Singh

Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji

Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji

 

It is as difficult and beyond imagination to express and narrate the spiritual spheres and virtues of a true saint, as if to capture the ocean in a bowl. The latter might be accomplished one day but the spiritual sphere of a saint will never be brought under limitation. Rare are the Divines who descend on this earth duly empowered and equipped with Divine Grace to shower the fragrance of the Holy Name. Invested with the Eternal Glory of Sri Guru Nanak Sahib, Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji arrived on this earth on Friday 5th August 1905, in Alowal, a village near Patiala, in the family of Baba Ram Singh Ji, who was the head of that village. Baba Ram Singh Ji,was always yearning for the company of saints. Incidentally there came a saint to that village who while leaving, gave a rose to Baba Ram Singh Ji and blessed him that he would have a son who would be worshipped by the rulers and kings. After sometime, a son named Sant Isher Singh Ji was born and was taken to the Gurudwara. After seeing Sant Ji’s hand, a pandit had made a horoscope and was aghast by seeing the ‘an eye’ like symbol in the sole of his foot. The symbol was read as a sign of being a great spiritual head or a king. Also, after the birth of Sant Isher Singh Ji, his father Baba Ram Singh Ji, started getting more and more respect and importance in society.   Baba Ram Singh Ji was very keen in giving a good education to his son. After finishing primary education, Sant Isher Singh Ji was sent to Model School Patiala, a rare thing back in those days. Sant Isher Singh Ji did exceedingly well in school, and was an outstanding student in every field: games, studies, social work etc. All this made Sant Isher Singh Ji’s personality very outstanding.   Sant Isher Singh Ji was always in search of the ‘Truth’. Eventually he started going to the Gurudwara in the mornings and evenings and also started doing ‘Kirtan’. Sant Ji then got the privilege of being in the company of Sant Atter Singh Ji, Mastuana Sahib and Sant Attar Singh Ji, Reru Sahib Wale. Later Sant Isher Singh Ji went to Sant Attar Singh Ji Reru Sahib Wale with S. Hira Singh Ji where he was bestowed with ‘Amrit’ and was blessed that he would go a long way in the search of ‘Truth’. Sant Isher Singh Ji returned back to Patiala with a totally changed personality. In July, 1922, Sant Isher Singh Ji left home and got totally involved in looking after Sant Attar Singh Ji, at Reru Sahib. After a short time, Sant Kishen Singh Ji joined Sant Isher Singh Ji to look after and to serve their ‘Guru’ Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji. Since then, both Sant Isher Singh Ji and Sant Kishen Singh Ji remained together.

 

The two principles that Sant Attar Singh Ji gave to Sant Isher Singh Ji and to Sant Kishen Singh Ji were:

 

1.) To be a firm believer of “Atam Marg” (the spiritual path), and to constantly practice and preach ‘Nam’.

2.) To be always upright and never to beg for anything.

 

Soon Sant Attar Singh Ji, Reru Sahib Wale, demised from this world. His two young students Sant Isher Singh Ji & Sant Kishen Singh Ji moved out of Reru Sahib and came near Rara Sahib in a small jungle. They both started meditating and their ‘samadhi’ would last for hours starting from midnight. Since this was a very tough practice of the long sittings of meditation that Sant Isher Singh Ji’s health started deteriorating and he became very weak. He was then taken to Delhi where Dr. Mukherjee treated him and S. Mohan Singh looked after him. Gradually Sant Isher Singh Ji started recovering and came back to Rara Sahib and started accompanying Sant Kishen Singh Ji.

 

In Rara Sahib, Sant Isher Singh Ji got immersed in deeper and deeper ‘sadhana’. More and more people joined the building of a Gurudwara for Sant Ji. Then Sant Kishan Singh Ji was responsible for looking after the entire Gurudwara set up: Langar, buffaloes, cows, schools etc. and Sant Isher Singh Ji was responsible for going from place to place in India and abroad doing Kirtan, answering the questions of the ‘Sadhaks’ and preaching Guru Nanak’s teachings. He changed thousands of people’s lives and there are plenty of incidents that seem to prove this. After doing all this, Sant Isher Singh Ji, laid off his body in England on 25th August 1975.

