and an automatic arrow shooter were used.

There was none there to defend these courageous Sikhs, except their God and Guru, and each one who fell uttered 'Wahe Guru' and surely was received into the arms of the Guru as he died this martyr's death. Bhai Fauja Singh himself was fired upon by the District Superintendent of Police, who accused him of being responsible for all of this trouble, and emptied his 32-calibre pistol into Bhai Fauja Singh's chest. These were not the only bullets he was to receive that day, but he kept standing, uttering only `Wahe Guru'. Two Sikhs attempted to carry the still breathing and chanting Bhai Fauja Singh to the hospital for treatment, but those two men were arrested by Police, and Bhai Fauja Singh's body was taken by the police and put into the `Dead Wagon'. Again, another Sikh came upon Bhai Fauja Singh and found him breathing and still uttering Wahe Guru'. He called for someone to help, but half an hour later, Sardarni Amarjit Kaur, his wife, found Bhai Fauja Singh dead.

He was just one out of the 13 known dead on that day, and even today there are some people who are missing, who never returned from that peaceful protest in Amritsar. The Sikhs of the Punjab are outraged. The Sikhs of the world watch in horror: Right in the Punjab, right in the Sikh strong­hold, with our own leadership in power, this atrocity could happen.

In reality, this is the greatest mas­sacre of Sikhs, perhaps ever, because they were shot in cold blood, they were unarmed, and they were singing the Guru's Bani. They had come to request that the ‘Sant Nirankaris' stop their abuse and public slander of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and of Guru Gobind Singh, and they had come to ask them to stop calling themselves Sikhs. They had come to defend the honor and the spirit of the Khalsa. They were met with treachery and they were butchered.

"This day must not be forgotten. This is the day to remember the Martyrs of Amritsar. This is the day to be proud of, that at least there were men among us who could live to the very tradition of the Khalsa. There were men among us while alive who could live and who could take eleven bullets in their body and still say, 'Waheguru'. They went as a true son goes to defend the grace of the father." - Siri Singh Sahib Ji

The bodies of the Martyrs were garlanded and respectfully adorned, then were available for viewing by the Sikhs who traveled from all parts of India and the world to pay homage to those who had given their lives in defense of their Guru's honor.

In India death is not a mysterious stage of life, it is accepted as a fact of life and acknowledged as the greatest opportunity for merging with the Divine. Sardarni Amarjit Kaur stands at the side of her martyred husband, Bhai Fauja Singh.


Blogger Nanosecond said...

Wonderful.......bringing tears to my eyes

Monday, October 17, 2005 4:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brings tears to my eyes also! Im amazed

Sunday, January 21, 2007 1:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Vaisakhi nagar kirtan's tomorrow just makes you think do true singhs and singhnia like those above still exist, who poses spirits as beautiful who would give thier life for guru without question and wothout thought

Saturday, April 21, 2007 1:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never knew the complete details of 1978 but now after reading this i feel this is even more of a fierce trauma than 1984

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 3:54:00 PM  

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