There has been enough controversy that was started sometime back on the Indian History’s manipulation. At that time I used to say and rightly so that all that you need to know how the History has been manipulated by the "Secular Elite" in our country is to see how the Sikh History has been depicted in our History Books. For example, we have stuff on Jama Masjid and Taj Mahal as well as Red Fort. But what about Gurudwara Sis Ganj? This Gurudwara is of the same vintage as these Mughal monumentsw. The one thing that is important about this Gurudwara is that Guru Teg Bahadur’s head as brought here after he was executed and beheaded by the Mughal Emperor. And this was very similar to other such executions – like Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh – that occured during the entire "oh-so-secular" Mughal Rule!
Everybody I knew paid little heed to this line of thought and argument. For me, until Sikh History was put into proper perspective there could be no closure on this History Manipulation controversy!!
Now this has boiled into a major controversy. Sushma Seth had said in one of speeches at Tarn Taaran that Guru Arjan Dev was executed on the orders of Jehangir, the Mughal Emperor – father of Shahjahan. The Congress politicians – who are always at the vanguard of the Secularly twisted History in our text books are up in arms against this remark. They say – notice the mischief – that it was a courtier called Chandu who was jealous of the Guru because he turned down his proposal for his daughter to be married to the Guru’s son!! And he manipulated Jehangir to have him executed. The underlying current being that it was not a Muslim Ruler but a Hindu courtier who was behind the Guru’s killing. For me, such a concoction of History seems to come straight our Zia-ul-Haq’s strategy rooms! Even he could not have done a better job! Of course, no one in the Congress has even cared to say WHY were one Guru after Guru sacrificed by the rulers of that time??! Were there Hindu courtiers in every court that were nehind the killings?? What about Guru Teg Bahadur or Guru Gobind Singh or his sons? When there is a clear pattern why cover up the Historical facts??
Here is what the Sikh scholars say about his martydom:
"In a way she is right. There was a war of succession and Jehangir had to take a hardline to remain in power," Bhai Veer Singh Sahitya Sadan Director Mohinder Singh said.
In his comments, columnist Mahip Singh quoted excerpts from Jehangir’s autobiography in which the Mughal emperor mentioned why he ordered the execution.
"In Tuzuk-i-Jehangiri, the emperor himself has used highly disparaging remarks against Sikhism and pledged to wipe it out," Singh said.
Akali parties also threw their weight behind Swaraj as they criticised the DSGMC Chief for what they called "politicising" the Guru’s sacrifice.
"The martyrdom was not an ordinary event. It should be seen in its right perspective. There’s no denying that it was the Mughal emperor who put the Guru to death," Akali Dal (Panthak) leader Manjit Singh, also a DSGMC member, said.
The funny thing is that even BBC has got it right about Guru Arjan Dev:
The Guru laid the foundation of the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar. He also designed the four doors in a Gurdwara, proclaiming that "My faith is for the people of all castes and all creeds from whichever direction they come and to whichever direction they bow."
He also declared that all Sikhs should donate a tenth of their earnings to charity.
The greatest contribution he made to the Sikh faith was to compile all of the past Gurus’ writings into one book, now the holy scripture: the Guru Granth Sahib. It was this holy book that made him a martyr.
Guru Arjan Dev included the compositions of both Hindu and Muslim saints which he considered consistent with the teachings of Sikhism and the Gurus.
In 1606, the Muslim Emperor Jahangir ordered that he be tortured and sentenced to death after he refused to remove all Islamic and Hindu references from the Holy book.
He was made to sit on a burning hot sheet while boiling hot sand was poured over his burnt body. After enduring five days of unrelenting torture Guru Arjan Dev was taken for a bath in the river. As thousands watched he entered the river never to be seen again.
The way in which he died changed the course of Sikhism forever.
Here is the take on Wikipedia:
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the first Guru to be born in a Sikh family and was the first martyr of the Sikhs. He compiled all the former Gurus teachings into one holy book – the Adi Granth. The Adi Granth was compiled in 1604. Guru Arjan Dev Ji was martyred because the Emperor Jehangir was jealous that many people were converting to this new religion. Emperor Jehangir imprisoned Guru Arjan Dev Ji and later handed him over to Chandu Shah (an official of Jehangir) to torture Guru Arjan Dev Ji to death. Guru Arjan Dev Ji was made to sit on a scorching iron plate and had boiling sand poured over his body. Guru Arjan Dev Ji tolerated this pain and sat there chanting hymns. During this torture, he asked for some water but was refused it. In June, Gurdwaras give out cold drinks and ice creams to remember how Guru Arjan Dev Ji was tortured.
Does the mischief become apparent?
In my personal view, it is very saddening that the ruling party comes out with such nonsensical take on History when a Sikh himself is the Prime Minister of the Country with a Congress Government. I am not sure what his views are. However, given his record, he would not have a very different take on this. I remember when he lost the only elections he ever fought from West Delhi. He remarked that the 1984 riots were the handiwork of the Rashtriya SwayamSevak Sangh.(RSS) – which was a utter falsehood! When I had raised this point in my alumni forum, his daughter (a senior of mine) has sent back an email that she was helping him out in that campaign and although she was not with him on that day, but Dr. Singh had said to her that he was quoted out of context. And she said as honest as her father is she took his word. I will too. But he doesnt seem to have conducted himself with ways above board on such issues when Congress was the perpetrator!
I strongly believe that current population of Muslims has nothing to do with the atrocities of the Mughals. So, it should not be a Hindu vs Muslim issue at this moment. However, just like Germans acknowledged the Nazis barbarism, we – including the Muslims – need to acknowledge the wrongs of the Mughal era, as opposed to covering them up and making alibis, and move on with life! If, on the other hand, we – worse still the Muslims – try to empathize with the Mughal barbaric rulers, then it would lead you to think that they identify with them at a certain level – quite akin to a German or White man of today empathizing with Hitler! Not kosher by me!