Soon after the joyous celebrations for Guru Nanak, comes the sad event of the martyrdom day of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru. It was at the site of the Sis Ganj Gurdwara in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk where the Guru was beheaded in 1675. Guru Tegh Bahadur had taken on the mighty Mughals and made the supreme sacrifice of his life to protect the faith and honor of the persecuted and the downtrodden. He is called Hind Di Chadar or shield of India. This year, his martyrdom day falls on November 24. The guru was born in Amritsar in 1621 and named Tyag Mal. The name Tegh Bahadur (mighty of the sword), was given to him by his father, Guru Hargobind, after he fought with valor against the Mughals.
Aurangzeb seized power in 1658 after executing his liberal-minded brother; Dan Shukoh.Aurangzeb had perceived India as an Islamic theocracy and sought to convert Hindus to Islam. He decided to begin conversions with the Kashmiri Pundits.
In a desperate bid to save their community, Kashmiri Pundits led by Pundit Kirpa Ram visited Guru Tegh Bahadur at Anandpur requesting him to protect their faith. The compassionate Guru heard their request and said: “These atrocities can only be stopped with the supreme sacrifice of a mahapurush.”And so it was that the Guru decided to step in knowing full well that he might have to pay with his life. He asked the Kashmiri Pundits to tell Aurungzeb that if he could, convert Guru Tegh Bahadur, they would all convert. On hearing this, Aurangzeb had the Guru imprisoned and brought to Delhi.
The Mughals first killed his companions captured with him, hoping it would force him into compliance. The Guru witnessed the savagery with divine calm. When he still could not be persuaded to abandon his faith, he was asked to perform miracles to prove his divinity The Guru refused and was beheaded at the spot where the Sis Ganj Gurdwara now stands.
Courtesy:- Times Of India.