 

At the age of 16 a student went to Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji, gradually becoming his closest associate. This student has also touched the same pinnacles of spiritual heights like his mentor, Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji. That student is today known to the whole world as Sant Baba Mann Singh Ji Pehowa Wale, whom has dedicated himself in currently preaching Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s message to the world.

 

Sant Isher Singh Ji’s special qualities started coming to light at a young age. When three years old he used to tell the local kids to sit down cross-legged and recite ” Waheguru, Waheguru “, whilst he gave “parshad”. On another occasion Baba Ram Singh Ji and Mata Rattan Kaur were on their way to visit a local holy man “Vidoshe Wale Sant”, and Maharaj Ji, then four years old, insisted on going along. After bowing both Baba Ram Singh Ji and Mata Rattan Kaur, sat a respectful distance away, however Maharaj Ji went and sat next to the holy man in the same manner. On doing so he asked several times whose son this was, eventually and a little fearfully Baba Ram Singh and Mata Rattan Kaur owned up. The holy man laughed and told them they did not realize their son’s qualities, he told them that he would be a very holy person and people, many very influential, would come to him for advise and to be in his presence. By the inspiration of the latter, he got baptized and was renamed Isher Singh. Thus motivated by the life and teachings of Sant Attar Singh Ji, he adopted the path of devotion and from him received the boon of propagating Sikhism through “Kirtan” (singing of hymns).

 

Once a year on Sant Baba Karam Singh Ji’s barsi, Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji would go to Sehdu Sahib, there after having bathed in the extremely cold river Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji and Maharaj Ji would sit on the river bank and do path and meditate for many hours. On the first occasion, Maharaj Ji being unfamiliar with the cold fell ill but it was only with the permission of Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji that Maharaj Ji was taken and revived. As time went on Maharaj Ji attained a higher and higher spiritual level and eventually Maharaj Ji was bestowed a “kafni”, these being the outer garments to distinguish Maharaj Ji as a Sant. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji explained that although Maharaj Ji had already attained this state it was important for the Sangat and outside world to know his standing. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji further stated that Maharaj Ji would attain a very high spiritual level and many very important people from far and wide would come to be in his presence and for his advice. Maharaj Ji replied that he had no interest and relationship with these things since they would take him away from God and Maharaj Ji requested for Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji to bless him that he will never forget God. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji explained to Maharaj Ji the pitfalls that lay ahead on Maharaj Ji’s path and how to be very careful of these things. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji also told Maharaj Ji to keep increasing his knowledge and to learn how to do kirtan, so that Maharaj Ji will be able to impart some of that knowledge to the Sangat that would come to be in his presence. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji placed Maharaj Ji’s hand on a harmonium to signify this new phase in Maharaj Ji’s life. In 1926 Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji and Maharaj Ji went to Dumdama Sahib for Vasiakhi, there Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji met Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji Mastuana Wale. When leaving Dumdama Sahib when Maharaj Ji paid his final respects to Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji Mastuana Wale, he looked at Maharaj Ji and held him in his arms. Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji Mastauna Wale put his hand on Maharaj Ji’s head and stated he would attain a very high spiritual level and people would come to him for advice and to ask for Maharaj Ji’s time.

