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The Battles Of Banda Singh Bahadur


amardeep
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'Despite the anti-sikh and anti-hindu measures of the Mughal government, Banda Singh did not reduce his struggle to the level of a communal strife. His was a political struggle. He would not, therefore, impose any religious restrictions upon the Muslims... The struggle of Banda Singh was only directed against the tyranny of the local Mughal officials in Punjab, and their high-handedness was resented and opposed not only by the sikhs and Hindus but also by the Muslims who joined his army in thousands to fight against the Mughal government.'

-Akhbar-i-Darbar-I-Mualla: Mughal Court News relating to the Punjab ad 1707-1718: 'Punjab past and present. Patiala, October 1984 p. 19-20:

Edited by amardeep
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Can you give us a source please?

I can't recall reading this in Grewal and Habib's Persian sources?

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Could you do me a favour and have sift through the book and see if Patwant Singh gives any footnote or any further elaboration on the source - say in the bibliography?

I had read in another Persian account that Muslim zamindaars had sympathy for the Khalsa cause against the Moghuls as they were getting shafted also, but never anything like this.

Try and see if the manuscript has a name also. All Persian documenst of this type seem to have elaborate names.

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Its a novelistic history of the sikhs so unfortunately he does not provide any sources for any of his claims, however often he refers to sources(without mentioning their name) where I have already read the text in Irfan Habibs book to confirm that he is not just making things up. Unfortunately he does'nt have any bibliography in his book.

However the above quite is in the same source as the one that says Babaji demolished the zamindaar system.

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Sorry I found a source at the end of the book. There are no foot notes in the book so I did'n think there were any. The source of the above quote is: Akhbar-i-Darbar-I-Mualla: Mughal Court News relating to the Punjab ad 1707-1718: 'Punjab past and present. Patiala, October 1984 p. 19-20.

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Its a novelistic history of the sikhs so unfortunately he does not provide any sources for any of his claims, however often he refers to sources(without mentioning their name) where I have already read the text in Irfan Habibs book to confirm that he is not just making things up. Unfortunately he does'nt have any bibliography in his book.

However the above quite is in the same source as the one that says Babaji demolished the zamindaar system.

A Mahabat Khan is mentioned in at least one other contemporary account as participating in the Battles against Banda but I don't trust the above quote. Patwant Singh writes popular history not the rawer type. Until a source is properly presented I'd exercise a degree of caution regarding the statement.

Plus why isn't it in Grewal & Habib's work? If it is an eye witness account of the battles by a high ranking official, how could it be missed by them but used by Patwant Singh?

Addition: I posted the above before I read your last post with the source Amardeep. The question of Grewal etc. missing it still stands. Maybe it was found to be fake after the original 1984 publication? Anyone else know anything about the above source?

Edited by dalsingh101
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I recall the quote is from a news report to the Mughal court stating that, I paraphrase here, Muslims have joined Banda Singh and he allowed them to call the azaan in the camp and that he set up a daily allowance for their maintenence. There are no reports on what happened to these Muslims, whether they fought up to the end or were fair weather friends only supporting Banda whilst he was on top after defeating Wazir Khan of Sirhind. This is the one and only report about Muslims supporting Banda Singh in the whole set of news reports. This does fly in the face of Khushwant Singh's accusation of Banda Singh's struggle as hurting the formation of a Punjabi nationality. Whilst some Muslims may have made common cause the fact is that the vast majority as well as some of the rich Hindus of Lahore supported the Jihad against Banda Singh.

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People should start a campaign to clear his name from false accusations from Nihangs and others who claim that he claimed Guruship and mass murdered civilians etc etc..

That is going from one extreme to another. Slander to a complete whitewash. lol

There are contemporary accounts claiming murder of sullay civilians, whether these are propaganda/exaggeration on part of the Mogs is the question. But it would be surprising if some people didn't go overboard, as they do in these types of situations after years of suppression/oppression. Plus we have to remember not every participant was religiously motivated.

