Article | Blog | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India


Veer Baal Diwas

By : Veer Baal Diwas

December 24, 2022

In the annals of human history, there is no parallel to the martyrdom of ‘Sahibzadas’. To pay tribute to such unprecedented Martyrdom of Sahibzadas of Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh Ji – Sahibzada Zorawar Singh Ji and Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji, “Veer Baal Diwas" will be commemorated on 26th December 2022. The idea is to disseminate the story of the Sahibzadas as a true example of standing up for righteousness. Let us all recall and understand the background of their lives and the socio-political environment they were born in.

During the first decade of 17th Century, Guru Gobind Singh ji became last Sikh Guru in human form after the martyrdom of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. Later he declared that after him, the living Guru would be embodied in Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji had four sons who were lovingly referred to as 'Sahibzadas'. Baba Ajit Singh Ji, Baba Jujhaar Singh Ji, Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Baba Fateh Singh Ji. During Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s lifespan, the atrocities of Aurangzeb, the sixth ruler of Mughal empire, were at its peak and he used deceit to draw out Guru Gobind Singh Ji, his family and followers from the Anandpur Sahib fortress. The Sikhs and Mughals finally came head-to-head at the battle of Chamkaur in 1704 where the two eldest sons of Guru ji, Baba Ajit Singh Ji and Baba Jujhar Singh Ji were martyred. The younger ones got separated from the main contingent along with Mata Gujar Kaur Ji, their grandmother, while leaving Anandpur Sahib. After crossing the Sarsa river with their grandmother, they reached the hut of Kumma Maashki.

They were promised refuge by an old retainer named Gangu but instead of giving them protection he disclosed their whereabouts to Kotwal of Morinda, who handed them to Wazir Khan, the Nawab of Sirhind. Wazir Khan captured the Sahibzadas in Thanda Burj for consecutive three days and cajoled them to embrace Islam, but Sahibzadas refused to do so. The Qazi announced the fatwa to the Sahibzadas to be incarcerated in a wall. At that time, they were 9 and 7 years old respectively.

There are many legends that tell the stories of the young princes and how they led their lives. According to one such legend, the present uniform of Nihang Singhs, the warrior group amongst Sikhs, was inspired by Baba Fateh Singh Ji. There are multiple stories told around the same, but one of the popular ones is once, the three eldest sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji were practicing Martial Art (the art of using weapons) and Baba Fateh Singh Ji asked to join them. They refused, claiming that Baba Fateh Singh Ji was too young to participate as he was also very small in stature to hold the weapons. Upon hearing this, Baba Fateh Singh Ji went across the armoury, put on a brilliant blue robe, wrapped a dumala (a turban which is around or more than 10 meters in length, ending up wrapped taller on the head), wore a chakkar (a circle often used as a weapon) and came outside. He then asked his elder brothers, “I look taller now, can I participate?”

History says that when Guru Gobind Singh Ji saw Baba Fateh Singh Ji dressed like this he was pleased and thereafter the beloved Nihang Singhs of Guru Ji started adorning this attire (Bana).