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Sikh Kirtan and Bani
Live Kirtan from Amritsar and Other Gurudwaras in India and around the world.
Live Kirtan from Amritsar and Other Gurudwaras in India and around the world.


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Listen to live Kirtan from Amritsar Golden Temple Harmandir Sahib

The Golden Temple Amritsar India (Sri Harimandir Sahib Amritsar) is not only a central religious place of the Sikhs, but also a symbol of human brotherhood and equality. Everybody, irrespective of cast, creed or race can seek spiritual solace and religious fulfilment without any hindrance. It also represents the distinct identity, glory and heritage of the Sikhs. To pen-down the philosophy, ideology, the inner and outer beauty, as well as the historical legacy of Sri Harimandir Sahib is a momentous task. It is a matter of experience rather than a of description.

As advised by Sri Guru Amar Dass Ji (3rd Sikh Guru), Sri Guru Ram Dass Ji (4th Sikh Guru) started the digging of Amrit Sarovar (Holy Tank) of Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1577 A.D., which was later on brick-lined by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji (5th Sikh Guru) on December 15, 1588 and He also started the construction of Sri Harimandir Sahib. Sri Guru Granth Sahib (scripture of the Sikhs), after its compilation, was first installed at Sri Harimandir Sahib on August 16, 1604 A.D. A devout Sikh, Baba Budha Ji was appointed its first Head Priest.

