Taken from So Kaheeat Hai Soora, August 2004
When a time of darkness falls upon a community and its people are in a deep sleep, then Akaal Purakh sends some blessed souls who may only spend a short time on the earth but light the way of their people for centuries. These blessed souls spread the rays of truth, remove the darkness and awaken the long sleeping people.
In 1978, the Sikh youth were in a deep sleep. Akaal Purakh at that time sent such a blessed soul, who, with the splashes of his blood, woke the Panth. That soul was Shaheed Jathedar Bhai Fauja Singh jee. The entire Sikh community was falling into the pit of Communism, Brahminism and faith in false human-gurus. The martyrdom of Bhai Fauja Singh and his companions started a new chapter for the Sikhs.
Here is an interview with that brave warrior’s wife, Bibi Amarjit Kaur.
? Respected Bibi jeeo! Will you tell us about the Khalsa Farm that was started by Bhai Sahib Fauja Singh ?
-Inside him (Bhai Fauja Singh) there was a blazing inferno to reinvigorate the Sikhs. He wanted every Sikh to be both religiously and politically aware. He wanted the community to take the Khalsa form and move towards Khalsa Raj.
Once, he (Bhai Fauja Singh) was in vairaag and he went from Amritsar to MachheevaaRaa, near the Satluj river and went into Bhai Hardial Singh and Darshan Singh’s fields to do solitary simran. Those Singhs respected him very much and when he wanted to return after spending quite a bit of time there, they would not let him leave. They were even willing to give him some land there. When I found out about this, I reminded him, “you yourself used to tell me that across the river in Gazneepur you have some land and used to suggest making a farm there to start Sikhi camps…”
He liked my suggestion. This is how Khalsa Farm was started.
In the Farm, all the Singhs woke up around 2am and did amrit vela. After that there was keertan, gatka practice, etc. that lasted the entire day. He (Bhai Fauja Singh) used to jap naam very loudly. When the camp concluded, all the Singhs would be sad to be separating and departing and would even begin to weep. They did not feel like leaving.
Fauja Singh used to say that this was the place of Shaheed Singhs from the smaller Ghalooghaaraa. Many other Singhs also felt the presence and patrol of Shaheed Singhs. The location was very peaceful. Because it was isolated, it was very good for simran, keertan and gurbaaNee.
He had immeasurable desire to see Sikhi grow and blossom but Vahiguru did not give enough time…
? While staying with Bhai Sahib, can you tell us about any unforgettable memories?
-There are so many memories. Actually, the entire time spent with him was unforgettable. I will never forget them…even now I feel his presence. He had such a personality that everyone was attracted to him. He was always surrounded by both worldly people and religious people. I too couldn’t help but be effected by him.
There was a pull towards him, but I did not even think of marriage with him. I did not tie a keskee back then, but I did do keertan. I also went to the Akhand Keertanee Jatha’s smaagams. But I had no desire to be married. In truth, I was quite afraid of household life. To take care of children and prepare food was no easy taks for me because I had very little desire to do those sort of things.
Once, he (Bhai Fauja Singh) saw me doing keertan at Bhai Bakhtaavar Singh (Chayharta)’s house and asked Bhai Bakhtaavar Singh about me. When Bhai Bakhtaavar Singh’s Singhnee asked me, I said in cry clear words that I don’t know much about cooking or other housekeeping and I’m very afraid of raising children and because of this I have decided to not get married.
He replied that he already prepares his own food and he didn’t feel any need to have children and that all Gursikh’s children were like his own and he gave them just as much love.
After this, my mother and father saw him. A year after our engagement ardaas, we had our anand kaaraj. During this time, I began to tie a dastaar. He kept both his promises: for his entire life he made his own food.
? Will you tell us about any words Bhai Fauja Singh spoke before his martyrdom about the future?
-Quite a bit before his martyrdom, he began to say that there was another battle to be fought. It was about this time that S. Gajinder Singh’s poem “Gangoo dee Rooh” (Gangoo’s spirit) was published. He would read the lines from this poem many times:
“There’s Gandhi, there’s Nehru and there’s Nehru’s daughter. They are all just Gangoo, what else is there here?”
He said they would try to bring Sikhi down with any way possible and that to stop them, every Singh would have to be shastardhaari (carry weapons). He would say to me many times, “Every time you’re left behind. And then I have to take birth again for you. This time I won’t leave you behind.”
Every day, at least ten times a day he would say to me, “Don’t cry when you see my body…this is going to happen. Accept BhaaNaa. “
One day, he came to get me from my school. My fellow teachers were with me and they also respected him a lot (this was April 11th). He said to my fellow teachers, “Bhain jee, the divine call is coming. I’m going to leave…and I’m ready.”
Once we went to meet Bhai Avtaar Singh of KhuDaa(n) Kalaa(n) and he too said, “Bibi, me and Bhai Fauja Singh are going to leave very soon. You should keep working…” At that time I didn’t understand what he meant but when it happened, only then did I understand what he was trying to say.
He used to also say, “If the Sikh Kaum became solid in BaaNee, BaaNaa, sevaa and simran, Satguru jee is willing to give them raj even today.” He used to say that as soon as the Kaum becomes pure, Khalsa Raj will come.
? What was the relationship like between Bhai Sahib and Sant Giani Kartar Singh jee Bhindravale?
