Jump to content

Just how "Sikh" were they?

Recommended Posts

I'm sure we've all heard the stories of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Bhagat Singh, and Udham Singh.

Let me disect these stories into more detail, as I question you why we call them "Shaheeds" or celebrate their lifetime.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh - The Great "Sikh" Ruler?

Although he carried the identity of a Sikh, and ruled the vast lands of punjab at his time, didn't he commit adultery and marry more than one woman? Is this not against one of the BASIC aspects of sikhi?

Its pretty apparent that he did not consider himself equal with woman, as he felt he could marry more than one.

(Let me know if my information is wrong).

Bhagat Singh - Shaheed?

Bhagat Singh gave up his identity in order to fight for "India's independence" and during his struggle, he even said, "There is NO God, which would do this to my people." So am i missing something?

Since when can you be a Sikh if you dont believe in GOD?

Since when are you on your path to Khalsa (every sikhs goal) if you give up your identity?

Udham Singh - Shaheed?

Oh this guy, I blame him for creating most of the moderin sikh problems outside of India. Like how sikhs leave Punjab for other places in the world, and the first thing they do is give up their identity. He chased around the british guy, and went into "hiding" so he shaved his dari and cut his hair? And i recall our Gurus DYING because they would not do either, and since when did Sikhs HIDE to get revenge?

Yes, these people were martyrs for "INDIA" but are they really Sikh?

Why do we take pride in them?

Besides, maybe Maharaja Ranjit Singh, as im not sure if my information on him is true.

Bhindranwale -

Although he made many questionable moves during his lifetime, such as taking arms into the Golden Temple, he never gave up his identity, nor went into extreme hiding. He gave his life up for the Khalsa Panth.

The events of 84 were horrific, but 84 also enlightened many Sikhs.

I think he is one of the true shaheeds.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bhagat Singh came into contact with Bhai Randhir Singh and did not remain an atheist anymore. i dunno how to attach files, please tell me how to do so and i will attach a pdf file in Gurmukhi which will explain this better. Also, he wanted to be amritshak before execution which the british didn't allow. Another thing is that he did have the Sikh swaroop by the time of his death although he cut his hair initially. All this is what i have come across from other websites. i admit i could be wrong. There have been websites who claim Bhagat Singh was arya samaji, some say he was atheist. All this could be propaganda just to cover up the fact that he was a Sikh.

Udham Singh also is believed to be a keshdhari Sikh, rather than what is shown in films.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maharaja Ranjit Singh also put Sikhism first and foremost in his rule, his was the ONLY empire at the time that never punished criminals through torture and maming (i.e. the Moguls), but your confusing a king with a sant, he wasn't a sant, he was a King...of Punjab, he never took over and dubbed it "Khalistan", so he lived as one, but also brought about peace to the land and did enormous amounts of seva, he had all coins emblazoned with Guru Nanak the way we have the Queen on ours.....and you cut on the fact that he wasn't Sikh?!?!?! Honestly whats WRONG with our people??!?! He wasn't a Sant he was a RAJA....I once was talking to my folks about his alleged rather "non-Sikhi" habits and they just told me listen there's plenty in todays culture that "Sikh" people do that is rather un-Sikh-like, but to understand his time you would have to understand the Culture back then, he did enjoy but if anyone earned it...HE did, he united all the Sikhs that were in seperate Missals fighting amongst themselves and he defeated every single one and fought in numerous battles, his Generals were former military officers for NAPOLEAN for freaks sake, thats a hardcore military yo! Was he a perfect Sikh, I doubt it, but the fact that people hate on him, I think the best thing about his rule is that he seperated religion from politics, he was a straight up leader.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ledend, I got these quotes of another thread, accounts of Englishmen in Punjab during his time and other historians.

According to the famous historian Carlyle, a worthy sovereign should be judged from a sole factor as to how he employs his sword after being victorious.


Le Griffin writes that:

"Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled his kingdom exactly according to the Sikh way of life and Sikhism considers everyone as friends and talks about the welfare of all irrespective of caste and creed."


The spirit of Gurbani couplet, "The one Lord is the Father of all and we are the children of the one Lord rules supreme in every Sikh heart." Charles Hugal, writes in his book, "Travels in Kashmir and Punjab", that, "probably no person in the world could have established such a large empire with minimum bloodshed as Ranjit Singh has established his kingdom."