Edited by dalsingh101
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Exactly. According to many sources it was not just the Khalsa fauj that participated in these wars. A lot of local peasants joined the war when they saw that the Khalsa had the upper hand and used it as an opportunity to revenge years of oppresion as well as many thiefs and thugs.

So to say that Banda Singh Bahadur was directly responsible for their behavior requires evidence on their behalf. No one denies that civilians were'nt massacred but the question is whether Banda Singh Bahadur should have his name stained for this.

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If Tony's quote is anything to go by (I read the same one years ago), then it seems unlikely that he directly sanctioned the random killing of sullay.

We have to find that source again.

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The actual quote is-;

"The wretched Nanak-worshipper has his camp in the town of Kalainpur upto the 19th instant. During the period he has promised and proclaimed: 1 do not oppress the Muslims'. Accordingly, for any Muslim who approached him, he fixes a daily allowance and wages and looks after him. He has permitted them to read khutba and namaz. As such, five thousand Muslims have gathered around him. Having entered into his friendship, they are free to shout their call and say prayers in the army of the wretched Sikhs." Saturday April 28th 1711 Akhbar-iDurbar-i-Mualla translated in Punjab past and present 1984

I doubt Banda Singh actually sanctioned the cold blooded murder of common Muslims. This is actually a accusation against him from Muslims to whom the irony is lost as well as Nihangs and neo-Nihang types of the UK variety. The rural common people who lived under the oppressive rule of the Mughals and their Subedars and the minor functionaries 'Rajay Seenh mukadam kutay' gave vent to their feeling and massacred a large of Muslims who lived in the towns. During Banda Singh's invasion of the Doab in UP, a large number of Gujjars joined him in razing the Mughal towns. The people also seemed to have a particular hatred of the Sayyeds (the descendents of Fatima) and a large number were killed.

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How unfortunate the murder of civilians was, it is the responsobility for every sikh to condemn them, however I also feel that sikhs have a duty to challenge (intelectually) those nihangs and others who make accusations against Banda Bahadur Singh saying he claimed Guruship etc.

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They are only basing it on Bhangoo's Panth Prakash, so I don't see what the big deal is. Very few Sikhs don't have respect for Banda. It isn't a big deal, it is part of our history.

Trying to retrospectively whitewash the past is a fools game. I suggest you don't do it.

Whatever exactly happened in the past we will probably never know with absolute certainty but strong traditions do make it look like the 'Tat Khalsa' had serious differences with Banda.

I never understand why some people keep trying to paint every last one of our historical figures as whiter than white? Makes no sense. Are you trying to fit them into a box that makes it easier for your mind to understand?

Edited by dalsingh101
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How unfortunate the murder of civilians was, it is the responsobility for every sikh to condemn them, however I also feel that sikhs have a duty to challenge (intelectually) those nihangs and others who make accusations against Banda Bahadur Singh saying he claimed Guruship etc.

Read Ganda Singh's book on Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. He has challenged and proven wrong all who have tarnished the reputation of this great Shaheed of the Panth.

Edited by Mithar
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Dalsingh:

No one is saying that there were no problems between the Tat Khalsa and Banda's army, however it needs to be backed up by facts and not exaggerations. Banda Singh might have changed the color of the bana and used a different greeting, however how is that different from the many maryadas we have of akj, taksal, nanaksar etc etc?

Ther might have been issues but lets find out what these issues were about instead of jumping on the waggon of saying "well they had problems so lets pick a side"...

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Only the dumbass, dogmatically obsessed would need to pick a side. Trying to whitewash is also doing this in another form.

Anyway I'm still surprised that the quote given by Tony earlier isn't in Grewal & Habib's work. Seems very peculiar.

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Read Ganda Singh's book on Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. He has challenged and proven wrong all who have tarnished the reputation of this great Shaheed of the Panth.

Why isn't this book available online? It was first published in 1935.

I checked Panjab Digital Library qand although they had Ganda Singh's book on Shah Durrani, they never had this one.

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I dont know about you but when I meet or talk to people who are sceptical about Banda Singh Bahadur they often have the bandai vs. tat khalsa mentality.

Young brother I give you this good piece of advice.

When you meet people like this, remove yourself from them with haste! lol

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