3. Banda Singh Bahadur's Mission

Guru Gobind Singh had hoped that Emperor Bahadur Shah would fulfil his promise and do justice in the Punjab by punishing the Governor of Sirhind, Nawab Wazir Khan and his accomplices for their crimes against the common people including the deaths of the Guru's mother, Mata Gujri and his two younger sons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh. Finding him reluctant, the Guru deputed Madho Das Bairagi, under the leadership of five Sikhs, to end Mughal persecution of innocents in Punjab. In a few days, the Guru held a darbar and on 3 September 1708, baptised Madho Das with Khanda di pahal and conferred the title of Banda Singh Bahadur on him. He appointed him as his military lieutenant and invested him with full political and military authority as his deputy to lead the campaign in the Punjab against the evil Mughal administration and to punish Nawab Wazir Khan and his supporters. Banda was supplied with five gold tipped arrow and a nagara (drum) as symbols of temporal authority. He was given an advisory council of five devoted Sikhs (Hazuri Singhs), who on their arrival in the Punjab were to assure the Sikhs that Banda was the Guru's nominee and deputy and to organize them in order to lead an expedition against Sirhind. The five Singhs were:

  • Baj Singh, a descendant of the third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das.

  • Baj Singh's brother Ram Singh.

  • Binod singh, a descendant of the second Sikh Guru, Guru Angad Dev.

  • Binod Singh's son Kahan singh

  • Fateh Singh.

  • Twenty five soldiers were to act as Banda's bodyguards. A Hukumnamah (order) in the handwriting of the Guru instructing Sikhs to join Banda Bahadur in his struggle against Mughal rule was provided. As an insignia of his temporal authority invested in him, the Guru gave Banda Bahadur his own sword, green bow, five arrows from his quiver and a Nishan Sahib. Three hundred Sikh cavaliers in battle array accompanied Banda up to a distance of eight kilometres to give him a final send off.

    En route to the Punjab

    At the rate of ten to sixteen kilometres per day, it should have taken Banda more than a hundred days to complete his journey, but he actually took about a year. Probably, he might have been frequently in hiding. The emperor must have instructed his officers to kill Banda and his band. That is why Banda travelled right across Maharashtra and Rajasthan, both of which were then in revolt against the Mughals.





























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