SINGHS CHALK OUT STRATEGY FOR THE FUTURE
After Hakim Khan left, some Singhs came to Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan and asked him to leave and not to enter into direct confrontation with the imperial forces of the Lahore Darbar. They said that they had made their point by beating up Chaudhary Sahib Rai and then beating the Patti force of 100 soldiers. They suggested that it would be prudent to leave this bunga, go somewhere else for some time and return later when things had cooled down.
Singh jee (as Bhai Tara Singh was addressed by Singhs of that time) responded by telling them that he had no fear of death and had no attachment to this worldly body of his. He said that he had attachment with only one thing and that was Gurbani/Naam. He said that he had received hukam to get shaheedi from Satguru himself (Jim kar Satgur daiyo hai bhakh – Panth Parkash). He further said that a true Singh never fears death. He said that he was going to get shaheed right there in the bunga and was not going to flee anywhere.
After responding to those Singhs, Singh jee (Bhai Tara Singh jee) addressed all the Singhs present there and gave them the choice to leave or stay. He said that the ones who stayed were going to get shaheed for sure. He said that the ones who don’t leave right away would not be allowed to leave later. Hearing this, about half of the Singhs left but the other half who stayed were fully determined to get shaheed with their beloved jathedar.
Then Singh jee sent messages to other Singhs throughout Punjab to inform them of his stand to get shaheed at his bunga and asked them if they wanted to join him in confronting the Turks (Muslims). Hearing this, the top notch Singhs from around Punjab came and joined their dear jathedar Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan:
Vasava Singh and Kuyer Singh joined from Brahmanshahi village.
Samund Singh and Jhad Singh joined Singh jee from Multan.
Soora Singh who did woodwork, decided to join Singh jee and get shaheed.
Lakhmir Singh said his last Fateh to his family and joined Singh jee.
Ali Singh of Sandhu village and Gurbaksh Singh Bhalla joined Singh jee.
Bheem Singh and Badal Singh of Ratoki village joined Singh jee to get shaheed.
Megh Singh of Madra pind and Hata Singh of Chungo village joined Singh jee to get shaheed.
Bulaka Singh of Sanghan and Jodh Singh of Naroval joined Singh jee to get shaheed.
Bhogad Singh and Rasal Singh of Peshawar joined Singh jee to get shaheed. They too decided that their time to join Guru Sahib for shaheedi had come now.
Amar Singh the great warrior was already with Singh jee. This way, in total, 22 Singhs got together at the Bunga of Singh jee.
SINGHS WAIT FOR THE IMPERIAL ARMY
They solidified the bunga and constructed defenses around it. After getting all set, they just sat there together and did massive patth and bhagtee. They used to do patth all day long and since they knew that their time was near, they had no other thoughts coming to them. All they cared about was patth, patth and more patth. One or two Singhs out of them did the langar work and the rest just stayed immersed in patth.
They had already chalked out the strategies to combat the Turks and had assembled any weapons they could find. Many days passed before the army moved in and all that time Singhs accumulated massive Naam and Gurbani treasure for themselves.
SITUATION AT LAHORE DARBAR
The Patti army went straight to Lahore and narrated to the Nawab all that had occurred with them. They told the Lahore ruler how Hakim Khan’s nephew got killed by Baghel Singh and how others got injured and killed.
Hearing this, the ruler of Lahore got furious. He said that just as he thought that he had all the rebelling Singhs killed, where did this (Bhai) Tara Singh come from. He said that he had gotten tired of killing the Singhs who just never seemed to stop coming. The more he killed them, the stronger they were getting.
According to Panth Parkash, the Quazi replied by saying that with every drop of blood that falls on the ground, one Singh was born as a result of it. He said that it would be best to kill them in some other way. He said that it would be best to capture them alive and imprison them instead of killing them.
Hearing this remark from the Quazi, one of the soldiers who knew how hard it was to capture Singhs alive, said that it would be most suitable if the Quazi himself took the lead and captured some Singhs. He said that this Quazi had no idea what kind of fighters the Singhs were. If he had any idea, he would not have talked about capturing them alive.
Hearing this from the soldier, the Quazi (Islamic lawmaker), got very embarrassed and became silent. He knew that he could not face any Singh in the battlefield. His head bent down in shame.
After this, the Nawab of Lahore, challenged all to volunteer to capture Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan. He challenged asking them if there was any warrior who would be willing to capture or kill Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan. When no one volunteered to come forward, the Nawab chose Moman Khan to take lead and capture or kill Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan.
MOMAN KHAN MARCHES TOWARDS SINGH JEE
Moman Khan had the best of the Lahori soldiers – 2200 in total, all cavalry. He himself was seated on an elephant. He moved out of Lahore and camped just outside Lahore to plan a strategy to fight Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan.
Some residents of Lahore, who sympathized with the Singhs, heard that Moman Khan was about to leave Lahore to capture Singh jee. They decided to send a messenger to tell him to evacuate the Bunga and come back later once things had cooled down. These messengers reached the Singh jee and pleaded with him to evacuate his bunga and leave.
When Singh jee heard this, his face became red with Bir Rass. He said that he could not wait to combat the Turks. He said that he was having a hard time waiting for the Turks to arrive. He said that he was not going anywhere and would attain shaheedi right at his bunga. He declared that Satguru jee had shown him clearly that his time to attain shaheedi had come.
Hearing such a fearless response from Singh jee, the messengers came back a little depressed thinking about the shaheedi of their beloved Singh, Bhai Tara Singh jee Vaan. The Singhs in his company got even more in chardikala when they heard that Bhai Tara Singh jee was in such high spirits.
MOMAN KHAN REACHES SINGH JEE’S BUNGA
Moman Khan decided to attack the Singhs at midnight, hoping to catch them while sleeping. As the army reached the outskirts of Pind Vaan, they met a Jatt of Uppal caste, who was a big enemy of the Singhs. He assured the imperial army of leading them to Singh jee.
Moman Khan was leading the army but he did not want to fight the Singhs. He called two of his confidants and asked them to go and tell Singh jee that it would be best if they avoided any clash and that the imperial army would return back if they did not find him there. The two confidants arrived at the Bunga and pleaded with Singh jee to leave the Bunga and that the army would return back immediately. They asked him why he wanted to lose his life for nothing.
Singh jee whose face was shining because of his massive bhagtee, responded to them by saying that maybe what they were saying was right but that he had made up his mind for shaheedi and that he was not willing to leave his bunga out of fear of anyone. He said that now the eyes of whole panth were on him and that if he backed off, he would not be able to show his face to the Singhs again. Saying this he sent them back with full respect.
To be continued...