One day, Sodhi Harbhajan Singh jee (writer of famous book Bhajan Bandagi Da Pratap) was standing in a shop in Jabalpur that an English couple walked in and said fateh to him loudly. Harbhajan Singh was surprised to hear fateh from the English couple. Sodhi Harbhajan Singh jee started talking to them and asked them how come they know so much about Sikhism. Upon this the English gentleman told him his story as follows:
“”””I was a police captain in 1924 when the Akalis launched Bhai Pheru morcha in Lahore city of Punjab (now in Pakistan). I got special orders from the Inspector General of Police to crush the Sikhs. I told him that I could do so only if I was to be given the police party of my choice. At this he agreed and I hand picked the most ruthless and strong young men from backgrounds such as Lyalpuri Jaanglis and Jhelami Jaats. I took my police party to Gurdwara Bhai Pheru and surrounded the disputed place with wire and had my police party stationed there.
The first Jatha started marching from Amritsar and slowly reached Gurdwara Bhai Pheru after doing prachaar (preaching) in several villages on their way. On the day of the arrival of the Jatha at Gurdwara Bhai Pheru I asked my toughest Thanedaar (Police Officer) to get me the list of all the members of Jatha along with their father’s name and home address. That afternoon I got surprised when I saw the list. All Jatha members had listed Guru Gobind Singh as their father. I got really mad when I saw the list and swore at the Thanedaar for failing to get even the name of their father.
The thanedaar replied that he tried his best but no one in the Jatha gave any other name for their father but Guru Gobind Singh. My wife who was sitting beside me mocked me by saying that if I can’t even get their father’s name how the hell am I going to crush them. At this I vowed that I will eat my breakfast the next day, only after getting their father’s name from them.
Next day I chose 50 stern and strong-hearted policemen and asked them to pick 25 old and weak members of the Jatha. I then ordered that let two policemen hold one Sikh and use whatever means to make them spit out their father’s name. I further said that whoever does it first would get a gold medal and special recognition from the government. Hearing my order, the policemen started beating the Jatha members savagely till they got unconscious. Then they would bring them back to senses and beat them again. But none of them told their worldly father’s name. All they would say was Guru Gobind Singh and Vaheguru. When they failed to get any results I asked the police officers to remove their belts and get the hell out of there. By that time it was 10am and I was feeling really hungry.
I chose another 50 policemen and asked them to do the same thing. I asked them to use very severe measures to torture the Jatha members to break their resolve of not telling the name of their worldly father. I knew that if they admit defeat and spit out their father’s name, then they would also accept the defeat of their agitation. A lot was at stake. I put their hands upside down under the Charpai (indian beds) and made the police officers jump on the beds. The Sikhs were in great pain but they did not yield. I even made my policemen hammer nails in their buttocks but still we were unable to break their resolve.
By 6pm I was badly tired and was extremely hungry. I lost all my pride and ego and felt totally helpless in front of those non-violent lions. I picked up the phone and dialed to the IG of police and resigned. The next day I took train to Bombay and went to England. I wrote it down on the resignation letter that no one should mess with the Sikhs.”””””
This story is very inspiring. Could someone shed more light on the cause of Gurdwara Sahib Bhai Pheru wala morcha ? I heard another similar story of a chardi kala wala Kharkoo who did not disclose his worldly father’s name to the torturing police party; and named Siri Guru Gobind Singh as his father and Sri Anandpur Sahib as his village.
I believe that the Akalis of early twentieth century made a very proud addition to the glorious Sikh history by achieving so much non-violently.