 

When on 21st January 1927 Sant Attar Singh Ji gave up his corporeal being. Sant Isher Singh Ji became sad and disconsolate. In order to overcome this despondency, he set out on pilgrimage. After visiting Machiwara, Kiratpur Sahib, Sri Anandpur Sahib, Sri Amritsar Sahib, Sri Nankana Sahib and Punja Sahib he came to Rara Sahib and settled here. By virtue of his devotion he turned this deserted place into a sacred place that has become famous the world over. “A saint remembers the God and helps others remembering Him” following this principle he devoted himself to worship and motivated the people to be ‘Gursikhs’ and to follow the path, shown by the Sikh Gurus. It is after they had settled at Rara Sahib did Sant Ji begin their life mission of preaching Sikhi. Maharaj Ji is universally acclaimed as one of the most charming and dynamic personalities of their day. Tall and majestic, sweet and warm hearted his heart over flowed with the milk of human kindness, Pious in thought word and deed he was the very image of Godliness. Blessed with the Divine light, he preached God’s truth and delivered Guru Nanak’s message of love and peace to every home in India and abroad.  Continuously for 55 years he recited Gurbani and with his sweet and melodious kirtan put thousands of burning minds to rest. After the final Diwan of each location Amrit Sanchar would take place. By this fashion over 700,000 Sikhs received Amrit and entered the Khalsa Panth. In their duty of preaching Sikhi Maharaj went on a 13 months long mission to Africa in 1949. There he gratified the spiritual needs of the Sikh congregation with lucid explanation of the Gurbani, interspersed with his melodious, captivating and soul lifting recitals Dharnas, taken from Gurbani. The thousands of devotees that attended congregations in His holy presence world wide felt as if they had taken a dip in an Ocean of purity. Minds would be cleansed of all accumulated impurities of past sins and Karmas in His holy presence. From this Ocean of purity which Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji Maharaj was and is, beams out to the whole world all the blessings and bliss of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. There was no trace of ego, worldliness or materialism in His dwelling places. Purity was the keynote, main-stay, life-force in His congregations.After returning to Punjab, he continued his mission by holding annual congregations in towns and cities as far as wide as Meerut, Delhi as well as in Punjab. Maharaj Ji had three main Ashrams  in India, firstly at Rara Sahib, secondly at Dabhlan, Patiala and thirdly at Hapur, in Uttar Pradesh. To these day all three location are preserved in Maharaj Ji’s loving memory. On this very mission, to propagate Sikhism he also visited England in 1974 and 1975. As Gurbani tells us, whoever comes onto this earth must eventually leave it. Maharaj Ji had started to give hints about the inevitable. At both his last diwans in Ludhiana and Delhi Maharaj Ji stated that they were going to England and they would again grace this county if their body allowed it. They arrived in England and after holding diwans in London they went to Wolverhampton.

 

Sadly on 26th August 1975, while sitting in meditation in Wolverhampton, England he left the world for heavenly abode. The necessary arrangements were made and Maharaj Ji’s holy body was brought back to India on the 31st of August where more than 20,000 devotees had gathered to have darshan of their most beloved master. The holy body was then brought back to Rara sahib, Maharaj Ji’s home of the last 55 years. The next day the holy body was taken to Gurdwara Bibhaur Sahib, where Guru Gobind Singh Ji composed ‘Chaupai’. Here over 50,000 devotees had gathered to bid farewell to their beloved master.  After Ardas was performed by Sant Baba Mihan Singh Ji, Maharaj Ji’s holy body was taken out on a boat accompanied by Sant Baba Kishen Singh Ji Maharaj, Sant Baba Mihan Singh Ji, S.Daljit Singh Ji and S.Charanjeet Singh Ji Coca cola wale as well as other members of sangat. Here in the middle of the River Sutlej Maharaji Ji’s Holy Body was laid to eternal rest.

 

“Always, remember Waheguru to achieve salvation. Let your life be guided by the saying, Whatever God wills, is good. Be contented with the will of God. Remember Him both in pleasure & pain” - Sant Baba Isher Singh Ji.