The Golden Temple Amritsar India (Sri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar) has a unique Sikh architecture. Built at a level lower than the surrounding land level, The Gurudwara teaches the lesson of egalitarianism and humility. The four entrances of this holy shrine from all four directions, signify that people belonging to every walk of life are equally welcome. 
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Sikhism Time Line
April 15, 1469 The birth of Sikhism's founder, Guru Nanak, at village Talwandi (Punjab, India; now in Pakistan).
1507 Guru Nanak proclaims, 'there is no Hindu, there is no Muslim' and Sikhism is founded.
1522 Guru Nanak establishes the town of Kartarpur (now in Pakistan) on the banks of the river Ravi and the first Sikh community begins to take shape.
1539 Guru Angad (1504-1552) takes over and, given Guru Nanak's eldest son Sri Chand's claim on Kartarpur (Pakistan), decides to run affairs from his hometown of Khadur.
1552 Guru Amardas (1479-1574) takes over, and with Kartarpur (Pakistan) still under Guru Nanak's lineage, establishes the town and community of Goindval (also known as Gobindval or Govindval or Goindwal).
1574 Guru Ramdas (1534-1581) takes over and establishes the town and community of Ramdaspur or Amritsar.
1581 Guru Arjan (1563-1606) takes over and continues to run affairs from Amritsar. He also establishes the towns and communities of Kartarpur (Jalandhar) in 1593, Hargobindpur, and Tarn Taran.
1601 Guru Arjan completes the compilation of the Adi Granth (or the Guru Granth). Construction on the Darbar Sahib (or Harmandir; now also known as the Golden Temple) in Amritsar is completed.
1604 The Adi Granth (or the Guru Granth) is installed at the Darbar Sahib (or Harmandir; now also known as the Golden Temple).
1606 Following Guru Arjan's execution and martyrdom in Lahore by Jahangir, Guru Hargobind (1595-1644) takes over and runs affairs from Amritsar (1606-1628) and Kartarpur, Jalandhar (1628-1634). Facing persecution from the Mughals, in 1634 he establishes the town and community of Kiratpur in the Shivalik foothills and remains there until his death.
1644 Guru Har Rai (1630-1661) takes over and runs affairs from Kiratpur until his death.
1661 Guru Harkrishan (1656-1664) takes over at the young age of five and remains in Kiratpur until his untimely death from smallpox at the location now marked by Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi where he was staying following a summons from Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
1666 Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675) founds the city of Anandpur (near Kiratpur) in 1664.
1675 Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) takes over, following Guru Tegh Bahadur's execution and martyrdom in Delhi.
April 13, 1699 Sikhism's tenth and final personal guru, Gobind Singh, innaugurates Sikhism's orthodox Khalsa order on Vaisakhi Day (marking the annual harvest season) at Anandpur.
1704 Following Guru Hargobind's grandson Dhirmal's refusal to let the Bir leave his possession (i.e. that of the Sodhi family of Kartarpur, Jalandhar), Guru Gobind Singh dictates the Adi Granth from memory to his scribe Bhai Mani Singh at Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo, Punjab. Guru Gobind Singh releases a final edition of the Adi Granth and announces an end to the line of succession of personal Gurus to be replaced jointly by the Adi Granth and the Panth (the collective will of the entire Sikh community).
1708 Guru Gobind Singh is assassinated by Muslim enemies.
1716 Banda Bahadur and followers arrested, tortured and killed by the Mughals in Delhi.
1718 The Prem Sumarg is authored as sort of informal attempt to document a rahit (code of conduct) for the Sikhs.
1738 Jathedar (head priest) of the Darbar Sahib (or Harmandir; now also known as the Golden Temple), Mani Singh, is tortured to death by the Mughals.
1762 The Darbar Sahib (or Harmandir; now also known as the Golden Temple) in Amritsar is destroyed by Ahmad Shah Abdali (also known as Ahmad Shah Durani).
1783 The Sikhs take Delhi for eight weeks.
1799 Ranjit Singh establishes a kingdom in the Punjab with its capital in Lahore (now in Pakistan) and borders extending from Kabul (now in Afghanistan) in the west to the river Sutlej in the east and from Ladakh (now in Kashmir, India) and Lhasa (now in Tibet) in the north to Rajasthan in the south.
1800 Akal Takht's custodian Akali Phula Singh awards a fine to Ranjit Singh for keeping a Muslim concubine named Moran.
1812 Balak Singh (1799-1862) from Rawalpindi is believed to have founded the Kuka Movement (also known as Namdharis). This Sikh sect, considered by some to be heretical, believes that Guru Gobind Singh died not in 1708 but in 1812 after making Balak Singh the 11th guru. Namdharis are recognizable from their all white attire and turbans tied horizontally across the forehead. They are strict vegetarians, fierce protectors of the cow, and conduct their ceremonies around the fire. They had a significant role in India's independence movement, particularly for being at the forefront with their advocacy for the use of non-violent techniques (Balak Singh's successor Ram Singh was banished to Rangoon, Burma by the British and died there). Namdharis are highly regarded for their rag-based kirtan. Their headquarters are located in Bhaini Sahib near Ludhiana.
1839 Ranjit Singh dies, triggering infighting amongst his heirs leading to the eventual fall of the kingdom.
1845-46 First Anglo-Sikh War.
1848-49 Second Anglo-Sikh War.
1849 Punjab becomes the last kingdom in India to be annexed by the British. The Adi Granth dictated by Guru Arjan and scribed by Bhai Gurdas in 1603-104 (also known as the Kartarpur, Jalandhar Bir) is discovered by the British at the Lahore Court and subsequently returned to the Sodhi family in Kartarpur (Jalandhar) in 1850 following a petition from Sadhu Singh Sodhi. As a token of thanks, in 1859 Sadhu Singh Sodhi delivers a copy to Queen Victoria, which is now held at the India Office Library.
1857 Sikhs assist the British in supressing the Hindu/Moghul Mutiny.
1873 The first Singh Sabha is founded in Amritsar under the influence of the Sanatan Sikhs, thereby launching the Singh Sabha Movement, as a response to organizations such as the Arya Samaj attempting to bring Sikhs back into the Hindu fold.
1903 Max Authur Macauliffe writes about Ernest Trumpp's (1828-1885) great arrogance when he describes an incident when Trumpp lit a cigar in the Darbar Sahib (Amritsar) and blew smoke at the Guru Granth. Trumpp published a translation of the Adi Granth. Although the translation represents a milestone in Westerners studying the Sikhs, it was poorly received.
1905 Sikh attempts to regain control of gurdwaras from their mahants (hereditary custodians) result in the removal of images of Hindu gods from Darbar Sahib (also known as Harmandir or Golden Temple) in Amritsar, Punjab.
1900-1901 The Land Alienation Act is enacted in Punjab to prohibit the transfer of land from the agriculturist to the non-agricultural moneylender.
October 22, 1909 India's British rulers pass the Anand Marriage Act, thereby reinforcing a distinct Sikh identity.
1913 Ghadar Party is founded in California by Sikh immigrants.
April 13, 1919 Troops commanded by the British Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer fire 1,650 rounds on over 20,000 people, gathered to protest the Rowlatt Act. British official figures list 379 dead and 1200 wounded. Sikhs estimate much higher casualties. Rabindranth Tagore, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature (1913), renounces his knighthood (1915) in protest. Golden Temple's sarbrah (manager) Arur Singh receives much critique for honoring Dyer.
1920 Gurdwara Reform Movement (G.R.M., also known as the Akali Movement or the Third Sikh War) is formally launched to regain control of gurdwaras from mahants (hereditary custodians). Lower caste Hindus convert to Sikhism in large numbers but don't typically get access to all privileges, such as entry into the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar.
1921 Over 100 Akalis are killed by the mahant's (hereditary custodian) hired thugs while participating in a morcha (mass campaign) to regain control of Nankana Sahib (Guru Nanak's birthplace).
1925 Gurdwara Reform Movement (G.R.M.) is concluded with the Sikhs regaining control of their major gurdwaras from mahants (hereditary custodians) via the passage of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, the formation of the Akali Dal and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (S.G.P.C.), an elected body responsible for the management of major Sikh gurdwaras.
August 9, 1928 Teja Singh Bhasaur, co-founder of the the Bhasaur Singh Sabha and the Panch Khalsa Diwan, and his wife, Niranjan Kaur, are excommunicated by the Akal Takht for, among other things, excluding sahaj-dhari (unorthodox) Sikhs and removing the ragmala section from the Adi Granth. Bhasaur's motivation in removing Ragmala can be understood from the fact that it follows Guru Arjan's Mundavani (Adi Granth, p. 1429), which is a hymn that is meant to signify the seal or the end, i.e. nothing more can be added subsequently. It should also be noted that Ragmala describes the puberty rites executed for Guru Arjan's son Guru Hargobind, which follow a standard Hindu pattern in which the boy's head is shaved (and this is contrary to injuctions developed later in Sikh history about the prohibition around shaving or cutting hair or kesh).
1931 Left-wing Sikh activist Bhagat Singh is hanged at Lahore for terrorism.
April 25, 1935 The Religious Advisory Committee, consisting of Kahn Singh Nabha, Jodh Singh, Teja Singh, Ganga Singh and Mohan Singh, passes a resolution stating, "In Europe and American countries, where the other religious groups have chairs in their places of worship, there is no impropriety to sit on the chairs in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib provided Guru Granth Sahib is installed at a higher stage."
1944 G.B. Singh, a high-ranking offical in the postal services department of the Government of India with a scholarly disposition, publishes his labor-of-love 'Sri Guru Granth Sahib Dian Prachin Biren' (with assistance from Harkrishan Singh, editor of 'Punjabi Sabha') which explores historical manuscripts of Adi Granth recensions and arrives at contested and controversial conclusions, mostly revolving around the authenticity of the Kartarpur Bir that had long been viewed as foundational to the Adi Granth and is, allegedly, beaten with shoes at the Golden Temple (or Darbar Sahib or Harimandir) in Amritsar.
February 3, 1945 The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee releases an official Sikh Rahit Maryada document.
1946 The Akali Dal floats the idea of an independent Sikhistan or Khalistan but is unable to gain the attention of the departing British.
August 15, 1947 British India's independence from Britain is accompanied by its partition into the countries known today as India and Pakistan. Lahore goes to Pakistan, Amritsar to India.
1948 Patiala and other princely states of the Punjab are amalgamated to form the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (P.E.P.S.U.) with a Sikh majority.
1949 Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (S.G.P.C.) releases it's first authorized version of the Sikh Rehat Maryada (S.R.M.) or code of conduct.
1956 P.E.P.S.U. in merged in with the Punjab.
1963 Damdama Sahib becomes the fifth to be added to the list of Sikh takhts (seats of authority).
1966 The Indian state of Punjab is reconstituted along linguistic lines based on flawed census figures after carving out Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, representing allegedly Hindi-speaking areas.
1969 Former finance minister of Punjab and medical doctor Jagjit Singh Chauhan proclaims the 'Sovereign Republic of Khalistan.'
1969 Darshan Singh Pheruman fasts to death to secure the award of Chandigarh to Punjab.
1970 The Guru Harsahai Pothi, considered by most scholars to be the earliest of the extant pothis is stolen from the Sodhi family while returning via train from a public display of the pothis in Faridabad (near Delhi), during which monetary offerings are received.
January 1970 Fateh Singh threatens a fast resulting in the award of Chandigarh to Punjab in exchange for the transfer of two 'Hindi speaking' (Hindu majority) areas (Fazilka and Abohar) from Punjab to Haryana. However, the deal is stalemated as neither side shows a willingness to implement its part.
January 22, 1970 Victor Harvey Briggs (Vic Briggs), formerly of the famous rock group The Animals, attends one of Yogi Bhajan's classes in Los Angeles and decides to adopt Sikhism (or, more accurately, Yogi Bhajanism). His name morphs to Vikram Singh and later, upon baptization in November 1991, to Vikram Singh Khalsa. In 1979, he becomes the first non-Indian to perform kirtan at the Darbar Sahib (Harimandir Sahib, Golden Temple) in Amritsar. He later changed his name to Antion.
October 16-17, 1973 Anandpur Sahib Resolution (A.S.R.) is authored.
1974 Fauja Singh Bajwa of Punjabi University in Patiala puts forth an alternative viewpoint on Guru Teg Bahadur and his execution/martyrdom in the innaugural issue of The Journal of Sikh Studies. This invites the wrath of traditionalists such as Sirdar Kapur Singh. It would seem that traditionalists are unaware of Ainslie Embree's viewpoint that 'history must constantly be rewritten' (Sikh Studies, 1979).
August, 1977 Jarnail Singh Brar (Bhindranwale) takes over as head of the Dam Dami Taksal (Sikh seminary) and launches amrit parchar (Sikh baptism campaign).
April 13, 1978 Thirteen Sikhs belonging to the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and the Damdami Takhsal perish in clashes with a gathering of the Sant Nirankari Sikhs in Amritsar when they interrupt the proceedings to protest against negative language employed against the Adi Granth and the Sikh Gurus.
June 10, 1978 A hukamnama (order or edict of excommunication) is pronounced from the Akal Takht (Amritsar, Punjab) against Sikhism's Sant Nirankari sect.
October 28-29, 1978 The 18th All India Akali Conference of the Shiromani Akali Dal (S.A.D.) held in Ludhiana (Punjab, India) adopts a softer version of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution (A.S.R.).
September, 1979 The Akali Dal (the primary Sikh political party) splits into two factions, one led by Harchand Singh Longowal with support from Prakash Singh Badal, and the other led by Jagdev Singh Talwandi with support from Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (S.G.P.C.).
April 24, 1980 Gurbachan Singh, the leader of Sikhism's Nirankari sect, is assassinated while on his way to the mission headquarters at the Nirankari Colony in north Delhi, a result of the sixth and final attempt on his life.
August, 1980 Jagdev Singh Talwandi is expelled from the Akali Dal (the primary Sikh political party) for "anti-party activities" including collusion with the Congress (I), the political party in power at the federal level.
March 20, 1981 The flag of the 'New Republic of Khalistan' is hoisted at Anandpur Sahib (Punjab, India).
September, 1981 New Delhi receives a list of forty-five demands from the Shiromani Akali Dal (S.A.D.).
September 9, 1981 Jagat Narain, proprietor of the Hind Samachar group of newspapers, is assassinated on the Grand Trunk Road near village Adian, while traveling home from Ludhiana in his car.
September 20, 1981 Jarnail Singh Brar (Bhindranwale) surrenders to police at Chowk Mehta (district Amritsar). He is arrested and jailed.
September 29, 1981 An Indian Airlines plane flying from Srinagar to Delhi is hijacked to Lahore by five members of the Dal Khalsa, including Gajinder Singh and Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib. The hijackers' demands include Jarnail Singh Brar (Bhindranwale)'s release from jail and $500,000.
October 15, 1981 Jarnail Singh Brar (Bhindranwale) is released from jail.
October 16, 1981 The first round of talks between New Delhi and the Shiromani Akali Dal (S.A.D.). The list of forty-five demands has been replaced with a list of fifteen demands. The top demand is the unconditional release of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
November 26, 1981 The second round of talks between New Delhi and the Shiromani Akali Dal (S.A.D.). The list of forty-five demands has been replaced with a list of fifteen demands. The top demand is the unconditional release of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
March 18, 1982 Kuldip Singh Samra enters courtroom 4 at Osgoode Hall, armed with a revolver, and commits a double murder and two attempted murders after a judge rules against him in a disputed election at the Shiromani Sikh Society (gurdwara) at 269 Pape Avenue in Toronto. He flees the building and the country. A Canada-wide warrant is issued for Samra, who is charged with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. He is eventually arrested in India in 1990. Although Canada refuses India's request to exchange Samra for Talwinder Singh Parmar, who is wanted in India, Samra is eventually extradited to Canada in 1992.
April 5, 1982 The third round of talks between New Delhi and the Shiromani Akali Dal (S.A.D.). The Akalis unilaterally announce that the talks had failed.
April 8, 1982 The Shiromani Akali Dal (S.A.D.) launches the Nahar Roko Morcha, an entrenchment/agitation aimed at obstructing work on the Yamuna Sutlej Link (Y.S.L.).
April 26, 1982 Two severed heads of cows are found hanging at two Hindu temples at Amritsar. (Cows are sacred to Hindus.) The Dal Khalsa issues a statement claiming responsibility.
May 1, 1982 India bans the Dal Khalsa and the National Council of Khalistan. The Dal Khalsa had been formed as a counterweight to the Akali Dal in 1978 with the support of Zail Singh, then a senior cabinet minister in the Indira Gandhi-led Congress (I) government in New Delhi.
June 27, 1982 Joginder Singh Sant, the propaganda secretary of the Nirankari Mandal, is shot and injured at Dhabuji (district Amritsar). Amrik Singh, Bhindranwale's right-hand man and president of the All India Sikh Students Federation (A.I.S.S.F.) is implicated.
July 19, 1982 Bhindranwale launches a morcha to protest Amrik Singh's arrest.
July 20, 1982 Jarnail Singh Brar (Bhindranwale) moves into Room 47 at Guru Nanak Niwas, located at the periphery of the Darbar Sahib complex (a.k.a. the Golden Temple) in Amritsar (Punjab, India).
August 4, 1982 The Akali Dal launches the Dharam Yudh Morcha (religious war). An Indian Airlines flight from Delhi to Srinagar with 126 passengers on board is hijacked to Lahore by a Sikh. The plane lands in Amritsar after Lahore refuses permission to land. The hijacker is arrested.
August 20, 1982 An Indian Airlines Boeing 737 is hijacked while on a flight from Bombay (now Mumbai) to New Delhi via Jodhpur (Rajasthan). The plane lands at Amritsar after Lahore refuses permission to land. The Sikh hijacker, who identifies himself as "Museebat" Singh, is shot dead by commandos during a shoot-out at the Amritsar airport.
September 11, 1982 Thirty Akali Dal agitators are killed when the vehicle carrying them rams into a moving train at an unmanned railway crossing at Taran Taran. Bhindranwale implicates New Delhi. Longowal issues a statement supporting Bhindranwale's claim.
November 19, 1982 The innaugural day of the Ninth Asiad (Asian Games) in New Delhi. The Akali Dal vows to protest. All Sikhs attempting to enter Delhi are searched and, in many cases, humiliated, especially in the state of Haryana.
January 19, 1983 Gurcharan Singh Tohra resigns as president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (S.G.P.C.) in response to pressure from the Akali Dal president, Harchand Singh Longowal.
April 4, 1983 The Shiromani Akali Dal (S.A.D.) launches the Rasta Roko Morcha, an entrenchment/agitation aimed at obstructing road transportation in Punjab.
April 25, 1983 Deputy Inspector General (D.I.G.) of Punjab Police, Avtar Singh Atwal, is assassinated at the entrance to the Darbar Sahib (Amritsar).
