Friday, 17 June 2016

Invaders of Punjab and Spiritual Leaders of Punjab.

Almost 777 years of foreign rule, starting from the Turkish invader Mahmud of Ghazni in 1022 after ousting the Hindu Shahi ruler Raja Tarnochalpal, until the time Maharajah Ranjit Singh entered the gates of Lahore on July 7, 1799; Punjabis had not ruled their own land.

Mahmud, the ruler of Ghazni, attacked Punjab 17 times. However, the Ghaznavids were uprooted by the Ghauris. Then, there were subsequent short-term rules of the Mamluk’s, Khilji’s, Tughluq’s, Sayyid’s and Lodhi’s.

In 1160, Muhammad Ghori, a Turkic ruler, conquered Ghazni from the Ghaznavids and became its governor in 1173. In 1186–87, he conquered Punjab, bringing the last of Ghaznavid territory under his control and ending the Ghaznavid Empire.

Muhammad Ghori's successors established the Delhi Sultanate.

The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived kingdoms or sultanates of Turkic origin rules from Delhi between 1206 and 1526 when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty.

The five Turkic dynasties ruled their empires from Delhi:
The Mamluk (1211–90),
The Khalji (1290–1320),
The Tughlaq (1320–1413),
The Sayyid (1414–51)
The Lodhi (1451–1526).

The Turkic origin Mamluk Dynasty, (Mamluk means "Owned" and referred to the Turkic youths bought and trained as soldiers who became rulers throughout the Islamic world), seized the throne of the Sultanate in 1211.

The sultans eventually lost AfghanistanPunjab, and Delhi to the Mongols. The Sultanate declined after the invasion of Emperor Timur, who founded the Timurid Dynasty and was eventually conquered in 1526 by the Mughal king Babar.

Before last invasions of Ahmad Shah Abdali and his successors Timur Shah and Shah Zaman, the Mughals were the invaders of Punjab.

Punjabi tribes, castes and the inhabitants of Punjab revolted against the invaders of Punjab, but in a personal capacity and without uniting by the natural affinity of Punjabi people. However, Punjabi Sufi Saints were in a struggle to awaken the consciousness of the people of Punjab.

Baba Farid - 12th-13th century, Damodar - 15th century, Guru Nanak Dev -15th - 16th century, Guru Angad - 16th century, Guru Amar Das - 15th - 16th century, Guru Ram Das - 16th century, Shah Hussain - 16th century, Guru Arjun Dev - 16th - 17th century, Bhai Gurdas - 16th - 17th century, Sultan Bahu - 16th-17th century, Guru Tegh Bahadur - 17th century, Guru Gobind Singh - 17th century, Saleh Muhammad Safoori - 17th century, Bulleh Shah - 17th-18th century, Waris Shah - 18th century, along with spiritual grooming and moral character building of Punjabi people, provided the ideological atmosphere to Punjabi nation to liberate themselves from the slavery of foreign Muslim invaders to defend their land, to protect their wealth, to save their culture and retain their respect by ruling their land and governing the people of their nation by their own self.

Baba Farid - 12th - 13th century is considered as the first spiritual poet of the Punjabi language.

Guru Nanak Dev -15th - 16th century, the founder of Sikh Religion condemned the theocracy of Mughal rulers, and was arrested for challenging the acts of barbarity of the Mughal emperor Babar.

Shah Hussain - 16th century approved Dulla Bhatti’s revolt against Akbar as; Kahay Hussain Faqeer Sain Da - Takht Na Milday Mungay.

Baba Waris Shah - 18th century said of the barbaric and brutal invasions of Punjab by the Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Abdali that; "Khada Peeta Lahy Da, Baqi Ahmad Shahy Da" ("We Have Nothing With Us Except What We Eat And Wear, All Other Things Are For Ahmad Shah").

The spiritual grooming and moral character building of Punjabi people by the Punjabi Saints and Punjabi poets stimulated the natural affinity of Punjabi people, taught the lesson to the various tribes, castes and the inhabitants of the Punjab and forced them to unite into a broader common "Punjabi" identity. Therefore, Punjabi nationalism started to initiate in the people of the land of five rivers to defend their land, to protect their wealth, to save their culture and retain their respect by ruling their land and governing the people of their nation by their own self.

From 1752 to 1770, the Bhangis Misal continued to rise to a position of supremacy in the Punjab. With the intention of liberating their land from the Afghan powers, they fought a number of times with Ahmed Shah Abdali and his successors Timur Shah and Shah Zaman.

Ahmed Shah Abdali invasions of Punjab continued for eight times from 1748 to 1767-68 and in the year of 1798, Shah Zaman invaded Punjab for the last time. In nearly most of their expeditions, they were attacked by the Sikhs and they looted the baggage of Afghans. Therefore, the last three invasions of Punjab from 1762 to 1767 by the Ahmed Shah Abdali were carried out clearly to annihilate the Sikhs. 

Hari Singh Bhangi the Chief leader of the Bhangi Misal had fought with Afghans a number of times. On November 1756, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded Punjab for the fourth time and captured Lahore but soon he returned to Afghanistan leaving behind Timur Shah at Lahore.

By 1758, Adina Beg Khan (A Muslim Punjabi Arain) met the Sikhs and solicited their help to throw out the Afghans representative from Lahore

Soon Hari Singh Bhangi along with his son Jhanda Singh, Gujjar Singh, Lehna Singh built a combined front with Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, Jai Singh Kanahiya, Charat Singh Sukerchakia and other Sikh Sardars.

They allied with Adina Beg Khan and the Marathas and marched upon Lahore. Before their advent into Lahore Timur Shah fled to Afghanistan and they captured the city of Lahore without any great effort. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia became the head of the Sikh sovereignty. Under his rule, the domain of Sikhs considerably grew over Punjab.

After the death of Jassa Singh, Afghans started gaining power again. However, that was short term, as Maharaja Ranjit Singh built up a strong force to counteract them.

One of the main rivals to be defeated by Ranjit Singh was Shah Zaman. Shah Zaman, despite his previous defeats, attacked Lahore and surrounded Sikhs from all the sides. The Afghans now planned to attack Amritsar, which was well answered by the forces of Ranjit Singh.

Ranjit Singh won the hearts of everyone in Punjab, irrespective of religion and status. It was on July 7, 1799, that the victorious Ranjit Singh entered Lahore.

Punjab had a picture of chaos and disorder when Maharaja Ranjit Singh took over as its ruler, on 12th April 1801 by establishing the Sikh Empire of Punjab. Later, with the Secular Punjabi Rule, Maharaja Ranjit Singh conquered the Kashmir valley, Ladakh, along with modern day Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and annexed it into the Empire of Punjab.

In 1800 century, the religious ratio of Punjabi people in Punjab was 52% Muslim Punjabis, 41% Hindu Punjabis, 6% Sikh Punjabis, and 1% others. Muslim Punjabis and Hindu Punjabis were in the support of the Sikh Empire of Punjab. Prime Minister of Sikh Empire of Punjab was a Hindu Punjabi Dhian Singh Dogra and Foreign Minister was a Muslim Punjabi Fakir Aziz-ud-Din. Religion was a personal subject in Sikh Empire of Punjab. Justice was provided to the inhabitants of Punjab without discrimination of religion.