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Martyrs of The Punjab - Vol 1 - Book By Parambakshish Singh , R K Ghai

Introduction of ‘Martyrs of The Punjab - Vol 1’ - Book By Parambakshish Singh , R K Ghai

Martyrs word inspires awe, admiration and veneration. In the history of civilization brave communities, nationalities and nations have produced countless chosen heroes, who had preferred to lay down their lives for the cause which was dear to their hearts. They did not attach much value to their physical mortal existence, but rather they cherished their faith more and went to swords and gallows by sacrificing their earthly existence. They endured intense sufferings for adherence to the ideas and beliefs so that their companions, fellow-beings and countrymen could lead the life with honour, liberty and dignity.

Martyrs aspired that the posterity should chalk out their own destiny rather than towing the line of their masters. They desired that their fellow-beings should strive for self rule and have their own dreams rather than accepting the dictates of the overlords. They were conscious of this fact that their sacrifice is going to make impact on the people and it may also inspire sympathy for the cause for which they are going to lay down their lives. They were the standard bearers of the honour of the nation and not succumbing to wordly temptations and petty benefits left this mortal world for upholding the ideals. While in their life times their persecution and torture gave shivers and fear to opportunists and weak-minded people yet it also gave direction and inspiration to the brave ones and future generations.

The inspired people following the ideals of their chosen heroes marched ahead to achieve their goal. While the petty gains of the few schemers were despised and forgotten after a short while, the names of those who sacrificed their lives remained always imprinted on the hearts and minds of coming generations.

The Punjab has always remained in vanguard of the struggle for the freedom and security of the country. Throughout the centuries its inhabitants had shed their blood for the sake of their communities, tribes and the nation. Every inch of its soil has been made sacred by its heroes who, while fighting the invaders, had defended the land by sacrificing themselves. Punjab being on the north-west of India had always remained the first province to face the brunt of the invaders. From the time of Alexander to the British occupation in 1849 it had witnessed countless holocausts and bloody battles and skirmishes. Although many invaders were successful in subjugating the people and conquering this land, yet the indomitable and invincible Punjabi spirit of freedom remained unconquered.

A large number of Punjabi villages, towns and cities are witness to the deeds of these great martyrs where the shrines and places have been built in their memories. These shahids are still worshipped even after centuries of their martyrdom by their kinsmen, tribes, communities and, of course, by the nation.

With the rise of Sikhism the word martyr was given a new connotation. In the past the sacrifice was made for the tribes, communities and to maintian self honour. The Sikh gurus set the higher tradition of martyrdom for laying down the lives for the causes which they preached such as truth, righteousness, freedom of beliefs and resistance to tyranny and oppression. While upholding these ideals Guru Arjan Dev and Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed their lives. The ninth Guru's close associates Bhai Dayala and Bhai Mati Das were also subjected to the barbaric tortures to crush their spirit. This did not have the desired result of getting the apology from them and they faced the death very bravely. The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh sacrificed the whole of his family while fighting against the unjust and intolerant State.

The very creation of the Khalsa is based on the principle that the person who fights against the tyranny and in the process lays down his life acheives immortality. This reinforced concept of martyrdom inspired the whole community of the Sikhs. They fought against the Mughal authority to keep the flame of freedom burning. Their spirit infact led to the establishment of a soverign state in the Punjab under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1799. But this self-rule was only for a very brief period of fifty years and Punjab again relapsed into the salvery of the British in 1849.

Immediately after the annexation of the Punjab, the Punjabies again took the cudgles to liberate the country from the foreign yoke. Namdhari Movement, Peasant Movement of 1907, Ghadr Movement, Gurdwara Reform Movement, Babbar Akali Movement, Nau Jawan Bharat Sabha, Khilafat Agitation, Kirti Kisan, Praja Mandal, Indian National Army and many other movements were started from time to time in the Punjab for the liberation of the country. During these movements and events like Jallianwala Bagh countless people were mercilessly killed. A large number of people sacrificed their lives and went to the gallows for liberation of their motherland. Bhai Maharaj Singh, Baba Ram Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Dr. Mathra Singh, Kanshi Ram, Kishan Singh Gadgaj, Madan Lai Dhingra, Bhagat Singh, Sewa Singh Thikriwala and many others whose names figure in this book, sacrificed their lives to save the dignity and honour of the nation.

The present work is the result of many years labour and enteries made in it have been finalised after corroborating the material from the various sources. For this purpose Government Records, published books, monographs and research papers have been consulted. Although every care has been taken to authenticate the material yet we do feel that it may contain some information which may not be upto ate.

The present book does not contain the names of all the martyrs of the Punjab. Many entries could not be incorporated in the work due to ack of authentic information. We ensure that the left-out names of those heroes shall find a respectful place in the second volume.

We are grateful to our worthy Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Joginder Singh Puar for his inspiration and keen interest in this project. We must express our sincere thanks to Dr. Hazara Singh, Technical Advisor, 'ublication Bureau for the excellent production of this book.

Department of Punjab Historical Studies                                                                                               Parm Bakshish Singh
unjabi University,  Patiala                                                                                                                                       R. K, Ghai
October,   1997

Foreword To The Book ‘Martyrs of The Punjab - Vol 1’ - Book By Parambakshish Singh , R K Ghai

It gives me immense pleasure to present the book in hand entitled, Who's Who Martyrs of the Punjab to the scholars and researchers. The work adequately recognises the services of those great heroes of the Punjab who have laid down their lives to liberate the country from the foreign enslavement. History stands witness that the people of the Punjab have always played a significant role in defending the liberty and honour of the motherland. This work highlights their sacrifices for this cause.

After the annexation of Punjab by the Britishers in 1849 many important movements were started to assert the Punjabi spirit of freedom with dignity. The Kuka Movement, Ghadr, Kirti Kisan, Babbar, Nau Jawan Bharat Sabha, Gurdwara Reform Movement etc. are the few movements to be worth mentioning which played a prominent role in overthrowing the British rule from the Punjab. During this struggle freedom fighters had to face tyranny and oppression of the British might. But they faced all these brutalities without any fear and panic.

The present volume is the first in this series. I am aware that this work does not contain all the names of the martyrs. As such many entries could not be included due to inadequate information. I am confident that those will be made part of the proposed second volume.

This important volume is the result of many years of persistent labour put up by Dr. Parm Bakhshish Singh and Dr. R. K. Ghai of Punjab Historical Studies Department. I congratulate them and do hope that they will be able to complete the second volume subsequently.

Punjabi   University,                                                                                                                                            J. S. PUAR
Patiala                                                                                                                                                          Vice-Chancellor
October 23,  1997

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