He was the first emperor of the Sikh world. His earlier name was Lakshman Das, and thereafter Madho Das Bairagi. The name Baba Banda Singh was finally given to him by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, and was nominated as the leader of the Sikh community. He was entrusted with weapons and sent to Punjab, where he gave the death penalty to Vazeer Khan who had killed the yonger sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. At the end, the opponents became successful in capturing him. Hot pliers were used to remove flesh from his body. The liver of his son was taken and plunged into his mouth. In spite of all this, Baba ji did not change his mind: all this was the power of the holy nectar which had made him fearless. A Gurdwara has been established in Mehroli, Delhi where he was martyred.
The list of Sikh martyrs is so long that many names remained unsung. One of those great martyrs is Bhai Sati Das Ji, who with his brother Bhai Mati Das was martyred at Chandni Chowk, Delhi. Bhai Mati Das was the secretary while Bhai Sati Das was the scribe. Whatever words were uttered by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, they would note down in arabic script and later on Guru Ji would get it translated to Gurmukhi script and written down in the books. A poet by the name Bansawali writes:
Bani jo Sahib kare uchar,
So Sati Das nit kare farsi akhran wich utar
(The words uttered by the Guru are noted down in Farsi letters by Sati Das)
Its also known that the utterings of the Guru in custody at Delhi were also written down by Sati Das but were snatched away by the custodians.
Cotton was tied around him and was set on fire - this is how he was martyred. Like the other Sikhs, he also went smiling to his martyrdom, and set himself a place in Sikh History
pic 5 Bhai Dyala Ji
Bhai Dyala Singh was one of the chosen few who had opportunity to accompany the ninth Guru, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji to Delhi. When the Kazi was unable to convince the Guru to embrace Islam, he decided to use force. With this in mind, Bhai Mati Das was martyred to death by sawing through his body into two parts. The Guru watched this from the cage, also Bhai Dyala Ji watched this while bound in handcuffs.
Bhai Dyala was thereafter issued a fatwa by the Kazi: if he agrees to embrace Islam, he would be let off, otherwise he would be killed in a pot of boiling water. The winds of oppression were met with the cold of Bhai Dyala’s mental strength, and he was martyred without giving up the high ideals of Sikhism.
pic 6 Bhai Mati Das ji
Sacrifice of Bhai Mati Das ji for the Sikh faith, being brutually killed by the Muslim Mughals,In November 1675, Bhai Mati Das ji was sawn into two, from head downwards. the didn’t accept Islam
pic 7 Bhai Subeg Singh and Bhai Shahbaz Singh
Sardar Subeg Singh was asked to give up his religion or suffer death at the wheel. He refused to give up his religion. Thereupon, he was put on the wheel and turned on it. The pain was sharp and intense. But it did not break his spirit. Then his son, Shahbaz Singh, was told, ‘You can save your life by accepting Islam.’ He refused to give up his faith. Thereupon, he was bound to the wheel. He was turned on it before his father’s eyes. Both bore the torture with great patience.
pic 8 Khalsa Women and Meer Mannu’s Jail
Without any doubt, Sikh women had played an equal part in the struggle to keep alive the Khalsa ideals and beliefs. Sikh women worked as a silent majority in the background and sometimes as in the case of Mai Bhago exceeded the Khalsa men in warfare. But the most important part of Khalsa women was to raise the Khalsa children who kept the Khalsa alive. In Punjabi society, most often children hear stories by their grandmother, mother, aunts, etc. This builds up their character. Chhote Sahibzade, ( younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh) were raised on the stories of sacrifices of their great grandfather Guru Arjan Dev ji, their grandfather Guru Tegh Bahadur by their grandmother Mata Gujri ji(mother of Guru Gobind Singh ji, Tenth guru). When their turn came they happily sacrificed their lives, eventhough they were only 7 and 9 years old. This alone was the most amazing, glorious, sad and defining moment of the future of Sikhs. Seven and Nine years old were following the Will of God as dictated by Guru Nanak dev ji. After this incident, Sikh women, men, children put their whole effort to save their ideals and beliefs of Guru Nanak. Mughals had two point of administration in Punjab, Sarhind and Lahore. Mughals who ruled from Delhi appointed two governors at Sarhind and Lahore, under these governors there were many Nawabs, like Malerkotla, Faridkot, Bahawalpur, etc,. Under the Nawabs there were many Parganahs i.e. Zamindars, or landlords who would hold many villages as their land, on these villages farmers, ironsmith, carpenters, etc work and were taxed 67% of their income.
In 1748 A.D. Mughals appointed Meer Mannu as Governor (Subedar) of Lahore and also as a Nawab of Multan. Meer Mannu in order to pacify Hindus appointed a Khatri Hindu of Lahore named Kaura Mall as his Diwan or minister. Then he ordered 30,000+ army of Mughals at Lahore to finish Sikhs. Mughal Army swept the countryside and killed any Sikhs they found. Thousands Women, Men and Children were arrested and brought to Lahore. At that time Sikh population was so small that it affected their numbers. A decade earlier, when similar thing had happened (governor had decided to kill all Sikhs) At that point people thought that all Sikhs are finished, butBhai Gharjha Singh and Bhai Bota Singh came out of hiding and fought with Mughals, just to show them that Sikhs were far from finished.
Meer Mannu started deploying his terror tactics. First of all, he ordered that all Sikh women in Jails to be provided with specially made to be three times heavy (1 1/4 Mann) a flour grinding instrument named Chakki. Sikh woman hapily would sing the Shabads of Nanak and grind flour whole day but not accepting conversion to Islam as the condition for their freeddom.
Then Meer Mannu ordered that all Infant Sikhs who were with their mothers at the jail above to be killed right away, only those were to be spared who accept Islam as their new religion. 300 or so Infant Sikhs were killed by Mughals and their dead bodies given back to their Khalsa mother, not even single mother embraced Islam. The atrocities committed on the Sikh women by the upholders of “Islam” were so great that in 1750 A.d. Chief of Buddha Dal, Kapur Singh Virk and his 500 or so Khalsa attacked Lahore in disguise of a Sufi Saints to kill Meer Mannu but he escaped. In 1753 A.D. Meer Mannu died a very horrible death after suffering in bed for a whole month. In 1753 A.D. Kapur Singh Virk attacked Lahore again and this time he was able to free all the prisoners at these jails. The sacrifice of these Khalsa women was so great that it became a part of Daily Ardaas in 1760’s. Even today Sikhs everyday pay homage to the “Singhnian jinna ne sawa sawa mann de pisne peese, bachiye de tota galean vich pavaye, par Dharm na haariya” Sikh Women who happily grinded 60 kg Chakki, had to put garlands of the dead bodies of their children around their necks but did not let pass the ideals of Nanak. Salute to Sikh Women!! Our pride and our inspiration.