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  Canada Immigration Forum > General > Our Native Country! > Punjab, 18th Century
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Punjab, 18th Century

Punjab, 18th Century : The governor of Punjab in early 18th century made it 18th Centurytheir state policy to exterminate the Sikhs and annihilate the newly found religion of Sikhism. Government Soldiers scourged throughout the region to search for the Sikhs and were brought to Lahore marketplace (the place previously called Naulakha Bazar) and mercilessly tortured to death by beheading, impaling, hanging with various torture devices, in front of public in broad daylight.
Besides there were State sponsored cash rewards for capturing Sikhs. 10 Rupees paid to anyone revealing information leading to capture of the Sikhs, 50 Rupees paid to deposit a decapitated Sikh head and 100 Rupees for capturing a live Sikh.
Sikhism since its birth in 16th century professed a philosophy of universal love for all mankind & life as One humanity under one God. Basic principles of Sikhism were Kirat-Karna-Wand-ke-Chakna( meaning work hard and sharing earnings & food with others). The founder of Sikh religion, Guru Nanak himself found a new city called Kartarpur by the banks of river Ravi and with a few thousand followers began to preach these teachings by toiling in agricultural farms to grow their own crops, preparing food and serving cooked meals 3 times a day, all year long to anyone who entered regardless of their religion & background. This practice attracted many followers, they learned more about Sikhism and joined this new religion. The religion grow in number and eventually came in conflict with Islam which was the state religion.

Since the arrival of Islam in India, lot of bloodshed of infidels, abduction of infidel women & forced conversions under the force of sword, building mosques over razed temples & monasteries were quite commonplace.
In the background of these events, the rise of Sikhism with its attractive philosophy of one God & one Humanity and practical value system of serving free food & shelter to the needy and hungry regardless of their caste and religion; came as a perceived threat to the growth of Islam in the subcontinent by Muslim clerics & Qazi's because many Hindus, newly converted Muslims were fast joining Sikhism, even famous Muslims became Sikhs. Additionally the Sikh faith openly opposed the infidel hating approach of Islam. The Qazi's managed to convince the emperor & governors of that time, to consider Sikhism as a threat to Islam. The official state policy of persecution of Sikhs began and thence began a cycle of centuries long conflict and bloodshed between the ruling Islamic state & Sikhism.

Government actively encouraged the capture of every last Sikh & had them massacred in broad day light to discourage anyone from joining this new religion. The 5th Sikh spiritual leader, Guru Arjun Dev willingly became a martyr and was boiled on hot plate to death but did not change the Sikh scriptures to appease the Muslim rulers. After this first Sikh martyrdom, Thousands of Sikhs faced death but did not give up their faith and defied conversion to Islam to their last breath. With their perseverance & self-less martyrdom Sikh religion survived these persecutions and Sikhs rose in number once again to capture Punjab and by late 18th century Sikhs found their first & one of the strongest Empires in South Asia at that time." border="0" alt="" />

Today Gurudwara's run around the world serving free meals 24/7 to any person who enters regardless of his/her race or religion following in the the footsteps of their first Sikh spiritual leader, Guru Nanak who first initiated this practice of free community kitchen 5 centuries ago with only a few thousand disciples.


Senior Desi
Member since: Jul 13
Posts: 301

Post ID: 205983 30-07-13 14:54:26
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Member since: Nov 03

Posts: 62
Location: Brampton

Sikhism in 18th century
Very good narrative. I would encourage to go further and talk about the journey from 5th Guru to 10th Guru. If you can talk about the 5 pillars and then even today the mighty Sikhs are willing to go any where and continue with the practice of Langar.

I remember my elder brother advising me on my journey to Canada, that if you ever have a problem either go to a Sikh or Gujarati. I still remember that and have already experienced this in Calgary when I was a new comer. The jinda dili and hospitality of Sikhs are unparalleled any where, be it the Indian Punjab or any place in the world.

I would thus request Dhaikin to put some more details of the journey of Sikhism blooming to today's flower.

Jo bole so Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!


Post ID: 206642 06-09-13 11:34:40
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