-There was a very loving relationship. Sant Giani Kartar Singh jee used to have a lot of love and respect for him. He would spread his hazooriya on the ground for him (Bhai Sahib) to sit on.
It was in those days that some mischievous people disrespected Sree Guru Granth Sahib jee in Gurdwara Guru Kay Mehal and he (Bhai Sahib) had arrived there along with his companions. The incensed mob threw rocks and bottles of acid at the Singhs. Their clothes burnt off but their bodies were alright. After this incident, we along with the Bhindravala Jatha took out a march through Amritsar and at this time Sant jee gave his full support.
It was also at this time that we would go to Mehta Chownk to do Akhand Keertan. Sant Giani Kartar Singh was very opposed to human Gurudoms and because of this, he (Bhai Sahib) had a lot of love for him. To stop the Narakhdari attacks, we started a common front.
And in addition, he also had a lot of love for Sant Baba Harnam Singh Rampur Khaeray vaalay. One time Sant jee came from Khaera Sahib to Sree Amritsar and his avasthaa was very vairagi. I met him in Guru Ram Das Saraa(n) and I asked him to come to our home. Sant jee had not eaten for four days.
He (Bhai Sahib) said to Baba jee, “Baba jee, please give my message to Guru Gobind Singh jee” Baba jee replied, “Alright son, I’ll give it.” What that message was, I didn’t know nor did he ask.
The next day Sant jee said, “Son, I gave your message to Guru Sahib. Guru Sahib has said, “So Sikh sakhaa bandhap hai bhai jo gur kay bhaanay vich aavai…”
At that time I didn’t understand what Guru Sahib’s bhaaNaa was. When he became shaheed though, I understood everything about what bhaaNaa Sant jee was talking about.
? At the time of Bhai Sahib’s martyrdom, what do you think Sant Giani Jarnail Singh jee Bhindranvale’s mental state was?
-I felt that because of his (Bhai Sahib’s) shaheedee along with the shaheedee of his companions, Sant jee was feeling a lot of pain. The pain in his heart was visible on his face. He used to say that he was indebted to these Singhs who had spilled their blood for Shabad Guru. “I will pay off this debt by spilling my own blood. The whole world will be left watching…”
? Usually in the media and in the religious-political groups, you are presented as having been opposed to Sant jee. How much truth is there in this?
-There is no truth in this at all. I truly respected Sant Giani Jarnail Singh jee from my heart and will continue to do so. He used to have a lot of respect for me as well. I remember that when we used to meet in the Parkarma, he would say Fateh first and would say over and over, “Well Bibi jee, are you well? Is there any seva…if you need anything let me know. My head bows before you and because you are the wife of a Shaheed, I respect you from my heart.”
? This year is the 20th anniversary of the Blue Star Operation. Will you share your experiences with the Sangat?
-During Operation Blue Star, I was here inside (Sree Darbaar Sahib). On June 4th, at amrit vela, the bombardment began. On June 5th, I was successful in reaching Darbar Sahib to matha taek. There, I met Ragi Amrik Singh who was blind. I said to him, “Bhai sahib jee, keertan should not stop in Guru Ram Das jee’s home.” He agreed and even though there was bombardment, he kept doing keertan. In the end, he was martyred after being hit by a bullet near the Lachi Baer. We all became used to the sounds of bullets. We came and went to Darbar Sahib in a hail of bullets. My younger sister Paramjit Kaur was also here. She did the seva of tending to injured Singhs. She gave water to the fighting Singhs and in the end she was martyred by the chhabeel (water station). One Singh came from the Babbar’s side and took me to the Saraa(n). I didn’t want to go but he forcibly took me.
One thing is for sure, everything that happened (all the planning and fortifications) can be attributed to Gen. Shabegh Singh’s mind. That amazing warrior-General did something that the whole world will remember. I bow my head before the bravery and daring of Sant Jarnail Singh and his companion Singhs. They ended up being great shaheeds of the Kaum.
? What would you like to say about the Sant-vaad growing under the name of Sikhism in Punjab today?
- In truth, “Sant” is not the name of some type of special dress, it is the name for the nature of a Gurmukh who has lived his life according to GurbaaNee. Today there are a lot of Sant Babas in the Kaum who talk about the Guru. They attach the sangat to the Guru Ghar and they are to be congratulated. But if someone attaches others to himself, then he is dangerous. The Kaum today needs Mahapurakhs. If they are like Baba Harnam Singh Khaeray vaalay, they are welcom. But if they are frauds and hypocrites, then the Sikhs must begin to think, because it is they themselves that give bundles of money to the Sants.
? Will you tell us something about Bhai Fauja Singh Trust?
-That is our home. We don’t charge any child. We enroll four types of children: 1) Those effected by the Punjab problem including the children of Kharkoos and the children of those killed by kharkoos. We don’t discriminate. No matter what side that child came from, he can be enrolled. 2) Orphan children with no mother or father. 3) Widow families and the children of women who have been widowed for whatever reason. 4) Those children from poor families who want to study and are smart.
We don’t take help from any government agency. I want that this house becomes the children’s own and orphaned children consider it their own home.
? In the end, do you have any message for the Panth’s youth?
-This is a difficult question. They are themselves wise. I just have one request, “Man maeray satgur kai bhaaNai chal. Nij ghar vaseh(n) amrit peeveh(n) taa(n) such laheh(n) mahul.”