Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha are two martyrs of 20th century Sikh history. They turned the tide of Indian History and exposed the modern Indian pseudo-democracy and caste based Brahmanical Indian constitution.
Sukhdev Singh and Harjinder Singh stood for the truth and accepted the Sikh historical tradition of acting against enemies of the Sikh Nation. They repeated history and proved that the Sikh spirit of the past is alive and well in the present. They are part of the new chapter of ongoing Sikh history. In the 18th century Bhai Mehtab Singh and Bhai Sukha Singh killed Massa Ranghar, who disregarded the sacredness of Darbar Sahib and used the holy site for his personal recreation and entertainment. The actions of these two men was a signal to those who disregard the sacredness of Sikh shrines. The Khalsa of the past and of the future will always protect itself from its hostile enemies.
In the 20th century, the Indian State and underground inhumane Brahmanical forces attacked Darbar Sahib and other Sikh Gurudwaras throughout India. The entire Indian political apparatus embarked on a massive terrorist campaign against the Sikhs and became responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Sikh men, women and children.
At this point in Sikh history, Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda and Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha took action to insure that the Sikhs who died, did not die in vain. They knew the Indian State, who openly terrorized its own citizens, would never mete out justice to the Sikhs. In today’s modern world, the Indian State continues to justify the massive planned killing of innocent Sikhs. Perhaps the modern world is prepared to allow State sponsored terrorism, however, the Khalsa is not.
In the spirit of the Sikhs of the 18th century, Harjinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh stood and claimed justice in a hostile environment; fully aware of the consequences of their actions. They assasinated General A.S. Vaidya in Pune. General Vaidya was the Commander of the Indian army in June 1984 and put into action the State’s terrorist attack against the Darbar Sahib and other Sikh Gurudwaras.
Most Hindu fundamentalist, anti-national and extremist organizations gave full support to the army and distributed sweets to the army after it pillaged and destroyed the Akal Takht and the Darbar Sahib complex. This was a black day for the Sikh Community. On this day Hindu fundamentalist organizations repeated history. The first time the Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS) distributed sweets was after the killing of Mahatma Gandhi by RSS activist Nathu Ram Godsey and then in June 1984 they shared sweets with the Indian army for their attack on the Sikhs.
The Government’s actions against the Sikh Nation compelled many to pick up arms and defend their faith and lives. They now knew that the State would never treat them as citizens but instead as unwanted second class inhabitants, inhabitants who continue to resist assimilation into the Hindu majority. The Khalsa takes inspiration from Gurbani and Sikh history. Guru Gobind Singh wrote in the Zafarnama: “When all peaceful means to resolve a crucial problem fail, it is justified to wield the sword.”
Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jinda took arms in light of Gurbani. They died for the Sikh faith and Sikh homeland. They are men of their word. Both of them had no fear of death. They had won death. They shared sweets with each other and jail staff after the Magistrate pronounced their death sentence. They fully respected the Magistrate’s decision and accepted the consequences of their actions.
These men were not fighting against any single person or religion. They stood up against the Brahmanical forces that had created divisions between the people, killed innocent people and encouraged injustice. They revived the Sikh tradition of insuring justice. They were full of faith in Guru Granth Sahib and declared that our Nation is Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. We should establish Khalsa Raj on the basis of Guru Granth Sahib.
Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda’s Childhood
Bhai Harjinder Singh Ji’s mother and father, Bhai Gulzar Singh and Bibi Gurnam Kaur are hardworking and honest Gursikhs. Bhai Jinda had two older brothers, Bhai Nirbhail Singh and Bhai Bhupinder Singh and one sister, Bibi Balvinder Kaur. Bhai Sahib was born in 1961 and received his early education in his village of Gadli in dist. Amritsar. After completing his early education, he enrolled in Khalsa College Amritsar. He was in BA part II when the 1984 attack occurred. Like every other Sikh, Bhai Jinda’s blood boiled at the news. He left his studies and joined the Sikh movement. When the Darbar Sahib complex was under army control, he along with other Sikhs from his village marched to free it, but the armies attacks and abuse on the way forced them to return home.
Bhai Harjinder Singh then went to his maternal grandparent’s home in Baiee Chak, Sree Ganganagar Rajasthan. Along with his cousin, Baljinder Singh Rajoo and his friend Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha, they decided to take revenge for the disrespect shown to the Gurdwaras.
Bhai Rajoo was arrested by the police and was horribly tortured. Hearing about this, Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jinda were even more enraged.
Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha’s Childhood
Bhai Sukhdev Singh was born in Rajasthan’s Chak N: 11 in Ganganagar. His parents, Bhai Mengha Singh and Bibi Surjeet Kaur were farmers and amritdhari Gursikhs. Bhai Sukha received the gift of Sikh in his heritage.
