Shaheed Bhai Kulvant Singh aka. Bhai Menghaa Singh Babbar
"True Lord, may my body be a sacrifice unto your feet,. Guru, father, may I not show my back in the field of battle, and may I be martyred battling the enemies of the faith. Guru, Father, have mercy on me, may the enemy's bullets not hit my back, may I take them upon my chest. Satguru, do not think of my faults, please let me embrace your feet." This was Bhai Saahib's daily prayer before the Guru.
When the time comes for a Sikh to give his head for the Guru, he is overcome with eagerness. He considers it his great fortune to give his head for the Sikh faith. When it comes time to sacrifice for the faith, the Sikh doesn't seek any examples, or justifications, or bribes. No force or fear can turn him away from his goal. Living his life according the Guru's bestowed faith, he fights the enemy and gives his head for the pure faith and truth and is then called a Martyr. Such a warrior always wants that his head should be sacrificed for the cause of the Guru.
On June 1st 1984, the thankless Hindu government directed its evil eye towards the Sikh places of worship and Sackhkhand Sree Darbar Saahib Amritsar. During this attack, Bh Kulvant Singh Babbar aka. Bh. Mehngaa Singh of the organisation Babbar Khalsa had the honour of being the first martyr to die fighting those who would defile the sanctity of Sree Darbaar Saahib. Just as Bh. Kulvant Singh aka. Bh. Menghaa Singh had the honour of being the first martyr in the Darbar Saahib attack, similarly, Bh. Kulvant Singh Babbar/Nagokay had the honour of being the first martyr of the Dharam Yudh Morcha. On June 9th, 1982, Bh. Nagokay had every one of his limbs broken and after enduring countless tortures, achieved martyrdom and by doing so, gave the shattered Panth unity to fight together. During this time Bh. Amarjeet Singh DaheRoo gave his martyrdom and increased the Panth's fervour to battle.
Bh. Kulvant Singh Babbar aka. Bh. Menghaa Singh was born in Yumnanagar Jagadhri in 1957 in the house of Sd. Partap Singh located in Vishkarma Nagar. He completed his early education in Yamunanagar. After passing the ninth grade, he entered the ITI and took a yearlong course in welding and then began to work.
When, during the Vaisakhi of 1978, unarmed Singhs went to protest the insult of Guru Saahib being done by the Fake Nirankaris, the unarmed Singhs were fired upon and 13 were martyred while countless others were injured.
The spilt blood of the martyrs had a deep effect on Bh. Kulvant Singh and as a result, he began attending Keertan Smaagams and would long for the blessing of amrit day and night. By the grace of the Guru during the 1979 AKJ Holla Mohalla Smaagam at Anandpur Saahib, he presented himself before the punj pyaaray and was blessed with amrit.
Bh. Saahib would read books on Sikh history and would try to mould his life to match those of old Singhs. He would always be consulting with other Singhs on the issue of punishing those who had killed Singhs. When the fake Nirankaris had a meeting in Jagadhri, Bh. Saahib and his companions attacked with fervour and caused the Nirankaris to run away in chaos.
The Police lodged a murder case on these Singhs and Bh. Saahib's companions fought this case. Bh. Saahib on the other hand refused to fight the case because in his words, "we don't believe in this false government,, so why should we go to courts of a government we have no faith in?" Bh. Saahib was acquitted along with the Singhs who chose to attend court proceedings.
With a desire to serve the Panth and punish the persecutors of the Singhs, Bh. Kulvant Singh left his home and came to Bibi Amarjeet Kaur, wife of Shaheed Bh. Fauja Singh, in Amritsar.
In Amrtisar there was a group called the Chaldaa Vaheer, which Bh. Saahib joined and served whole-heartedly. Bh. Saahib wore tattered clothes but refused to accept the Singhs's dasvandh for his own personal use. With the Chaldaa Vaheer Bh. Saahib would do the seva of cleaning Darbaar Saahib early in the morning, the washing of Akaal Takhat Saahib, kneading of flour in Sree Ramdaas Langar, preparing parshadas and also seva in distributing the langar. Considering Bh. Fauja Singh's wife and mother to be the family of a Shaheed, Bh. Kulvant Singh served them with dedication and love. Bh. Fauja Singh's mother gave Bh. Kulvant Singh the love a mother gives to a son.
In September 1979, the Singhs held a camp in Bh. Fauja Singh's Khalsa Farm in which the Singhs, in addition to learning Gurmat, also learned weaponry. Bhai Saahib took part in this camp with a desire to learn the use of weapons. During this camp, Bh. Saahib met Bh. Sukhdev Singh, Bh. Kulvant Singh Nagokay, Bh. Sulakhan Singh, Bh. Balvinder Singh, Bh. Vadhava Singh, Bh. Anokh Singh, Bh. Manmohan Singh and many other Singhs. The Singhs who taught the use of weapons loved Bh. Saahib.
