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Subject: Sept 15th Anniversary of the legendary Battle of Saraghari
PunjabiSikhWarrior    9/21/2005 4:02:30 PM
So what would you do if 12,000 pathans(afghans) invaded your post? Well the Hindu's would convert to Islam (no doubt), the British will retreat, and the Sikhs will fight to the death... Battle of Saraghari is voted 1 of the most eight heroic military storys ever - official please read below - very insipring Saragarhi is the incredible story of 21 men of the 36th Sikh Regiment (currently the 4th Sikh Regiment) who gave up their lives in devotion to their duty. In keeping with the tradition , they fought to the death rather than surrender. The Battle at Saragarhi is one of eight stories of collective bravery published by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). It has been mentioned as one of the five most significant events of its kind in the world which includes the Saga of Thermoplyae associated with the heroic stand of a small Greek force against the mighty Persian Army of Xerxes in 480 B.C. The British colonial rulers had constructed a series of forts to control the North West Frontier Province - today a state in Pakistan and to provide security to troops against marauding tribesmen and their lashkars (large body of troops). Most of these forts had initially been built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh as part of the consolidation of the Sikh empire in Punjab and the British added some more. The British had only partially succeeded in gaining control over this region, consequently, skirmishes and sometimes serious fights with the tribals were a frequent occurrence. However, the NWFP was a good training ground for the Indian Army to hone its skills and techniques. Two such forts on the Samana ridge of the Hindukush & Sulaiman ranges that is Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan were a few miles apart. Since these forts were not inter-visible, a signalling relay post called Saragarhi was located mid-way on a bluff to provide heliographic communications between them. This post or picket had been fortified to provide safety and protection to the signalling detachment. In 1897 there was a general uprising in the NWFP engineered by Afghans as part of their policy, which came to be known as the 'prickly heat policy' to direct the wrath of the tribals against the British. In this uprising, Mullahs (Muslim religious leaders) played a prominent role. It was the duty of the 36th Sikh to occupy Gulistan and Lockhart forts. On 3rd and 9th September 1897, Orakazai and Afridi lashkars attacked Fort Gulistan. On both occasion the attacks were beaten back. The relief column from Lockhart on the return trip reinforced the signalling detachment at Saragarhi making its strength to 1 Non-Commissioned Officer and 20 Other Ranks. In a renewed effort, on 12 September 1897, 10000 - 12000 tribesmen laid siege to Fort Lockhart and Saragarhi, with the aim of overrunning the latter and at the same time preventing any help from the former. The Commanding Officer of 36th Sikh, Lt. Col. Haughton, was at Fort Lockhart and was in communication with the Saragarhi post through helicograph. The defenders of Saragarhi under the indomitable and inspiring leadership of their detachment commander, Havildar Ishar Singh, resolved to defend their post in the best tradition of their race and regiment. They were not there to hand over the post to the enemy and seek safety elsewhere. Havildar Singh and his men knew well that the post would fall, because 21 men in that make-shift fort of stones & mud walls with a wooden door could not stand the onslaught of 12,000 tribesmen. These fearless men knew that they will go down but they had resolved to do so fighting to the last. From early morning the tribals started battering the fort. The Sikhs fought back valiantly. Charge after charge was repulsed by the men of the 36th Sikh regiment. The tribal leaders started to make tempting promises so that the Sikhs would surrender. But Havildar Singh and his men ignored them. For quite some time, the troops held their own against the determined and repeated attacks by the wild and ferocious hordes. At Saragarhi, the enemy made two determined attempts to rush the gate of the post and on both occasions the defenders repulsed the assault. While the enemy suffered heavy casualties, the ranks of the defenders too kept dwindling as the fire from the attackers took its toll and their ammunition stocks were depleting. Unmindful of his safety, Sepoy Gurmukh Singh kept signalling a minute-to-minute account of the battle from the signal tower in the post to Battalion HQs. The battle lasted the better part of the day. When repeated attacks failed, the enemy set fire to the surrounding bushes & shrubs and two of the tribesmen under cover of smoke, managed to close in with the post's boundary wall in an area blind to the defender's observation and rifle fire from the post holes. They succeeded in making a breach in the wall. This development could be seen from Fort Lockhart and was flashed to the post. A few men from those
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ATHEIST    RE:Sept 15th Anniversary of the legendary Battle of Saraghari    9/28/2005 6:40:18 AM
Brilliant. Thx for that info. I always knew the sikhs were good warriors. whenever and wherever a sikh fought , it was with valour. I think a reading on the battle of longewala would be a good accompaniment as well as the boyra battle. these 2 battles were fought in the 1971 wars when once again they won faced with overwhelming odds. one was led by sikhs another was fought by sikhs. of course pakistan ultimately surrendered to a sikh in the east.
