Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar became the first guardsman in 180 years to parade outside Buckingham Palace wearing a turban
Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar became the first guardsman to parade outside Buckingham Palace wearing a turban instead of the bearskin.
A Sikh soldier yesterday became the first Guardsman for 180 years to parade at Buckingham Palace wearing a turban instead of the bearskin.
Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar, from West Bromwich, who is in F Company Scots Guards, said it was, “The best thing in my life”.
The 25-year-old said: “Conducting public duties while being a practising Sikh and wearing my turban is a great honour for me.
“I am very proud to be a member of the Household Division and to be the first Sikh Guardsman to mount guard in a turban will be the best thing in my life, especially as a member of the Scots Guards.
“The regiment is full of history, as is my religion.”
Guardsman Bhullar has just joined F Company Scots Guards – what is known as an “incremental company” of soldiers responsible for delivering ceremonial duties in London.
As a 5 K Sikh – someone who adheres to all five symbols that mark Sikh identify – he will also be distinguishable from his fellow soldiers on parade by his beard.
Sikhs in the Household Division have guarded the Queen many times before, but have always worn the bearskin.
Sikh Chaplain to the Armed Forces Mandeep Kaur welcomed the move.
“Sikhs have served Britain in World War One and Two with their turbans intact, confirming their commitment towards righteousness and serving others and living their identity till their last breath.
“I applaud the British Army for being appreciative and respectful towards diversity.”
Sant Baba Nidhan Singh Ji was born in 1882 in Nadalon village of Hoshiarpur district of Punjab, in the house of Sardar Uttam Singh, a Sikh Rajput of Parmar clan. Even as a young child his thoughts were on God as his mentor and teacher Sant Baba Diwan Singh Ji taught him the way of seva and simran in his early years. At the age of 18 he left his family and joined the military in Jhansi, but he never forgot waheguru, and used all his spare time in contemplation of God.
So after leaving the army he started his journey towards Nanded. He did seva at Takht Shri Sachkhand Sahib for twelve years with full devotion. When his ardent dedication he soon became a prominent figure at Sachkhand. But some jealous people started teasing him lot. So one day Baba Ji decided to return to Punjab and do seva there. He went to the Nanded railway Station and was waiting for the train and offering prayer, he suddenly noticed a special light coming from the sky and that he had actually had ‘Darshan’ of Guru Gobind Singh Ji along with his Eagle and Horse.
He said that Dashmesh pita asked him, “Where are you going? “ Baba Nidhan Singh Ji answered, “Here I am not able to seva whole heartedly so thinking of going back to Punjab and will do seva there”. Guru Gobind Singh then directed Baba Ji not to leave Nanded, telling him, “start the age old tradition of ‘Langar’ at Takht Shri Sachkhand Sahib by uttering these words – “HATH TERA KHISA MERA”, meaning that Baba Nidhan Singh should prepare Langar and see to its distribution among the devotees and leave the Guru to take care care of expenses. After that Baba Nidhan Singh Ji returned to the Gurdwara Sahib to establish langar.
In the initial days resources were scarce, Baba ji went through lots of hardship but as part of Guru Gobin Singh Ji’s promise (taking care of the expenses) and Baba ji’s faith on Guru Gobin Singh Ji and hardwork and commitment lead to the Langer’s continued existence on permanent footings. Slowly all the Khalsa started realizing importance of this langar and joined in the seva of Baba Nidhan Singh Ji. This is the main reason why thousands and thousands of devotees visit every day and have the Langar as Prasad of Gurudwara, even today with ever growing numbers of visitors to serve there is no shortage in Grudwara Langar Sahib. This is the magic of the words said by Kalgidhar Sachche Patshah (a title used for Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji during his lifetime, literally The Kalgi wearing Great King of Truth or True King) to a dejected and disheartened Baba Nidhan Singh. This Gurudwara is situated on the bank of holy river Godavari and is just a kilometer away from Nanded Station.
In his last address, Guru Gobind Singh Ji emphasized the importance of Langar and enjoined upon the Khalsa to continue this practise especially on this holy shrine, at all costs. At this, Bhai Santokh Singh, the first priest appointed at this holy shrine by Master himself with his folded hands, sought form Guru Ji, some clarifications for the time to come as to how to run the Langar and how to cover the costs, when no Khalsa was living in this corner of the country. Guru assured him not to be concerned for anything like this and to do his duty. Making some prophecies Guru Ji told him that there will be no dearth of the Khalsa in this part of the country and if the need be, he would send some Saint especially to raise a sangat if ever the need arose. With the passage of the time the institution of Langar was sometimes neglected by the then management and the Sikhs began to prefer the other works like construction of buildings, etc.
Guru ka Langar was restarted at this holy place by Sant Baba Nidhan Singh Ji in the year 1912, under the holy ‘enjoinder’ of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Before coming to this place, Sant Baba Ji had served for long twelve years, completely absorbed in deep meditation day and night, in Gurudwara Sachkhand Sahib when he was blessed with his Eternal light. The pious simple life full of Seva and Simran of Baba Ji was itself an inspiring example to the Sikhs. Baba Ji departed from his worldly life on 4th August 1947 and we see that Guru ka Langar is running in the same splendid manners since then for its worthy cause. Here priority of Seva goes to Langar which is available 24 hours, day and night, round the clock, without any discrimination. Hot tea is also served in the Langar whole day and one feels quite at home when reaching here after a long journey.