Last week of December every year, a three day Saheedi Jor Mela is organized at Fatehgarh Saheb Punjab, to remember the martyrdom of the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, Chhote Sahibzade Baba Zorawar Singh (9yrs) and Baba Fateh Singh (6yrs). They were imprisoned by the governor of Sirhind and upon their refusal of all temptations to convert, were bricked alive in December 1705. Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib marks the site of their entombment. Before they died, they spent nights atop a cold tower in the harshest of North India winters along with their grandmother Mata Gujri.
When the news of the death of his sons reached Guru, he said – ‘char muye to kya hua jeevat kai hazar’ ‘So what if four are dead, many thousands more are alive.’
Lacs of devotees visit the gurudwara during the three-day remembrance. Bhai Maninder Singh writes (a poem where Guru Gobind is speaking to his many thousand sons) -
Je chale hon sirhind nu mere pyareo
Mere laalaan de naal rehke raat gujareyo.
If you are visiting Sirhind my dear,
Stay with my little ones and spend the night.
People from far away villages prepare their tractors and trolleys and head to Sirhind - Fatehgarh Saheb every year. This year Jor Mela, the gathering, has reached another sirhind – border.
There is a history of courage and sacrifice in this annual pilgrimage. This year the thousands of living sons of Guru look for courage from the 6 year and 9 year olds as they stand up to another Sooba Sirhind, another autocratic governor.
This year Bhai Maninder Singh’s words also say – if you are visiting these sons of Guru sitting on borders, stay with them, spend a night.