Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sultan ul Quam - happy birthday!

Today is the birth anniversary of Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluvalia [Jassa Singh belonging to the village of Ahlu].

Interestingly no so called "panthak" media ever writes anything about him. Long time ago Tribune Newpaper (India) did an article on him, and also today there was an article on him by a different contributor to the Sunday Tribune.

Article in 2005 by Sumant Dhamija :

Article today by titled "Sultan of Courage" by Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia:

However to get a great background on this great Sikh general, warrior, kirtania, activist you must read - "Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia" by Prof. Ganda Singh, Publication Bureau, Punjabi University Patiala, 1990 First Edition. (This was originally written in Punjabi by Ganda Singh and this one I am referring to is the english translation by Dr. Sant Singh Bal)

I can't but resist to type this out. Beginning of Chapter 30 "The qualities and Nature of S. Jassa Singh and his contribution to Punjab":
"S. Jassa Singh was handsome, with a vigorous and strong body. He was tall, and his complexion was wheatish but bright, with a broad head, full eyebrows and a downward tilt, penetrating, large eyes, and a full beard. His chest was broad and his arms were so long that when he was in the standing posture, they touches his knees, and his voice was so slentorian that even when he spoke in a low tone, it was audible to the peole standing at a distance.

S. Jassa Singh's breakfast consisted of one seer of butter and a quarter seer of mishri (condensed sugar). He had his lunch regularly, and it is a measure of his physical strength and health that he could easily digest half a goat or so. His body was well built and heavy, and he was so active, tough and strong in riding that no horse would bear his weight for more than six months. He was an expert swordsman and bowman. Very few Sardars would match him in this field. Many of the arrows carried his name or symbol. In firing a gun he was a great marksman; in the battle-field he invariably led the army, and wherever he was needed, he would give a kick to his horse and reach there. He was not in favor of wearing iron armour because he thought that after wearing such a heavy steel dress a rider could neither attack the enemy swiftly and suddently, nor effecta quick escape. For his defense hedepended exclusively on God.

His dress was essentially sky-blue. He tied his turban in the Mughal style. Over his shirt he wore a buttoned jacket followed by a belt and a short sword, and he had a big slying under garment and tight wrinkled trowsers. he would wear a large sword and other requisite weapons in his belt, along with a short sword."
A couple of other intersting tidbits
"...among the Missaldar Sardar, he was the only person who could be regarded as literate according to the tradition of the time. [In the beginning] he only spoke Urdu; and this used to amuse his Sikh brethren. Gradually he switched over to Punjabi but the influence of Urdu and Persian remained intact till the very end of his life"
And every morning in the camps what did he do:
"...He would take a round early in the morning to see whther the Singhs were reciting Gurbani or not. At this time if he saw the Muslim servants lying asleep, he would hold them by their hands, rouse them and ask them to recite namaz and remember God. There were clear instructions for the Sikh Sardars to have the kirtan (collective singing) of Asa ki var regularly."
Man, I wish we had leaders like him today. Wait...we need to become leaders like him today.

Happy Birthday Sardar Jassa Singh ji!!

Carhdi kala!

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