June 17, 1983 The Shiromani Akali Dal (S.A.D.) launches the Rail Roko Morcha, an entrenchment/agitation aimed at obstructing rail transportation in Punjab.
August 29, 1983 The Shiromani Akali Dal (S.A.D.) launches the Kam Roko Morcha, an entrenchment/agitation aimed at obstructing work (i.e. a call for a general strike) in Punjab.
October 6, 1983 Punjab's Congress (I) government, headed by Darbara Singh, is dismissed and replaced with President's rule, a euphemism for direct rule from New Delhi.
December 23, 1983 Jarnail Singh Brar (Bhindranwale) shifts from Guru Nanak Niwas to the Akal Takht, located at the core of the Darbar Sahib complex (a.k.a. the Golden Temple) in Amritsar (Punjab, India).
February 22, 1984 Sumeet Singh 'Shammi,' a shaven Sikh with a Hindu wife and editor of the most widely read Punjabi monthly Preetlari is assassinated.
April 2, 1984 Harbans Lal Khanna, a former M.L.A. and B.J.P.'s Amritsar district president, is shot dead along with his bodyguard. Eight people are killed and nine injured during the funeral procession the next day.
April 3, 1984 Vishwa Nath Tiwari, a Hindu professor of Punjabi with a Sikh wife, is assassinated.
April 13, 1984 Longowal and Bhindranwale groups each publish Vaisakhi pamphlets accusing the other of betraying the Sikh Panth.
April 14, 1984 Bhindranwale's close associate Surinder Singh Sodhi is assassinated. The alleged assassin is killed immediately. Bhindranwale publicly takes credit. The assassin's accomplice, Baljit Kaur, is tortured and killed. Her mangled body is found in a gunny sack three days later near village Walla in district Amritsar.
May 12, 1984 Ramesh Chandra, who succeeded his father Jagat Narain (previously assassinated) as proprietor of the Hind Samachar group of newspapers, is assassinated in his office at Jalandhar (Punjab).
June ?, 1984 The June 1984 issue (Serial Number 153) of an Indian Army bulletin called Baatcheet refers to amrit-dhari (initiated) Sikhs as "terrorists."
June 6, 1984 The Indian Army enters Darbar Sahib (Amritsar) to expunge Sikh militants from its premises resulting in the deaths of hundreds including Jarnail Singh Brar (Bhindranwale) (1947-1984), Lt.-Gen. Shahbeg Singh, and president of the All India Sikh Students Federation (A.I.S.S.F.), Amrik Singh. The action is labelled Operation Bluestar.
June 7, 1984 About 500 soldiers belonging to the 9th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment stationed at Ganganagar (Rajasthan) mutiny upon hearing reports about Operation Bluestar. Smaller revolts involving Sikh soldiers are reported at Ramgarh (Bihar), Alwar (Rajasthan) Jammu, Thane and Pune (both in Maharashtra). Mutineers at Ramgarh shoot and kill their commander, Brigadier S.C. Puri.
July 10, 1984 Government of India's White Paper on the Punjab Agitation is released and receives a lukewarm reception from independent critics in India.
September 2, 1984 Under the supervision of Akal Takht Jathedar Darshan Singh Ragi, a Sarbat Khalsa (Sikh gathering) convened under the auspices of the World Sikh Convention excommunicates President Zail Singh (for his role as Chief of the Armed Forces for signing the order to initiate Operation Blue Star), Home Minister Buta Singh (for undertaking a government-sponsored, as opposed to Sikh-sponsored, rebuilding of the Akal Takht following Operation Blue Star), and Buta Singh's collaborator Santa Singh, chief of the Nihang Sikh sect. It is worth noting that Zail Singh (a Ramgarhia) was exonerated shortly afterward whereas Buta Singh (a Mazhabi or Scheduled Caste or lower caste) was exonerated 9 years later after having to jump through hoops.
October 31, 1984 India's prime minister, Indira Gandhi, is assassinated by Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, both Sikh members of her security staff. Beant Singh is shot and killed by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police shortly afterward. 5,000 die in anti-Sikh pogroms led by members of Indira Gandhi's Congress party and aided by the complicity of local security forces. 1,809 men are arrested for the crimes but later released on bail. The twenty years that follow bring only ten convictions, none of which punish those who actually led the pogroms.
December, 1984 The Congress party led by Indira Gandhi's son Rajiv Gandhi, campaigns on the issue of India's territorial integrity. Campaign posters depict Sikhs in uniform shooting at Indira Gandhi and pose questions such as "Why should you feel uncomfortable riding in a taxi driven by a taxi driver who belongs to another state [i.e. a Sikh from the state of Punjab]?" While campaigning in Rajiv Gandhi's constituency, supporters employ the following slogan against his opponent and Sikh sister-in-law Maneka: "Beti hai Sardar ki, Qaum hai gaddar ki" (She is the daughter of a Sikh, She belongs to a race of traitors).
May, 1985 The F.B.I. claims to have foiled assassination attempts on Bhajan Lal and Rajiv Gandhi.
June 23, 1985 Air India Flight 182 (Kanishka) downed off the coast of Ireland, killing 329. Inderjit Singh Reyat eventually pleads guilty to building the fatal bomb.
July 24, 1985 Harchand Singh Longowal and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi sign a Memorandum of Settlement awarding, among other things, Chandigarh to Punjab.
August 20, 1985 Harchand Singh Longowal is assassinated while speaking at a gurdwara (Sikh place of worship).
September 25, 1985 Akali Dal wins elections in Punjab. Surjit Singh Barnala becomes chief minister with a sweeping majority (73 out of 117 seats).
1986 The (Justice) Bains Committee secures the release of over 2,000 Sikhs in detention for alleged militant activities.
January 22, 1986 Control of Darbar Sahib is returned to the S.G.P.C.
January 26, 1986 Khalistan, an independent Sikh state, is proclaimed amidst a Sarbat Khalsa gathering (a large gathering of Sikhs, figuratively representing the entire Sikh community) at Darbar Sahib (Amritsar). A Panthic Committee is charged with the leadership of Khalistan.
April, 1986 "Sikh militants" attempt to assassinate Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala.
April 29, 1986 The Panthic Committee announces the "Declaration of Independence of Khalistan" from the Darbar Sahib (Amritsar, Punjab). The Committee consists of Gurbachan Singh Manochahal (first among equals), Dhanna Singh, Wasson Singh Zaffarwal, Arur Singh, and Gurdev Singh Usmanwala.
April 30, 1986 Operation Black Thunder I is conducted to purge armed Sikh militants from the Darbar Sahib (Amritsar, Punjab). The operation fails to capture a single Sikh militant.
May 25, 1986 Punjab's planning minister and a member of the moderate Akali Dal political party, Malkiat Singh Sidhu, is shot and seriously injured while visiting the vancouver area to attend a family wedding. Four members of the International Sikh Youth Federation (I.S.Y.F.), including Jaspal Singh Atwal, are convicted and awarded twenty-year sentences. Atwal had earlier been charged and acquitted in the case involving the severe beating of Canadian politician Ujjal Singh Dosanjh who had voiced moderate views on the situation in Punjab. The charges are stayed after it is revealed that C.S.I.S. falsified an affidavit to obtain a wiretap warrant against one of the suspects. Sidhu and his gunman Nachhattar Singh are shot dead in Moga, Punjab on April 27, 1991.
May 31, 1986 A conspiracy to blow up an Air India plane leaving New York on this date is unearthed at Montreal and two members of the Babbar Khalsa are convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
June 14, 1986 Seven members of the Babbar Khalsa International (B.K.I.) allegedly on their way to India to blow up the Indian Parliament are arrested in London, England, tried in Canada, and acquitted for lack of evidence.
August, 1986 Retired General Arun Shridhar Vaidya, who was India's Chief of Army Staff during Operation Bluestar, is assassinated near his home in Pune. The Khalistan Commando Force assumes responsibility.
October 2, 1986 Karamjit Singh attempts to assassinate India's Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's birth commemoration at Raj Ghat in New Delhi.
October 3, 1986 Julio F. Ribeiro, Punjab's director general of police (D.G.P.), is shot at and slightly wounded in an assassination attempt.
February 11, 1987 Under the supervision of S.G.P.C. President Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Akal Takht Jathedar Darshan Singh Ragi in Amritsar excommunicates Punjab's Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala (Akali Dal) for refusing to resign and form a new Akali Dal party (thereby uniting the moderates with the desertering militant factions) rather than team up with the Congress, led by Rajiv Gandhi.
May 11, 1987 The Akali Dal government headed by Surjit Singh Barnala is dismissed. President's rule is imposed via Governor Siddharth Shankar Ray.
October 10, 1987 The Panthic Committee establishes the Council of Khalistan and names Gurmit Singh Aulakh as its Washington, D.C.-based president.
March 4, 1988 The Jodhpur detainees, including Jasbir Singh Rode, arrested during Operation Blue Star, are released. Rode is appointed jathedar [head-priest] of the Akal Takht (Amritsar, Punjab).
May 11-18, 1988 Operation Black Thunder II is conducted to expunge armed Sikh militants from the Darbar Sahib (Amritsar). According to K.P.S. Gill, the Khalistan movement never recovered from this "loss of the Golden Temple [a.k.a. Darbar Sahib] and the gurdwaras as [a] shield and sanction" (Knights of Falsehood, p. 100.). When the dust settles, the original Panthic Committee has splintered into three factions led by Gurbachan Singh Manochahal, Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, and Sohan Singh Boparai respectively. The Zaffarwal faction names Jagjit Singh Chauhan as its representative abroad via a competing Council of Khalistan office based in London, England. The Boparai faction comes to be represented abroad by the Washington, D.C.-based Khalistan Affairs Center (founded in 1991 by Harpal Singh Cheema and Pritpal Singh and eventually run by Amarjit Singh) and the Vancouver-based Charhdi Kala weekly newspaper (Cheema and Daljit Singh Bittu).
April 21, 1988 K.P.S. Gill is appointed Director General of Police (D.G.P.) for Punjab.
July 12, 1988 Labh Singh, head of the Khalistan Commando Force (K.C.F.), is killed in "an exchange of fire with the police." (Faultlines, May 1999, vol. 1.1, p. 29, New Delhi: Institute of Conflict Management.)
January 6, 1989 Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh are hanged for their roles in Indira Gandhi's assassination.
February 5, 1989 Rajinder Kaur, daughter of Tara Singh and former member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India's parliament, is gunned down by unidentified assassins.
August, 1989 122 kilometers of fencing is erected along the 533 kilometer border between Punjab and Pakistan.
November, 1989 Then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi orders the release of a) Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the United Akali Dal, b) Harminder Singh Sandhu, president of the All India Sikh Students Federation (A.I.S.S.F.), and c) Atindar Pal Singh. Mann is elected to parliament.
December 6, 1989 V.P. Singh takes over as prime minister. Harminder Singh Sandhu, president of the All India Students Federation (A.I.S.S.F.), declares Khalistan as the exclusive goal of the A.I.S.S.F. (Indian Express and Faultlines, May 1999, vol. 1.1, p. 40, New Delhi: Institute of Conflict Management.)
January, 1990 Harminder Singh Sandhu, president of the All India Sikh Students Federation (A.I.S.S.F.), is assassinated.
March 15, 1990 The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is granted approval to have turbaned Sikhs join its ranks.
May 14, 1990 Assassination attempt on Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (S.G.P.C.), while his car is travelling on the Ludhiana-Patiala highway near village Pahwa. Tohra, ex-M.L.A. H.S. Rajia, and a gunman are injured. The driver is killed on the spot. Rajia succumbs to injuries in hospital. (Faultlines, May 1999, vol. 1.1, p. 47, New Delhi: Institute of Conflict Management.)
June, 1990 Former Punjab finance minister Balwant Singh is assassinated in Chandigarh.
June 21, 1990 Narasimha Rao of the Congress party takes over as prime minister riding a sympathy vote following Rajiv Gandhi's assassination by Sri Lankan Tamil separatist militants.
December 18, 1990 K.P.S. Gill is transferred to New Delhi consequent to demands by Sikh militant groups for him to be removed from Punjab. (Faultlines, May 1999, vol. 1.1, p. 64, New Delhi: Institute of Conflict Management.)
May 28, 1991 Gurmit Singh Aulakh, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Council of Khalistan, addresses the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., arguably the largest and most prestigious press club in the world.
June, 1991 Punjab elections are cancelled.
August, 1991 Punjab's former director general of police (D.G.P.), Julio Ribeiro, is shot in an attempted assassination while walking with his wife in a suburb of Romania's capital.
October, 1991 Romanian charge d'affaires in New Delhi, Liviu Radu, is kidnapped. The kidnappers demand the release of three Sikhs facing the death sentence for their role in Gen. A.S. Vaidya's 1986 assassination.
November 11, 1991 Director General of Police (D.G.P.), K.P.S. Gill, is transferred back to Punjab as D.G.P.
February, 1992 Beant Singh of the Congress party becomes chief minister of Punjab following elections boycotted by the Akali parties.
August 9, 1992 Sukhdev Singh Babbar, chief of Babbar Khalsa International (B.K.I.), is "killed in an encounter with the police." (Faultlines, May 1999, vol. 1.1, p. 64, New Delhi: Institute of Conflict Management.)
May 27, 1992 M.L. Manchanda, director of the All India Radio (A.I.R.) station in Patiala, Punjab, is abducted by members of the militant organization Babbar Khalsa. They demand that electronic media adhere to a code of conduct, which includes broadcasting in the local language of Punjabi rather than Hindi. Negotiations for Manchanda's release break down after the government fails to meet the deadline set for complying with Babbar Khalsa's demands. Manchanda's children appeal to the militants in vain. On May 27, the militants behead the journalist and put his severed head on display at a chowk in Patiala.
May 27, 1992 Gurdial Singh Babbar, a Babbar Khalsa International (B.K.I.) leader, is "killed in an encounter with security forces at village Rataul in Tarn Taran." (Faultlines, May 1999, vol. 1.1, p. 65, New Delhi: Institute of Conflict Management.)
November 24, 1992 Piar Singh and Guru Nanak Dev University publish the 534-page 'Gatha Sri Adi Granth' which contains a foreword by Vice-Chancellor Gurdip Singh Randhawa and evaluates 44 pothis (compilations) and birs (recensions) of the Adi Granth and generates controversy for casting doubts over the authenticity of the Adi Granth (primarily by virtue of questioning the status of the Kartarpur Bir as the foundation of the Adi Granth). With the Akal Takht in the hands of acting Jathedar Manjit Singh, S.G.P.C. President Gurcharan Singh Tohra is actively involved in the proceedings (some say to distract from problems at hand and prop up the Akali Dal's reputation as protector of Sikh interest) and goes as far as to bracket Piar Singh with Pashaura Singh and W.H. McLeod. Others who joins hands in the denouncement include Surinder Singh Kohli, J.S. Mann, Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, Daljeet Singh and Gurtej Singh. Piar Singh, 78, suffers a mild heart attack just three days after receiving a summons from the Akal Takht. Akal Takht fails to respond to Piar Singh's requests for a chargesheet detailing the objectionable portions of his book.
December 25, 1992 Gurdev Singh Kaunke, acting jathedar (head-priest) of the Akal Takht is arrested from his home and subsequently "disappeared."
January 7, 1993 The S.G.P.C. bans research on the Guru Granth. In subsequent years, the ban is mostly ignored in the West but perhaps has a negative impact on scholarship within the Punjab as well as within India.
January 24, 1993 Gurmit Singh Aulakh and Paramjit Singh Ajrawat, president and member respectively of the Washington, D.C.-based Council of Khalistan, sign the covenant of Khalistan's admission into the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (U.N.P.O.) at the U.N.P.O. General Assembly in the Hague, Netherlands.
April 1, 1993 Akal Takht Acting Jathedar Manjit Singh excommunicates Piar Singh for casting doubts on the authenticity of the Adi Granth via the publication of his book 'Gatha Sri Granth Sahib'.
June 27, 1994 Pashaura Singh, who had previously been excommunicated, apologizes for and receives tankhah [religious punishment] for "objectionable" contents in his Ph.D. thesis entitled "The Text and Meaning of the Adi Granth," supervised by W.H. McLeod. Most of the opposition to the research work being performed by scholars like Piar Singh, Pashaura Singh, and W.H. McLeod tends to originate from retired-professionals-turned-scholars united under the umbrella of the Institute of Sikh Studies (I.O.S.S.) in Chandigarh.
February 27, 1995 Jaswant Singh Khalra calls a press conference in Amritsar (Punjab) and appeals to the public to "hold the police chief K.P.S. Gill and chief minister Beant Singh" responsible if anything happens to him.
August 31, 1995 Punjab's chief minister, Beant Singh, is assassinated. B.K.I. claims responsibility. Harcharan Singh Brar takes over as chief minister.
September 6, 1995 Jaswant Singh Khalra disappears while washing his car outside his home in Amritsar (Punjab).
April 20, 1998 Ranjit Singh, jathedar (head-priest) of the Akal Takht (Amritsar, Punjab, India), issues a hukamnama (edict) declaring langar (community meal) partaken of while being seated on benches and chairs as apostasy.
July 25, 1998 Ranjit Singh, jathedar (head-priest) of the Akal Takht (Amritsar, Punjab, India), excommunicates Tara Singh Hayer and others who criticize the April 20, 1998 edict.
November 18, 1998 Tara Singh Hayer, 64, founder of the Indo-Canadian Times (founded in 1978, the oldest and largest Punjabi-language weekly in Canada) and an outspoken critic of Sikh militancy, is shot dead in the garage of his Surrey, B.C. residence as he is transferring himself from his car into the wheelchair he had been using since an assassination attempt on August 28, 1988 left him partially paralyzed. In 1988 he was excommunicated by a Sikh high priest in Amritsar, India, in an edict that also forbade all Sikhs from buying or reading the Indo-Canadian Times. Hayer was a recipient of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian award.
April 13, 1999 To mark the tercentenary of the birth of the Khalsa, the Anandpur Sahib Foundation headed by Shiromani Akali Dal president and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal awards the Order of Nishan-e-Khalsa to 80 most prominent Sikhs of the century.
Legendary heroes: Bhagat Singh, Ajit Singh, Gurdit Singh, Sohan Singh Bhakna. 
Akali leaders: Fateh Singh, Harchand Singh Longowal, Kartar Singh, Tara Singh. 
Religious leader: Kharak Singh. 
Freedom fighters: Udham Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha. 
Sikh scholars: Sewa Singh Thikriwala, Randhir Singh, Ram Singh, Ditt Singh, Gurmukh Singh, Gurmukh Singh Chabal, Darshan Singh Pheruman. 
War heroes: Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, Gian Singh, Gurbux Singh, J.S. Arora, Mohan Singh Kohli. 
Former Union Cabinet Secretary: S.S. Grewal. 
Scientist and administrator: M.S. Randhawa. 
Financial expert: Montek Singh Ahluwalia. 
Doctors: Prithipal Singh Maini, Daljit Singh, K.S. Chug, J.S. Bajaj, Jagjit Singh Hara, Mohan Singh. 
Writers: Khushwant Singh, Kartar Singh Duggal, Harbans Lal, Jodh Singh, Teja Singh, Vir Singh, Puran Singh. 
Legal luminaries: Ranjit Singh Sarkaria, R.S. Narula, Surjit Singh Sandhawalia, Sukhdev Singh Kang, Savinder Singh Sodhi. 
Industrialist: Raunak Singh. 
N.R.I. writer: Raghbir Singh Bains

