“सवा लाख से एक लड़ाऊं, चिड़ियन ते मैं बाज तुड़ाऊं, तबै गुरु गोबिंद सिंह नाम कहाऊं|”
Guru Gobind Singh Ji defines the most fearsome warrior caste on this planet in this dialogue. They say that one Sikh is capable of taking over 1.25 lakh soldiers. They ( Sikhs) always keep proving them right. From saving lives to giving life in the name of the nation, Sikhs are always in front. Battle of Saragarhi is the boldest example of this.
What is Battle of Saragarhi? Nobody gives a damn ( which actually is the worst part of today’s generations).
For those who don’t know about this, Battle of Saragarhi is the battle take place on 12th Sept 1897 between Pashtoon army British Indian Army. It is included in world’s top battles through out times. It was more like ‘300’ movie, as 21 Sikh soldiers fight against 10000 Pashtoon armies to defend Saragarhi post. The Sikhs, led by Havildar Ishar Singh, chose to fight to the death, in what is considered by some military historians as one of the history’s greatest last-stands. The post was recaptured two days later by another British Indian contingent. They give their lives saving that area and also done great damage to their army and killed over 600 Pashtoons.
Wait, 21 against 10000, killed 600, that means one soldier killed over 30(WOW!). Kind of imaginary but this proves Guru Ji words that a Sikh soldier is capable of taking over 1.25 lakh soldier, The World’s most dangerous people for a reason. Here is the brief description on how battle began with correct timings.Saragarhi was a small village in the border district of Kohat, situated on the Samana Range (present-day Pakistan). On 20 April 1894, the 36th Sikh Regiment of the British Army was created, under the command of Colonel J. Cook. In August 1897, five companies of the 36th Sikhs under Lt. Col. John Haughton, were sent to the North West Frontier Province (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa), stationed at Samana Hills, Kurag, Sangar, Sahtop Dhar and Saragarhi.
The British had partially succeeded in getting control of this volatile area, however, tribal Pashtuns attacked British personnel from time to time. Thus a series of forts, originally built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Ruler of the Sikh Empire, were consolidated. A general uprising by the Afghans began there in 1897, and between 27 August – 11 September, many vigorous efforts by Pashtuns to capture the forts were thwarted by the 36th Sikh Regiment. In 1897, insurgent and inimical activities had increased, and on 3 and 9 September Afridi tribes. On 12th of September 1897
- Around 9:00 am, around 10,000 Afghans reach the signaling post at Saragarhi.
- Gurmukh Singh signals to Col. Haughton, situated in Fort Lockhart, that they are under attack.
- Colonel Haughton states he cannot send immediate help to Saragarhi.
- The soldiers decide to fight to the last to prevent the enemy from reaching the forts.
- Bhagwan Singh becomes the first injured and Lal Singh is seriously wounded.
- Soldiers Lal Singh and Jiwa Singh reportedly carry the dead body of Bhagwan Singh back to the inner layer of the post.
- The enemy breaks a portion of the wall of the picket.
- Colonel Haughton signals that he has estimated between 10,000 and 14,000 Pashtuns attacking Saragarhi.
- The leaders of the Afghan forces reportedly make promises to the soldiers to entice them to surrender.
- Reportedly two determined attempts are made to push open the gate but are unsuccessful.
- Later, the wall is breached.
- Thereafter, some of the fiercest hand-to-hand fightings occur.
- In an act of outstanding bravery, Ishar Singh orders his men to fall back into the inner layer, whilst he remains to fight. However, this is breached and all but one of the defending soldiers are killed, along with many of the Pashtuns.
Gurmukh Singh, who communicated the battle with Col. Haughton, was the last Sikh defender. He is stated to have killed 20 Afghans, the Pashtuns having to set fire to the post to kill him. As he was dying he was said to have yelled repeatedly the Sikh battle-cry:-
“Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal” (Shout Aloud in Ecstasy! True is the Great Timeless One). “Akal,” meaning Immortal, beyond death, the Supreme Creator God unbound by time and non-temporal.
As Pashtuns try to move ahead, Due to the greater loss they were unable and Britisher comes with huge cavalry.The Pashtuns later admitted that they had lost about 180 killed and much more wounded during the engagement against the 21 Sikh soldiers, but some 600 bodies are said to have been seen around the ruined post when the relief party arrived. The total casualties in the entire campaign, including the Battle of Saragarhi, numbered at around 4,800.
All the 21 Sikh non-commissioned officers and soldiers of other ranks who laid down their lives in the Battle of Saragarhi were from Ferozepur district in Punjab(India) and were posthumously awarded the Indian Order of Merit, the highest gallantry award of that time, which an Indian soldier could receive by the hands of the British crown, the corresponding gallantry award being Victoria Cross. This award is equivalent to today’s Param Vir Chakra awarded by the President of India.
The names of the 21 recipients of the gallantry award are:
Havildar Ishar Singh (regimental number 165)
Naik Lal Singh (332)
Lance Naik Chanda Singh (546)
Sepoy Sundar Singh (1321)
Sepoy Ram Singh (287)
Sepoy Uttar Singh (492)
Sepoy Sahib Singh (182)
Sepoy Hira Singh (359)
Sepoy Daya Singh (687)
Sepoy Jivan Singh (760)
Sepoy Bhola Singh (791)
Sepoy Narayan Singh (834)
Sepoy Gurmukh Singh (814)
Sepoy Jivan Singh (871)
Sepoy Gurmukh Singh (1733)
Sepoy Ram Singh (163)
Sepoy Bhagwan Singh (1257)
Sepoy Bhagwan Singh (1265)
Sepoy Buta Singh (1556)
Sepoy Jivan Singh (1651)
Sepoy Nand Singh (1221)
Sikhism has known as the country defense. All time greatest come from Punjab, That is why we have the highest number of martyrs in India. These 21 Sikhs are known as the Elite warrior and team of Punjabi Droll salutes them for proving that सिख मरता नहीं, मारता है।
We are thankful to them… 🙂