FEROZEPUR, Punjab—A large religious function was held at historical Gurdwara Gurusar Jamni Sahib at Bajidpur (Ferozepur) by the SGPC, in commemoration of the martyrs of the Battle of Saragarhi. Following the culmination of a Sri Akhand Path Sahib, Hazoori Raagi Bhai Rai Singh melodiously sang Gurbani kirtan (hymns), following which Giani Mann Singh and Giani Jaswant Singh delivered religious discourse.
Addressing Sikh devotees, the SGPC appointed Jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Giani Harpreet Singh, said that the entire Sikh history was a unique saga of sacrifices. He added that the martyrs of Saragarhi had repeated the great Sikh tradition by fearlessly fighting against thousands of opposition.
SGPC General Secretary S. Amarjit Singh Chawla said that Sikhs have always created history by taking inspiration from the path enlightened by the great master Guru. He added that those communities that forget their greats, gradually become extinct over time.
Former SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur said that the Sikh community has inherited bravery from the legacy of great Sikh masters. She added that educational institutions and parents need to play a constructive role in encouraging coming generations towards Sikh history. She hailed the SGPC’s initiative of marking martyrdom anniversary of great martyrs of Saragarhi.
The Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu announced that the saga of Battle of Saragarhi would be included in the school curriculum so that students could draw inspiration from this tale of gallantry.
Navjot Singh Sidhu further announced that the Saragarhi Memorial and the National Martyrs’ Memorial, Hussainiwala, would be brought on the international tourist map. “We are making a comprehensive plan to establish museums, light-and-sound systems, libraries and other facilities at these places,” Sidhu added.
Local MLA Parminder Singh Pinki demanded that the state government should also develop the Anglo-Sikh war sites and other historical places in and around Ferozepur.
A delegation of officers from the British Army paid tributes to the Saragarhi martyrs. In his address, Brig Timothy John Seal said it was a rare honour for them to attend the commemoration day.
The Saragarhi was a small village in the border district of Kohat, situated on the Samana Range, in present-day Pakistan. The British Indian contingent comprised of 21 Sikhs of the 36th Sikh battalion (now the 4th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment), who were stationed at an army post attacked by around 10,000 Afghans. The Sikhs, led by Havildar Ishar Singh, chose to fight to the death, in what is considered by some military historians as one of history’s greatest last-stands.
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