By Mohammad Aleem
British ruled all over the world for many centuries, not only by their unchallenged and unparalleled might and brute and modernized military force, but through its tricks and an art of treachery and deceiving to others easily. It was the case in almost every country where its tentacles spread, either in Asia, Africa and any other part of the world.
In India, it came through the trade, but soon, after seeing the disorganized nation, consolidated its power militarily, and later on, usurped the power of every other kingdom within the largest empire of the Mughal dynasty. By that time, the Mughals had disintegrated and shred to nothing in terms of the military power and strength. They also lacked in modern and scientific know-how of the defence strategies. And it resulted in overall control of the entire country under one dominion and rule and it was the British Empire.
By 1857, it had made its presence felt almost everywhere in India. But till that time, there were many kings and soldiers and nationalists who were singing in utter humiliation and degradation under the foreign rule. They knew only one language and harboured one passion, and it was the love of the nation.
At that time, the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was at the helm of the power. He was a delicate poet rather than a brave soldier and a powerful king. He had been lost by that time of his coronation almost every thread of the vast empire of the Mughal dynasty. His only strength lied in some faithful sepoys and kings who ruled a small area of their territory.
When the first war of independence was fought and the Indian soldiers brought the control of the power in Delhi in their own hand and Bahadur Shah Zafar was made a king again with all his authority and power, the war of struggle between the two major forces, the British army and Indian nationalist were at its peak. But the result finally tilted in the favour of the British Colonialists because of their better strategic power and strength.
Among those brave soldiers who fought bravely like a lion in a jungle, the king of the Ballabgarh, Nahar Singh was the most prominent. When every other small king had surrendered before the might of the British, he took the side of the frail kingdom of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar. He fought till the last breath of his life to save the dignity and freedom of the motherland.
He was born on 6th April 1821 and martyred on 9th January 1858. He could live only thirty five years of his life, but with full of valour, integrity and dignity.
His childhood name was Yuvraj Nar Singh, but as it goes the anecdote, when he killed a lion during a hunting expedition of the deer, he was given the name Nahar Singh, the person who killed the lion.
He was lion in true sense. When he was captured by the British army by deception and lie, he was asked to seek forgiveness and turn the side of his favour towards the empire. But he declined and said that the love and pride of his country is above everything in life. Finally, he was awarded the death sentence and publicly hanged in Delhi at the iconic Chandni Chowk.
To remember this great martyr of the country, his community Jat people organized a prayer meeting on 9th January. A large number of people gathered to pay their warm respect to their beloved leader.
Among the participants, the chief protagonist of the whole program was Dr Amrita Singh. She is a direct descendent of the king, Nahar Singh. She has penned a book on him also. It is her passion to make this forgotten hero of the history a memorable and admirable one in the memory of every other Indian.
Other important people who made their presence felt were the former speaker of the Delhi Assembly, Chaudhry Yoganand Shashtri, M.L.A Surender Commando, Chaudhry Ram Karan, Leader of the All India Farmers Union and the Jaat community, Chaudhry Yudhvir Singh etc.
He was a great epitome of the national harmony. He chose a Muslim, Hakim Abdul Haq as his prime minister and Mr Munro was the keeper of royal seals and correspondence.
His one of the letters dated 27th May 1857 addressed to the Emperor makes it clear that how he viewed the unity of the two religious communities, Hindus and Muslims as of paramount importance.
He writes, “Although “I profess the Hindu religion, having observed the conduct and behaviour of those who say that God above is supreme, I have remained in subjection to the guidance of the leaders of the Mohammedan faith, in so much that, although from the first existence of the town, there had been no Mohammedan Mosque, either in the fort or outside in the market, I have caused a lofty one, for congregational prayers, built of stone, to be created within the Fort itself. I have, moreover, had an Eidgah, a place set apart exclusively for prayers at the festival of the Eid, built near my garden called the Dilkhusha, to encourage and conciliate the Mohammedans.”
— Mohammad Aleem is an award winning novelist, scriptwriter and journalist.