THE FIRST FREEDOM FIGHTER OF INDIA. Neither was an ode sung in his praise, nor valued him, nor a memorial was erected in his memory. This is the story of first freedom fighter of India Bhai Maharaj Singh whose real name was S. Nihal Singh. He was one of the three saints of Naurangabad – Baba Bir Singh, Baba Khuda Singh and Baba Maharaj Singh who were most sought after by the Sikh masses and courtiers of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, for guidance after the death of Maharaja. Nine years before Mangal Pandey, said to be the first freedom fighter, Bhai Maharaj Singh organized a mass movement against Britishers in 1848.
To quote M.L. Ahluwalia and Kirpal Singh, "Bhai Maharaj Singh led the anti British campaign as part of his moral obligations towards his people and unlike others, he had neither any axe to grind nor any personal score to settle with the Britishers. For him it was a divine mission for which he staked his life." Britishers put a reward of Rs.l0,000 on his head at that time. When he learnt about the likely removal of Maharaja Dalip Singh from Punjab, he decided to secure the person of Maharaja in whose name the freedom struggle was to continue. He made a comprehensive plan and secured the help from all quarters. He deputed his envoys almost everywhere in northern India and sent his emissaries to Kabul, Kandhar and Peshawar to get the support of Persian brethren and Amir Dost Mohammad Khan and Sultan Mohammad Khan. The followers were divided into batches and were sent in various directions. But a well knitted plan to seize the Maharaja failed. Even then he did not lose heart. He made another plan to assault the cantonments of Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar on January 3, 1850. But on 28th December, 1849, he was arrested from a sugarcane field on the report of a Muslim informer. He was tortured to the extreme and was kept in William Fort at Calcutta and finally imprisoned in Singapore, where he attained martyrdom. He had thousands of followers who revered this saint-soldier like anything. This peerless patriot was forgotten in his own country, but his countrymen erected a memorial in Singapore. Lack of any memorial in his memory in Punjab is a very sad affair.Download Ebook to Read Continue