Bhai Taru Singh Ji Shaheedi Purab
2022 marks the 277th anniversary of Bhai Taru Singh Ji Shaheedi. The one who accepts death for the good of religion, nation, and humanity is called the martyr. Sikh history is the valuable treasure of such martyrs. The foundation of Sikhism is placed on sacrifices, and this phrase is not an exaggeration.
|Shaheedi Diwas (Martyrdom Day)||Date CE||Sikh Calendar|
|Bhai Taru Singh Ji||July 16, 2022||Sawan 1, 554 Nanakshahi|
Martyrdom in Sikhism began with Kaji Rukn-ud-din at the time of Guru Nanak Sahib followed by Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and thereafter the names are countless.
Among the great martyrs’ Baba Banda Singh, Baba Deep Singh, Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Satidas, Bhai Mati Das, and Bhai Dayala Ji, we can’t just miss the name of Bhai Taru Singh Ji.
Bhai Taru Singh was born in the 1720s at Village Poola of Amritsar to Father Jodh Singh and mother Bibi Dharm Kaur. It was the time Zakriya Khan was carrying on a brutal, all-out campaign against the Khalsa. His father Jodh Singh was martyred in a war when Bhai Taru Singh Ji was still young. He had a sister named Bibi Taro.
During his youth, he used to treat wounded Singhs and Mughal soldiers on the battlefield. He took food daily to the Singhs that were hiding in the jungle. In an incident, Bhai Taru Singh helped a Muslim Rahim Bakhsh to get his sister back from the captivity of Zakriya Khan allying with Khalsa warriors. After hearing this Zakariya Khan arrested him, and tortured him for many days to forcibly convert him into Islam. At last, he was martyred by scraping his scalp.
ਤਬ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਬਹੁ ਭਲੀ ਮਨਾਈ
ਸਾਥ ਕੇਸਨ ਕੇ ਖੋਪਰੀ ਜਾਈ
ਤੋ ਭੀ ਹਮਰੋ ਬਚਨ ਰਹਾਈ
ਸਿੱਖੀ ਕੀ ਗੁਰ ਪੈਜ ਰਖਾਈ ||
- Sri Guru Panth Prakash by Rattan Singh Bhangu
Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in one of his poems dedicated to Bhai Taru Singh Ji, writes
When the Pathans brought them chained
All in calm they remained
The captive Sikhs – though at Sahidgunj town
With their comrades’ blood, the soil was brown.
Says the Nawab, “Look, Taru Singh –
I want to forgive you without misgiving.”
Says Taru, “Why for me so much slight?”
Nawab says, “A great warrior you are
That you proved in your fight;
So, to you I bear no anger;
Only I beg of you the gift of your Beni*
And you will be spared harm any.”
Taru replied, “I owe you as your mercy’s nominee;
So offer a bit more, my head with my Beni*
- Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore
* Note by Tagore: “To shave off Beni is as good as forsaking religion for a Sikh”. “Beni” in Bengali means the coiled hair the Sikhs keep.
Among the great martyrs' Baba Banda Singh, Baba Deep Singh, Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Satidas, Bhai Mati Das, and Bhai Dayala Ji, we can't just miss the name of Bhai Taru Singh Ji whose scalp was scraped for having a firm belief in his faith.