Affirming Hugal's views, Prinsep, also writes in his book, "Origin of Sikh Power in Punjab", that, "Ranjit Singh's whole career was free of any blemishes like unnecessary atrocities and cruel bloodshed."


Historian R.S. Kanungo praising all the aspects of the Kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in his writings says, "his empire was the kingdom for 'Welfare for All', in which all were equal sharing partners. In his kingdom there was no special love for Sikhs and no animosity for non-Sikhs. There were no special taxes on any caste to show it down from the other or to label it inferior."


W.G. Osborne writes that, "Maharaja Ranjit Singh was so compassionate that outside a battle he did not kill anyone, so much so that in generosity he even forgave those who tried to kill him and felt happiness in forgiving."


Charles Hugal in his book, "The Court and Camp of Ranjit Singh", writes that,

"Ranjit Singh ruled his kingdom according to the Sikh tenets. All the important positions were given to Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, entirely based on merit. Even his main advisors were three famous Muslim brothers: Fakir Aziz-ud-Din, his foreign minister; Fakir Nur-ud-Din, his home minister; Fakir Imam-ud-Din, his custodian of the arsenals. Forty-six senior Army officers and two top ranking Generals were Muslims.

One General was French and score of military officers were Europeans. In police and civil services he has about one hundred Muslim officers alone. Hindus too, used to hold many key positions in Sarkar-e-Khalsa. Ranjit Singh was secular through-and-through.

Since he had lost his one eye in childhood, due to small pox, he used to remark jokingly about himself that,

"God Willed that as a true Sikh I should look upon all religions with one eye"."


Sayyed Waheed-ud-Din, the great grandson of Fakir Aziz-ud-Din writes,

"On one occassion, Maharaja and Fakir were out walking on the outskirts of Lahore when they met a bullock cart carrying what looked like a huge book. The Maharaja stopped the cart and asked the driver, what he was carrying.

"Maharaja", replied the driver, "I am a calligraphist and this book is a manuscript of the Holy Quran, which is my entire life's work. I am on my way to Hyderabad to sell it to the Muslim king of that country.

Turning to Fakir Aziz-ud-Din the Maharaja said,

"This man seems to think that there is nobody on this side of Hyderabad who is pious and generous enough to pay him a good price". He then asked the calligraphist, "How much are you expecting my good man?"

The calligraphist mentioned a huge sum of Rs. 10,000. Before the minister could intervene, Ranjit Singh commanded,

"Fakir ji, please see to it that this man is paid ten thousand rupees from the state treasury." He then asked Fakir Aziz-ud-Din to read him a passage from the manuscript. Fakir read Sura 'Yusaf' and then translated it.

"But Fakir ji," remarked the Maharaja, "The Great Granth says the same kind of things. What is the difference?"

"None, your Highness", replied the Fakir, "The goal is the same, only the paths are different." The Maharaja awarded Aziz-ud-Din, for this apt reply, by gifting him the manuscript.


Maharaja Ranjit Singh did not know about prejudice and sectarianism, that is why a Muslim poet like Shah Mohammed was not tired of praising him and lamented by recounting the virtues of Ranjit Singh on his death.


Another unparalled quality of Ranjit Singh was that any king or landlord who was defeated by him, Ranjit Singh instead of showing him down, used to show generosity and allot him landed property worth hundreds of thousands of rupees so as to pass life with dignity.

Defeated Afghan Governor Muhammad Khan, Nawab of Kasur Kutub-o-din, defeated son of Governor of Multan are apparent examples of Ranjit Singh's benevolence.


According to N.K. Sinha,

"Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to give robe of honour to Qazis, Sayyeds, Ulmas and hermits so that they could keep on working for welfare and building the nation with full devotion and enthusiasm."


Henry Lawrence in his book, "Adventures of an Officer in Punjab", writes that:

"Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to give large properties to the defeated kings and keep them in a position to live a comfortable life, while others would enjoy to let their enemies suffer to the limit of defeat."


Murray writes,

"Ranjit Singh was full of humanity. He ruled by following the etiquettes of Sikhism and therefore he was generous, benevolent and a sympathiser."

"He has been likened to Mehmet Ali and to Napoleon. There are some points in which he resembles both; but estimating his character with reference to his circumstances and positions, he is perhaps a more remarkable man than either. There was no ferocity in his disposition and he never punished a criminal with death even under the circumstances of aggravated offence. Humanity indeed, or rather tenderness for life was a trait in the character of Ranjit Singh. There is absolutely no instance of his having wantonly imbued his hands in blood."


