Warrior

Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar became the first guardsman in 180 years to parade outside Buckingham Palace wearing a turban

Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar

Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar

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.”

 

Baba Deep Singh Ji

Baba Deep Singh JI

Baba Deep Singh JI

 

Mata Jioni and Bhagata Ji was blessed, when Baba Deep Singh Ji was born, in 1682. They lived in village Pohuwind in the district of Amritsar. Baba Deep Singh went to Anandpur on Vaisakhi in 1699, where he was baptized as Khalsa by Guru Gobin Singh Ji. After this he spend his time with Guru Gobin Singh Ji, learing weaponry, riding and other martial skills. He learnt reading and writing Gurmukhi from Bhai Mani Singh. After 2 years, in 1702, he went back to his village, got married and settled down. In 1705 Baba Deep Singh was summoned by Guru Gobin Singh Ji at Talwandi Sabo, where he helped Bhai Mani Singh Ji with writting Guru Granth Sahib(Holy Book of Sikh) and was announced as the caretaker of Sri Damdama Sahib, by Guru Gobin Singh Ji.

In April 1757, Ahmad Shah Durrani raided Northern India for the fourth time. While he was on his way back to Kabul from Delhi with precious booty and young men and women as captives, the Sikhs made a plan to relieve him of the valuables and free the captives. The squad of baba Deep Singh was deployed near Kurukshetra. His squad freed a large number of prisoners and raided Durrani’s considerable treasury. On his arrival in Lahore, Durrani, embittered by his loss, ordered the demolition of the Harmindir Sahib. The shrine was blown up and the sacred pool filled with the entrails of slaughtered cows. Durrani assigned the Punjab region to his son, Prince Timur Shah, and left him a force of ten thousand men under General Jahan Khan.

Baba Deep Singh, aged 75-years old, felt that it was up to him to atone for the sin of having let the Afghans desecrate the shrine. He emerged from scholastic retirement (he had been making copies of the Guru Granth Sahib), and declared to a congregation at Damdama Sahib that he intended to rebuild the temple. Five hundred men came forward to go with him. Deep Singh offered prayers before starting for Amritsar: “May my head fall at the Darbar Sahib.” As he went from hamlet to hamlet, many villagers joined him. By the time baba Deep Singh reached Tarn Taran Sahib, ten miles from Amritsar, over five thousand peasants armed with hatchets, swords, and spears accompanied him.

In 1757, he led an army to defend the Golden Temple. The Sikhs and the Afghans clashed, in the battle of Amritsar, at the village of Gohalwar on November 11, 1757, and in the ensuing conflict Baba Deep Singh was decapitated.

 

Deep Singh continued to fight after having been decapitated, slaying his enemies with his head in one hand and his sword in the other. Only upon reaching the sacred city of Amritsar, he breathed his last.

Baba Deep Singh

Baba Deep Singh Ji

 

This tale recalls the words of the first Guru, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji:

Shouldst thou wish to play the game of love,
come unto my Path with thy head on thy palm.
And, once you step unto this path,
You may well give up thy head, rather than the cause.