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Malaysian Sikh Role in defending the Country - Malaysia

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Chaan Pardesi, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Chaan Pardesi

    Chaan Pardesi
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    Malaysian Sikh Role in defending the Country

    Today many Indian historians in the all india nationalist spirit try hard to play down the role of the Sikh participation as soldiers of the Raj and often also play down the extent of their heroism and role.But that can never be further from the trut.

    I shall try and cover the Sikh defence at Nyior, which I believe is in the state of Negeri Sem.There is also a Sungai Nyior in Province Wellesley.It was in late december 1941 that Captain Mohan Singh was captured after the invasion of Malaya by the advancing Japanese troops comming down from Singorra and crossing the land borders of Yala into Malaya.The captured Mohan Singh was the highest ranking Indian officer of the british Indian army.

    Punjab regiment 1882.jpg

    The founder of the Azad hind Fauj, Giani Pritam Singh Ji along with Major Fujiwara met with Capt.Mohan Singh on the outskirts of present day Alor Star, where he was held a prssoner.Giani Pritam Singh offered Capt.Mohan Singh the operational Command of the Azad Hind fauj, which he accepted, and became the first Operational Commander of the AHF.

    It is very unfortunate while many of the papers, records and survivors are still around, Malaysian Sikhs have not impressed upon the government or undertaken the task of preserving some form of memorial of this historic event on the exact spot or even in the Gurduara at Alor Star, for future Sikh Malaysians and other malaysians to be proud of their own history.

    In September 1940, the situation in Malaya had detriorated by the japanese occupation of Northern china and Hong Kong and the threats to the Malay peninsular, the 5th Sikh brigade was despatched to be part of forces defending Malaya.Although the 5th Sikh brigade defended Kuantan,Moran, then Rawang and fought tenciously at Labu, but the general order to withdraw was followed very orderly, even though at some positions the 5th Sikhs had given a great account of themselves and held the enemy back.

    However, the most significant encounter of the 5th Sikhs took place at the battle of Nyior with the advancing Japanese forces.For the first time since the Japanese armies took to attacks and invasions of foreign lands since 1939,and before that in the Russo- Japanese war of 1902 , it was at the Battle of Nyior that the 5th Sikhs shattered the invincibility of of the "invincible" Japanese myth.

    In hand to hand fight, charged fully with sharp boynets and kirpans,the sky thundering shouts of the Bole So Nihal-- Sat Sri Akal unnerved the large number of japanese soldiers,who left their positions , throwing their arms in retreat in an effort to escape the fury and wrath of the 5th Sikhs, defending their own lines.Many hundereds of japanese were boynetted by the 2500 Sikhs charged to defend this line.The Sikhs continued to slaughter the enemy for good 30 minutes, chasing individually after japanese soldier stragglers still trapped behind.

    The Sikhs continued firing upon the japanese at close ranges of 20 to 100 yards till the enemy had fully with drawn in disarray, and taken cover out of range defences.The Japanese had lost nearly 600 men, unknown injured that were dragged along;180 motor cycles, 300 hundered cycles, and also scores of heavy machine guns and five mortars that they abandonned on the far side of their original attacking positions.

    The Sikhs role and success was complete.In an equal and detremined fight the Sikhs had laid bare the " bogey of the super Japs".A group of Japanese moving through scrub , undergrowth and jungle attacked the Maran T harbour, as well also the wagon lines of the artilerry.A battles raged furiously for somtime, then a platoon of Sikhs of the D company of the 5th Sikhs charged with fixed boynets in a furious counter attack.Again thundering out the war cry of the Sikh faith ..Bole so Nihaal, Sat Sri akaal....the Sikhs charged....suddenly the noise died off and they saw 35 japanese soldiers lying dead in front and around them, with the remaining fleeing back through the under growth, indicting this subsdiary battle too had been won by the Sikh soldiery.

    The success of the Sikhs at Nyior was the most significant military event of the entire Malayan campaign.The brigade gained a name for heroic dash and determination coupled with good leadership.

    There were headlines in all the newspapers upon the heroics of these Sikhs.The japanese casualities were mentioned in detail.The sky thundering war cries of Sat Sri Akal were mentioned in detail.This highlights the great achievemnet of the 5th Sikhs.

    It gave the allies much needed confidence and brought appreciation and congragulations from notable persons like Maj Men.A.E Barstow, the divisional commander and Lt Gen Sir Levis Heath, the corps commander.Even Major General Gardon Bennet, the Australian GOC who at a conference on the 20th of August, had made derogatory remarks about Indian troops; was highly impressed by the Sikh acheivement; and said so without mincing his words"Only if I had such men under my command, I can break the Japanese advance".

    A few nights later, the news of the Sikh action at Nyior was carried out over the world service of the BBC.The Sikhs had exposed the imaginary invincibility of the Japanese soldiers, and shown to the British that they were better troops than the Japanese and the British...and far better than the japanese in an equal fight,or even an unequal fight.For this the Sikhs were awarded the "BATTLE OF HONOUR of NYIOR.Malaysian Sikhs must identify these places and record in history so we can share with the others our own participation the defence of the country.
     
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    #1 Chaan Pardesi, Jul 16, 2012
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    People who get lucky and become the RULERS....victors...mostly always try and change history..Its happening to the Sikh Role in the Indian Independence - Indian History text books are being rewritten to dilute or even remove that role completley becasue the Ruling Majority feels inadequate in their own contribution - same thing happening in malaysian history - its being rewritten and the Sikh Role is being diluted or alluded to as Fighting for the BRITISH and NOT Malaya per se... LOTS of Local History long believed to be authentic has been found wanting becasue it has Chines or Indian roots..Local "heroes" were suddenly discarded overnight because they turned out to be Chinese..Similarly the role of Sikhs is on the back burner as is the role fo those Malayans who fought the Japanese Occupiers. SIKHS themselves will have to Preserve their own history for the future generations..like whats done in EUROPE by the Sikh who wrote Sikh History in Europe.
     
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  4. Chaan Pardesi

    Chaan Pardesi
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    This is what we need to do.Recreate the steps back into our own Sikh history and rewrite it with the real facts and share with the rest.

    This was my intention when I retired, but getting head hunted back into job has become a burden for me these days...I have promised that by 2015, I will finish it for good and try and discover our Sikh steps back in Malayan History.Any help from others in terms of content will be welcome;otherwise, I will explore ahead anyway!

    I have had offer of such help from Master Malkit Singh ji Lopo,I have also collected a lot material myself; there is a lot more obtained from the National British Library, London;it only leaves me to go round the local Malaysian Archives.
     
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    #3 Chaan Pardesi, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  5. aristotle

    aristotle
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    My post is slightly off the topic, apologies for that.

    I am reminded of my own Class X NCERT history book. There was a chapter on the development of literature in India. Pages were filled with mentions of Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu etc. But when it came to Punjabi, there were only a couple of lines stating that the Khalsa Tract Society published 'cheap' books in Punjabi.That's all, as if Punjab had never produced a single great author or the Pnjabis didn't know how to read.

    Also, the chapter on Nationalist struggle under British rule contained no mention of Sikhs or Punjabis whatsoever, not even Bhagat Singh or Lala Lajpat Rai.

    Isn't this there-is-no-minority-participation propaganda?
     
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