..................A HOMAGE AND A TRIBUTE
MARCH 5, 1947, is an extremely important date in the history of pre-partitioned India, when an illustrious Son of Bharat Mata made the supreme sacrifice of his life for the unity and integrity of our country.
Sardar Nanak Singh, a youthful patriotic Indian from the city of MULTAN could not tolerate the horrendous prospect of vivisection of his motherland and vowed that in case it does happen, it will be on his dead body.
Such a vow was also taken by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but the so-called Mahatma, alas, could not keep his word. Shamefully, he saw the division of the country, not on his dead body but on his living body.
Pre-partition days were the insecure, testing and uncertain days for the minorities, especially the Hindus and the Sikhs in the Punjab- land of the Vedas, Rishis, Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib.
They expected moral and other assistance to protect their "Dhann", "Dharti" and, above all, the honour of "Dhee" (the Matra Shakti). But the so called national leaders were busy in quick-fix "Independence" and holding high lucrative offices thereafter, though Nehru was more interested in Edwina Mountbatten.
In the ancient city of Multan (Mool-STHAN) the land of Bhagat Prahlad, the Kashyap Bhoomi, and the birth place of the Holy festival, there were turmoils. The Muslim hoardes were chasing the Hindu properties, burning, looting, arsoning, stabbing, insulting the womenfolk, committing sacrilege against holy places, Shavalyas, temples and gurdwaras. But the leaders had celebrations on their minds because the British were to go away. They had no time to think of the masses scattered throughout the width and breadth of the country, in towns, cities and remote villages.
Mahatma Gandhi even advised the nation to succumb to the Muslims and their atrocities and bullying tactics, with humbleness to win their hearts. Riots, disorders were the order of the day, and the British adminsitrators made hay while the sun shines because they had revenge on their minds for the loss of their Empire and supremacy.
The Muslim hoardes and hounds were obsessed with "LE KE RAHENGE PAKISTAN!"
Sardar Nanak Singh made a fiery speech in the Kupp Maidan (March 4, 1947) that it would never happen as long a single drop of blood was in his veins.
Next day the students of the DAV High School, Multan, took out a procession. These school lads had only their school bags with books in their hands, and were peacefuly marching with slogans of "BHARAT MATA KI JAI!"
When they reached inside Bohar Gate - a Muslim majority area, the Muslims lost all their sense of proportion. For them, never mind Gandhi and Nehru and their philosophy and utterances, Pakistan had already been created. They could not tolerate the Hindu boys shouting, "BAHRAT MATA KI JAI!". They came out with iron bars, carving knives of butchers, and started hitting and stabbing the school children.
I happen to be an eye witness to all this. The boys left their bags, shoes, and ran for their lives. They were in a disarray. Some were seriously wounded and the blood-stained bazar was shedding its tears.
Sardar Nanak Singh went to comfort these young children and their families. He was still an optimist that commonsense will prevail and the tragedy of Partition and its aftermath of Holocaust will be avoided. But destiny had something else on its mind.
Young Nanak Singh was treacherously slain by the Muslim butchers. Entire Multan went into flames, curfew was imposed, and an uneasy truce could be restored for a few hours so that people could procure some necessities for their famileis.
Holi in the month of March 1947 was not of delightful colours but of bloodshed.
All the educational places closed and movements restricted, bore testimony to the fact that the once joyful city with festivities- kirtan, Janj (marriages), offerings of sharbat & sweets, was now in deep and deep melocncholdy.
Sardarni (Mrs.) Nanak Singh becomes a widow in the prime of her youth. She was barely 35. She takes up courage, and becomes dedicated to the cause cherished by her, and by her husband.
No leader had time to console her. She is deperived of any financial or other help which many parasites in the name of freedom fighters enjoy in free (truncated) India. She bravely brings up her children who, like their illustrious father, are even today serving the cause of India.
The brave Sardarni utilises her energies in social work for those of her sisters who have made the United Kingdom their home. With this dedication she passes away.
She was, indeed, Multan Mata, and if we cannot pay tribute to her, we are the incomplete persons and losers, and our this attitude will never make us really sincere patriotic.
If we ignore Multan Matas, we cannot be loyal and dedicated to Bhara Mata.
Let us now belatedly remember the Sardar Nanak Singhs, who were the backbone of our freedom struggle. By this way we will, one day, have AKHAND BHARAT.
This unique and invaluable eye-witness account of the courage and patriotism of Sardar Nanak Singh, his martyrdom in the cause of India's unity and secularism, and of his wife, Sardarni Harbans Kaur, who lived on to bear the full brunt of that brutal partition till the end of her life, has been sent by Shri BK Chaudhari, who now lives in the United Kingdom.