The Bloody Awakening
by Bhai Fauja Singh Ji Shaheed
This day must not be forgotten... This is the day to be proud of, that
at least there were men among us who could live by 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."
"We should follow equally in the very footsteps, of these gracious
people who at least knew how to die, and how to die in the Name
of Guru and the Khalsa. So now we can tell our children that Sikh
History has not ended, it has begun as a new page of life."
- Beads of Truth, Vaisakhi 1978
This new page in Sikh History was created on Vaisakhi day, April 13, 1978.
Over 1 million Sikh pilgrims had assembled at Amritsar on the
Vaisakhi day of 1978. At the same time, the Nirankari-called Sect
of bohemians from Delhi and other parts of the Indian subcontinent held a procession and a conference at Amritsar. During
their Conference the speakers made venomous attacks on Sikhism,
Sikh Gurus, Sikh scriptures, etc. A few Sikhs, under the command
of Bhai Fauja Singh, marched from the Darbar Sahib to protest
against this fake Nirankari procession in which Gurbachan Singh
Nirankari had seated himself on a higher position than Sri Guru
Granth Sahib. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the prevalent Guru of
GurSikhs, is always respectfully seated at the highest platform in
any congregation. Anyone seated on a platform higher than that of
Sri Guru Granth Sahib is considered disrespectful and sacrilegious
among Guru Khalsa Panth.
Further, the Nirankaris were hurling grave and malicious insults
against the GurSikhism religion, beliefs, and sentiments. Oblivious
to the GurSikhs, the Nirankaris had other plans, including a paramilitary platoon armed with lethal weapons, guns, revolvers, acid-filled bottles and mechanical propellants for shooting poison-tipped arrows, all well positioned behind a row of trucks. The
GurSikh protestors were persuaded by the police officers on duty
into believing that steps were being taken to stop further
provocations of GurSikhism sentiments. Then the voice of
Gurbachan Singh, Nirankari chief, was heard over the sound
system, saying "these sikhs think they can stop us from freely
carrying out our program. Let them know today, how mistaken they
are. Time has come to be active for those, who have come here for
this job". Suddenly the para-military platoon briskly advanced
toward the GurSikh protestors. The police on duty hurled tear-gas
bombs against the unarmed GurSikhs, converting them into sitting
ducks for their hunters. Even some Hindu police officials like O.D.
Joshi joined the Nirankaris' attacks on the protesting GurSikhs.
When it was all over 13 lay dead and over 50 were seriously
injured. The batch of protesting GurSikhs were from Akhand
Kirtani Jatha and Bhindranwala Jatha, led by Bhai Fuaja Singh,
included the following 13 who laid their lives:
- Bhai Amrik Singh
- Bhai Avtar Singh
- Bhai Darshan Singh
- Bhai Dharamvir Singh
- Bhai Fauja Singh
- Bhai Gurcharan Singh
- Bhai Gurdial Singh
- Bhai Harbhajan Singh
- Bhai Hari Singh
- Bhai Kewal Singh
- Bhai Piara Singh
- Bhai Raghbir Singh
- Ranbir Singh
The irony of the Sikh situation was this that Punjab was being
ruled by a so-called Sikh Party; Amritsar was one of the holiest
cities of the Sikhs; one minister, Mr Jiwan Singh was also present
in the city; the city was the headquarters of the Akali Party and the
Sikh Parliament (SGPC) and the Nirankaris had long been
attacking the Sikh religion and this was known in the Government.
Furthermore all the killers of the Sikhs escaped from the Punjab
safely, even with the help of officials of the Punjab Government
(including Niranjan Singh, an official of the Punjab and, allegedly,
the Chief Minister of the Punjab).
Throughout the world the Sikhs exhibited their fury. However, the
Akali ministers of Punjab province bowed before the Central
(Hindu) Government and refused to ban the activities of this gang
of bohemians. Meanwhile these ministers addressed various Sikh
congregations and spoke against the Nirankaris so that the Sikh
masses should not become furious against them for their indifferent
(or pro-Nirankari) attitude.
Thus this became the starting point of the new phase of the struggle
of the Sikh nation. The lead was given by the Sikh Youth under the
guidance of the Sikh intelligentsia. They had to fight various
platforms: the Hindus, the Communists and some of the pseudo-Akalis, who loved their office more than their nation.
This amritsar massacre was one of the most significant incidents of
this century for GurSikhs. It led to the murder of Lala Jagat Narain,
the rise of the Khalistan demand, attack on the Golden Temple and
Sri Akal Takhat, and enormous destruction of lives and properties
in Punjab, Delhi, and other locals of GurSikh population. It should
be noted that although Gurbachan Singh's movement call
themselves Nirankaris, they do not have anything in common with
the original Nirankari movement that made enormous sacrifices and
significant contributions for GurPanth's reform.
On October 6, 1978, a Hukumnama bearing the seal of Sri Akal
Takhat (by the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat, Amritsar) was issued,
calling upon GurSikhs all over the world to socially boycott these
fake "Nirankaris" and not allow their faith and creed to grow or
flourish in the society. This Hukumnama was prepared by a
committee comprising of the following:
- Giani Gurdit Singh
- Giani Lal Singh
- Giani Partap Singh
- Giani Sadhu Singh Bhaura
- Sardar Kapur Singh
- Sardar Parkash Singh
- Sardar Satbir Singh
Through this Hukumnama, all GurSikhs were asked to stop "roti
beti di sanjh", food and marital relations, with the fake Nirankaris.
Gurbachan Singh was subsequently killed by the GurSikhs on Apr.
24, 1980. However, the repercussion of the initial event continue to
[Courtesy : Bhai Baldev Singh Ji]
c FORT: PANTH KHALSA