June 19, 2024

Descendant of Nihang who entered Babri Masjid in 1858 to organise langar in Ayodhya

New Delhi/Chandigarh.

In November 1858, 25 Nihang Sikhs, under the leadership of Nihang Baba Fakir Singh Khalsa, entered the Babri complex in Ayodhya and performed a havan (ritual) inside. Now, more than 165 years later, his eighth descendant Jathedar Baba Harjit Singh Rasulpur said he would conduct a langar (Sikh community kitchen) during the consecration of Lord Rama in Ayodhya on January 22.

Baba Harjit Singh said he wanted to carry forward his ancestor’s devotion towards Lord Ram by holding the langar along with other Nihangs, a distinct sect among the Sikhs identified by their loose, dark blue apparel and their plumed turbans. “Now, when the Pran Pratishtha (consecration) of Lord Rama is being done on January 22, 2024, how can I lag behind?”, he said in Chandigarh, reported Indian Express.

“I have no affiliation with any political party and am only a bearer of eternal traditions. I had to face criticism while maintaining harmony between Nihangs and Sanatan Dharma because, on the one hand, I am an amritdhari Sikh, but on the other hand, I wear rudraksha mala around my neck,” said Baba Harjit Singh, adding that he wanted to serve devotees coming to Ayodhya from across the world reported IE.

Recalling the incident from November 1858, Baba Harjit Singh said the Nihangs, who see themselves as the Guru’s army and have their autonomous practices, had written “Ram Ram” on the walls of the Mughal-mosque, said to be built over Lord Ram’s birthplace, and hoisted saffron flag. Following this, a case was registered against the 25 Nihangs at the Awadh police station on November 30,1 858 on the complaint of the muezzin (Masjid’s officer), he said.

When the Supreme Court ordered the formation of a trust to construct a temple for Lord Ram in the longstanding dispute over the religious site on November 9, 2019, it even cited the event from 1858.

The apex court ruling mentioned a report by Sheetal Dubey, the Thanedar of Awadh, in November 1858, which stated –

“Today Mr. Nihang Singh Faqir Khalsa, a resident of Punjab, organised Hawan and Puja of Guru Gobind Singh and erected a symbol of Sri Bhagwan, within the premises of the Masjid. At the time of pitching the symbol, 25 Sikhs were posted there for security.”
The report stated that Dubey had taken a summons “to the said Faqir” and he was admonished, in spite of which he continued to insist that “every place belonged to Nirankar”.

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