- Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. He was born at Amritsar in 1621 and was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind.
- His term as Guru ran from 1665 to 1675. One hundred and fifteen of his hymns are in Guru Granth Sahib.
- There are several accounts explaining the motive behind the assassination of Guru Tegh Bahadur on Aurangzeb’s orders.
- He stood up for the rights of Kashmiri Pandits who approached him against religious persecution by Aurangzeb.
- He was publicly executed in 1675 on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi for himself refusing Mughal rulers and defying them.
- Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi mark the places of execution and cremation of his body.
Impact of his martyrdom
- The execution hardened the resolve of Sikhs against religious oppression and persecution.
- His martyrdom helped all Sikh Panths consolidate to make the protection of human rights central to its Sikh identity.
- Inspired by him, his nine-year-old son, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, eventually organized the Sikh group into a distinct, formal, symbol-patterned community that came to be known as Khalsa (Martial) identity.
- In the words of Noel King of the University of California, “Guru Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom was the first-ever martyrdom for human rights in the world.
- He is fondly remembered as ‘Hind di Chaadar’.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB