22. The Final Barbaric Act
to get any clues after three months, they prepared to put an end to their
lives on Sunday, 9th June, 1716. Banda's cage was again hoisted on top of an
elephant, and he was dressed in mock attire of an emperor, with a colourful
red pointed turban on his head. His 4 year old son Ajai Singh was placed in
his lap. The twenty odd sardars marched behind the elephant and this special
procession then passed through the streets of Delhi, and headed for the
Kutub-ud-din mausoleum of Bahadur Shah, near the present Kutab Minar.
reaching that graveyard, the captives were again offered a choice of two
alternatives: conversion to Islam or death. Needless to say all chose death.
The Sikh sardars were subjected to tortures before being executed. Their
heads were then impaled on spears and arranged in a circle round Banda who
was now squatting on the ground. There were hundreds of spectators standing
around watching this scene. Here they made him paraded around the tomb of
late emperor Bahadur Shah and put him to a barbarous death.
Singh was then given a short sword and ordered to kill his own son Ajai
Singh. As he sat unperturbed, the executioner moved forward and plunged his
sword into the little child cutting the hody into two. Then pieces of flesh
were cut from the body and thrown in Banda's face. His liver was removed and
thrust into Banda Singh's mouth. The father sat through all this without any
signs of emotion. His powers of endurance were to be tested still further.
before that, Mohammed Amin Khan, who was standing near spoke as follows:
"From your manner so far you appear to be a man of virtue, who believes in
God, and in doing good deeds. You are also very intelligent. Can you tell me
why you are having to suffer all this here ?"
reply was, "When the tyrants oppress their subjects to the limit, then God
sends men like me on this earth to mete out punishment to them. But being
human, we sometimes overstep the laws of justice, and for that we are made
to pay whilst we are still here. God is not being unjust to me in any way."
executioner then stepped forward and thrust the point of his dagger into
Banda's right eye, pulling out the eyeball. He then pulled out the other
eyeball. Banda sat through all this as still as a rock. His face gave no
twitch of pain.
cruel devil then took his sword and slashed off Banda's left foot, then both
his arms. But Banda's features were still calm as if he was at peace with
his Creator. Finally they tore off his flesh with red-hot pincers, and there
being nothing else left in their book of tortures, they cut his body up into
a hundred pieces, and were satisfied. (These details of the torture are
given in full, by the following writers: Mohammed Harisi, Khafi Khan,
Thornton, Elphinstone, Daneshwar and others).
ambassadors of the East India company, John Surman and Edward Stephenson,
who were in Delhi then and had witnessed some of these massacres, wrote to
the governor of Fort William: "It is not a little remarkable with what
patience Sikhs undergo their fate, and to the last it has not been found
that one apostatized from his new formed religion. "
June 9th , came the turn of Banda Singh. Harshest torments had been reserved
for him. His eyes were pulled out and his hands and feet chopped off. His
flesh was torn with red hot pincers. The end came, mercifully for him with
the executioner's axe falling on his neck.
his end Sikhism did not die on the contrary Sikhism came out strong and the
torch of Banda Singh Bahadur was carried with new Warriors like Nawab Kapur
Singh Virk, Sardar Budh Singh, Sardar Charat Singh, Baba Deep Singh ji
Shaheed, Sardar Jassa Singh ji Ahluwalia, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Hari singh
ki jaal sabhai ekai pehchaanbo is the Guru Gobind Singh's message. which
emphatically states "men may call themselves Hindus, Muslims, Emams and
Shaffies, but I see them all belonging to one raceómankind." Guru Gobind
Singh had given Banda specific orders to punish those who had persecuted
good saints like Pir Budhu Shah.
had not mentioned any revenge on those who had executed his own young boys
at Sirhind. Hc had expected Bahadur Shah to fulfil his promise to punish
those who had committed atrocitics on good men, but had parted company from
the Emperor completely disappointed. Banda Singh was then taught to bring to
reality the Guru's own dream.