 

 

Shaheed Bhai Satwant Singh Ji

Shaheed Bhai Satwant Singh Ji

 

Bhai Satwant Singh Ji was one of the Jujharoo Babbar Sher (Freedom Fighting Mighty Lions) who kept the integrity, pride and Khalsa tradition in our history. History dictates that whoever looked at Amritsar, with an evil eye to destroy it, such as Massa Rangar, Ahmad Shah Abdali, General Dyer and Indria Gandhi, they themselves are destroyed.

Shaheed Bhai Satwant Singh was born in 1962 in the house of Sardar Tarlok Singh and Sardarni Pyaar Kaur, in the village Agwaan Kurd, district Gurdaspur. Village Agwaan Kurd is only 3km from the India – Pakistan border. Bhai Sahib had 2 elder brothers, Gurnam Singh and Waryam Singh, and a younger brother and sister, Swaran Singh and Ranjit Kaur. Bhai Sahib was educated to a higher secondary level at Dera Baba Nanak School.

In 1981, Bhai Satwant Singh moved from Burail jail in Uttar Pradesh to a new posting with the Delhi Armed Police. He was a very handsome young man, and an excellent sharp shooter. As a result he was later posted to the personal protection force of the Prime Minister. From the period of 1981 to 1984, he was the personal bodyguard of Indira Gandhi.

In 1983, Sarabjit Kaur, the wife of his elder brother Waryam Singh, asked her Massi (maternal aunt) for the hand in marriage of her daughter, Surinder Kaur, for Satwant Singh. Soon both of them were engaged. Both families had scheduled the wedding in 1984, but due to the fact that Satwant Singh could not get holidays, it was delayed.

In June 1984, the Sikh Nation witnessed the power-drunk Brahmin Indira Gandhi send the Indian Army, on the sacred day of the Shaheedi-purb of Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, to attack Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Akal Takht Sahib, and 40 more historical Gurdwaras. They used many battalions of Army and tanks, and attacked the thousands of innocent pilgrims who came to pay respects of the Shaheedi of Guru Ji, and many, many Sikh Sangat, Singhs, Singhnian, children and elders became Shaheed. Sri Akal Thakht Sahib was desecrated by tanks. This army action by Indira Gandhi burned in the heart of every Sikh. It was like a great challenge had been placed before the Sikh Nation.

The Sikh Nation was extremely angry at the action. As well as the genocide, Sri Harmandar Sahib had been dishonoured, Sri Akal Thakht Sahib had been desecrated. The times of Massa Rangar had returned, and the Sikh Nation required a Bhai Sukha Singh and Bhai Mehtab Singh.

Bhai Beant Singh Malowan went to see some of his relatives. His uncle (Phuffer ji) was called Kehar Singh and was very knowledgable of Sikh philosophy. Beant Singh was in a state of shame, mixed with anger and depression. He asked, “Phuffer ji, will Waheguru send a Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh to avenge this sin of desecration of Sri Darbar Sahib?” While handing him a book on Sant Jarnail Singh Bindranwale, his uncle replied, “do not grieve, if you have love with Sikhi, then learn that giving your head, and taking a head for Sikhi are equal. After all, someone has to be the sons of Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh. They took Khande de Pahul Amrit from Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh, and then went and took the head of Massa Rangar to stop the desecration of Sri Darbar Sahib and became legends in Sikh History. We need to remember them, and become like them.”

These words from his uncle were like a spear in his heart. Now Bhai Beant Singh was looking for a companion who would sacrifice all to avenge the action on Sri Darbar Sahib. Eventually Beant Singh’s eye fell on Satwant Singh, who was in Indira Gandhi’s protection force with him. When he carefully approached Satwant Singh, the young Singh responded “Elder brother, for this sacred task, not only this life, but even if I have to sacrifice several lives, I would to kill a brutal murderer like Indira Gandhi!”

First Beant Singh and Satwant Singh wanted to see with their own eyes what Indira Gandhi had done in Punjab, and at Amritsar. The three Singhs shocked at the scene at Sri Akal Thakht Sahib, made their minds up and went to Sri Darbar Sahib and did Ardaas, “Oh Akaal Purkh, give us strength!”