Maharaja was truely secular and democratic in ruling his kingdom and welfare of his subjects kept paramount importance in his performance agenda. There were 4000 schools in his Kingdom, which were all same for the children of all brotherhoods. Even English and French were taught so that students could communicate with the literature and culture of the outside world. The Maharaja gave a practical shape to the Sikh mentality. His empire, in the real meaning, was the kingdom of the people in which there was justice, happiness, dynamic power and universal partnership.


Waheed-ud-Din, quotes, two of Ranjit Singh's orders which highlight his sense of justice and equality for his people. In one order he says, that even if His Highness himself issues an inappropriate order against any resident, it should be clearly brought to the notice of His Highness so that it may be amended......justice should be dispensed in accordance with legitimate right and without the slightest oppression and prejudice and orders should be passed in accordance with the Shatras or the Quran as pertinent to the faith of the party.

In his second decree, he frankly states that Sri Sat Guru ji forbid if His Highness or his beloved sons should commit any inappropriate act. It should be brought to the notice of His Highness.

Waheed-ud-Din considers these orders very unique in the sense that they do not even exclude the Emperor from the clutches of the law. History stands testimony that, Maharaja received lashes on his back in open view of the Sangat when the punishment was awarded to him by the Akal Takhat.


Vincent Smith, observes:

"The Punjab state under Ranjit Singh was neither a traditional Indian territorial state and monarchy, nor merely a dictatorship".


For the Sikhs his rule was a "Haleemi Raj" i.e. a Kingdom ruled with utmost humility, kindliness and a sense of service to humanity.


It was taken from sikhnet long time ago.. I believe it's Sardar. Preet Mohan Singh ji who researched and found these quotes..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Figures, Ranjit Singh was the one i was doubting my information on.

Rochak Malang - Where do you get your information on Bhagat Singh from? I've never heard anything of this sort yet, in fact I am pretty certian Bhagat Singh did not have the Sikh identity upon his death. And Udham Singh was not a keshdari sikh, he was originally, but he gave up the identity to "gain revenge."

Bazooka Singh - Nice input about Ranjit Singh, but "he put sikhi first and foremost in his rule" - then why did he commit adultery...why was the "culture" at that time as you put it, to be able to commit adultery easily?

I also never said he was a SANT, I simply question how much of a Sikh he was. Theres the basics of sikhism which one must keep as he hopes to become a member of the Khalsa Panth (the true sikh thru some eyes), and if these are broken, and never re-collected, are you REALLY a sikh?

According to you and your culture theory, sikhs shouldnt even have to keep the kara, kesh, in the Westernized world as it against the "culture" here. The question was not how good of a ruler he was, but how much of a sikh was he. I also believe Ranjit Singh never took amrit in his life to "forgive" his own sins.

Also the quotes you follow up with are quotes coming from a positive-side of Ranjit Singhs kingdom.

He was a great ruler indeed, who did mind ones religion or caste.

Lets keep it to the question here, he committed adultery, and never took amrit, yet we take pride in him because he's "sikh".

Being born sikh, teaching others sikhi, does not make one sikh.

You must follow it, and before the end, you must become part of the Khalsa Panth. Of course, people are at different stages with sikhi, and we all make mistakes, but our goal at the end is to become Khalsa.

Does the fact that he had coins with guruji on them, mean anything?

I go to plenty of houses for akhand paht and I see pictures of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Guru Nanak Ji, yet the family holding this akhand paht, has given up the identity Guruji gave us, and are very corrupt in nature.

And please, leave your culture comments out.

One can still remain a "Sikh" and be from various cultures.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just know one thing , they were better sikhs then we are now. If u wanna talk about some thing then talk about our todays leader. Bhagat Singh , lived a truth ful life so is Udham singh. They have done some thing great for their country. Even if they cut their hair, its not a big thing. cuz their aim wasn't sikhism. Their aim was FREEDOM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As i mentioned earlier, i don't know how to send an attachment along with messages on this forum, so i am unable to send the file i have in Gurmukhi about Bhagat Singh.

Secondly, i don't think anyone can judge anyone else as to whether he/she is a true Sikh, nor can it be judged as to "just how Sikh" he/she is. Its between the individual and Guru Sahib. No third person in the middle. Thats it!

