Daring Sikh Warrior ''Banda Singh Bahadur'' - who fought against Mogul misrule

First Sukh General. Banda Singh Bahadur, singhstation.net
During the Mogul rule in India in the 17th century, a few Mogul rulers like Aurangzeb indulged in religious suppression of Hindus who formed the majority and went to the extent of imposing additional taxes on them for being non-Muslim. The Sikhs also suffered a lot under some Mogul rules of Delhi.Some Daring Sikh warriors diligently protested against the oppressive Mogul rule. prominent among them was Banda Singh Bahadur.

 Banda Singh Bahadur (born Lachman Dev; 27 October 1670 – 9 June 1716, Delhi) could not tolerate the atrocities against the Sikhs. He, supported by a band of courageous Sikh warriors,  waged an offensive war against the Moguls and expanded the Sikh territory. Besides becoming a  Sikh military commander, he also established a Sikh state with capital at Lohgarh ( in present day Haryana state). At the young  age of 15, having no interest either in mundane existence or materialistic life, he chose the life of an ascetic and went by the name of ‘'Madho Das’’and established a monastery at Nānded, on the bank of the river Godāvarī. A chanced encounter with Gruru Gobind Singh changed his life and he became his ardent disciple in1708. Guru Gobind Singh gave him the new name of Banda Singh Bahadur after initiating him into the Khalsa

With  blessings  from Guru Gobind Singh and his encouragement, he moved over to o Khanda in Sonipat and  succeeded in assembling  a well-trained men to fight against the authoritative Mogul rule which encouraged religious discrimination and suppression of Non-Muslims. With a view to furthering the cause of Sikhs and and to mitigate their sufferings, Guru Gobind Singh had sent  five Sikhs (Baj Singh, Binod Singh, Ram Singh, Daya Singh, Kahan Singh) to assist Banda Singh. 

 He defeated Moguls in the Battle of Samana and captured the city of Samana, in November 1709 killing about 10,000 Mohammedans.  Banda Singh and other military commanders now took control over the  Mogul provincial capital, Samana. Thus he began to mint coins and improved the economy of their small state. They also captured some more places with well-planned military strategy.   In the Battle of Chappar Chiri on 12 May 1710, the Sikhs killed Wazir Khan, the Governor of Sirhind and Dewan Suchanand, who were responsible for killing two of Guru Gobind Singh's sons. Later, the area  from Sutlej to Yamuna  Came under the control of Banda Singh and ordered that ownership of the land be given to the farmers, to let them live in dignity and self-respect. At that time the biased  Zamindari system was in force and was against the welfare of the farmers  and their progress. Banda Singh abolished this cruel system and  granted property rights to the tillers of the land. The Zamindari system encouraged extortion, exploitation and corruption and with the removal of Zamindari system of land control and revenue, the people became relieved and free from financial burden. He not only established a capital city but also a small state in Punjab. 

The Sikh commanders moved into parts  now under  Uttar Pradesh and  took over Saharanpur, Jalalabad, Muzaffarnagar and other nearby areas, bringing relief to the dejected and oppressed population. In the battle of Rahon 1710, the Sikhs defeated the Moguls and under their control  imposed a just rule, sacking all the corrupt and dishonest officials who squeezed the poor people. He defeated the Sayyids and Shaikhs of the Mogul army in the Battle of Sadhaura in 1710 who were spearheading the Zamindari system. Mogul ruler Bahadur Shah I mobilized all his foces to caputur Banda Singh. 

The Mogul army under Muim Khan went to Sirhind when  Banda Singh was in Uttar pradesh. The final battle took place at Lohgar. Though the Sikhs defeated the Mogul army, additional enforcement of 60,000 soldiers laid siege to the fort when defeat became inevitable, Gulab Singh, an associate of Banda Sigh helped the latter to give a slip by disguising him as Banda Singh. In the meantime Banda Singh was hiding in the Chamba hills and forest. Ruler Bhahadur Shah, in rage, asked his soldiers to murder every Sikh. Soon, the ruler became mentally ill and died in 1712.
9th Mogul Emperor. . Farrukh Siyar  en.wikipedia.org
Above image: Mogul Emperor, Farrukh Siyar (20 August 1685 – 19 April 1719), 9th Mogul ruler in succession; reined from 1713 to 1719 and ascended the throne  after he murdered Jahandar Shah with support from Syyid brothers. Though handsome, easily vulnerable to to the dictates of his advisors. He lacked administrative skill and independent thinking.   Farrukhsiyar was the son of Azim-ush-Shan (the second son of emperor Bahadur Shah I and grandson of Aurangzeb) and Sahiba Nizwan. The Sayyid brothers  became the effective power behind his  rule. Farrukhsiyar's frequent plotting led the brothers to finish him for good. He campaigned against Ajit Singh, Jats and Banda Singh Bhahadur...........................

The next Mogul Emperor, Farrukh Siyar appointed Abdus Samad Khan' son  Zakaria Khan, the  Faujdar of Jammu and Abdus Samad Khan as the governor of Lahore. They were on the lookout for Banda Singh and  persecution of Sikhs took place on a large scale at Gurudadpur. Now Banda Singh came out and  captured Batula Kalanaur. At last in March 1715 under the command of Samand Khan , the Mogul forces drove Banda Bhadur Singh and the Sikh forces to Gurudsapur. After a long siege of 8 months the Sikh forces gave i , unable to bear the hardship and Banda Singh was captured on 15 December 1715. Thus came to an end the exploits of a young Sikh warrior and his associates who protested against the attrocties of the Mogul forces under tyrannical mogul kings. 

The marching of Sikh prisioners and Banda Singh to Delhi by the Mogul army  was replete with gory scenes and the onlookers felt numb and dazed with horror.   Banda Singh Bahadur was kept in an  iron cage and the remaining Sikhs were chained. The Sikhs were taken to  Delhi in an open  procession with 780 Sikh prisoners along with  2,000 Sikh heads hung on spears, and 700 cartloads of heads of slaughtered Sikhs used to terrorise the population. They were put in the Delhi fort and forced under intimidation  to give up their faith and become Muslims. Non-converts, every day, were ordered to be executed in full public view to terrorize the population. This went on for a week or so. 

As for Banda Singh Bahadur, on 9 June 1716 after three months of imprisonment, he was given the worst dehumanising punishment; his eyes were gouged, limps removed, skin peeled off and finally was put to the most painful death - the worst form of cruelty committed by men against men. He was mercilessly executed at the age of 45 and his courageous exploits against the Moguls lasted six to seven years only. In a short span of time, he achieved so much. 
Sikh Warrior against Moguls: Banda_Singh_Bahadurartofpunjab.com

The 328 ft tall Fateh Burj in Chippar Chiri, Punjab  is dedicated to Banda Singh Bahadur who led the army and defeated the Mughal Force. It is  is taller than Qutab Minar and is an octagonal structure. There is a dome at the top of tower with Khanda made of stainless steel.