Villains of Sikh History

Historic Enemies of 10 Gurus and Sikhism

In their efforts to thwart Sikhism, treacherous villains who opposed the 10 Gurus, battled, bullied and brutalized Sikhs over a span of centuries. Continued harassment and oppression of devotees by the enemies of Sikhism ultimately resulted in the imprisonment and martyrdom of many innocents. Villainous culprits of Sikh history and historic enemy perpetrators included family members of the gurus, rulers of and governing officials of the Mughal empire.

  • Jealous at being passed over for succession, scheming family members made ongoing attempts to undermine and overthrow several of the gurus, hoping to claim the throne for their own.
  • Fanatic tyrannical emperors of the Mughal Dynasty mounted invasions, conducted campaigns of terror, and perpetuated forced conversions against non-Islamic infidel populations which included the gurus and Sikhs.
  • Enemy warlords, generals and governing officials of the Mughal dynasty are among those traitorous, treacherous, tyrannical villains who terrorized, and tortured, both the gurus and Sikh men, women and children.
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Jealous Family Members, Imposters and Interlopers

Envy
Envy. Photo © [Courtesy Jedi Nights]

Jealousy motivated plots and schemes by envious family members some of whom even coerced with Mughal rulers in their attempts to overthrow the appointed succession of gurus based on spiritual qualities rather than genealogical order.

  • Datu - Younger son of Second Guru Angad Dev, proclaimed himself his father's successor and used his foot to literally kick the appointed successor Third Guru Amar Das from his throne.
  • Prithi Chand (Prithia) - Son of Fourth Guru Raam Das and eldest brother of Fifth Guru Arjun Dev, schemed to succeed his father, and when that failed, plotted to poison his infant nephew Sixth Guru Har Govind.
  • Ram Rai - Son of Seventh Guru Har Rai, and elder brother of Eighth Guru Har Krisan, coveted the succession and schemed to have his younger brother denounced.
  • Dhir Mal - Grandson of Sixth Guru Har Govind, son of Baba Gur Ditta and elder brother of Guru Har Rai, Dhir Mal denounced his brother and falsely staked a claim to all subsequent successions during his lifetime.
  • 22 Imposters - The interloper Dhir Mal was one of 22 imposters who falsely claimed the succession of Ninth Guru Teg Bahadar in Bakakla following the death of Eighth Guru Har Krishan
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Enemy Emperors and Ruthless Rulers of the Mughal Dynasty

Imprison
Imprison. Artistic Impression © [Courtesy Jedi Nights]

Intrigue and court conspiracies contributed to the fanaticism of Islamic invaders and rulers of the Mughal empire seeking to purge the country of infidels. Those who felt the influence of Sikh gurus to be growing threat took measures to strike at the heart of Sikhism.

  • Jahangir (Born 1569, Ruled 1605 to 1627) - Orthodox son of the liberal Akbar grew suspicious, and became hostile, toward Fifth Guru Arjun Dev. The Mughal emperor demanded changes in Sikh scripture, and without trial, imposed a fine upon the guru, and instructed confiscation of his property, and commanded his imprisonment and torture unto death. The ruthless emperor later ordered the arrest and detainment of of Sixth Guru Har Govind.
  • Aurangzeb (1658-1707) - The grandson of Jahangir ordered the arrest and execution of Ninth Guru Teg Bahadar and warred with Tenth Guru Gobind Singh. After swearing false oaths of safe passage to end the Anandpur siege of 1705, the Mughal emperor set troupes in pursuit of the guru to massacre his entourage.
  • Ahmad Shah Durrani (Abdali) (1747-1773) - Led several brutal campaigns of terror kidnapping hundreds of Hindu, and Muslim, youth, and committing a holocaust of genocide annihilating about 25,000 Sikh men woman and children.
  • Timur Shah Durrani (1749-1793) - Son of Ahmad Shah Durrani and governor of Kashmir, Punjab and Sirhind led a convoy into Amritsar and desecrated Harmandir Sahib and the sacred sarovar.
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Mughal Warlords, Generals and Governing Officials

Artistic Impression of Lahore Jail
Artistic Impression of Lahore Jail. Photo © [Courtesy Jedi Nights]

Historic warlords, generals, governing officials, jailers, executioners and other authorities prompted by the proposition of personal power and position, or motivated by jealousy and revenge, acted to annihilate Sikhs at the behest of their Mughal rulers:

  • Sheik Farid Bukhari (May 1606) - Chief general of Mughal emperor Jahangar assigned responsibility for imprisonment and torture of Fifth Guru Arjun Dev.
  • Murtaza Khan (May 25-30, 1606) carried out prolonged five day torture and implemented the martyrdom of Fifth Guru Arjun Dev.
  • Alam Khan Rohilla (1665) - Acting according to Mughal imperial order of Aurangzeb arrested Guru Teg Bahadar, Sati Das, Mati Das, and Gawal Das.
  • Mirza Nur Mohammad Khan (July 12, 1675) - The kotwal (police chief) of Ropar acting on orders from Araungzeb arrested Guru Teg Bahadur, Sati Das, Mati Das, and Dyal Das at village Malikpur of Ropar and sent them to Sirhind.
  • Dilawar Khan - Detained Guru Teg Bahadur at Sirhind fort head quarters for a period of about four months before confining the guru in an iron cage and transporting him to Delhi.
  • Subedar of Shahjahanabad - Acting on official orders of Aurangzeb the military subedar(fort governor, or military chief of police) held Guru Teg Bahadur in the Delhi kotwali (military police fortress).
  • Qazi Abdul Waab Vora - The judge of Islamic sharia law offered Guru Teg Bahadar the choice of performing miracles, conversion to Islam, or death, and ordered the torture of the guru and his three disciples.
  • Jalal-ud-Din of Samana - The executioner performed the halal beheading of Ninth Guru Teg Bahadar.
  • Nawab Wazir Khan (1705) - Head official of Sirhind ordered the torture and execution of chote sahibzada, the younger two sons of Guru Gobind Singh.
  • Zakaria Khan (1745) - Governor of Punjab ordered the arrest and scalping of Bhai Taru Singh when he refused cut his hair and convert to Islam.
  • Mughal Lakhpat Rai (1746) - Ordered execution of Sikhs in Lahore and slaughtered 20,000 Sikh men women and children around the countryside.
  • Mir Mannu (1752) - Governor of Lahore beheaded Sikh men and imprisoned Sikh women and children subjecting them to horrifying atrocities.
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