All that said and done, it is upto u if u wanna call them "Sikh martyrs" or something else. Everyone is free to have their own opinion. It is also okay if u don't wanna admit that they made the biggest sacrifice for their country. i may be wrong, but i don't feel it is right to judge how Sikh someone is or was, as only Guruji knows that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aman Singh - Yes, there aim was FREEDOM, we've clarified that. That point is not the issue of this topic.

Rochak - Very true. I did not mean it as if im judging them to state if there sikh, but merely asking if WE (todays sikhs) should regard them with high standars?

Yeah sure, go ahead and celebrate their sacrficies for INDIA, not for sikhi.

I just see alot of sikhs who hold some allegiance with those "Shaheeds"

I do not live in India nor do I want anything to do with it.

(Yes, its proper to assume i support Khalistan).

I'm just wondering why people think of them as "Sikhs" as if there martyrs were for the future of sikhism.

Alot of other indian people also come up to and ask me the stories of Bhagat Singh, as if any of it matters to me.

All im trying to say is why so many sikhs have some sort of allegiance with Bhagat Singh and not other Hindu leaders at that time?

Being born sikh does not make you sikh.

And Bhagat Singh killed of his mind with guruji when he said There is NO God who would do this to my people. Speaking on behalf what he said, that would make him an atheist, one who does not beleive in religion.

If you celebrate Bhagat Singhs lifetime for INDIA, you might as well celebrate all the other hindu leaders which i know most of you have never even researched before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aman Singh - Yes, there aim was FREEDOM, we've clarified that. That point is not the issue of this topic.

Yah right ,the point is not that , but u are not even right. If u saw one of those recent movies about Bhagat Singh then they have shown something wrong in the movies. Bhagat Singh did cut his hair to save his life from gora police but after that he grew back his hair when he was arrested. He was doing the path in the jail and reading other punjabi material. This hindi movies don't show that but i have seen this in "punjabi nakat", they used to show this on TV in punjab. Where we can see very clearly that he was sardar when he was in jail.

Plz don't try to raise more question about Bhagat Singh, since there are lot of anit sikh ppl are trying to prove that ,"he was a terrorist." If u can't respect them then dont' disrespect either. The only thing i know, They were good ppl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

its my turn "D

no, bai udam singh ji, and bhai bhagat singh ji did not die for "india" they gave their lives for BHARAT, SOMETHING THAT NEVER CAME TO BE, yes they where sikhs, look at shaheed bai sardars Jinda and Sukha ji khalsaye, they also cut their hair, but that don't mean they were'nt sikhs, they cut their hair with purpose not just to be cool, but to do mahaan seva, as with bhai udam singh ji and bhai bhagat singh ji


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Please provide proof or any reference where it states that bhagat singh grew out his hair again and started to follow sikhi. I have multiple articles stating no such thing.


Gabroo, please state your article where it says that Sukha and Jinda cut their hair. To my knowledge they never did, they are real shaheeds that promoted the Sikh cause.

Bhagat and Udham Singh promoted an "Indian" cause.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thought you guys might find this article interesting...


and let me re-clarify the arguement -

I respect bhagat singh alot. He was a very good man and a good freedom fighter. But i respect him just as much as i respect gandhi and many other hindu leaders and freedom fighters at that time.

I dont respect Bhagat Singh as some sort of Sikh, or I dont think he has some allegiance with Sikhs.

I see alot of Sikhs that think they have some sort of special allegiance with Bhagat Singh, just because of his blood line, but yet they never speak of the hindu freedom fighters, they infact look down on them.

That is my debate, Bhagat Singh didnt fight for the sikh cause, he fought for India. (which is good to some, I suppose)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, Bhai Randhir Singh ji of Akhand Kirtani jatha is eye witness of Bhagat Singh being Sikh and coming back to sikhism. I think he inspired him and he mentioned it in his book somewhere that Bhagat singh was Sikh again.

Below Article I found online.

In the movie Legend of Bhagat Singh, one character makes a statement that the 'elder father' had committed Bhagat Singh to the country at his 'Janeu' ceremony.

If Bhagat Singh was brought up in a sikh family, where does the question of his Janeu ceremony arises. Is it another factual mistake in the movie and another attempt to Hinduise the sikhs ?