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PunjabiSikhWarrior    BATTLE OF LONGEWALA: BEST OF BRAVES   9/29/2005 8:49:31 PM
The Battle of Longewala goes down in the annals of military history as a classic case of human resolve and motivation in the face of extremely heavy odds. In this battle a handful of troops, numbering approximately 100, not only faced a brigade attack supported by a regiment and a squadron of tanks but successfully stalled the same after incurring heavy losses on the enemy at the cost of negligible casualty to the defenders. In addition, as a result of the subsequent combined Army-Air Force effort, the enemy suffered more casualties thereby turning the tides against the superior force of the attackers. The enemy had no option but to withdraw from the battle area. In 1971, Major K N Chandpuri was commanding 'A' Coy of the 23 Punjab Regiment which was occupying a defensive position at Longewala, a small hamlet in Rajasthan situated in the Thar desert. The rest of the battalion was at Sadhewala, about 17 km to his north-east. While Major Chandpuri had under his command a detachment of the Border Security Force (BSF), a section each of medium machine guns (MMGs) and 81mm mortars and his two recoilless gun detachments were under training at the battalion headquarters. He had no armour and artillery support. Defences were sited on a high sand dune. Immediately after Pakistan's pre-emptive air sorties on Indian airfields on December 3, 1971, Major Chandpuri dispatched a strong patrol of 20 men under Lieutenant Dharam Vir towards Boundary Pillar (BP) 638, erected right on the international border. On the night of December 4/5th, Lieutenant Vir reported noises from across the border suggesting a major armour movement. Since this development was totally unexpected and uncorroborated by Indian intelligence, the initial reaction to this news up the channel of command was casual. Shortly afterwards, Lieutenant Vir reported a very large number of tanks and other vehicles crossing the border and heading towards Longewala. Soon the Pakistanis started shelling the Longewala position by medium artillery guns from across the border, killing five BSF camels. When Major Chandpuri heard the enemy tanks advancing, he directed his patrol to shadow the enemy forces and sent an urgent message to his battalion headquarters for reinforcements, armour and artillery support. A Chinese-built T-59 tank, of Pakistan's 22nd Cavalry, destroyed by RCL gunners of the 23 Punjab. At 4:00 a.m. on December 5th, the enemy armour was seen enveloping a prominent dune south of BP-638, ostensibly to overrun the Longewala defences. These forces were later identified as the 22nd Cavalry consisting of Chinese-built T-59 tanks, plus a squadron of US-built Shermans. Following close behind the armour was a long column of assorted vehicles including agricultural tractors, towing trailers filled with combat troops belonging to what was later identified as the 20th Frontier Force battalion of the 51st Infantry Brigade forming part of Pakistan's 18th Infantry Division. Later, it was discovered that Pakistan had not only intended to overrun Longewala but had also planned an attack on Jaisalmer. The frightening prospect of being overrun by the enemy caused trepidation among some jawans for whom it was to be the first baptism of fire. Sensing this, Major Chandpuri told his men in chaste Punjabi, "Any one who is afraid to face the enemy is free to run away now, although it will be a shame to the battalion and its ancestors," and added, "but remember, I intend to stand and fight to the last." This touched them, and soon they all reassured that they would fight and die till the last man. Major Chandpuri, although apprehensive, had complete faith in his men and took a silent pledge not to vacate Longewala under any circumstances. This act made a tremendous impact on his men and they were determined to live up to the expectations of their company commander, battalion commander and the regiment. The enemy armour was closing in fast. There was no time for laying the mines. At about 4.30 am, the leading tanks crept forward within effective RCL range and the RCL detachments were ordered to fire. Once RCL gun scored a direct hit on a T-59 tank which immediately burst into flames while the other knocked out a jeep carrying a senior officer. After the first few casualties, the bulk of the remaining tanks turned around and took cover behind some sand dunes. Some tanks started making a detour to the south-west in order to attack the company from the left flank and rear. During this critical manoeuvre, while withholding all small arms fire, Major Chandpuri ordered his MMGs and mortars to open up and took a heavy toll of the Pakistan infantry. Surprisingly, some troops were still on the tanks while others were running about, seeking cover. In spite of innumerable odds, the attack was courageously held. The tanks then attempted to assault and started closing in. It was at this juncture that Sepoy Bishan Dass, with his detachment of pioneers, started placing anti-tank