March 20, 2000 35 Sikhs are massacred in Chattisinghpora (Jammu and Kashmir, India) on the eve of U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to India.
2001 Jagjit Singh Chauhan and Wassan Singh Zaffarwal return to Punjab after years of exile.
April 1, 2003 Gurmit Singh Aulakh retires as president of the Washington-D.C.-based Council of Khalistan. No one steps forward to take over.
July 10, 2003 The Akal Takht in Amritsar excommunicates Gurbakhsh Singh Kala Afghana for suggesting, via his writings in the multi-volume series in Gurmukhi entitled 'Biparan Kii Riit Ton Sach Daa Maarag' (From the Practice of Ritual to the Path of Truth), that the Dasam Granth ought not to be accorded the same respect as the Adi Granth.
February 6, 2004 The Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti in Amritsar excommunicates Joginder Singh Sawhney, editor of the monthly magazine The Spokesman published from Chandigarh, for supporting Gurbakhsh Singh Kala Afghana. Additionally, the Akal Takht also striped Gurtej Singh of the title 'National Professor of Sikhism', also for supporting Gurbakhsh Singh Kala Afghana. Other than his mentor Kapur Singh, Gurtej Singh was the only person ever to have been awarded the title.
August 11, 2005 Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar resign as Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs and Chairman, Rural Development Board (Delhi) respectively in response to the Congress government's Action Taken Report in response to the Nanavati Commission Report on the 1984 Sikh massacres in Delhi and elsewhere.
November 18, 2005 Six Punjab police officals are convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for the abduction and murder of Jaswant Singh Khalra.
October 16, 2007 A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, chaired by Justices Mehtab Singh Gill and A. N. Jindal, extended the sentence to life imprisonment for four of the Punjab police officials (three sub-inspectors and a head constable) convicted for the abduction and killing of Jaswant Singh Khalra.
January 29, 2010 The Akal Takht in Amritsar excommunicates for Akal Takht Jathedar Darshan Singh Ragi for supporting Gurbakhsh Singh Kala Afghana's thesis against the Dasam Granth, thereby reaffirming the preliminary excommunication of December 5, 2009.
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Sikh Sacrifices. 

There are many great martyrs in Sikh history. These are the sikhs who thought of humanity and their religion. And they sacrificed their life for their faith. They are the real heros who must be remembered. There are lot of Sikh Martyrs, just mentioning the few here.

Baba Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Baba Sahibzada Fateh Singh 
Guru Gobind Singh
The brave and fearless Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh were engaged for months together in a prolonged battle with the Mughal army outside the fort of Anandpur. Emperor Aurungzeb sent a message on Oath that if the Guru and his Sikhs left the fort they would be allowed to go wherever they please.

Guru Gobind Singh had his doubts, but on being persuaded by his devoted Sikhs, he reluctantly agreed to leave the fort. However it happened exactly as the Guru had apprehended. As soon as Sikhs came out of the fort the Mughal Army pounced upon them. A fierce battle was fought on the banks of Sirsa River. The Valiant Sikhs faced the enemy with unparalleled courage. Each one of them killed quite a few Moghul soldiers before sacrificing himself.

Guru Gobind Singh's mother and his two sons
In the dust and din of battle, members of the family of Guru Gobind Singh got separated from each other. The two younger sons Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh, proceeded along with Guruji's revered old mother Mata Gujri Ji. They passed through thick forests and difficult terrains. They came across wild animals saw lions and snakes on the way but the brave Sahibzadas walked on and on fearlessly in the company of their grand mother, reciting the holy psalms of their Gurus. The grand mother related to them stories from Sikh History. They were thus able to cover journey comfortably.

In Village
The two elder brothers, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, accompanied their father Guru Gobind Singh. After Crossing Sirsa river, they stayed for the night at Roper and reached the Chamkaur Fort early next morning. After an arduous journey Mata Gujri Ji along with the two Sahibzadas, reached the hut of a Muslim water carrier, Kuma. On seeing Mataji he rushed out and, with folded hands, requested Mataji to bless his humble cottage by staying therein. Mataji was pleased with his devotion. Since it was getting dark, she decided to halt there for the night.

On getting duet the old Guru's domestic servant, Gangu arrived the next morning. He requested Mataji to go with him to his village. He assured her that their whereabouts will not be known to the Emperor's officials and they would be quite safe there. Mataji was a little reluctant but on his persistent requests she agreed. After getting their luggage loaded on a pony, all of them set out for his village. The two Sahibzadas went walking along with their grand mother. Off and on, they would enquire about their father and the elder brothers, Sahibzadas Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh.

After trekking the whole day, they reached village Kheri in the evening. On arrival in Gangu's house Mataji put her bag and baggage in a corner of one of the rooms. Sahibzadas Zorowar Singh and Fateh Singh changed their clothes and set their beddings, recited the holy evening prayer and went to sleep in their grand-mother's embrace.

At midnight Gangu quietly stole into their room and removed the gold coins from her bag and slipped out of the room. When she got up the next morning, she asked Gangu, "Our things are lying scattered about, I hope the outer door was closed. Where are the-gold coins?" Gangu without uttering a word he rushed out of the house and started shouting for help to trace the thief. Mataji tried to pacify him and asked him to keep the gold coins if he so wished. At this Gangu flew into rage, "So you are suspecting me. How ungrateful of you. I have given you refuge and this is the reward I get." He left his house and headed straight for the Police station at Morinda. On arrival at Morinda, he went straight to the Kotwal. After paying his respects he told him that he desired to convey some confidential information. On an enquiry by the Kotwal, Gangu confided to him in a low voice that Guru Gobind Singh's mother and his two young sons were hiding in his house. The Kotwal was pleased to get this news. He called his constables and sent them along with Gangu to his house to arrest them.

In Polish Station
On arrival at the police station Mata Gujri ji and the two Sahibzadas were lodged in the Kotwali for the night. All three joined in reciting the sacred evening Sikh prayer, Rahras and Kirtan Sohila - before going to bed. Early next morning they were taken in a bullock cart to Bassi police station. News of their arrest had spread far and wide. Large crowds collected everywhere on the way. People were surprised that the young innocent boys had been put under arrest along with their venerable grand mother. The fearless looks of the Sahibzadas aroused their admiration and they observed, "They are the brave sons of their brave father". Next morning the police constables appeared again and told Mataji that they had orders for taking the two boys to the Nawab's court. On an enquiry by Mataji as to why they were called there, they answered that they were not aware of the reasons, their duty was to obey orders only. As they reached the Court they noticed that the big gate was closed and there was only a small window for gaining entry to the Court. It was setup so that the Sons of Guru Gobind Singh would have to bow to Quran which Qazi was holding in his hands across the door. They put their feet forward and jumped inside through the window without bowing their heads.

In Nawab's court
The Nawab's court was in session. As the two Sahibzadas stepped inside, they greeted the courtiers with the Sikh salutation -- Wahguru ji ka Khalsa, Wahguru ji ki Fateh "The Khalsa is God's own Victory be to God". All the courtiers were greatly impressed by their fearless behaviour. Nawab Wazir Khan addressed them in an affectionate tone: "What sweet and brave faces! Islam will be proud to have you within its fold. Just recite Kalma (Muslim benediction) and we shall welcome you in our midst. You will get anything for the asking"

The two Sahibzadas shouted back in one voice. "we care not for the worldly wealth. We shall not renounce our religion at any cost". Addressing the qazi the Nawab said, "Have you observed the insolent behaviour of these boys! They will have to be punished." The Qazi told the Nawab that, according to Islamic law, the two boys were not guilty of any crime. They could not be held responsible for their father's actions. The Nawab observed, however, "They are rebels too. Haven't you heard their rude statements!". It is your age for enjoyment and fun. If you listen to our advice, you will enjoy life to your heart's content in this world and be blessed with a glorious life in Paradise"

Sahibzada Zorawar Singh spoke fearlessly. "We are fighting against tyranny and injustice. We are the sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the grand sons of Guru Tegh Bahadur and descendants of Guru Arjan Dev. We shall follow in their footsteps. We are ready for all sacrifices for the protection of our faith" In a low voice the Nawab observed, "How proud of their faith!" One of the officials of the Moghul government Dewan Sucha Nand, who happened to be there, walked up to the Sahibzadas and asked them, "If you are released, where will you go?" Sahibzada Zorawar Singh said, "We shall go to the forests, gather together a few Sikhs, get hold of any good horse and then come and face you and your army on the battlefield." On hearing this, Dewan Sucha Nand observed, "Do you know that your father has been slain?" Both the brothers reacted in an angry tone, "No one can kill our respected father. He will never fall into your hands." The two Sahibzadas shouted back, "We don't need any advice from you. Listen carefully. Until this tyrannical government is completely wiped out, we shall go on fighting.

