Shaheed Bhai Swaran Singh Rode
Shaheed Bhai Swaran Singh Rode
From the family of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale, his elder brother Bhai Jagir Singh, Bhai Jagir Singh’s son Bhai Swaran Singh, Sant Ji’s nephew and the son of Bhai Veer Singh, Bhai Hardeep Singh all attained martyrdom in June 1984, on the holy land of Sri Harimandir Sahib. The name of Bhai Swaran Singh Rode became name for headlines on 9th September 1981, when Lala Jagat Narain was killed by Jhujaru Singhs.
Bhai Swaran Singh was born in the year of 1956 in the house of Sardar Jagir Singh and from the womb of Mata Gurdev Kaur in the village of Rode, district Faridkot. Bhai Sahib had 4 brothers and 1 sister, he was the second eldest after Bhai Lakhbir Singh. Bhai Sahib attained his primary education from government school of Rode village and after started working in his farms. During the time of Sant Kartar Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale, Bhai Sahib went to Damdami Taksal, here he started his Gurbani Santhaya and learning the Sikh history. In a short space of time Bhai Sahib became a great Akhand Paathi. Other than this, Bhai Sahib also learnt how to do Kirtan. Bhai Sahib along with Bhai Ram Singh, Bhai Gursharan Singh and Bhai Surjit Singh did Kirtan together.
On 9th September 1981, the present struggle for Sikh homeland witnessed its first Jhujaru action. Bhai Sahib, Bhai Nachhatar Singh Rode and Bhai Dalbir Singh Abhyiassi assassinated Lala Jagat Narain. Many songs were written with the praises of this action:
Jugni Fir Gaee Ludhiane
Odhe Nal Si Doh Tin Jaane
Nachhatar, Swaran Jahe Jarvane
Oye Veer Meraya Jugni
Veer Meraya Jugni
Veer Meraya Jugni Laee Firde
Ohnu Bhaal Rahe Si Kaee Chir De
The reason for Lala Jagat Narain’s assassination and what happened after, is explained by Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale in one of his speeches:
“The news came that Lala Jagat Narain wrote in his newspaper that Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj used to live like a prince and was very fashionable and fun-loving. We still slept over it. When he started to repeatedly and maliciously malign the Gurus and the Singhs, some son of his mother could stand it no longer and put him on the train to hell. After he was put on the train on the 9th (September 1981), on the 12th warrants for my arrest were issued. I came to know about it and arrived here in Mehta at five o’clock, early in morning, on the 14th. The cruel Government went into Chando-Kalan (the place where Sant Bhindranwale was camping on the 12th) and set fire to two busses belonging to the congregation and not to me. I was a grass-cutter at home (A poor man), the Guru’s congregation had given them to me for preaching and going place to place. Both those busses were set on fire and burnt down. There were books (Containing segments) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the True King, in them. The Singhs tried to take them out but were unable to do so because of the circumstances. The (Religious) books were burnt in them and goods worth 3 Lakh Rupees were looted from the village Chando-Kalan. In Mehta, on the 16th at 4 pm, I was served with the warrants. Upon receipt of warrants, I immediately announced that I shall surrender myself (To the authorities) for arrest on the 20th September. These words have been tape recorded. After that announcement, people started gathering there. The police too surrounded the Gurdwara Sahib and set up positions with their Sten guns, Bren-guns and LMGs. In due course, responsible friends also arrived. They all came. The 20thday of (September), the day on which we are assembled here today, arrived. That day, the way I had dressed was somewhat different. Some brothers commented on it one way, some another way. The friends had each their own views. Some said that I had changed my dress out of fear. Others made other comments. Someone asked me, “What is the matter, why have you changed your manner of dress?” I humbly replied, “When someone goes to get a young man married he carries a piece of saffron cloth and wears a saffron turban. This is the normal practice in Punjab among the Sikhs. I am going to wed my bride, death. If the Chief Minister of Punjab, Zakhriya (Darbara Singh), and Indira, the Queen of Hindustan have some granthi (Reader of Sri Guru Granth Sahib) to read the marriage prayer, they can send him to the jail where they are going to keep me. If they want the marriage solemnized, they should send him there, I am going there fully prepared for it.” That day the gathering was many times larger than it is today. All the leaders and many other responsible friends had assembled there. After making a speech at midday, in the afternoon I offered myself for arrest. After the arrest, when I had gone from the place, a few minutes later, to ruin the peaceful atmosphere, the cruel Government (Fired upon the Singhs). Mud is thrown at me that I am too hot headed. Mud is thrown at me that I am quarrelsome. Mud is thrown at me that I am an agent of the Congress. One can only learn (The truth) when one is being broken on the wheel – whether one recites God’s name or hurls abuse. It is very easy to say these (Bad) things. On 20th September, I went from that place. Either we do not have enough reverence for the Guru or we are under some awkward influence. All say Jarnail Singh has done a lot. He has woken up the Nation. Many poets have also written