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PeregrinePike    RE:Sept 15th Anniversary of the legendary Battle of Saraghari    10/24/2005 1:43:23 PM
PunjabiSikhWarrior, While I have the utmost respect for the Sikh soldier, and have aluded to this particular battle with great admiration (and know strange trivia like Karam Singh, the first Sikh to win a Param Vir Chakra, was born on 15th September etc)... ... your attitude is somewhat disappointing. Whatever else you may be, its your attitude that counts... >> So what would you do if 12,000 pathans(afghans) invaded your post? Well the Hindu's would convert to Islam (no doubt) << BIG DOUBTS: 1. Full, undivided Punjab, from which Sikhism draws most of its disciples, is home to the greatest number of converts to Islam in full India. So what does that tell me about your stock??? 2. Durrani Afghans regularly ruled over Sikhs until the time of Banda Singh Bahadur, and Sikh men in 1800s would remember that blood-feud. They would also remember who totured and killed Guru Gobind Singh, and also why he let himself be martyred in the first place. British utilized this fact time and again to sacrifice you guys to Afghan hordes with faulty and illequiped units. History knows of girls who held off equal odds of Native American tribesmen with decent repeating Winchesters... 3. The one people the Afghans REALLY feared were incidentally little Hindu Gurkhas and Gharwalis. Their popular cry was "We dont want you, we want the Pink Cheeks and Red Turbans to kill -- not for us to die" (i.e Brits and Sikhs) ... I remember telling this story to a younger cousin, and she asked the bottom line "Who won?" ----------------------------------------------------- Hope this helps you walk on firm ground again. On a more friendly note, why dont you put up something about the early Sikh misls (if I spelled it right, i.e. the guerilla bands who fought the Mughals?) I would be quite interested in reading well-balanced works on them. Thanks.
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ArrowGuns    RE:Sept 15th Anniversary of the legendary Battle of Saraghari    10/24/2005 2:55:13 PM
PSW has also forgotten that it was the Marathas under Shrimant Raghunathrao (Raghoba) who liberated Punjab from the Afghans in 1756. Yes from 1020 AD until 1756, Punjab was ruled by Moslems. For nearly 800 years!! After the last Punjabi King Tirlochan Pal Shahi had been defeated by Mahmud of Ghazni. Having said that, I do not want to get in a pissing contest. I do acknowledge the contributions of Sikhs to India and their bravery. At the same time, I refuse to ridicule other Indian states and communities for lack of a martial tradition. Why, if not for the Gujaratis and Marwaris who would instill the spririt of enterprise and free trade? If not for the Biharis and UPites, who would wash and iron clothes in Mumbai and drive taxis? The average Marathi youth in Mumbai, Pune, Nasik and Nagpur wants a job in technology or a bank or a retailer. He/she does not want to drive a taxi! Likewise in Punjab, the Sikh landowner doesn't want to toil in his field. He needs that little Bihari to work his ass out, so he could drink his Kaala Teetar (Black Partridge) or Kalyani Black Label beer and devour his Butter Chicken. If you ever talk to someone who has served in a forward area or has seen action in life and death situations, he/she will tell you that no one is born courageous. On some days, under certain circumstances you can move mountains against all odds, on other days, you act like a coward by your inaction. Therefore it is possible to have a cowardly Sikh, Maratha, Jat, Gorkha and it is possible to have a brave Bihari, Baniya, Tamilian. Incidentally, the state with the highest number of Gallantry Awards in India is Uttar Pradesh.
