Martyr Bhai Taru Singh (1720-1745)
Bhai Taru Singh was a devout Sikh and the resident of the Puhla Village in Amritsar District of Punjab. His father died when he was still a child. He grew up to be a true Sikh imbibing the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib. He was a farmer by profession and worked hard on his land. He lived an honest life paying all his dues to the local government and also helped other needy people as per the teachings of the Sikh Gurus. He was the bread - winner in the family, which included his mother and sister. He was a very hard working farmer and lived frugally. According to the basic principles of Sikh religion, he was always eager to help the needy out of his savings but without any distinction of caste, colour, creed, gender, race, region, religion or status.
At that time, Sikhs were victims of the high-handedness of the Muslim Rulers as a result of which many Sikhs had gone hiding into the local forests and continued to fight the oppression as per the teachings of our Gurus. Being a devout Sikh, Bhai Taru Singh used to help them by providing food and any other essential item whenever required.
Bhai Taru Singh was very popular in the area due to his honesty, truthfulness, hard work, endearing and helping nature. Everybody loved and respected him and his family. However, there were some people, who were working as informers to the government. There was one Hindu by name Harbhagat Niranjania of Jandiala, in that area. Thus, he was in the habit of spying on the Sikhs and accordingly, he lodged a complaint before Zakariya Khan, the Governor at Lahore that Bhai Taru Singh was assisting his Sikh brethren in exile.
The entire village/area protested against this and came out in support of Bhai Taru Singh. However, despite earnest pleading by the villagers, Bhai Taru Singh was arrested, imprisoned and tortured under the false charge of sedition. Bhai Taru Singh explained that he had not committed any offence as he tilled his land and paid all taxes. If out of my savings, I had extended any help to my brethren in need, I had not violated any law of the government. Why then I am being punished for nothing?
By listening to Bhai Taru Singh's plea, the Muslim Ruler was red in rage and pronounced the usual alternatives i.e. either to embrace Islam or face death. Bhai Taru Singh asked the Ruler that if he becomes a Muslim, would he never die? Being there no answer to his query, a torturous death by scrapping the scalp off his head was the verdict announced by the Government’s Quazi, the Court Law-Provider. The sentence was carried out on the First July 1745 and Bhai Taru Singh’s dead body was cremated outside Delhi Gate at Lahore, where a Shaheed Ganj, the Martyrs' Memorial was later constructed.
The steadfastness of Bhai Taru Singh in his faith, his love for his Sikh brethren, his love for his Guru, fearlessness and spirit of truthful living life according to the teachings of the Guru are valuable lessons we should learn from his supreme sacrifice. We should always live in harmony and ever remain attuned to God’s True Naam. O Young Sikhs! Always respect your Hair, which are the gift from God like other body limbs and components. We should never dishonour or cut our hair, beard, eyebrows, moustaches, etc. and at the same time, we should always keep our head covered by turban, sash or scarf. It is also our duty to share and serve the needy like our own brothers and sisters.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2011, All