|Bhai Subeg Singh & Shahbaz Singh|
|Bhai Subeg Singh & Bhai Shahbaz Singh being tortured on the 'Charkhari'|
of Subeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh
Subeg Singh was an influential zamindar of Jambar and a contractor for the
government. Zakariya Khan, the Governor of Panjab, had used the services of Subeg Singh for his own ends many times. For instance, in 1733, Zakariya Khan had sent him to present an offer of a jagir and nawabi to the Sikhs in exchange for peace. Subeg Singh successfully negotiated with the Khalsa and persuaded them to accept the jagir.
Subeg Singh had a bright and promis-ing son named Shahbaz Singh. As there were no Sikh schools in those days, Shahbaz Singh studied in a Muslim school. There, a great conflict arose between Sikhs and Muslims, and the teachers con-demned Sikhism. Shahbaz Singh strongly defended his faith and criticized Islam for forcibly converting men belonging to other religions. The matter was reported to the Qazi who delivered the usual judge-ment: embrace Islam or face death. The boy refused bluntly to abandon his faith and embrace Islam. He was sent to Lahore to stand his trial before the Governor.
Subeg Singh approached Zakariya Khan and the chief Qazi with a request to release his son, as he was innocent. But Zakariya Khan refused to interfere in the case and the chief Qazi also turned a deaf ear to him. In frustration, Subeg Singh used some harsh words and left. Later, he was arrested on a trumped-up charge of supplying information to the Sikhs and put under restraint.
Zakariya Khan died before punishing Subeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh. His son, Yahiya Khan, became the Governor of Lahore and was as relentless as his father, but more cruel. He had no soft corner for Subeg Singh or Shahbaz Singh. He therefore took up their cases and pursued them with zeal. After putting up a show of a trial, both father and son were asked to embrace Islam or face death. They bluntly refused. The Governor ordered their executions by crushing them on the wheels.
Subeg Singh and Shahbaz Singh were taken to Nakhas and publicly tortured. The chief Qazi advised Subeg Singh to accept Islam and save his, and his son's life, but Subeg Singh refused defiantly. At this the chief Qazi ordered Shahbaz Singh to be crushed on the wheels.
When Shahbaz Singh was put on the wheel, both father and son started shouting 'Akal! Akal! Akal!'. After sometime the voice of Shahbaz Singh, who was being turned on the wheel, became feeble. The wheel was stopped and the Qazi asked him if he would yield to embrace Islam. His father, realizing that his son may be losing his strength, promptly looked into his eyes and asked him to repeat 'Akal! Akal! Akal!' loudly.
The boy's spirit soared! He was himself again and started shouting 'Akal! Akal! Akal!' The wheel, with its slashing knives, went on moving until Shahbaz Singh's soul left his body for its heavenly abode. Subeg Singh was also crushed on the wheels. He breathed his last with cheerful-ness and his soul rose to the realm of Truth.
(article courtesy Dr. Santokh Singh - "The Guru's Word")