Dewan Sucha Nand was taken aback at their reply. Addressing the Nawab he said, "Sir killing the serpent and feeding his young ones would not be wise. When these young kids grow up, they will rebel against the government. They must be punished and should, on no account, be released." The Nawab listened to what Dewan Sucha Nand said. The two Sahibzadas were in a playful mood, talking to each other fearlessly and quite unconcerned when the Nawab, the Qazi and Dewan Sucha Nand were engaged in this conversation. The courtiers were quite amazed at the lack of any fear or anxiety on their faces even though it was a question of life and death for them. The Nawab said to the Qazi again, "You have heard the impertinent answers given by them to Dewan Sucha Nand. It would not be safe to release them. They are sure to raise the banner of revolt, like their father when they grow up.

The Qazi had listened to the conversation that took place between Dewan Sucha Nand and the two bold sons of Guru Gobind Singh. After some deliberations he pronounced the judgement and ordered that they be bricked up alive in a wall. Sahibzadas heard the sentence without dismay but the courtiers were taken aback on hearing the judgement. The Qazi advised the Nawab further that they be handed over to the Nawab of Malerkotla for carrying out the sentence since his brother met his end at the hands of the Guru so that he can have his revenge by getting his sons buried alive.

Nawab Wazir Khan called Sher Mohammad Khan, the Nawab of Malerkotla, and conveyed the Qazi's orders to him, "Your brother lost his life at the hands of Guru Gobind Singh. Here is an opportunity for you to wreak your vengeance. The Qazi has sentenced these two sons of Guru Gobind Singh to death and has further ordered that they be bricked alive. We are handing them over to you for doing the needful" On hearing this Sher Mohammad Khan was dumb founded. After some pause he said to the Nawab in a faltering voice, "This is cruelty! my brother was killed on the battlefield. These innocent boys are not responsible for his death. If we have to take revenge it shall be from the father. God save us from this sinful act. Next morning they were taken to the Nawab's court. The Nawab asked them again, "I do hope you have made up your mind to embrace Islam, otherwise, as you know, you will be bricked up alive." Both the Sahibzadas proclaimed fearlessly, "we shall never give up our faith, whatever may be the consequences. Death has no meaning for us." The Nawab was simply amazed at their determined and firm reply. One of his officials stepped forward, and said to the Nawab, "Sir the two royal executioners of Delhi, Shisal Beg and Vishal Beg, are present in the court for hearing of their case. They are prepared to carry out your orders for bricking up these boys alive if they are granted pardon." The Nawab called them and told them, "Your request for pardon has been granted on condition that you brick up these two sons of Guru Gobind Singh alive in a wall."

The constables who were escorting the two Sahibzadas, were getting perturbed on hearing such observations from the crowd and were rushing forward.

The Sahibzads were brought to the spot where a wall was bring raised. Both of them were made to stand side by side. The Qazi arrived there soon after and tried to persuade them to accept Islam and not to cut short their lives. Even the executioners tried to prevail upon them but they were both unflinching in their determination and told the executioners, "Raise the wall fast and bury the Moghul Raj Quickly. Don't delay for a minute." Thereafter both of them started reciting Japji while the wall was going up brick by brick. 

As soon as the two Sahibzadas attained martyrdom, Mata Gujri ji, who was sitting in meditation in the tower, breathed her last. The messenger who came with the news of the martyrdom of the Sahibzads found that Mata-Ji had already attained salvation. There was great commotion in the town of Sirhind. Everyone was furious at the atrocious crime. They were unanimous in their view that this heinous act would herald the doomsday of the Moghul Empire. They admired the courage and steadfastness of the brave sons of Guru Gobind Singh and remarked, "What determination at this young age! They did not budge an inch from their position in spite of several allurements by the Nawab and Qazi."

Bricking up in a wall
The same evening Dewan Todar Mal, a jeweller reached Nawab Wazir Khan's court for permission to cremate the dead bodies of the two Sahibzadas and Mata Gurji. The Nawab agreed on condition that the Dewan paid for the required piece of land by spreading as many Gold coins as would cover the entire spot. The dewan accepted the terms and brought bag fulls of Gold coins. He marked the site and spread coins on entire piece of land he selected for cremation. The Nawab then said that the gold coins needed to be standing on their edges in order to cover the land. The Dewan then gathered allot more coins in order to fulfil the Nawab's greed. The two martyred young sons of Guru Gobind Singh were cremated with full honours along with their grand mother. There is no parallel to the martyrdom of such young boys in the annals of human history. Sahibzada Fateh Singh was less than Six years old (born 1698) and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh was just over eight (born in 1696). They laid down their lives in December 1704. Guru Gobind Singh was at the time in the forests of Machhiwara when the news of the martyrdom of his younger sons reached him. On hearing this he pulled out a plant with the tip of his arrow and prophesized that this tragedy will herald the uprooting of Moghal Empire in India.

Guru Gobind Singh composed his famous letter, Zafarnamah or the Epistle of Victory, in Persian verse, addressed to Emperor Aurangzeb. The letter was a severe indictment of the Emperor and his commanders who had perjured their oath and treacherously attacked him once he was outside the safety of his fortification at Anandpur. It emphatically reiterated the sovereignty of morality in the affairs of State as much as in the conduct of human beings and held the means as important as the end. On receiving this letter the Emperor was so shocked of his actions that he fell ill and died.

Guru Gobind Singh addressed his followers thus: "I have sacrificed four sons for the survival of the thousands of my sons who are still alive." A wave of anguish gripped the country at the news of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas. After some time the recluse Banda Bairagi came under the influence of Guru Gobind Singh ji, and was made Khalsa as Banda Singh Bahadur. He shook the Moghul empire and the town of Sirhind was reduced to the utter ruins.

Baba Ajit Singh Baba Ajit Singh was the eldest of the four sons of the Guru Gobind Singh. He was born at Anandpur on January 7, 1687. From his early life he was given the sort education and training that befitted the saint-soldiers of Guru Gobind Singh. He acquired wonderful proficiency in the use of weapons of war, especially the bow and the arrow. He was also an excellent swordsman. He was strong and a brave warrior. He began to take part in the Guru's wars very early in life. He performed astonishing feats of bravery on several occasions. No danger or difficulty could ever daunt him. No danger could deter him from his path of duty. Once a Brahman came to Guru Gobind Singh's darbar. He complained that his newly-wedded wife had been taken away by force be some Pathans of Bassi, near Hoshiarpur. Baba Ajit Singh offered to help 
Baba Ajit Singh
Brahman to recover his wife. With a band of young brave Sikhs, Baba Ajit Singh fell upon Bassi during the night. He arrested the Pathans responsible for the wicked deed. He recovered the Brahman's wife. He took the wicked Pathans to Anandpur the following morning. The Brahman's wife was restored to him. The wicked Pathans were punished, suitably and severely.

Years later, Anandpur was besieged by the Mughal armies from Sarhind and Lahore. They were commanded by Nawab Wazir khan and Nawab Zabardast Khan, respectively. All the hill chiefs, who were Hindus, joined them with their armies. One day, during the siege, the two commanders of the imperial army sent a messenger to the Guru. He was told to give this message to him : 'This army is not one belonging to petty hill chiefs. It is that of the great and mighty Emperor Aurangzeb. You will not be able to oppose it for long. You should show respect to the emperor, give up fighting, and embrace Islam.' Baba Ajit Singh was standing near the Guru. The messenger's words aroused his anger. He drew his sword and said, 'Shut up. If you utter another word, I shall humble your pride. I will cut off your head from your body. I will cut you to pieces for daring to speak such insolent words before the Guru.' The messenger said nothing more. He went away, humbled and burning with rage. 

The siege of Anadpur caused great hardships to the Guru and his Sikhs. The besiegers were also getting tired. They sent message after message to the Guru. They said, 'Vacate the fort. Go where you like. We swear on the Quran and the cow that you will not be harmed.' The Guru was sure that the oaths were false. He was not in favour of placing any trust in them. But he was prevailed upon, chiefly be his mother, to vacate the fort. He did so during the night of December 20,1704. As soon as the besiegers realized this, they forgot their oaths and fell upon the Guru's party. Baba Ajit Singh, with a party of Sikhs, held up the enemy, while the rest were crossing the river Sarsa. When all had crossed, he and his party plunged their horses into the flooded river. They soon reached the other bank. The enemy did not have the courage to jump into the fast-flowing ice-cold water of the flooded stream. After crossing the Sarsa, Guru hurried towards Chamkaur. He had only forty Sikhs with him, beside his two elder sons. The Mughal army was coming after him. He learnt that another Mughal army lay only a few miles away ahead of him. He was thus between two large armies. He decided to meet them at Chamkaur. He reached there about sunset. He occupied a mud-house or haveli, and began to wait for the enemy. 

