The two sons of Guru Gobind Singh
were presented in the court of Nawab Wazir Khan, the then Governor of
Sirhind. He ordered Baba Zorawar Singh, nine years old, and Baba Fateh
Singh, seven years old, to embrace Islam, but they flatly turned down his
command. Baba Zorawar Singh said 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 Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. None can force us to renounce
the faith of our forefathers".
Every one in the court was impressed
to hear the bold reply. Wazir Khan ordered the two boys to be taken to
prison and be brought before him the next morning. Men were put on duty
to frighten them into submission but the two sahibzadas remained firm.
The next day they again behaved in the court of the Nawab with great
dignity and firmness. The Nawab was mad with rage and wished to give them
the severest punishment. Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan of Malerkotla, who
happened to be there, earnestly pleaded that the children were too young
and 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 up to the chest they were told that they could still
save their lives by giving up their faith, but they remained firm. They
were bricked alive.
Diwan Todar Mal broke this news to Mata Gujriji which proved fatal to
her. The renowed Hindi poet Maithillisharan Gupt commemorates the unique
sacrifice in a poem given below :-
"Jis kul Jaati desh ke bachche
de sakte hain balidan,
us desh ka vartman kuchh bhi ho
par bhavishya hai maha mahan"
( The community and the nation
which are capable of such a heroic sacrifice have a great future in store
for them regardless of their present.)
A wave of anger swept the nation
as a reaction to this bloody incident. It soon burst like a volcano and
the people joined hands to wage a relentless struggle against Mughal
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 mighty 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 revenge
from the Mughals. Baba Banda Singh Bahadur marched like a hurricane from
Nanded. After defeating the Mughals enroute, he reached Sirhind. A
decisive battle was fought against Wazir Khan on May 12th and on the 14th
of May Banda's army had full control over the city of Sirhind. Now the
Sikhs had gained ascendancy and they scored several victories over the
Mughals. The Mughals pride was, thus, razed to the ground.
The foundation of a sovereign
Sikh state was laid which ultimately culminated with the rise of Maharaja
Ranjit Singh as a great political force on the political map. However,
the Sikhs continued to express their gratitude to the Muslim rulers of
Malerkotla, whose ancestors had disapproved the forcible conversion and
killing of the Sahibzadas.
The eastern gate of Gurdwara Fatehgarh
Sahib has been dedicated to the memory of the then Nawab of Malerkotla. Even
today Saka Sirhind remains a source of inspiration and strength for
the masses. It will continue to remind them of their rich heritage and
tradition of being ready to make any sacrifice for their faith.
Lakhs of people are pay their
obeisance at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib on this historic occasion every