The entire world has a word that every page of Sikh’s Gurus but the ‘Saka Sirhind’ famous for the martyrdom attained by two younger sons of tenth Guru Gobind Singh, who were bricked alive at the orders of then Suba Sirhind during the regime of Moughal emperor Aurangzeb has no parallel in the annuals of history in the world. The barbarous incidents of bricking the sons alive took place on December 25,1704. To commemorate the event, Shaheedi Jor Mela is held this year from December 25 to December 27, according to Nanakshahi Calendar .The Guru’s two sons were presented in the court of Nawab Wazir Khan, the then Governor of Sirhind. He ordered Baba Zorawar Singh (9) and Baba Fateh Singh (7) to embrace Islam, but they flatly turned down his command. Baba Zorawar Singh in a soft but determined voice that they had been taught to bow before the Guru and none else. As for accepting Islam he said,” We have in our veins the blood of Guru Hargobind, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. None can force us to renounce the faith of our forefathers.”
Everyone in court was impressed to hear their bold reply. Wazir Khan ordered the two boys to be taken to prison and to bring them before him the next morning. Efforts were made to frighten them into submission, but the two boys remained firm. The next day they again behaved in court with dignity and firmness. The Nawab was mad at them and wished to give them the severest punishment. Nawab Sher Mohamed Khan of Malerkotla, who happened to be there earnestly pleaded that the children were young and too innocent to be punished, but on the advice of Sucha Nand, Nawab Wazir Khan ordered Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh to be bricked alive. When the wall came to the chest, they were told that they could still save themselves by giving up their faith but they remained fir. Ultimately they were bricked alive. Diwan Todar Mal broke this news to Mata Gujri, mother of Guru Gobind Singh, which proved fatal to her. A wave of anger swept the nation. It soon burst like a volcano and the people joined hands to wage a relentless struggle against Mughal tyranny. When Guru Gobind Singh came to know about this incident, he did not betray any emotion and remained unshaken. He made up his mind to punish the culprits. He did not allow this wave of protest to cool down and prepared the Sikhs mentally to take on the Mughals. The situation reached such a pass that within the next four years the entire Sikh community cried for revenge. Guru Gobind Singh chose Baba Banda Singh Bahadur to lead the Sikhs to take the revenge on the Mughals. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur marched like a hurricane from Nanded. After defeating the Mughals en route he reached Sirhind. A decisive battle was fought against Wazir Khan on May 12,1710 at the historical place of ‘Chapar Chiri’ miles from Sirhind. Wazir Khan paid for the sin and was killed. Sikh forcibly entered Sirhind on May 14 and raged the city to the ground. Now the Sikhs had gained ascendancy and they scored several victories over the Mughals. The foundation of sovereign Sikh state was laid which ultimately culminated with the rise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
However, the Sikhs continued to express their gratitude to the Muslim rulers of Malerkotla, whose ancestors had disapproved the forcible conversion and killings of the Sahibzadas. The eastern gate of Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib had been dedicated to the memory of the then Nawab of Malerkotla. Saka Sirhind remains even today a source of inspiration and strength to the Sikh masses and will continue to remind them of their rich heritage of being ready to make any sacrifice for their faith. Hundreds of thousands of devotees from all walks of life irrespective of their religious faith visit the Jor Mela to pay obeisance to the Sahibzadas. Sources said first Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru once also came to join the Mela but due to turmoil he returned without delivering speech. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi his son Sanjay Gandhi, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Faruak Abdullah had also joined the Mela the paid obeisance to the great martyrs. Earlier this annual feature used to be marked by mourning for the young martyrs. Religious and devotional sons were sung. Old women used to move about wearing black scarves mourning for the martyrs. Some Sikh Scholars said the Mela was known as ‘Singh Sabha’ about fifty years ago. It is said to mark the mourning for the young martyrs, the people residing in the area of twenty kilometers from the Gurdwara used to sleep on floor without food for three days from 11 Poh to 13 Poh. On 13 Poh the Maharaja Patiala was also joined the religious possession without wearing shoes. However, over the years the traditional nature of the even has undergone a change. Now political conference marked by mudslinging by leaders get prominence. The attitude of people has also changed. Most of them, after paying obeisance at the Gurdwara usually spend most time to visit to cultural shows and circus in Mela. The political tug of war among rival factions and parties has replaced the religious fervor.
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