Amritsar, Punjab: A day after some Sikh organisations objected to linking ‘Kalianwala Khu’ incident with the first war of freedom struggle, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today sought a thorough investigation into its historical aspects.
As per a statement issued here, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar flayed the instance in which certain people burnt the effigy of noted Sikh historian Dr Kirpal Singh after his remarks on the issue. He said any such move against the renowned historian was highly condemnable. He demanded that the incident’s historical aspects should be probed. “The historians should throw light on the incident and any further action should be initiated on the basis of their findings,” he said.
Meanwhile, radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa questioned the ruling SAD’s wisdom in announcing the decision to raise a memorial for soldiers who died during the 1857 mutiny. Taking a jibe at the Akali Dal, Dal Khalsa leader Sarabjit Singh Ghuman said, “Those soldiers who became part of the British Army and participated in the Anglo-Sikh war to end the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh are being praised in the regime of Parkash Singh Badal, who claims that he is running his government on the lines of the Maharaja’s rule.”
He said historians like Dr Kirpal Singh, who has been accorded the title of ‘Professor of Sikhism’ by the Akal Takht, had revealed that these soldiers worked against the interests of Punjab and Sikh principles. He urged the Akal Takht Jathedar to stop the Akali Government from building the memorial. He said the gurdwara built in the name of these soldiers in Ajnala was also against the tenets of Sikhism. He said revelations made by experts should be an eye-opener for all political parties and individuals and they should stop terming these soldiers as “martyrs”.
On the other hand, Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj Management Committee chief Amarjit Singh Sarkaria, who led the excavation work at the historic well, termed the attempts to raise a question mark on the sacrifice of 1857 uprising martyrs as “divisive politics”.
He said the soldiers were discharging their duties when they fought against Sikhs but people must remember that they revolted against the same British for the country’s cause. He said those opposing the memorial should not forget that Sikhs too fought under the banner of British Army in World War I and II.
Charges and counter-charges
The historians should throw light on the incident and any further action should be initiated on the basis of their findings.
Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC president
Those soldiers who became part of the British Army and participated in the Anglo-Sikh war are being praised.
Sarabjit Ghuman , Dal Khalsa leader
They were discharging their duties when they fought against Sikhs but we must remember that they also revolted against the British.
Amarjit Sarkaria, Shaheed Ganj Gurdwara
SGPC should now start hiring services of Historians to document Sikh history given the fact that Sikhs are now migrating to different part of the world .
That should read Well said, these new devices change spellings to suit itself.
The so called Indian uprising of 1857 also known as the sepoys revolt was orchestrated by a majority Muslim rulers who previously ruled over various states and the plan was to bring back Mughal rule back to india. The Sikhs on the whole stayed loyal to the British, the following are just 2 reasons: the people who started the revolt were the same people who fought against the Sikhs in the Anglo sikh wars between 1846 to 1849 and brought an end to sikh rule in the Panjab – the Sikhs saw this as an opportunity to obtain revenge for fallen brothers. The 2nd reason was that Mughal rule for the Sikhs was quite evil and it certainly wasn’t something the Sikhs wanted returned to rule over them.
Also the Sikhs were not part of India as Panjab was still a separate country be it ruled by the British.
They shud leave. it as documented recorded history and foeget labelling the event as neither positive nor negative let people who read about it decide if its giod or bad. the term matyr is so flippantly used has become meaningless in itself. we are sikh in image label alone …..wake up.
Correction: “So, in 1957 Sikh Raj was part of British Raj….” should read, “So, in 1857 Sikh Raj was part of British Raj….”
I do not know the history of the Kalianwala Khu and did not find it in the Wikipedia. Maybe, now that it has come to the fore it will be entered in the Wikipedia.
It is strange and ridiculous that Dal Khalsa, or anyone else for that matter, objects to raising the memorial because, “Those soldiers who became part of the British Army and participated in the Anglo-Sikh war to end the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh are being praised in the regime of Parkash Singh Badal, who claims that he is running his government on the lines of the Maharaja’s rule.” This is contradictory and historically wrong statement. Sikh Raj was dissolved in 1849. So, in 1957 Sikh Raj was part of British Raj and Sikhs fought from the British side in 1857. Just 8-10 years after the Anglo-Sikh war/s how can Dal Khalsa or anyone with right perspective think that Sikhs should have fought alongside the mutineers who made up most of the British army fighting against the Sikhs in the Anglo-Sikh war. The Mutiny of 1857 is wrongly called the first war for independence of India. The Mutineers did not have an India perspective. Each one of them was fighting for his/her own little issue or kingdom. For example Jhansi ki Rani was fighting for Jhansi, only and would not give a hoot for whatever happened to the rest of India.
I have no allegiance to eithr Dal Khalsa or the SAD. However, this time I agree with SAD and request Dal Khalsa to have their facts straight before raising the stink.