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Partition The Flames of 1947

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by Chaan Pardesi, Mar 23, 2013.

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  1. Chaan Pardesi

    Chaan Pardesi
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    On 3rd June, 1947, the formation of Pakistan was announced, triggering panic among the Sikhs & Hindus of Lahore.They began to make representations to the Boundary commission to plea that Lahore go to India.They were reassured that the whole of Lahore and some parts of District of Montgomery and the Tahsil [sub district] of Nankana sahib would be awarded to India.

    Every other day discussions took place in the parliament where speeches were made saying that the Sikh community has been done by, badly treated, and that the Boundary Commission would put these issues right.

    However, what was bound to take place took place.The Sikhs were left disappointed and shocked.On 15th of August,the governance of India and Pakistan was handed over by the British.The same day an announcement was made which finalised the border. Kasur Tahsil was divided into two.Lahore, Montgomery and Nankana were deep in the Pakistan soil.


    On the 18th of August, the Muslims in Kasur instigated by the Muslim League and Muslim National Guard launched their attacks on the innocents. The first casualty was a school teacher Giani Bela Singh, his wife, daughter and two sons were murdered.One son was a baby.A total of 17 murders were commited in the name of Pakistan on that fateful day. The whole town was looted with the help of the partisan Muslim police.

    The next day, thousands of Muslims marched towards Hattharr,a Sikh village, attacking all Sikh villages along the way.There were 300 personnel of Baluch army, who supported the looters, instead of bringing law and order. Fear spread among the Sikh villages and residents.

    The fears became real when Sikhs & Hindus fleeing from further west passed through the Sikh villages, with stories of horror and in pitiful state.

    This made the Sikhs of Kasur consider fleeing eastwards for the safety of India. Preparations were began to load the carts with belongings and leave the villages of Kasur that fell into Pakistan.The fear was not from local Moslems but the Muslims who had fled India and were now gathering in Kasur town and instigating attacks against the Sikhs and Hindus.

    The Muslim national guard was now effectively encouraging the killings of innocent Sikh people caught on the wrong side of the line.

    As Sikhs left, some muslims were happy, but most were sad to see Sikhs and Hindus leave.They had lived among together for generations apart from religion, everything else was similar to each other.The food, clothes, language and social interactions and social history shared similarities and was interdependent upon each other.

    5 miles from Kasur, east wards was the Sikh dominated village of Sanghtra, where over 20 thousand refugees had gathered.Food was scarce, but the Sikhs had not lost hope, the local population was sharing all they had with the newly arrived refugees from further west.

    Many of these refugees bore scars of pain and physical torture, imjuries and attacks.Many had lost dear and loved ones.Others had been separated from relatives and parents and brothers and sisters. The pain was tremendous, but the spirit of Sikhi would not let them down.They were supporting each other; amidst fear of further attacks from the fanatic muslims of now Pakistan.The Sikhs were a minority in these parts,and were not even in position to defend what was theirs aggressively, than launch their own attacks against a majority community.The Muslims were now drenched in the thirst for blood of people they saw were opposing the formation of Pakistan.

    Rains came down hard, people sat outside on guard , soaking wet , and often gone for days without any food.The more abled and with weapons formed the outer defence ring, with the older forming the inner and the ladies in the middle of circle/village.They knew they faced great odds...

    But the spirit of the Gurus had taught them to accept this state with sweetness in the name of One God, and they did this with great enthusiasm.

    Many of those who arrived in Sanghtra had walked for miles avoiding the murderous gangs of muslim national guards,Muslim League goondas and the police, who was mainly muslim in these parts.Thye had hope that nearer the border relief would come easier and safety felt.

    But this was not the case as the border was still four miles and clearly they were on the wrong side.Slowly but surely many thousands crossed the border and into the safety net of the Sikh and Indian military that was helping near border regions , the refugees fleeing from the west Punjab



    Part 2-
    The beginning

    The Sikh refugees came barely with anything on them.Many had hugh tracts of land, houses left behind. The families had been torn apart with men being killed and kidnappings of women and children , if not killed by the muslim goons.Rivers, canals and feeder drains were full with blood of the innocent- babies, women men, who simply happened to be Sikhs or Hindus in this region of west Punjab.

    In all these, many stories of bravery and selfless care and sewa and self sacrifice emerged, as the more abled supported the lesser and old and children in the spirit of Sikh chardhi kala.Sikh men killed their own female children and wives in order to ensure they did not fall into the hands of the murderous muslim gangas where out to chase them out of their own lands but also extract historical revenge, for standing for rights and freedom of faith in the face of extremist fanatical muslims.

    The Sikh people had become victims of the blood thirsty muslim league goondas who had been taught a lesson in Bihar and Calcutta some months earlier.Unable to avenge the deaths there, they had found their target in the Punjab and attempted to instill the same fear and death they had planned for the all over the the Indian subcontinent.