After seeing the state of Sri Darbar Sahib, both Satwant Singh and Beant Singh returned to Delhi back to their duty. On 24th October 1984, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh took Amrit at a Gurdwara in Delhi. Neither were particularly knowledgeable on Gurbani, but Operation Blue Star and the legend of Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh were foremost in their mind. This is what led them to take the blessing of Amrit.”

Satwant Singh always had the late shift, and Beant Singh always had the early shift. They had to work out a way to both be on duty together. On 31st October, Satwant Singh faked a stomach bug, and swapped duties with another guard. Now they had to decide how to do the task. They decided the best time was when Indira Gandhi was doing her walkabout.

On the morning of 31st October, 1984 at 9am as Indira Gandhi walked from her house to her office at Safardajung Road. Bhai Beant Singh shot her 5 times with his service revolver. Bhai Satwant Singh at the same time lifted his Thompson Staingun and shot 28 bullets. Seeing Indira Gandhi fall, all of her PA’s and ministers ran for their lives. The Indo-Tibetian Border Police commandos, who also guarded the grounds would not come close. Both Singhs shouted “Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akaal!!”

The Singhs shouted, “We have done what we needed to, now you can do what you have to.” Then both placed their weapons on the floor. Only then did the other guards come and arrest them. Both Singhs were taken to a room, while they waited for a senior officer to interrogate them. While waiting the commandos started swearing at the Singhs. Not tolerating this, Bhai Satwant Singh slapped the commando, and a struggle ensued, in which Satwant singh grabbed the commandos handgun. The other commandos started shooting at the Singhs. Bhai Beant Singh died there from gunshot wounds. Bhai Satwant Singh was seriously injured.

On arrival of a senior officer, Bhai Satwant Singh was taken to hospital. The officers wanted to know who else was part of the conspiracy. They did not know that these Singhs were acting alone because of the attack on Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Akal Thakht Sahib, and the 40 Gurdwaras, the Sikh genocide of Singhs, Singhnias, children and elders, and the legend of 6th June 1740, when Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh took revenge on Massa Rangar. The Government had saved Bhai Satwant Singh’s life, but intentionally did not remove one bullet which was lodged near his spine continuously causing him great pain. Despite this and other interrogation torture, Satwant Singh always maintained that there was no conspiracy, and the two were acting alone. He said, “This is our Khalsa tradition to avenge those who try to desecrate our holy places. We were happy to take this task. The Sikh Nation will be proud of us.”

The Government did not accept this, and took two innocent Sikhs, Kehar Singh and Balbir Singh and framed them with the assassination case aswell. They were jailed.

Bhai Satwant Singh was kept in Tihar jail in Delhi. His family and his fiancé, Bibi Surinder Kaur were only allowed to meet him 3 times. The bullet near his spine was still causing him great pain. The authorities would not allow doctors to see him. So one day he used his own finger nail to cut his skin and remove the bullet. After the bullet was removed, he regained his health and was in a state of Chardi Kala!

The authorities witnessing his better health and shining face, thought of new methods to affect him and his family. They stopped his fiancé from visiting him, stating that she can only visit once they have married. Bibi Surinder Kaur decided she would marry a photo of Satwant Singh, so that they could not use this excuse. Their relatives were unhappy with this decision. Bhai Satwant Singh’s father, Sardar Tarlok Singh stated, “Dear daughter, we will marry you to our youngest son Swaran Singh. The Khalsa Panth has had to deal with this brutal Indian Government. How can you ever expect any justice from such a brutal regime? Even courts are just pawns in the hands of Rajiv Gandhi. There is no hope that Satwant Singh will ever be free!”

Bibi Surinder Kaur replied, “Bapu Ji, a woman only ever loves one man. I have already accepted Satwant Singh as my beloved husband. He is my husband, and I am his wife. That is how it shall remain. The brother of Satwant Singh, will be my brother.”