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PunjabiSikhWarrior    RE:Sept 15th Anniversary of the legendary Battle of Saraghari    10/25/2005 10:23:37 PM
We are the survivors of islamic punjab, before partition hindu's became minority in punjab to the expanding islamic empire in india. The islamic influnece was coming from the north west so we were one of the first to be hit with invaders. THere muslim strong hold and was in Punjab neighbouring the ruthless pathans who used to peaceful buddhists at one point! Hindu's were becoming muslims in order to survive, however some hindu's were also becoming Sikhs in order to fight against the muslims. THe actual hindu population became so low that they were not even in majority of a single district in punjab. HIndu's are warriors they were almost wiped out of punjab, its only after partition that you see back there. My grandfather told me that more than 60% of punjab fell to muslims that is why he had to learn urdu in school and around 33% were sikhs thats why we couldn't have our own state since we did not form a majority in Punjab. Secondly the muslims commited genocide on the sikhs during guru gobind singhs time, and we hardly formed even 5% of punjab at that time. How could you expect us to take over??? Afterwards as our numbers grew to 20% of Punjab we took over!!! Gourkha's live in the east plus they live in the mountains they are no threat to the afghans unless the afghans start going up those mountains which would be very difficult. They probably didn't want to fight the Gourkhas cause there is know point in wasting there lives for no good reason, there was a good reason to fight the British and there was a good reason for them to fight us. We have a lot of experience fighting Afghans and we have long history of it too, we hate each other with a passion. Also Arrowguns some of us are born with bravery written in our blood, the Sikhs come from warrior races such as the Jatts the Rajputs and Khattries. In case you don;t you know, The Sikhs are traditionally martial in spirit, fiercely proud and carry a long history of lineage and tradition. Traditionally, Sikhism patriotism is legendary, an ideal they embodied with a fanatical zeal. Sikh warriors were often known to fight untill the last man. There is no such thing as a cowardly sikh yaar, if he is a coward he can no longer be a sikh he must be a hindu!!!
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PunjabiSikhWarrior    RE:Sept 15th Anniversary of the legendary Battle of Saraghari    10/25/2005 10:26:49 PM
Opps i meant to say hindu's are not warriors
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ArrowGuns    Questions for PSW   10/26/2005 10:26:19 AM
You are a student, I believe. Have you ever served in a forward area? Have you ever been shot by trained soldiers with an intention to kill you? Have you ever survived or controlled riotous mobs? If you answer "Yes" for any one of the above, I will believe that you have any idea of what bravery means. If not, then please complete your education, join the Canadian Armed Forces or the Royal Mounted Police, serve well in the true Sikh martial tradition, earn your battle honors and then talk of courage. I am not here to brag about my illustrious martial lineage or my experience. However, you should know that one other than the Marathas among all Indians have had the courage to chase invading forces far away from their home in Western India all the way to Attock in NorthWest Frontier PRovince. I am talking about the chase in the 1750s from Maharashtra to Attock by the Marathas of the Afghans. In process, we liberated you Punjabis in 1756 from Moslem rulers! Marathas are not Sikhs, they are Hindus. Their leader was the Peshwa who was a Chitpavan Brahmin! So don't claim ownership of bravery. It is not a commodity that any community is born with or owns! Yes, there are several Sikh cowards, all those who were terrorists and killed innocent civilians. Those who blew up Kanishka and those who killed Indira Gandhi. I do not support Indira's policies in Punjab and she did a lot of wrong. But her bodyguards who were supposed to protect her killed her. And they were all Sikhs. An example of cowardly Sikhs.
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IndianRaj    RE:Questions for PSW   10/26/2005 7:43:29 PM
PSWs mentality is that the Tall Fair Sikhs are superior to the "black little Hindu men". He represents the worst of Sikhs. I cant stand these people who seem to think they are better than other Indians just because they won one battle.