The Mughals armies arrived during the night. They besieged the mud-house on the following day. They attacked it from all sides. They had to retreat every time after suffering heavy losses. Then they decided to force open the gate. They rushed towards it. A batch of five Sikhs went out to meet them holding their advance as long as possible. The Sikhs fought very bravely. They killed many at last they were over-powered and slain. Then another batch of five Sikhs went out to meet the enemy and check his advance. This went on for some time. The enemy suffered heavily at the hands of each batch of Sikhs. After a time, Guru Gobind Singh's eldest son, Baba Ajit Singh, asked permission to go out and oppose the enemy. He said, 'Dear father, my name is Ajit or Unconquerable. I will not be conquered. And if conquered, I will not flee or come back alive. Permit me to go, dear father.' He was less than eighteen years of age. The Guru knew what the end of his son would be. But were not they who had already fallen also his sons ? He hugged and kissed Baba Ajit Singh for the last time. He then bade him go out and seek martyrdom and life everlasting. 

Baba Ajit Singh went out. He was accompanied by five Sikhs, the ratio ok Sikhs verses enemy was 1:25,000. At first they poured a rain of arrows on the enemy. He fought like a hero killing 100's. Soon his stock of arrows was exhausted. He took out his lance and sprang upon the enemy. He was wounded but he fought on as bravely as ever. Baba Ajit Singh thrust his lance into the heart of a Muhammedan soldier. The soldier wore steel armour. The lance got stuck in the armour. Baba Ajit Singh tried to pull it out. It broke in two. He drew his sword and fell upon the enemy. But he was overpowered. He fell. He was martyred. His soul went to meet his grandfather at the Almighty's darbar. The Guru had been watching his son from the roof of the mud-house. He had admired and rejoiced at the skill, strength, and bravery shown by his son. He had seen him wounded. He saw him fall. He thanked God that his son had met a saint-warrior's death, that he had achieved martyrdom and eternal life. 

Baba Jujhar Singh Baba Jujhar Singh was the second son of Guru Gobind Singh. He was born in March 1689. He, too, had the same training as his elder brother. Like Baba Ajit Singh, he accompanied the Guru to Chamkaur. Baba Jujhar Singh had also watched his elder brother fighting with the enemy. He had seen him fall. At once he stood before his father with folded hands. He made the same request as his elder brother had done. 'Permit me, dear father,' said he, 'to go where my brother has gone. Don't say that I am too young. I am your son. I am Singh or Lion of yours. I shall prove worthy of you. I shall die fighting, with my face towards the enemy, with God and the Guru on my lips and in my heart.' 

Baba Jujhar Singh was then less than sixteen years of age. The Guru was pleased to hear what he had said. He embraced him. He gave him a sword and a shield. On his turban he planted a small crest, such as bridegrooms wear.
Baba Jujhar Singh
'Go my son,' said he, 'and wed life-giving death. We have been here for a while. Now we shall return to our real home. Go and wait for me there. Your grandfather and elder brother are already waiting for you.'

The lad of less than sixteen, thus armed, went out with five Sikhs. He fought as bravely and fearlessly as his elder brother had done. Many a mighty warrior fell before the child-warrior. But the odds were too heavily loaded against him. He was overpowered. He died fighting to the last. The Guru was watching all this When he saw his son fall, he thanked God that his son had proved a worthy saint-warrior, and achieved martyrdom and life everlasting.

The lad of less than sixteen, thus armed, went out with five Sikhs. He fought as bravely and fearlessly as his elder brother had done. Many a mighty warrior fell before the child-warrior. But the odds were too heavily loaded against him. He was overpowered. He died fighting to the last. The Guru was watching all this When he saw his son fall, he thanked God that his son had proved a worthy saint-warrior, and achieved martyrdom and life everlasting.

Guru Gobind Singh, his two sons and the forty Sikhs killed thousands of enemy soldiers. This was the sheer strength of their Amrit. 

Bhai Mati Das Ji Bhai Mati Das came from a Brahman family of village Kariala in the district of Jhelum (Pakistan). He was the eldest son of Bhai Praga. His grandfather, Mahatma Gautam Das, used to be a deeply religious man of noble, saintly character. He was loved and respected by all, Hindus and Muslims alike. Bhai Praga was a strong stalwart. He had the body and the strength of a giant. He embraced the Sikh faith during Guru Har Gobind's time. He lived the life of a true Sikh. His life was a model for others. He was a prominent saint-soldier of Guru Har Gobind's. He took a hero's part in Guru Har Gobind's battle. He had four sons: Bhai Mati Das, Sati Das, Jati Das and Sakhi Das. Bhai Mati Das was a strongly built as his father, Bhai Praga. He was a dear, devout disciple of Guru Tegh Bahadur. He actually practiced what he believed and professed. Guru Tegh Bahadur made him his diwan. He had to look after the income and expenditure of the Guru's darbar. 

Bhai Mati Das Ji
Along with the Guru, Bhai Mati Das was also arrested, chained and imprisoned. Under Emperor Aurangzeb's orders, Guru Tegh Bahadur was to be beheaded. The qazis decided to torture and kill the Guru's companions before his eyes. They thought, 'The sight of their suffering and fate might shake his resolve. He might be inclined to save himself be agreeing to our proposal. He might embrace Islam.' So they picked out Bhai Mati Das first of all. He was led out in chains to Chandani Chowk under a heavy guard. He was calm. His face beamed with glory. His gait was a mighty hero's swagger. He walked like a superior among inferiors. His whole bearing showed wonderful self-confidence and self-satisfaction. A large crowd had gathered already in Chandani Chowk. Bhai Mati Das was brought there under a heavy guard. A number of qazis accompanied him. They were apparently saying something to him. But he neither listened nor heard. His mind was wholly fixed on God. He was eager to meet him. No eyes were dry. All observers were filled with reverence and admiration for that tall, strong, calm, and holy man of God. They shuddered at the thought of what was about to happen to him.

The spot fixed for his execution was reached. The guard and the qazis halted, with Bhai Mati Das in their midst. The chief Qazi then said to Bhai Mati Das, 'O brave young man, be wise. This is my last appeal to your common-sense. Why throw away your youthful life and all the joys it may bring ? Accept Islam, and be one of the ruling class. You will have wealth and high position. You will enjoy a life of peace, plenty and pleasure. When you die, prophet Mohammad will receive you among the faithful. You will be led into Paradise. You will live there forever among pleasure of all kinds. If you refuse to accept all these good things of this world and the next, you will be killed with torture. So be wise. Make a wise choice.' Bhai Mati Das replied, 'Why waste your time and breath ? I prefer dying to giving up my faith. Be quick.' The Qazi said, 'All right, let it be as you desire. But have you any last wish which you would like to be fulfilled before you are killed ?'.

Bhai Mati Das said, 'Yes. Stand me with my face toward my Guru. In that way I shall behold him to the last moments of my life here.' His wish was granted. He was made to stand with his face toward the Guru. He was tightly tied between two erect flat logs of wood. A saw was placed on his head. Each end of it was held by a fierce looking Pathan. The saw began to move to and fro. Blood began to flow down Bhai Mati Das's face and neck. He did not utter any cry of pain. His face showed no sign of suffering. He was calmly repeating Japji. His body was sawn into two. His devout, brave soul reached the bosom of the kind and loving Father of all. Bhai Mati Das has not died. He still lives in the hearts of those who worship goodness, who admire nobility. He lives in the minds of those who lead a spiritual life. He is the inspiration of those who prefer the soul to the body; who, in order to save their soul, to keep in pure and unsullied, would gladly sacrifice the body and all its pleasures. He is the motivation of those who place duty before self. He is the hero of all who work for noble objectives, not for rewards or recognition.

Bhai Dyal Das Ji Bhai Dyal Das was another of the Sikhs who had been arrested along with Guru Tegh Bahadur, and taken to Delhi. Like his companions, Bhai Dyal Das was also arrested, chained and imprisoned in the Kotwali Delhi. After having martyred Bhai Mati Das, the qazis turned to Bhai Dyal Das. They led him to the spot where Bhai Mati Das had been sawn into two. He was told to see what had happened to his companion. He was advised to be wiser. He was told of joys and pleasures he could enjoy by accepting Islam. He was told what would happen to him if he refused to become a Muslim. Bhai Dyal Das heard all this. He did not feel nervous or afraid. He remained firm in his resolve. Then he said, 'My misguided friends, do you think that you have killed my brother, Bhai Mati Das ? You are mistaken. You have not killed him. You have given him ever lasting life. He has become 
Bhai Dyal Das Ji
immortal. He will live forever in the hearts of men. he will be source of inspiration to others. Many like him will rise and follow his example. A time will come when you and your emperor will be no more, but Bhai Mati Das will be yet alive. I will not give up my faith. The pleasure which you offer have no charm for me. The tortures which you have threaten me have no terrors for me. Be quick. Send me to where my brother, Bhai Mati Das, has gone to live forever in the lap of the Lord.' 

He contributed many hymns to the Guru Granth Sahib including the Saloks, or couplets near the end of the Guru Granth Sahib, which are extremely popular.

'All right,' said the Chief Qazi, 'be ready.' He was seated in a large boiling vessel. It was filled with water. Then they lit fire under it. They went on heating it from below. The water began to boil. Bhai Dyal Das was calm and cool all this while. He sat in the boiling water with no sign of suffering on his face. He did not give out even the faintest cry of pain. He went on repeating Guru's hymns. This went on until his soul left his body to join Bhai Mati Das. 

