|Bhai Taru Singh|
|On a complaint, Bhai Taru Singh and his sister were arrested for providing meals to the underground Sikhs. The residents of Lahore secured the release of the sister by making a payment of one lac rupees. But the brother insisted that he would rather sacrifice himself than seek pardon. Zakaria Khan orderted that his hair be removed alongwith the skull. Bhai Taru Singh quietly recited the holy hymns when his skull was being ripped off on the 1st of July 1745|
Khan, the Governor of Lahore, had been carrying on a cruel cam-paign of persecution
against the Sikhs since 1739. The Khalsa warriors, who were the most visible
threat to the Mughals, had dis-appeared into hills, forests, and deserts where
Mughal armies could not reach them. As the Khalsa warriors were out of Zakariya
Khan's reach, he wreaked his wrath on gentle and harmless Sikhs. These peaceful
Sikhs earned their living with honest labour and shared their earnings with
those in need, irrespective of their race, re-ligion, or caste.
Notable martyrdoms have always lighted new fires in Sikh hearts. One such martyrdom was of Bhai Taru Singh of Poola, a village in Majha track. He was a pious, kindhearted young man of 25, devoted to the service of the Sikhs whom the cruel rule had driven into the wilderness. He culti-vated his fields and lived there in peace, reciting Gurbani and meditating on God. He shared his field's produce with his brethren and offered them shelter when-ever required. The Mughal rulers considered this treason.
Harbhagat Niranjania of Jandiala, who was instrumental in the arrest of Bhai Mehtab Singh of Mirankot, was always seeking information about Sikhs to pass on to the Governor of Lahore for a reward. He came to know of Bhai Taru Singh's activities and informed Zakariya Khan. Bhai Taro Singh was arrested and brought to Lahore.
He was offered a high position with the government, and a marriage with a beau-tiful damsel of a respected Mughal family, if he embraced Islam and cut his hair. Bhai Taru Singh defiantly refused to give up his faith. He told the Governor, Even if I was offered the kingship of the whole world and the beauties of paradise, I would not barter my faith. I am prepared to die but I will not let even a single hair of mine be cut." In June 1745 Bhai Taru Singh was taken to the notorious Nakhas of Lahore, a horse market outside the Delhi gate. He was again asked by the Qazi to embrace Islam and to cut off his hair. Bhai Taru Singh bluntly refused the proposal saying that his hair was inseparable from his scalp. Zakariya Khan ordered Bhai Taru Singh's hair to be scraped of along with his scalp. The orders of the Governor were carried out in full: his hair was mercilessly scraped off along with his scalp. Bhai Taru Singh stood the ordeal bravely, reciting the words of Jap Ji and calling on the name of God.
Bhai Taru Singh was taken back to prison and tortured there for many days. During this time, Zakariya Khan became seriously ill with diseased kidneys and he could not pass urine. His abdomen swelled up with intense pain and he had hard time breath-ing. In these hours of unbearable suffering, he realized that he had caused suffering to thousands of innocent Sikhs. He sent a mes-senger to Bhai Taru Singh and asked for for-giveness. Bhai Taru Singh, intoxicated with the love of God, was in a state of bliss. He forgave Zakariya Khan saying that every-thing happens in God's Will. As soon as Zakariya Khan received this message, he was able to pass urine. His pain subsided and he died shortly thereafter. Bhai Taru Singh left the earthly abode a few hours af-ter the death of Zakariya Khan on July 1, 1745.
Article courtesy Dr. Santokh Singh,"The Guru's Word"