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Godofgamblers    sikh story   10/26/2005 8:23:39 PM
"Sikhs & 12'o Clock Funda The Truth Behind it !!!!!!!!!! I was standing at jalandhar station when my attention went towards a Sikh youth standing near me wearing a Black turban having a long beard and wearing a kirpan over his shirt looking similar to a terrorist. After a while, one local train arrived, which was totally packed. The Sikh youth tried to alight the train but failed to do so. Just then a voice was heard from the back coach 'Sardarji Barah Baj gaye' (Sir it's 12 o'clock!) The Sikh youth looked over at that voice maker who was a young Mischievous type of person and instead of showing any anger made a smile towards him. The smile made was so enigmatic that it seemed as if some type of truth lies behind it. Not able to resist my temptation, I walked towards him and asked why did he smile at that person who teased him. The Sikh youth replied, 'He was not teasing me but was asking for my Help'. I was surprised with these words and he told me that there was a big history behind that which one should know. I was eager to know the History and the Sikh youth narrated: During 17th Century, when Hindustan was ruled by Mughals, all the Hindu people were humiliated and were treated like animals. Mughals treated the Hindu women as there own property and were forcing all Hindus to accept Islam and even used to kill the people if they were refusing to accept.That time, our ninth Guru, Sri Guru Teg Bahadarji came forward,in response to a request of some Kashmir Pandits to fight against all these cruel activities. Guruji told the Mughal emperor that if he could succeed in converting him to Islam, all the Hindus would accept the same. But, if he failed, he should stop all those activities . The Mughal emperor happily agreed to that but even after lots of torture to Guruji and his fellow members he failed to convert him to Islam and Guruji along with his other four fellow members, were tortured and sacrificed their lives in Chandni Chowk. Since the Mughals were unable to convert them to Islam they were assassinated. Thus Guruji sacrificed his life for the protection of Hindu religion. Can anybody lay down his life and that too for the protection of another religion? This is the reason he is still remembered as "Hind Ki Chaddar", shield of India. For the sake of whom he had sacrificed his life, none of the them came forward to lift his body, fearing that they would also be assassinated Seeing this incident our 10th Guruji, Sri Guru Gobind Singhji (Son of Guru Teg Bahadarji) founder of khalsa made a resolution that he would convert his followers to such human beings who would not be able to hide themselves and could be easily located in thousands. At the start, the Sikhs were very few in numbers as they were fighting against the Mughal emperors. At that time, Nadir Shah raided Delhi in the year 1739 and looted Hindustan and was carrying lot of Hindustan treasures and nearly 2200 Hindu women along with him. The news spread like a fire and was heard by Sardar Jassa Singh who was the Commander of the Sikh army at that time. He decided to attack Nadir Shah's Kafila on the same midnight. He did so and rescued all the Hindu women and they were safely sent to their homes. It didn't happen only once but thereafter whenever any Abdaalis or Iranis had attacked and looted Hindustan and were trying to carry the treasures and Hindu women along with them for selling them in Abdal markets, the Sikh army although fewer in numbers but were brave hearted and attacked them at midnight,12 O'clock and rescued women. After that time when there occurred a similar incidence, people started to contact the Sikh army for their help and Sikhs used to attack the raider's at Midnight, 12 O'clock. Nowadays, these "smart people" and some Sikh enemies who are afraid of Sikhs, have spread these words that at 12 O'clock, the Sikhs go out of their senses. This historic fact was the reason which made me smile over that person as I thought that his Mother or Sister would be in trouble and wants my help and was reminding me by saying off 'Sardarji Barah Baj Gaye' Plz do forward this mail to all ur friends so they can know about sikh history & its a humble appeal PLEASE dont make fun of RELIGIONS ! as every religion is as pure as urs. "Its easy to joke on a Sardar, but It's too difficult to be a Sardar" "
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PeregrinePike    RE:Sept 15th Anniversary of the legendary Battle of Saraghari    10/27/2005 7:20:08 AM
PSW: FYI Gurkhas and Garwhalis were recruited into Indian Army in almost the same numbers as Sikhs. So my point in illustrating their case was to show that Pathans did not fear Sikhs or Brits, but definately avoided these little Hindu soldiers. So your often repeated statement of lack of Hindu martial traditions is turned on its own head and nullified -- in its own environment, time and against same enemy.
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