• Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

My Friend Was Murdered. So I Tie Dastaar

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
The following Email appeared on Sikh forums...

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh !!

I grew up in a very small village in Hohiarpur district of Panjab, i was a very naughty boy who was always in trouble.My best friend was Charnjit Singh Channi, we were a very troublesome pair.Channi was from the Ravidass community and all his family were deeply religious and Amritdhari.

We would do anything and everything to get into trouble, break the pots the women carried on thier heads,untie the animals, steal guavas and mangos from trees etc etc. It was time of happiness and pure joy.The highlight used to be when Surinder Sodhi ( Shaheed ) from the next village used to pass through our village and we would all hide on top of houses to watch him smack anyone who got in his way.

Then in April 1981 my family moved to the UK , i was 11 years old and not happy with my new life. I badly missed my village and friends. I spent the next few years learning English and adjusting to my new sorroundings.

In Dec 1996 i was flicking through a book with photos of Shaheeds and i saw a photograph which sent an electric shock through my body. The photo of a young Singh with a slight beard was of Channi !! I rang my mum and she told me he was murdered by the Indian police in 1989 and that i had become very westernised and didnt care about anybody back in Panjab.

I was a clean shaven man and after listening to my mum i sat down and reflected on my life.I thought about my friend and how he kept his Sikhi roop in Panjab during a time when any young man who looked like a Singh was arrested or killed by the Police.So the next morning i wore a distar and never looked back, my beard started to grow and soon i was looking like a Singh.

I phoned Channi's brother in the village and offered my condolences, i was crying my heart out on the phone, i was also so ashamed and sorry for not keeping in touch with Channi. His brother told me how he was murdered.

Channi was out one day in the grazing fields with his buffaloes, the police came and took him away. The word got out to his family and the whole village Panchayt ( council ) went to the local police station to get him released. But the ******* police had already moved him to another police station, his mother and brother went to the other station and were told that his been moved again. Apparently this was common practice during those times so that people didn't have a chance to see the arrested person.

The mother and brother reached the next police station ( was evening by now ) and was told that his been sent to Amritsar as ordered by SSP Sandhu, the heartbroken mother headed back to the village still clutching Channis clothes which she had brought with her.The next morning there was a radio announcement that a terrorist was killed in an encounter with the police, he was identified as Charanjit Singh.

The doctor that had seen Channi in one of the police station knew people in our village, he told Channis family how he was murdered:

He was beaten in the first police station, then tortured in the next. The torture took place while his mum and brother was sitting outside the police station waiting for news, Channi had both of his legs broken, ankles were dislocated, arms were almost hanging of his body and most of his ribs smashed. He was hardly conscious and was taken to the outskirts of the town and shot, an AK47 was placed next to him and police report fabricated.

Then the police came for his brother but were unable to find him, i cannot give more details about this as the people who sheltered his brother are still around and could still become targets of the Panjab police.

Every timei tie my distar i think of all the young Singhs who were tortured to death but never gave up their Sikhi.

I will never forgive or forget the Indian government, if anybody suggests forgiving and forgetting should be forced to sit with the mothers, brothers,sisters, children of those who never returned home and listen to their heartbreaking tales of sorrow.The 6th of June 1984 was a turning point in the history of the Sikhs.


Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh !!

Ravinder Singh

Niku 38

Aug 6, 2006
Ravinder Singh, you should be very proud of yourself, but more so , you have discovered strength that you never knew you had. It takes a huge amount of will power, strength & determination, to wear a dastar again and become a sikh again. But there is a flip side to this issue as well. That this, why do sikhs forget who/what they are and become "coconuts" sikhs? They should not have have to suffer personal loss or any other hardship to remember who they are.
We are born into a soldier saint race, and with our past history steeped in martyredom, we should never forget. We become to comfortable in our lives and only care for materilistic things, that clouds our judgement, hence we loose our way.
Just think of the 40 sikhs that fought 40,000 and the Guru gobind singh Ji's two sons who would not give up their faith even when threated with death. Its these facts that we are graced with and should remember in struggling times.
1984 left a very big imprint on my mind when i was growing up, and i shall never forget how we were killed by the thousands.
NEVER FORGET YOUR SIKH HISTORY, and the rest will fall into place my friends.
One again ravinder, well done my Brother.
Raj Karega Khalsa!!

Mai Harinder Kaur

Oct 5, 2006
British Columbia, Canada
I often ride in taxis going to doctor appointments and the driver is usually Sikh. If he (it's always a man) is a visible Sikh, we usually have a pleasant conversation about general topics.

But if he's a mona...he gets the full treatment. I tell him in detail about the shaheedi of my husband and son in the Delhi Pogrom, emphasising the fact that all they had to do was shed their Sikh identity, their Khalsa roop, and they could have hidden with Hindu neighbours and be perfectly safe.

All they had to do was to betray everything they were, everything they believed in, everything they had lived for. Of course, they did not. I then tell the details of the battle, the attacker I killed, my son's broken neck, my last words with my husband. Usually they get quite emotional and upset.

It was the Hukam of Vaheguru that my loved ones achieve shaheedi. They were strong, brave, fierce fighters, saintly men, true sant-sipahis. I am sure their Guru is pleased with them. I know I am.

I honour their decision; I could have respected no other. Although it not really has nothing to do with their story, I add that I also retained my identity, even more than usual, as my husband tied a turban on me, so they'd see me as a warrior to be fought instead of an object to be raped. It was not the Hukam of Vaheguru that I be blessed with shaheedi. One of the reasons, I believe, is so I can share this with other Sikhs.

I know that one man, hearing this, has become keshdhari. There may be others that I am unaware of. (I do hear many interesting and sometimes bizarre excuses, too.)

If you have a history like mine, please share, inspire our sisters and brothers of the Saadh Sangat. It is not easy to be Panthic; a lot of encouragement helps. Not easy, but it's a fulfilling and wonderful way to live.

Chardi kala!