Gurtej Singh Bhamra, Grade 11
UWCEA Moshi Campus
From the 1500s to the mid-1800s, Sikhs, Hindus, and various other minorities were persecuted by the Mughal Empire in Northern India. The Mughals were extremists who believed everyone should be converted to Islam; the consequence being imprisonment or death. On the other hand, Sikhi is a sovereign religion that teaches oneness and brotherhood. Therefore, the Sikhs acted as a humanitarian force against the Mughals to allow freedom of religion and expression for all.
By the early 1700s, orders were given that any Sikh seen should be killed on the spot, including women and children (this is just one example that illustrates the dire situation at the time). Furthermore, Sikhs can be identified mainly by their turbans and beards, so essentially wearing a turban and beard would be a death wish. Yet, this did not waver the spirit of those Sikhs at the time. Despite being in the minority, now more than ever, Sikhs began to adorn the Sikh identity, pick up weapons, and fight. Muslims and Hindus alike also joined the battle against the Mughals. After hundreds of thousands of sacrifices, the Mughal Empire eventually died out in 1858.
All of those endless sacrifices, just so I and millions of others can sit here today and practice mine and their religion. Even today, many of us are blessed to have supportive family and friends that listen to us and allow us the freedom to be who we truly are. So as a Sikh brother, Bhai Jagraj Singh once quoted, “don’t be proud, be grateful”. It is those before us and now that allow us to live the life we are living. So before being proud of all that you have, be grateful for all those who made it a reality for you.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Mughal dynasty". Encyclopedia Britannica, Invalid Date, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mughal-dynasty. Accessed 19 July 2022.
“TWGC Topic #8 Part B - The Misl period - 1708 to 1801” YouTube, uploaded by Basics of Sikhi, 16 June 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqdSbWWAvVc
Image Courtesy: (12:30) https://youtu.be/pxyiG1xXuLM