Along with his schooling he daily used to study GurbaaNee. After doing his early schooling in village Manakpur, he received his BA from Gian Joti College and was studying for an MA in English when the 1984 attack occurred. Bhai Sukha left his home and made plans to take revenge. He joined with his friend Bhai Rajoo to avenge the disrespect of the Sikhs. He then met with Bhai Jinda. All three had faith in baaNee and Sikhee. Bhai Sukha’s mother was so filled with love for the Panth, that she did ardaas that Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jinda achieve their mission. She gave her sons over to the Guru.
Bhai Jinda and Bhai Sukha made Delhi the centre of their activities. Delhi was where the 1984 pogroms had taken place. The government began to broadcast the pictures of these Singhs on TV and the killers who had taken part in the November massacre were afraid to leave their houses.
Bhai Jinda probably had similar terror in the minds of Indian Government officials as that Bhai Hari Singh Nalwa had in the minds of the Pathaans. Bhai Jinda was extremely brave and intelligent. It is very rare to find a person who possesses both intelligence and bravery or courage. Bhai Jinda was very street-smart and escaped the police custody several times.
Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda’s escape from Ahmedabad Jail
When Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda was caught for the first time in Gujrat side, he escaped the police when they were taking him to the court. The way Bhai Sahib escaped the first time from Ahmedabad is very much like Hindi movies. Bhai Sahib requested the police officials to open his handcuffs as he had to go to the bathroom. As soon as Bhai Sahib was released he ran away and vanished in the crowd. It is said that he walked his way to Punjab because he did not want to travel in buses or trains because there were police looking for him all over.
Delivering Justice to Arjun Das and Lalit Makan
The first of Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda’s and Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha’s great actions was to avenge the massacre of 1984. These two Singhs of Guru Sahib killed two key people who led the mobs to burn and kill Sikhs in 1984, namely Arjun Das and Lalit Makan. After these two incidents Delhi was rocked and shocked. They had never thought that Sikh militants could strike in Delhi so daringly. After these incidents Bhai Jinda was declared the most wanted man in India.
Punishing General Vaidiya the architect of the 1984 attack on Sri Darbar Sahib.
This did not stop Bhai Sahib from carrying out militant actions. Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jinda decided to punish the general who had planned the 1984 Darbar Sahib attack: Gen. Vaidiya. After retiring from the army, Vaidiya had moved to Poona. Bhai Jinda and Bhai Sukha had reunited in Punjab and went to Poona together. They arrived on August 17, 1986. They went to the house that Vaidiya was living at, to find he had moved. They asked the servant in the house where Vaidiya had moved to but he wasn’t clear and they had trouble understanding his language. They went in the general direction and a couple days later saw Vaidiya’s guard outside the house. They began to make regular rounds to find when Vaidiya would come out.
On August 19, 1986 at around 11am, they saw Vaidiya’s wife come out with an umbrella and the General followed. Vaidiya himself was driving the car. He went to the bazaar and bought some things. Bhai Jinda and Bhai Sukha were on a motorcycle following them. When Vaidiya was returning home after shopping, Bhai Jinda pulled the motorcycle beside the car and Bhai Sukha began to shoot. Vaidiya’s head hit the wheel and his head was bleeding. The Singhs shouted jaikaaray and made their getaway. The Singhs had also wanted to kill Gen. Dayal, another officer responsible for the attack, but decided now was not the time. They returned to the house they had rented, changed clothes and took a bus to Bombay. From there, they went to Durg and then Calcutta by train.
Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sukha’s arrest
On September 17, 1986, Bhai Sukha returned to Poona to get their weapons that were left there. He along with another Singh got into an accident with a truck and were arrested. They were tortured for five months and then for a year and a half were kept in leg irons.
Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda and General Labh Singh
In the meantime Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda along with General Labh Singh planned and executed the biggest bank robbery in the history of not India but Asia. They looted 6 crore rupees in mid eighties and it is equivalent of about 6 million US dollars in today’s money. This money was used to finance the militant movement and was partly responsible for increase in militancy after this robbery.
There are several incidents that depict the quick thinking of Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda. At one time Bhai Jinda and General Labh Singh were traveling together. They were stopped by police at a check point. The police got suspicious of them and before they could say anything, Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda spoke out in a typical Punjab Police accent of Punjabi starting with a Gaal (bad word) and ordered them to salute.
The police constable and soldiers were taken aback and by that time Bhai Jinda and General Labh Singh escaped. Now that is what I call confidence and quick thinking. Bhai Jinda and General Labh Singh fooled them to think that they were police officers.
Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda’s Arrest and Torture
Finally after one year Bhai Jinda along with Bhai Satnam Singh Bawa was caught in Delhi at Gurdwara Majnoo Daa Tilla. It is said that he was in Dehli to send Buta Singh to Dharam Rai but before he could do that he was caught by police after a brief encounter. Bhai Sahib did not have any weapons at that time so he could not give them tough time. He was shot in the leg during the encounter.
He was severely tortured by police and the police wanted to dig out information about his Kharkoos from him but they failed. They even threatened to chop his leg under the disguise of an operation if he did not yield but Dhan Bhai Jinda, he did not care. He was one of the very few Kharkoos who would physically attack the police even in the jail. He was too brave. Police personnel were scared to go alone in his cell.
Bhai Jinda and Bhai Sukha reunited forever
In Poona, Bhai Sukha and the other Singhs had finished doing Ardaas after Rehraas Sahib, and then shouted Jaikaaray. Bhai Jinda was in a nearby cell and a also shouted jaikaaray. Bhai Jinda had recognized Bhai Sukha’s voice. Finally the two had been reunited.
Later Bhai Jinda along with Bhai Sukha were transferred to Bombay and prosecuted and got the death penalty for killing General Vaidya. It is amazing how Bhai Jinda and Bhai Sukha faced death. It is clear from their letters that they sent out that they were not at all scared of death. The last four years of their life were spent doing a lot of Bhagti.
They slept minimal and spent all day reading Gurbani. Their regular nitnem was 11 Sukhmani Sahibs, 25 Japji Sahibs, and 3 hours amritvela abihyaas a day apart from their regular 7 bani nitnem while in jail.
Meeting Baba Thakur Singh Ji Khalsa
Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda and Bhai Sukhdev Singh Ji Sukha wanted to take Amrit when they were in jail. As a result they asked the officials at the jail they were at if an Amrit Sanchar could be organised. The Hindustani government did not let this happen.
When Baba Thakur Singh Ji went and met both these beloved sons of the panth they told Baba Ji about the government refusing their request from an Amrit Sanchar. Baba Ji told these beautiful Singhs that no government or power in this world could prevent them from receiving the gift of Amrit. Baba Ji then said that, the king of kings, the saint of saints, that beautiful king of this world and the next Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj would give these two Singhs Amrit personally hereafter.
Day of Hanging
Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jinda woke up at 12am. They bathed and until 3am and then they did paath. They had prepared some dahee(n) (yogourt) which they then ate along with one apple each. They then did their final ardaas and keertan sohila paath.
They dressed in white cholas with kesri dastaars and kamarkassas. Bhai Jinda shook hands with the jail officials and thanked them for keeping them for 5 years. Bhai Sukha and Jinda also asked about their 30+ relatives who were in Poona.
When they were lead to the gallows, they shouted jaikaaras. They walked with long strides. Bhai Nirmal Singh who was in a cell near the gallows also replied to the jaikaraas.
The two Singhs climbed the gallows with smiles. They had wanted to bring sweets for the executioners, but perhaps they were not allowed. They kissed their nooses and even though they wanted to put them around their own necks, were not allowed to do so. The time had come and according to Bhai Nirmal Singh, Bhai Jinda shouted loudly to Bhai Sukha, Veer Sukhiaa! Roar a Fateh! He then heard jaikaraas. And then they stopped.
Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jinda were kept hanging for 30 minutes. They were hung together. For the execution, 4 Deputy Police Commissioners, 10 assistant Police Commissioners, 14 inspectors, 145 sub-inspectors and 1275 officers had been assigned.
At quarter to 5 in the morning, police vehicles came to the Poona Gurdwara Sahib where the families were staying. They took the family to a police station outside Poona from where they were taken further.
The family was then taken to a spot near the Moola River where a part of a sugarcane field had been cleared. Bhai Sukha and Bhai Jindas bodies had been brought to the site in a truck. The family brought clothes and items for the cremation and despite police protests, insisted on doing everything themselves. They washed the bodies and Bhai Jinda and Bhai Sukhas fathers lit the pyres at 6.20am. No relative showed any sadness but instead congratulated each other.
Three bibis from Jammu did keertan. The ashes were not given to the family.
What beautiful Singhs of Satguru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj! For as long as the stars stay in the sky the whole Sikh nation shall always have these two beloved jewels of Guru Sahib in their hearts and minds.
Professor Puran Singh described the nature of the son’s of sovereign Punjab’s mothers:
The son’s of Punjab’s Mothers
They don’t live life cautiously
They aren’t afraid to sacrifice their lives
And they don’t turn away from the battlefield.
The new Sikh generation now must take responsibility to fulfill the dream of Khalsa Raj. Awake Youngmen of Punjab, Awake! Take and wear the Double Edged Sword of the timeless.
Courtesy: Sikhfreedom.com, SikhLionz.com, Tapoban.org panthic.org