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Delhi Fateh Diwas

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Delhi Fateh Diwas: When Mughals fell and the holy symbol of Khalsa Panth was unfurled at Red Fort

When we talk about Indian history, especially pre-British era, why do we leave out the glorious history of the Sikhs? Their courage to stand up against forceful religious conversions to Islam?

It was the year 1783 when Sikh leader Baba Baghel Singh conquered Delhi back from the Mughal king Shah Alam. On 11th March 1783, the Sikh army marched bravely to Delhi on horses and elephants and unfurled a Nishan Sahib at Red Fort. Thousands of Sikhs celebrate the day as Fateh Diwas, while the date as per the Gregorian calendar differs every year.

Born in the 1730s in village Jhabal Kalan, Amritsar, into a Dhillon Jatt family, his forefathers had converted to Sikhism during the time of Guru Arjan Sahib in the 1580s. Baghel Singh first invaded Delhi on January 8, 1774, and captured the area up to Shahdara. The second invasion was on July 17, 1775, when the Sikhs captured the area around the present-day Pahar Ganj and Jai Singhpura. Majority of the fighting took place where present-day New Delhi is located. Shortage of supplies forced Sikhs to temporarily halt their conquering spree, but Red Fort was the final aim. On 11th March 1783, the Sikhs entered the Red Fort in Delhi and occupied the Diwan-E-Aam where Mughal emperor Shah Alam II.

Emperor Shah Alam II reconciled with the Sikhs and offered treaty and accepted their terms, including construction of Gurudwaras on Sikh historical sites. Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, where Guru Tegh Bahadur had been executed on the orders of Mughal king Aurangzeb and Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, where the Guru’s remains were cremated were established by him. He has also been credited with the establishment of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Gurudwara Bala Sahib, Gurudwara Majnu Ka Tilla, Gurudwara Moti Bagh, Gurudwara Mata Sundri and Gurudwara Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

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