Bhai Sati Das Ji Bhai Sati Das was a brother of Bhai Mati Das, who had been the first to be martyred on that day. After putting Bhai Dyal Das to death, Aurangzeb's men took out Bhai Sati Das from the prison. He was told to see what had happened to his other two companions. 'If you don't want to suffer what they have suffered,' they said, 'give up your kufar or false faith, and embrace Islam, the only acceptable to God. Be wise, make a wise choice. If you embrace Islam, you will be given a high position and plenty of pleasures. Make up your mind. Bhai Sati Das was firm as a rock in his resolve. He told the Qazi and his men that he was eager to join his martyred 
Bhai Sati Das Ji
companions. Under the Qazis's orders, Bhai Sati Das was wrapped in cotton, which was soaked in oil. Thus wrapped, he was burnt alive to death. All the time he was calm and cheerful, and continued reciting the Guru's hymns. This happened on 11th November, 1675. Such heroic souls never die. They live for all times as sublime as ever. Throughout the ages they stand like light-houses in the waves, guiding humanity through storms. They are inspiration of the soul for the rising generation. 

It behoves us to ever remember such heroes; to preserve and pursue, in our life and practice, the noble principles for which they laid down their lives. We should be firm and sincere in our faith. We should prefer a life of spiritual joys to a life of flesh and fleshy pleasures.

Sardar Subeg Singh, Shahbaz Singh Ji Sardar Subeg Singh was an influential Jat zamindar of Jambar, in the district of Lahore. He was also a government contractor. He was great scholar of Persian, a wise and upright man. He proved useful to Zakriya Khan on a number of occasions. For many years the Mughal government pursued a policy of persecuting the Sikhs. It was determined to root them out completely. Thousands and thousands were murdered in cold blood. But the Sikhs just continued to grow. They never thought of giving up their faith to save their lives. The martyrdom of persons like Bhai Taru Singh produced a wave of indignation among Sikhs of the Majha. They decided to retaliate. They resolved to take revenge. They began to fall on government treasuries and caravans. Parties coming with chests of revenue meant for Lahore were waylaid and looted. As a result for some years no money from revenue could reach the government treasury. The forces of government tried to punish the offenders. But they were unable to contact them; for the Sikhs did not live in houses or forts. After each attack, they used to run away to their camps in the forests. The story of persecution and revenge went on for some time. The government, at last, felt tired of this method of dealing with rebels. It decided to pacify and conciliate them. Accordingly, in 1733 Zakriya Khan represented his difficulties to the Delhi government. He suggested that a policy of conciliation should be given in a trial. with that end in view, he proposed that a grant be made to the Sikhs and a title be conferred on their leader. The proposal was accepted. The next thing needed was to persuade the Sikhs to agree to the proposal. Zakriya Khan felt that to persuade them would not be an easy task. He turned to Sardar Subeg Singh for help. He said to him, 'If you succeed in bringing them round, you will receive good service to me and my government. It will be remembered, appreciated and duly rewarded.'

Sardar Subeg Singh
Sardar Subeg Singh agreed to do his best. He agreed to meet the Sikhs and try his skill. At that time the Khalsa had assembled at the Akal Takhat, Amritsar. He went there and held discussion with them. He informed them of the offer made by the government. He offered them the title of 'Nawab' for their leader, along with a Jagir of about one lakh rupees. They would not accept the offer. They were about to reject it outright. But Sardar Subeg Singh succeeded in overcoming their objections. Then they accepted the offer. In this way, some sort of peace was made between Mughal government and the Sikhs. Zakriya Khan felt relived a good deal. He appreciated the part played by Sardar Subeg Singh in bringing about the reconciliation. But after some time, the campaign of persecution was started once again. In the heat of that campaign even Sardar Subeg Singh was not spared. He was arrested along with his son, Sardar Shahbaz Singh. This is how it happened. Sardar Subeg Singh had a son named Sardar Shahbaz Singh. He used to read in a Muhammadan school under a qazi. The boy was usually handsome, bright and promising. The qazi took a fancy to him. He wished to convert him to Islam. He wanted to marry his daughter to him. The qazi tried his utmost. He used all his skills. But Sardar Shahbaz Singh was firm in his faith. Neither threats nor tempting offers could make him change his resolve. Because of this, the qazi's fondness for the bright, handsome boy diminished. He became determined to finish him. He reported unfavourably to the government against him. He said, 'The boy has used disrespectful words against his prophet. He has said foul thing against Islam. This kafir deserves no mercy. He deserves death.'

On the basis of this report, Sardar Shahbaz Singh was arrested and taken to Lahore. He was to stand trial before the governor. At the same time, his father, Sardar Subeg Singh, was also arrested and imprisoned. It was said against him that he supplied information to the Sikhs. But Zakriya Khan died before he could see the end of his victims. He was succeeded by his son, Yahiya Khan. This person was more cruel than his father. He had no soft corner in his heart for Sardar Subeg Singh. He took up his case and pursued it to the bitter end. Sardar Subeg Singh was asked to give up his religion or suffer death at the wheel. He refused to give up his religion. Thereupon, he was put on the wheel and turned on it. The pain was sharp and intense. But it did not break his spirit. Then his son, Shahbaz Singh, was told, 'You can save your life by accepting Islam.' He refused to give up his faith. Thereupon, he was bound to the wheel. He was turned on it before his father's eyes. Both bore the torture with great patience. They went on shouting, 'Akal' all the time. At intervals, the wheels were stopped and the two were asked, 'Do you agree to embrace Islam ?' Every time they shook their heads and shouted, 'NO'. The wheels were set in motion again. The two kept on shouting 'Akal' ! 'Akal'. The wheels had sharp knives arranged around them. They went on working mercilessly. The shouts of Akal grew feebler and feebler. Then they ceased altogether. Both left their bodies. They went away to join the ranks of illustration Sikh martyrs. This occurred in the year 1745.
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HUKAMNAMA , is a compound of two Persian words “hukam”, meaning command or order, and “namah”, meaning letter. In the Sikh tradition, historically it refers to the letters sent by the Sikh Gurus to their Sikhs or sangats (congregation) in different parts of the country during the period of the Ten Gurus from 1469 to 1708. However, now it is used to refer to the Shabd (Sacred Hymn) that is read after the Ardaas prayer is said in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In this case the word is can also be shortened to just the “Guru’s Hukam”.

The Panthic Sikh Rehat Maryada explains how to take a Hukamnama:

Taking Hukam* (Command)
Article VII

(*Hukam:- Reading or Reading out to others, including the congregation, of a Shabad (hymns) or a unit of one or more saloks (short scriptural compositions normally of two to four lines) and a pauri (short stanza of four or more lines) from Guru Granth Sahib Ji after, or even without performing, Ardaas is an important Sikh ritual. It is called “Hukam laina” (Taking the order or command), “Vaak laina” (taking the word), “Awaaz laina” (taking the voice). The hymn or unit goes by the name of “Hukam” (order, command) “Vaak” (uttered Word) or “Awaaz” (voice).

a. Doing obeisance to Guru Granth Sahib Ji, respectfully, taking a glimpse of the congregation, an embodiment of the Guru’s person, and taking the command : these together constitute the view of the Satguru (Immortal destroyer of darkness, the true guru). Raising the drapery covering the Guru Granth Sahib and merely taking a look or making others take a look at the exposed Ang (respectful word for page), without taking command (reading the prescribed hymn) is contrary to Gurmat (Guru’s way).

b. In the course of the congregational sessions, only one thing should be done at a time : performing of kirtan, delivering of discourse, interpretative elaboration of the scriptures, or reading of the scriptures.

c. Only a Sikh, man or woman, is entitled to be in attendance of Guru Granth Sahib Ji during the congregational session.

d. Only a Sikh may read out from Guru Granth Sahib Jifor others. However, even a non- Sikh may read from it for himself/herself.

e. For taking the command (Hukam), the hymn (shabad) that is continuing on the top of the left hand Ang must be read from the beginning. If the hymn begins on the previous Ang, turn over the Ang and read the whole hymn from the beginning to the end. If the scriptural composition that is continuing on the top of the left hand Ang is a vaar (ode) then start from the first of the saloks preceding the pauri and read upto the end of the pauri. Conclude the reading at the end of the Hymn with the line in which the name ‘Nanak’ occurs.

f. Hukam must also be taken at the conclusion of the congregational session or after the Ardaas.
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About Sikhism 
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Kirtan in Sikhism and Celebrations - The gurdwara is open to all people. To enter, all devotees and visitors must remove their shoes and cover their head and dress modestly. Tobacco, alcohol and other intoxicants must not be taken inside.
Live Kirtan
Live Kirtan
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live kirtan from darbar sahib, live kirtan from harmandir sahib amritsar, live kirtan from amritsar
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In Harmandir Sahib as soon as Sri Guru Granth Sahib arrives for installation every morning, the priest (Granthi) will unfold the rumalas wrapped around the holy book among reciting of swaiyias (the couplets of bani) of Bhatts. As soon as Guru Granth Sahib is opened, the first hymn on the very left side is read out loudly. This hymn is called order or thought of the day or Hukamnama

It has such a great importance that the very first hymn that was read in 1604 on installation of Guru Granth Sahib in Harmandir Sahib has become a part of the Sikh history.

Again in the evening, after Rehras (the evening prayer and ardas) the priest will read the very last hymn on the right side loudly. The hymn that comes in the morning is displayed on a board specially set for the purpose near two Nishan Sahib (Saffron flags) outside Darshani Deori.
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