Imagine the character of fiancee of Bhagat Singh did exist, no one in Punjab of 1920s could imagine a prospective daughter-in-law to visit he prospective in-laws house before her being married, as shown in the movie, specially during ceremony of engagement.

Very Maharashtrian/ Gujarati practice of tying the toes and stuffing of nose of dead body is shown of the fellow Bengali freedom fighter who passes away in the jail after the torture is shown done in Lahore Jail. Were there many people from West India in Jail to perform these rites on the dead body of a Bengali gentleman in a Jail in Punjab.

Lastly, the blood oozing out of Bhagat Singh's hand as he grips the sharp arrow head in the first meeting with Chander Sekhar Azad clots immediately and trickles much later when he moves his hand away from the arrow head. Some basic physiology lesson for the film crew was required, I suppose.

These are few of glaring contextual errors made in the movie on the time and life of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, possibly to cash on the crypto-patriotism of Indian masses after the success of period Laggan and Ghaddar.Debate of his being sikh in which part of his life is another importan aspect which will continue to agitate the sikh psyche.

Here is another one. As per Bhai Rhandir Singhs autobiography (thanks M Singh) :According to an eyewitness account four hours before his death he continuously sat in prayer and recited all the prayers he found in a Sikh Prayer Book (Gutka)."

In the movie they have him reading communist texts until he is hung.

I do believe that in Bhai Rhandir Singhs autobiography there is also a quotation as to why he cut his hair. Bhagat Singh states that he would not be given any coverage in the newspapers by the Hindu press. I don't know how this fits in with the version in the movie.(Bhagat Singh cut his hair in order to disguise himself from the witnesses who saw him shoot the Englishman)

One more question my understanding of factual history is that Bhagat Singh took credit for the murder although he actually did not pull the trigger is this correct as well??

According to book " Jeevan Charitar: Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh"

When bhai sahib ji met(during evening on day when Bhai Sahib was released from Prison) Bhagat Singh, he did not believe in GOD.

However during that meeting he was convinced about the return of atma to this world and hence about the presence of GOD. Bhagat singh repented that he got rid of his hair because of the pressure of others as he needed a different identity. After this meeting Bhagat singh started believing in GOD and when he was hanged he had 6 inches long hair.

On march 26, 1949 the newspaper Blitz from Bombay published photo of bhagat singh just before his hanging and that photo shows that he had joora at that time.

For more research one can also look into british records in London or other records in India.

4th example

"Bhai Sahib suffered harrowing tortures in Multan prison from April 1916 to June 1917, and for four years 1917-1921 in Hazaribagh prison in Bihar. He enjoyed some peace in Rajahmundry prison where he was kept in isolation but not tortured for a year in 1922, but his prison life in Nagpur prison (1923-1930) reads like a horror story where he was made the merciless victim of inhuman tortures. Six months before his release he was brought to Lahore where he was released on 4th October 1930. On the eve of his release Bhagat Singh the great freedom fighter met him as an atheist but parted as a believer in God and a man of faith. Exactly six months and 20 days after this meeting Bhagat Singh suffered death sentence on the night of 23rd March 1931. According to an eyewitness account four hours before his death he continuously sat in prayer and recited all the prayers he found in a Sikh Prayer Book (Gutka)."

Can Be found at http://www.akj.org/skins/default/books.php?bookid=2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

U know what... when u think about Bhagat singh and all other sikh mryter.. don't use your brain then.. Use your HEART.

And Bhagat Singh didn't fight for india or bharat.. he fought for freedom.. he didn't want to live as a slave. Bhagat singh was very smart and educated person, so also knew that what was he doing. He sacrificed all his life just for freedom. Which mean, he was sikh within his heart , may be not looked like sikh for some time. But he was known as sikh person and still.

Just keep respecting him as a sikh too. We shoudl be proud of him, as i am. He was the best. Hair doesn't matter.

And what do u mean by respecting Gandhi??? What did he do?? He is the one who is responisble of Bhagat singhs death. He was happy that day when bhagat singh was hanged to death. Gandhi and his follower never liked Bhagat singh and his group. They called him trouble maker and terrorist. The hell with the Gandhi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aman Singh -

If he, himself did not claim to be sikh, and claimed to be an athiest (check link above and previous posts)...

than why are you proud of him as a sikh?

Seems like its in the blood-line.

Similar to this caste junk,

Your jatt only by your last name and blood line.

same as any other caste, all it is, is false-pride.

Blood doesnt mean anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 18 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...