After subsequent camps in Sabhravan and Goindvaal, Bh. Saahib became very well acquainted with all the Singhs's views and the love between them increased. They began to stay together in the form of a jathebandee. All the Singhs had the goal of finding and punishing the killers of Singhs and those who would insult Guru Saahib. The first action the Singhs conducted was against an individual who had insulted the saroop of SGGS. And with this, by the grace of the Guru, the work of punishing the enemies of the Panth carried on in secret for the next two years. The Government had no idea who conducted these actions but the people declared that the serviced was being rendered by the Guru's Shaheedee Fauj who were supporting the Gursikhs. During this time Bh. Kulvant Singh took part in every action, considering it to be service to the Panth. Day and night Bh. Saahib worked to cut the chains of slavery from the neck of the Sikhs.
In 1982, village leader Surjan Singh Nagokay turned in Bh. Kulvant Singh Babbar Nagokay and also gave a full report of the rest of the Singhs. The government tortured Bh. Kulvant Singh Nagokay to death and then made a false encounter and also put rewards on the heads of all the other Singhs. Bh. Kulvant Singh aka. Bh. Mehngaa Singh also had a reward placed on his head.
The government began to hunt the Singhs and as a result, the Singhs went underground. Only a few days had passed in hiding when this beloved of the Guru, Bh. Kuvant Singh, left to bathe in Sree Ramdas Sarovar and have darshan of Guru Saahib. He exclaimed "if the olden Singhs could cut through the cordon of their enemies, to have ishnaan and darshan at Darbaar Saahib, so can I."
Even during this time in Hiding Bh. Saahib would rise at amrit vela, bathe in the sarovar and then attend Aasaa Dee Vaar keertan at Darbaar Saahib. After this, he would attend to the seva of the Singhs's langar and also the Jora Ghar in addition to arranging weapons for the Jathebandee.
On June 1st 1984 at around 12pm, the CRPF and the BSF, in a government-sponsored scheme to eliminate the Sikhs, opened a rain of fire upon the Singhs at Sree Darbaar Saahib, Darshanee Deeorhee, Langar Building and Sree Akaal Takhat Saahib. Bh. Saahib was at Baba Atal Saahib and took up a position there, killing three attacking soldiers. This warrior's confidence increased and he went up to the top most floor of Baba Atal. A sniper fired at Bh. Saahib and the bullet hit him in the forehead. Bh. Saahib fell to the ground, but when a nearby Singh asked "Menghaa Singh!!! How are you??" he replied "Chardee Kalaa!!!".
The Singhs were informed that Bh. Saahib had been hit and Bh. Manmohan Singh and others were sent to retrieve him. The Singhs with great effort in the rain of bullets brought Bh. Kulvant Singh down from the top most floor of Baba Atal and carried him to Guru Nanak Nivaas. There were no medical facilities or doctors, but the Singhs cleaned the wound and dressed it. Around this warrior Gurbanee began to be recited and only after the completion of Sukhmani Saahib did he go and take his place at the feet of the Guru. On one hand, the Singhs were fighting the enemy and on the other, some Singhs were taking care of the Shaheed's body. Jathedar Sukhdev Singh Babbar asked the Gurbanee continue to be recited.
On the evening of June 1st, the firing ended and a message was sent to the fallen warrior's mother and father. On the afternoon of June 2nd, the mother and father arrived from Yamunanagar at Nanak Nivaas, despite the curfew. Mata jee saw her son and said "Son, you've fulfilled your promise. When you left home to serve the Panth you asked the Guru for what you have achieved today. By fulfilling your words, and giving your life to the Panth, you have honoured my womb".
All the Jathebandees in the complex, upon hearing the news of the Shaheedee did a final ardaas for Bh. Kulvant Singh, and upon seeing the Shaheed for the final time, heaped praise upon his bravery. Whoever meditates upon the Guru with a pure heart, for certain, gets the reward. May we be a sacrifice unto this first Shaheed, this blessed soul. This was the first shaheed who's body was cremated in the Darbar Saahib complex, despite the protestations of the SGPC president. Bh. Saahib was cremated close to Sree Manjee Saahib.
Jathedar Sukhdev Singh Babbar and other Singhs lovingly bathed Bh. Saahib's body and dressed him in the five kakaars, a chola and dumalaa. After the final ardaas, he was brought near Sree Manjee Saahib and all the sangat in the complex accompanied this procession. Bh. Sujan Singh put a sheet over the body on behalf of Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindranvalay. Other Jathebandees also put sheets on the body out of respect and covered it with garlands of flowers. At the time of cremation, there was a large gathering of the Sangat and every Gursikh felt the pain of Bh. Saahib's departure. Bh. Saahib's father lit the funeral pyre and seeing the rising flames, every Gursikh felt the desire to run to battle and die fighting for the faith.
Sevadars of the Institute of Gurmat Studies, Gurudwara Tapoban Sahib can be reached at http://www.Tapoban.org.