Sakhi Redeeming of Pledge by Akali Phoola Singh
early morning congregation took place on 14th March 1823. The entire army
and the generals attended the assembly. Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the
generals had already discussed about the impending battle. The Jathedars
opined that if they delayed the attack a little longer, it would enable the
enemy to muster their army in large number. So it was decided to launch an
supplication (Ardas) was made before the Guru and the victory drum sounded.
Every contingent of marched past Maharaja Ranjit Singh and proceeding
further on the shouts of Bole so nihal, Sat Sri Akal. Maharaja Sahib
motivated all of them to fight to win. The band of Akalis had gone past and
that of S. Desa Singh was crossing when a spy informed that ten thousand
soldiers along with 40 guns have arrived from Kabul for the help of the
enemy. Maharaja Sahib re-assessed the situation and felt, he should postpone
the decision of attack to the next day, since the confrontation had now
become tough and the Khalsa artillery was expected to join them next day.
Akali Phoola Singh learnt that Maharaja Sahib was planning to change the
morning decision made for attack on the army, he went to him and said very
courageously. ''It is accepted that the enemy is in a stronger position
today, but having resolved in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, it is
against the principle of Khalsa. One may lose one's head but never the
respect of the decision made in the presence of Satguru Ji.''
Ranjit Singh said, ''There is no harm in taking cognisance of the situation.
The statesmanship advises that if this attack is launched a day later, what
difference would it make? We are not shirking from fighting a battle and
will reach the battle field, but keeping the situation in view, it is not
advisable to hurry.'' ''Maharaja Sahib ! our supplication before Sri Guru
Granth Sahib was our pledge made with our Guru and we are not prepared to
break this pledge even if the strength of the enemy go up ten times and we
are to die in the battlefield. Kalghidhar pita is with us and he will help
us stand by our pledge.'' Akali Ji replied with much confidence.
Sahib was in a fix. He was not prepared to go to battle without his
artillery support. Maharaja Sahib kept deliberating the created situation in
his mind but Akali Phoola Singh felt that he was losing precious time. He
said, ''You are the Emperor, You may do whatever you feel like. But I shall
advance now to fulfil my vow. I am not bothered if I die in the battlefield,
but I shall not let enemy step on even an inch of our territory. God alone
knows how many sacrifices had been made by our elders to free it from the
tyranny of the foreign invaders? We shall not let all their fallen blood go
waste in our life time.''
marching towards the battlefield, Akali Ji made an other Ardas
(Supplication). Visualising the ten Guru's and Sri Guru Granth Sahib before
him, he said, ''Hey Satgur Ji, the strength of the enemy army is large. But
this servant of your house is determined to attack the tyrannical and
oppressive enemy who invades our land and take away the hard earned wealth
of our people, their young wives, daughters and above all their respect. Hey
Satguru Ji, grant us the strength that we may maintain the glory and
grandeur of this Khalsa Raj even at the cost of our head. We had surrendered
our head to you, the day we wore your apparel and took Khande-ki-Pahul.
Losing my life is no worry for me but I shall never let your pious and holy
name get tarnished even by a whisker and please do not let me live to see
that day. So be kind and grant your Khalsa the boon of fighting gallantly in
Ardas made in the valiant mood had a miraculous effect on the Akali army. No
sooner had the Ardas finished than the sky resounded with the shouts of 'Sat
Sri Akal'. The Akali army set out towards the battlefield to encounter the
challenge of the enemy. Thirty thousand Ghazis blinded by the enthusiasm of
Jehad let loose a volley of fire on the Khalsa army. Akalis kept advancing
and wanted to take on the enemy in sword and lance battle.
were adept in their use and preferred it over the guns. Seeing the Akalis
advancing fearlessly in the rain of bullets, Maharaja Sahib could not keep
himself aloof from the scene of action. He ordered his army to march to the
help of Akali brethren. He himself marched with his army. The Maharaja army
attacked the Ghazis who were trying to encircle the army of Akali Ji and
were looking to be succeeding. Akali army marched and faced the enemy face
to face. The Jehadis were firing blindly. A bullet of the enemy penetrated
the knee cap cover of Akali Phoola Singh Ji and entered into the body of the
horse he was riding. The horse fell down. Akali Ji quickly mounted on his
elephant. The Akalis now took the enemy in hand to hand combat. They used
their swords to such an effect that the Ghazis forgot whether they were
living or dead.
army was re-inforced by Maharaja. In the meantime, by an act of providence,
the Khalsa artillery also reached the scene of action. The Pathans tried
their best to gain a foot-hold but could not bear the sword of the Akalis.
In the meantime, Prince Kharak Singh also reached there with his contingent.
The battle raged the whole day. By evening, Ghazis ran away saving their
setting of the Sun brought the sunset on the courage of the Pathans. Akalis
were marching towards a memorable victory. The Akalis chased the enemy so
that they do not look this way again. Just then a Pathan sniper fired from
close quarter and hit Akali Phoola Singh with his bullet. Akali Mahan Singh
located his position and cut him into two. At last the battlefield fell into
the hands of Khalsa army.
great martyr Baba Phoola Singh who strived to keep the desires of keeping
the fair and just regime of Khalsa alive in the minds of the youth even at
the cost of his own life and fulfilling the vow made before his Satguru will
always be a lighthouse of sacrifice, bravery, faith, confidence and will to
succeed for the coming generations. Our leaders should draw a leaf out of
his life history and emulate his qualities of Panthic love, sympathy, unity
and desire to achieve glory of the Panth.
jaa too mairay val hai taa kiyaa
muhshhadaa tudhh sabh kichh maino soupiaa jaa
Granth Sahib ji, Ang. 1096