Bhai Taru Singh

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Bhai Taru Singh
Bhai Taru Singh.jpg
Sculpture depicting Bhai Taru Singh being scalped by Mughal soldiers
Born1720
Amritsar
Died1745
Lahore, Pakistan
FatherBhai Jodh Singh
MotherBibi Dharam Kaur
ReligionSikhism

Bhai Taru Singh (c. 1720[1] – 1 July 1745) was a prominent Sikh martyr known for sacrificing his life for protecting Sikh values, he is known for his martyrdom where he had his head scalped rather than cutting his hair[2] or converting to Islam.[3] A 3D animation film on Bhai Taru Singh is up for a global release on 27 April 2018.[4]

Biography[edit]

Birth and childhood[edit]

Bhai Taru Singh ji was born around 1720 into a Sandhu Jat family Amritsar during the reign of the Mughal Empire. He was raised as a Sikh by his widowed mother and had one sister, Tar Kaur.

Early life[edit]

Bhai Taru Singh was engaged in agriculture at Poolha,[5] Tehsil Kasur, in the Lahore district during the period when Sikhs were heavily prosecuted by the Mughal empire.[6] He had a small farm and grew maize.[5] Upon watching Sikh fighters save a poor girl from the clutches of the Mughal oppressors Bhai Taru Singh decided to become a Sikh and initiated into the Khalsa.[7]

Arrest[edit]

During this time, Sikh revolutionaries were plotting the overthrow of the Mughal governor of Punjab, Zakaria Khan. Bhai Taru Singh and his sister gave food and other aid to the Gursikhs (Devout Sikhs of the Guru). An informant reported them to Zakaria Khan and the two were arrested for treason. However some sources say that a Niranjania mahant tipped of the Mughal authorities with the reason being Bhai Taru Singh harboring Sikh fighters.[6] Though his sister's freedom was bribed for by the villagers, Singh refused to seek a pardon.[8]

Martyrdom[edit]

After a period of imprisonment and torture, Bhai Taru Singh was brought before the Khan and asked him where he got his powers from to undergo all of the agony. His reply was through his Keshas (Unshorn Hair) blessed by Guru Gobind Singh. Zakaria Khan then gave him the choice of converting to Islam or having his hair cut off. According to prominent early Sikh historian Ratan Singh Bhangu, in response to having his hair cut off Taru Singh cursed Zakaria Khan saying he would be killed by his shoes.[9]

Zakaria Khan's death[edit]

After cutting Bhai Taru Singh's scalp it is said that Zakaria Khan was stricken with unbearable pain and the inability to urinate.[10] As a last resort, Khan sent an apology to the Khalsa Panth for his persecution of Sikhs and begged for forgiveness. It was suggested that if Khan hit himself with Bhai Taru Singh's shoes his condition might be lifted. Although hitting himself with Bhai Taru Singh's shoe did cure the Khan's condition, he died 22 days later from having hit himself with the shoes, which is what Bhai Taru Singh had predicted. Upon hearing the death of Khan and that he had outlived the Khan, Taru Singh also died on 1 July 1745.[11]

Legacy[edit]

In 1762 A.D., the Bhangi Sikh Sardar army conquered Lahore and took over the public square where Singh was scalped. The Abdullah Khan Mosque adjacent to the square was also occupied and converted into Shaheed Ganj Gurdwara.[12] A gurdwara in the Naulakha Bazaar in Lahore marks the place where his scalp and hair was removed.[11]

A print representing Singh's martyrdom is present in the 2007 film The Darjeeling Limited, in a scene set in a Sikh temple.[13]

A 3D animation movie created by Vismaad on Singh is scheduled for global release on 27 April 2018[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sikh Martyrs – Bhai Taru Singh". Search Sikhism.
  2. ^ Fowler, Marsha; Kirkham, Sheryl; Sawatzky, Rick; Taylor, Elizabeth (2011). Religion, Religious Ethics and Nursing. New: Springer Publishing Company. p. 261. ISBN 9780826106643.
  3. ^ French, Louis (2000). Martyrdom in the Sikh Tradition: Playing the "Game of Love". Oxford University Press. p. 146. ISBN 9780195649475.
  4. ^ "Official website". Bhai Taru Singh.
  5. ^ a b Singh, Ranbir (1968). The Sikh way of Life. India Publishers. p. 136.
  6. ^ a b Singh, H.S. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Sikhism (Second ed.). New Delhi: Hemkunt Press. p. 195. ISBN 9788170103011.
  7. ^ French, Louis; Singh, Pashaura (2006). Dealing with Deities: The Ritual Vow in South Asia. New York: SUNY Press. p. 210. ISBN 9780791467084.
  8. ^ French, Louis (2000). Martyrdom in the Sikh Tradition: Playing the "Game of Love". Oxford University Press. p. 220. ISBN 9780195649475.
  9. ^ Singh, Harjeet. Faith & Philosophy of Sikhism. Gyan Publishing House. p. 159. ISBN 9788178357218.
  10. ^ a b Iqbal Qaiser. "Gurudwara Shaheed Ganj Bhai Taru Singh". All About Sikhs. Archived from the original on 2006-11-05.
  11. ^ Masjid Shahid Ganj Mosque vs Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak ... on 2 May 1940
  12. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc0rHJ3zY7A
  13. ^ "Vismaad Unveils Poster & Teaser of 3D Animation Film "Bhai Taru Singh"". www.ghaintpunjab.com. Retrieved 2018-02-23.

External links[edit]