Bibi Surinder Kaur’s father, Sardar Virsa Singh said, “Daughter, if you do not change your decision to marry the photo of Satwant Singh, then I will commit suicide by taking poison!” Bibi Surinder Kaur replied, “Dear Father Ji, Gurbani states, Marran Lekiaee Mandal Mae Ayee, – every person has their death written by Akaal Purkh Waheguru before they are born on this earth. Waheguru has already written your last breath, and in the same way the decision on my marriage to Satwant Singh cannot change either. If it is written that he is going to die by hanging, then that will happen also. I am ready to face whatever comes my way in the future. Until my last breath, I will never let any stain come on respect due to the dastaar of Satwant Singh, your dastaar father, and the dastaar of my father-in-law.”

It was now the year 1988, the role of Sri Akal Thakht Jathedar was held by the dubious Jasvir Singh Rode. Due to the fact that Bibi Surinder Kaur would not change her mind to marry the photo of Satwant Singh, both families decided to take her to the Jathedar so he could convince her. Jasvir Singh said to her, “Bibi, do not rush to make such a big decision. There is no hope that the authorities will not give Satwant Singh a sentence of hanging. So do not make such a big life decision, without thinking it through…” Bibi Surinder Kaur replied, “Singh Sahib Ji, you are right. The authorities will give Satwant Singh the hangmans noose. Both our families had decided to marry me and Satwant Singh. Due to Satwant Singh not getting holidays, the wedding was delayed at the last moment. However if Satwant Singh killed Indira Gandhi after our marriage, then he would have been sentenced to hanging aswell. I, as Satwant Singh’s wife would have had to see every hard time in the future. My husband, Satwant Singh did a great and brave task! The integrity of the Sikh Nation, it’s dastaar, was ripped off by Indira Gandhi and she stamped on it with her feet in June 1984. My husband took the dastaar of the Sikh Nation and replaced it on its head. Even in my worst dreams, I could never turn my back on such a great man. It can never happen! I have accepted Satwant Singh as my husband. I will never let a stain come on his Dastaar. I will spend my whole life as the widow of Satwant Singh!”

Akal Takhat Jathedar Jasvir Singh Rode said to both fathers of Satwant Singh and Bibi Surinder Kaur, that due to the strength of will of Bibi Surinder Kaur, we should allow her to marry the photo of Satwant Singh, in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

 

Marry with picture

According to the hukam of Singh Sahib, on 2nd May 1988, Satwant Singhs father, Bapu Tarlok Singh, his mother, elder brother and wife, left their house with a picture of Satwant Singh for the house of Sardar Virsa Singh. In the presence of Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, Bibi Surinder Kaur married the photo of Satwant Singh. In the afternoon, the Doli of Bibi Surinder Kaur left the residence of Sardar Virsa Singh for the house of Bhai Satwant Singh. Every court in the land, only gave the sentence that Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had wanted. In the Supreme Court, Bhai Satwant Singh made a statement. He said, “Let any part of my body, after my Shaheedi, be removed and used by anyone who may need. However if you need my eyes, let the authorities tell my parents. I have no hatred for any Hindu, Muslim, Christian, neither hatred for any religion. After my Shaheedi, let no Sikh throw any rock at any Hindu. I am not in favour of any retaliation or bloodshed over my Shaheedi. If we do create bloodshed, then there is no difference between us and Rajiv Gandhi. I am proud of the task that I did! I do Ardaas in front of Waheguru ! If I am blessed with a human life, then give me a death of the brave when I am hanged. Forget one life, if I could I would give up a thousand lives to kill dushts like Indira Gandhi, and laugh as I become Shaheed by hanging….”