    This was part of a strategy of the muslim league, to clear off the land of Hindus and Sikhs, so Pakistan boundary can be stretched to even as far as Patiala.They had a plan and had prepared to launch it.They had taken oath upon the Koran that Amrisar will go to Pakistan; Jullander and Ludhiana will be part of their new nation.The Sikh states of PEPSU were to be distablised and included into their grand plans.West of the the Satluj,just afater where it meets at Harike Pattan they formed an over whelming majority, with pockets of areas which were Sikhs dominated , like Lahore, Bahawalpur, Lyallpur or tracts of Montgomery-an area which was settled by retired and discharged Sikh soldiers and turned from barren lands into the most productive land within a decade.

    In Montgomery and in Sheikupura, the Sikhs were most wealthy, despite their 5% of the population held 45% of the land and property with the Hindus holding about 20%.The muslims were largely uneducated and worked for the Hindus and Sikhs. Large factories were owned by the enterprising Sikhs.

    Lahore was the cradle of Sikh history.A further 100 miles nortn west of Lahore was Patohar, where Sikhi had been raised and comforted and flourished by many Sikh Gurmukhs; and it was also the land from where Maharajah Ranjit Singh raised his flag and established the Sikh rule a barely 120 years before and ruled over the largely Muslim populations,with fairness and equality and became one of the most formidible empires that the British had to counter with, in their quest for colonies.

    The British knew his power and that of his Akal regiments and their ability to out match and out fight any foe with ease, left the Sikh King alone, but secretly made treatise and conspiracies with his Hindu dogra ministers who had become Sikhs only to gain favours [ awaiting for the day the great King would pass away and give the British the opportunity to steal the Punjab, while it went through a period of internal grief and chaos and conspiracies]....soon the British had defeated the leaderless Sikh armies after four battles and treachery through the Dogras.Then the British kidnapped the child heir Dalip Singh , changed his religion and took him away against his will to England.

    The British then sat about trying to confuse the Sikhs about their Gurus by introducing false literataure, like the dasam potha[I think using terms like granth for it is criminal and misleading]mythological stories that did not befit Gurbani nor the Sikhs practices. Books like the dasam potha, sarbloh and suraj prakash were introduced around this period in the name of 'Sikh history' and alledged bani.

    The Hindu Nirmala and udasi mahants were encouraged to take over the Sikh Gurduaras and turned them into small fiefdoms; where hindu idol worship and other rituals were practised non stop.

    The Sikh young men were recruited into the armies and carted off to far away lands like Malaya, Shanghai and Fiji to police and fight the British battles and for the empire. Within a period of 10 years after the fall of the Sikh Kingdom the Sikh population that was 10,000,000 at the peak of the Sikh Rule, fell to 1,700,000.


    Within their own homeland they became a minority, forming barely 13% of the total population.Only in Ludhiana, the heart land of the Sikhs; Sikhs formed 45% of the population.In the adjoining districts of Moga, North Bhathinda, and Eastern Ferozpore too Sikhs were present in in formidable numbers.But apart from Lahore,Lyallpur, and towns of Montgomery or Sheikupura they were a miniscule minority. Their Gurduaras had been infilterated by idols and deities and the brahmanwaad practices, some of which we still see today heavily brahmanwadi influenced.


    The Christian preachers with their false books about Sikhi folklore were actively trying to recruit them into Christianity.One such major attempt to convert 5 Sikh students jolted the community and soon the Singh Sabha Lehar swept the country, where hundereds of thousands converted back to Sikhi including of many thousands hindus and muslims This created Hindu movements like arya samaj and Muslim League or the Muslim National Guard and frictions between communities.But the Sikh population rose to about 3,500,000.

    The Muslims had realised living with the Hindu majority was not an option they desired. However , the leaderless smaller Sikh community did not realise this future threat and threw their all into defending an undivided India. Also their smaller numbers did not impress anyone to take serious note of their wishes. They were swung on the pendulam between the Congress and Jinnah's Muslim league.Somehow the Sikhs did not see the negative possibilities, but saw a greater comfort with the Congress and flung themselves with it.

    In Master Tara Singh, the Muslims saw the greatest threat as he opposed the formation of Pakistan and childishly toyed with the slogan ...''if Pakistan , then khalistan''. The muslims of the Punjab knew the Sikh mentality and energy. They felt strongly that if the Sikhs could be subdued into fear, then Pakistan would be a simple dream easily realised.


    They did not fear the Hindu.They also knew that in the Punjab apart from Ludhiana, Sikhs were minority every else.They were far less in the western districts like Jhang, Dera Ismail Khan,Multan and others that we will cover later.Thus after organising and forming their national guard ,they prepared to attack; launched their attacks upon the Sikh community.

    Pakistan was built upon the blood of many innocent people, thus it continues to bleed in blood today of its own people.It was in such climate the attacks upon the Sikhs had began, a nightmare that lasted many months....the Sikh community was the first victim of such attacks beginging in Hazara North West Punjab.The Sikh people started fleeing eastwards.It is false to assume the Sikhs had prepared defences.Most of the Sikhs were caught unprepared.