poems about it. I humbly appeal to these poets. Instead of making poems in my name, you should first of all write poems in praise of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Why should you do it? If the Nation is awake today it is because the day of martyrdom of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. September 14 marks the awakening of this Nation. Guru Sahib has offered himself to the fire. If the books had not been set on fire, if copies (Of Sri Guru Granth Sahib) had not been set on fire, I am prepared to say with confidence we could not have achieved such an awakening. Khalsa Ji, to preserve reverence for Satguru, the Singhs reached there and peacefully served the congregation. But the cruel Government fired at them and killed the Singhs. There is a Singh, an old man from Buttaran village, Chanan Singh by name. His son was a student of the 12th grade. All day he served food and milk to the congregation. When he was going home, he passed in front of the police station. He was shot and killed while sitting in the trolley (Of a tractor). We do talk and rightly so, about our Hindu-Sikh unity. We have to live together. The young son of Kartar Singh of Dharde village was sitting in his trolley when he was shot. Another was from Bolewal (Bolewal is a village near Mehta) all these villages are near Mehta. He, too, was shot and killed. The time came. The dead bodies reached Amritsar. I was not here but all of you who are sitting here must have been. It is possible that you were not here but at Mehta Gurdwara. You were not anywhere else. This happened in that time frame. The dead bodies were brought. You know how the post mortem examinations (Autopsies) were conducted and how the bodies were disposed of by the Government. It is not proper for me to talk about it, it is more appropriate that you speak (Because Sant Bhindranwale was in jail and could not have first-hand knowledge). Time passed. I went to jail. The Nation got together. Guru Sahib had mercy. Bhai Gajinder Singh and others, sons of the Guru, hijacked a plane to protest (Sant Bhindranwale’s arbitrary arrest). I was released on 15th October.”
After the assassination of Lala Jagat Narain, Bhai Nachhatar Singh Rode was arrested but Bhai Sahib and Bhai Dalbir Singh Abhyiassi escaped arrest and continued to do Jhujaru actions. To read in-depth about the assassination of Lala Jagat Narain, please visit the following link, https://www.1984tribute.com/Actions.php?id=4 (The information on this link is from Bhai Nachhatar Singh Rode.)
Bhai Sahib couldn’t escape the eyes of Punjab police for too long and in 1982 he was arrested from Gumty village in Bathinda, when he was visiting some relatives. All night the Punjab police had surrounded the house but no one dared to go in and arrest Bhai Sahib. At this time Bhai Sahib had no weapons. In the morning Bhai Sahib gave his arrest and told the police force that if he had a weapon he would’ve took on the whole police force. This arrest was shown by the police to be made in the village of Jalal, but after the arrest Bhai Sahib was taken to Ludhiana. The police took Bhai Sahib into remand twice but when nothing was gain they put Bhai Sahib in Ludhiana jail. Then in 1983, Bhai Sahib was released and straight after Bhai Sahib went to Nanak Niwas to re-join his Jhujaru brothers and Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale.
In June 1984, Indira Gandhi sent the Indian army to attack Sri Harimandir Sahib, but the singhs of Guru Gobind Singh Ji defended Sri Darbar Sahib with all their might. Bhai Sahib was positioned on Ramgharia Bunga, from where the Indian soldiers were dying in numbers. After the Indian tanks demolished the position on Ramgharia Bunga, Bhai Sahib, Bhai Major Singh Nagoke, Bhai Dalbir Singh Abhyiassi, Bhai Ram Singh and Bhai Nand Singh went to the bunker of Guru Ram Das Langar Hall, from where the Dukhbhajani Beri could be seen. Also at this bunker, there is a well in which the singhs had kept their food supplies. The singhs were once again killing the Indian soldiers but the Indian army did not know where the fire was coming from. By 6th June the Indian army had soldiers all over the complex of Sri Darbar Sahib. When Zail Singh came to see the damage the Indian army had done, his bodyguard was killed and only then the army found out about the singhs in Guru Ram Das Langar Hall. The army general then grabbed the head granthi of Sri Darbar Sahib, Giani Puran Singh and said, “The Singhs of Bhindranwale know who you are, you go and tell them to drop their weapons and surrender to the army, we will not kill them”. Giani Puran Singh gave this message to the singhs. Bhai Major Singh Nagoke replied, “Singh Sahib Ji, we are not traitors, we are singhs. This army has attacked our beloved Sri Harimandir Sahib. They are the enemies, we will fight with them till our last breath. My names is Major Singh and with me are, Bhai Swarn Singh, Bhai Swarn Singh, Bhai Nand Singh, Bhai Ram Singh”. The army general tried sending in another 5 forces but the singhs defeated them and sent every single one of them to hell. Now the Indian army through the poisoness gas bombs into the bunker where the singhs were fighting from. Due to the poisoness gas Bhai Sahib, Bhai Major Singh Nagoke, Bhai Dalbir Singh Abhyiassi, Bhai Ram Singh Sultanpuri, Bhai Nand Singh Patti attained shaheedi on the holy land of Guru Ram Das Ji on 9th June 1984.
Khalsa Fatehnama – June 2016