His lawyer, Sardar Bhupinder Singh Sodhi was the last to meet Satwant Singh in Tihar jail. Sodhi said, “Beloved Satwant, I am so sorry I was unable to save you from the death sentence. Now this is the last time we will ever meet.” The lawyer said as he became emotional. Sardar Satwant Singh replied, “Vakeel Sahib, you should be making me strong. We will meet again. Promise me you will fight my case next time aswell!” Bhupinder Singh Sodhi replied, “Pyare Satwant, I do not understand what you are saying? All your appeals have failed. Tomorrow morning, 6th January, at 6am, both you and Kehar Singh will be hanged.”

Satwant Singh replied, “Vakeel sahib, whenever Waheguru gives me a human life, I will once again destroy the enemies of the Sikh Nation like Indira Gandhi. The again you will come and fight my case. Those who believe in truth and human rights, will always have to fight these brutal regimes. I will keep taking births! I will keep killing dushts! You will keep meeting me!”

Seeing Satwant Singh in such Chardi Kala, lawyer Bhupinder Singh Sodhi says, “Pyare Satwant, Great are you, Great is your Sikhi, so blessed am I who was able to fight a case of a Lionheart, brave warrior such as you. Waheguru Ji has blessed me just to have the darshan of you. Any nation that has warriors like you, Satwant Singh, brave, mard, soormas. That Nation can never be controlled, intimidated or suppressed.” On 6th January 1989, it was raining. Nature was giving Bhai Satwant Singh and Bhai Kehar Singh a blessing, like one gives a garland around a neck. The thoughts of the whole Sikh Nation were with Bhai Satwant Singh and Bhai Kehar Singh. They had taken this most important task, and with it all this heartache had come on them and their families. Both were in Chardi Kala as they walked towards the noose. It was like the blessings of the whole Sikh Nation were with them as they walked.

In the end, on 6th January 1989, early at 4am, the authorities walked them towards the noose, their voices could be heard from outside the jail, shouting, “Bole So Nihal ! Sat Sri Akaal !” Then a few moments silence…………… As both of them stepped forward and kissed the hangmans noose, a very heavy rainfall started……….

Their bodies were taken to Ferozpur, and cremated on the banks of the Sutluj river. Similarly, the Indian Government did not hand over the bodies of Shaheed Satwant Singh and Shaheed Kehar Singh to their next of kin. Their bodies were cremated within Tihar jail. When the cruel authorities started cremating the bodies, the rain suddenly stopped. Nature was doing its bit to respect the Shaheeds. As the bodies burned, the authorities did not have the heart to hand them back to the families. The lawyer, Sardar Bhupinder Singh Sodhi said to the authorities, I can understand you have hatred for those spirits who killed Indira Gandhi, but how can you even have hatred for their corpses?

Then to further insult the Shaheeds, the authorities dreamed up another stunt. The last wish of both Shaheed Satwant Singh and Shaheed Kehar Singh was that their ashes be taken to Sri Kartarpur Sahib. However the Police forced the families of these two Shaheeds into jeeps and vans and drove them to Hardwar. Throughout the whole journey to Hardwar, it rained heavily. Then at gunpoint giving the families no choice, the final ardas for the Shaheeds was done. Just as the Ardaas began, the rain stopped. It was like nature was also paying respect to the Shaheeds. Bhai Satwant Singh’s father, Bapu Tarlok Singh, and the son of Bhai Kehar Singh, Sardar Rajinder Singh, poured the ashes in to the river at Hardwar.

The thoughts of the whole Sikh Nation are with Bhai Satwant Singh and Bhai Kehar Singh. The brutal Indian regime may have killed Bhai Satwant Singh and Bhai Kehar Singh, but in the hearts of all Sikhs, they will forever live. They are immortalised in paintings on the walls of Sikh Gurdwaras, and they have recorded their names in the Volumes of Sikh History. They were the modern day Bhai Sukha Singh and Bhai Mehtab Singh. Bibi Surinder kaur passed away a few years ago from cancer. She was widely respected in the Panth for the dedication with which she stayed with Bhai Satwant Singh.