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Only a few years ago (1978) in Amritsar there was a peculiar group of Sikhs. They call themselves the 'Nirankaaris'. They worshiped a man as the living Guru, he even sat above Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji. They did slanderous things about Guru Gobind Singh. Their leader was a rich and corrupt man named Gurbachan Singh. Some honest beloved Sikhs of the Guru who lived in Amritsar became upset and decided to do something. One of these men was Bhai Fauja Singh. He was very close to Guru Gobind Singh, he was attached to Gurbani and shared great love and admiration for those he saw who shared the same pure spirit. He always spoke the truth and many of his friends got inspiration from him. Bhai Fauja Singh told them, "We are the Khalsa and we love Guru Gobind Singh. These people insult our Guru every day. It is our duty to preserve the honor of the Guru."

Baisakhi day came up, on this day all Sikhs remember how Guru Gobind Singh formed the great Khalsa. The Nirankaaris were planning on doing something outrageous; they were going to hold up their Guru in a palki and carry him around as a public statement that this false man was the living Guru. It is so beautiful when when good men stand up against great insults, Bhai Fauja Singh and his companions committed to stopping the Nirankaaris from polluting the Khalsa. So these seventy men with only swords in their hands, marched to where the Nirankaaris were meeting. There were hundreds of Nirankaaris who began throwing bricks at these Khalsa. Now the Nirankaaris took out their swords and began fighting the Khalsa. It was 70 against hundreds. After some time the Nirankaaris took out their guns and began shooting at these Amritsar Sikhs. The fake Guru, Gurbachan had a relative who was a policeman. This man and other corrupt police began shooting at the Sikhs.

Bhai Fauja Singh was shot many times but he kept yelling "Bole So Nihal, Sat Siri Akal". He was shot 9 times before he finally fell to the ground. In the end many were injured and twelve Khalsa left their bodies. After the police put the dead bodies on a cart to roll them away. They put Bhai Fauja on it too, but he was still alive. Two Sikhs saw this and came over to him to help him. They were arrested and put in jail. The bodies were taken away and put in a pile somewhere else. An old Sikh man found where these bodies were and found Fauja Singh still breathing. His broken body was chanting 'Wahiguru' with all he had left on this earth. The man went back to get Fauja's wife and other people who could take him to a hospital. When they all arrived Fauji Singh had left his body. He had lived his last time on the earth with fearlessness and devotion. His pure soul went back home. Those Sikhs in Amritsar showed us that it's not life that's important, it's how we live it with courage.

Storyteller:  Guruliv Singh
Topics:  My Sikhi
Age ranges:  13 - 17, 18 and over