Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom Day, also known as Shaheedi Diwas is observed annually on 24 November. People across the country pay their homage to the ninth of ten Sikh Gurus, who was fierce supporters of religious freedom, on this day. The day marks the death anniversary of the ninth Sikh Guru.
In 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur was publicly executed on this day in Delhi on the orders of the then Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb as he had opposed the policy of religious persecution being enforced at that time.
On Wednesday President Ram Nath Kovind took to social media to pay tribute to Guru Tegh Badahur, calling him "symbol of struggle and sacrifice against injustice".
अन्याय के विरुद्ध संघर्ष व बलिदान के प्रतीक श्री गुरु तेग बहादुर जी के शहीदी दिवस पर मैं उन्हें श्रद्धांजलि अर्पित करता हूं। उन्होंने मानवता की रक्षा के लिए अपने जीवन की आहुति दी थी। आइए, हम उनके आदर्शों का अनुसरण करते हुए मानवता के कल्याण के लिए कार्य करने का संकल्प लें।
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 24, 2021
Here are some facts about Guru Tegh Bahadur:
- He was the ninth Sikh Guru. His term as the Guru ran from the year 1665 till his death in 1675.
- During Aurangzeb's rule, Guru Tegh Bahadur had raised his voice and resisted forced conversions to Islam. He was publicly executed in 1675 on the orders of the Mughal emperor in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi.
- The places where the Sikh Guru was executed and cremated were turned into holy places, namely Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi.
- He was the father of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.
- There are 115 hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur in the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib.
- The Sikh Guru is remembered for his selfless service to the people. He also set up the community kitchens (langar) for the local people.
- The holy city Anandpur Sahib was founded by Guru Tegh Bahadur.
- As a tribute to him, one of the All India hockey tournaments has been named the "All India Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup".
Guru Tegh Bahadur carried forward the message and light of sanctity of Guru Nanak and other Sikh Gurus. He was a warrior, a thinker, and a poet.
He traveled through the Indian subcontinent to spread the message of Sikhism. He had also set up many preaching centres where people can pray and share their thoughts. His death anniversary is marked as a restricted holiday in Punjab.