Bhai Tara Singh 'Wan'


In 1710 AD, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur abolished landlords in his kingdom and made tenants the owners of land. Inspite of the end of ownership of villages, many headmen did not give up their old habits of arrogance. Sahib Rai of village Naushehra was one of them who used to set his mares free in other people's fields for grazing. Mali Singh and Gurbax Singh of the adjoining village Bharana requested Sahib Rai, "Please keep your mares in the leash. Roaming free, they destroy our crops." Sahib Rai said in an arrogant way of a headman, "I shall tie them when I cut your hair and make ropes of these for this purpose."

The Singhs told about this excess of Sahib Rai to Sardar Amar Singh and Baghel Singh of village Bhusse. They caught hold of his mares, sold them and donated the money received to the community kitchen of Bhai Tara Singh. Bhai Tara Singh of village Wan farmed for a living. He lived in the fields where he had constructed a Gurdwara.

One day, one of Sahib Rai's men told him, "Sardar Baghel Singh who had stolen your mares has come to the abode of Bhai Tara Singh." Sahib Rai reached the dwelling of Bhai Tara Singh with his men and said, "My thief is in your dwelling. Hand him over to me otherwise I shall take him away after giving shoebeating." Hardly had he uttered these words when a Sikh, standing by, gave him a few hits with his shoes and said, "It may be some time before you beat but today have a taste of it yourself."

After suffering insult at the hands of the Sikhs, Sahib Rai went and petitioned Zafar Beg, the Commander of Patti. To teach a lesson to the Sikhs, he reached the abode of Bhai Tara Singh before daybreak with two hundred horsemen. There was a pitched battle between them and the Sikhs until the sunrise in which Sardar Baghel Singh attained martyrdom and two nephews of the Commander were killed. After that, the Commander fled taking away the corpses of his nephews with him.

The Commander took the corpses of his nephews and showed them to Zakria Khan, the Governor of Lahore. He gave Momen Khan two thousand horsemen and said, "Proceed immediately to the abode of Tara Singh and present him dead or alive before me." Bhai Tara Singh had got information beforehand that Momen Khan was coming with an army. He gathered all the Sikhs at the camp and said, "Whosoever has his life dearer than faith can leave us now." None of the fifty-two Sikhs was ready to depart. All the Sikhs took up positions and began to wait for Momen Khan. At the arrival of the army, both sides started attacking. On Baisakhi day of 1726 AD, those fifty-two Sikhs attained martyrdom fighting two thousand horsemen.

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