    Many Sikhs villagers beseized in the homes, by the wild hordes killed their own daughters and wives to save their honour.The females lined up one be one utter satnaam waheguru and offered their heads with a sound.fathers , brotehrs and in many instances even the mothers carried out this ghastly act, before immolating or killing themselves;some even stood by their men folk to fight to death.There were many instances when the young females jumped into the wells , refusing to fall into the hands of the murdering goons.


    PART 3-

    A few months earlier riots had broken out in Calcutta.The Sikh community in Calcutta did not take sides and helped who ever needed help.This had elevated the image of the Sikhs among all. Although some people were angry and felt the Sikhs should have sided with one community.

    The Sikhs owned most the transport system in Calcutta.Young Sikh youths would arm themselves with Kirpans and patrolled the city looking for victims from the riots and save them. They did not distinguish between muslim or hindus neither took part.Sometimes they wowwuld walk into fighting between the Hinuds and Sikhs and stop the fighting and care for the injured without prejudice to any.The Sikhs actually carried out the role of the police, which had become ineffective.

    Wherever, who ever victims were , the Sikhs would rescue them and bring to the safety of the Gurduaras where they would be fed and helped.Muslims and Hindus were treated and helped alike .Many muslim women folk and children were rescued as well as the hindus women and children.Records indicate that despite rations in force, the Sikhs fed up to 100,000 people of both religions,in the Gurduaras where both communities stayed and sat down together in peace, while fires and killings raged outside between them.

    Many fanatical muslims felt the Sikhs saving the hindus and should have sided with Muslims.Like wise many fanatical hindus were angry with the Sikhs and felt they were saving muslims and should have been on their side.But formidable Sikh community in Calcutta remained neutral and upholding the priciples of Bhai Ghaniya saved both muslims and hindus, offering solace and safety for both communities.

    The same could have happened in the Punjab.But the Muslim league's actions and continuous attacks upon Sikhs in far flung regions eventually led the Sikhs to take sides against the Muslim league actions.

    The muslims attacked Noakhali near Calcutta and massacred thousands of innocent hindu men and women without mercy and care. As the news of this tragic incident spread, the hindus retaliated.In Bihar the muslims were outnumbered heavily numbers.But that did not stop them from making provocative slogans aaaand taking actions likely to cause anger among the Hinud community.As the news of Noakhali spread, the hindus in Bihar launched their avenge for Noakhali upon the poor muslims and took revenge by murdering thousands of poor and innocent Muslims for the provocative action of the few fanatics.

    Some of the Muslim leagues activists who had come from the North west Punjab, escaped with horrow stories and spread these in the North West frontier province and Punjab, instigating the people to attack others. They showed pictures of the atrocities that took place in Bihar.

    Soon they had instigated and convinced the Momins of Hazara to attack the non muslims in the region. The attacks started in December 1946.Thousands of national guardsmen and muslim league supporters with weapons went on rampage in Hazara.The Sikhs and Hindus were targeted. Even though local muslims took oath upon the Koran to save them and also asked for protection monies to be paid. But when the instigators from outside arrived, the local muslims changed their tune and abandoned their neighbours/ people they had promised to save.

    Many Hindus and Sikhs gathered in a Gurduara in Hazara town.The instigators attacked the Gurduara without provocation.They sat fire to the building, and along with Guru Granth sahib, many people were burnt alive. Every Hindu and Sikh in the town of Hazara was sought out and murdered. Children were pierced with sticks and then thrown into fires. Females were kidnapped and sent away into the tribal hills.
    Many females jumped into wells or were put to death by Kirpan by their relatives, before they perished themselves.

    This was not an isolated incident, it was spread out throughout the district of Hazara. Many non Muslims were stabbed, looted,women snatched.Many Sikhs and Hindus managed to flee and made it into the Plains of the Punjab and on to Eastern Punjab.

    In Bihar and and Bengal the Sikhs had remained neutral, but here they had been specifically singled out and not allowed to remain neutral.Along with the hatred for hindus by Muslims, they had targeted the Sikhs too, mercilessly. They had burnt out Sikh Gurduaras in Hazara.In some areas,the Sikhs stood their ground , bought some time and put up a fight,killing some muslims; but being over -whelmingly outnumbered they had to flee their homeland eventually.

    These murderous actions of the muslim league and national guards had profound effect upon the Sikhs of the Punjab.Sikh leaders realising the gravity of the situation appealed for peace and relative peace remained in the Punjab for that moment.No trouble broke out despite severe provocation and unwarranted attacks on their kinsmen in the far frontier province.

    Agitation against Pakistan was spreading even in the Punjab, after the pro Pakistan elements started shouting slogans in Lahore and other cities for Pakistan; and provoking the Sikhs and Hindus.
     
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    #1 Chaan Pardesi, Mar 23, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
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  3. arshdeep88

    arshdeep88 India
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    #2 arshdeep88, Mar 23, 2013
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  4. Chaan Pardesi

    Chaan Pardesi
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    The above you-tube starts off very very misleadingly and distortion of facts..The Sikhs had NOT prepared for war.They were so small in numbers, that they were not even able to defend themselves , even after being attacked. It is such misleading information around that has led me to write this article.Had they been prepared, there would have been more casualities among the muslims.
     

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