The Fearless Lion Cubs


I published this post- “The Fearless Lion Cubs”  yesterday, in the section for Sanskrit Subhaashits on this blog. Today, the  first news report I read in the morning newspaper was this-

Three Sikhs beheaded by Pak Taliban

Three Sikh men were said to have been beheaded by Taliban groups in the FATA area of Pakistan and their heads sent to a gurudwara in Peshawar.

Typically, the Times of India is only concerned about the upcoming Indo-Pak talks-

 In what threatens to cast a shadow on the upcoming Indo-Pakistan talks scheduled for February 25, three Sikh youths were beheaded by the Taliban in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) region after they allegedly refused to convert to Islam. Their severed heads were dumped at a gurudwara in Peshawar.



 I am posting what I wrote yesterday, here as well, today.

We in India have lessons to  learn, from history and from present events. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.


The Fearless Lion Cubs
Guru Teg Bahadur was the 9th Guru of the Sikhs. At that time, the cruel Emperor of Delhi, Aurangzeb, had embarked upon a campaign of converting everyone to Islam. In Kashmir, the viceroy of Kashmir, Iftikar Khan, was carrying out this policy of converting non-Muslims by force.

Face with this danger of being forced to renounce their faith, a group of Kashmiri Pandits came to Guru Teg Bahadur for help. He instructed them to tell the Mughal authorities that they would convert only if Guru Teg Bahadur did so. The Pandits accordingly did this.

Aurangzeb ordered Guru Teg Bahadur’s arrest, and when he would not give up his faith even after being tortured, he was publicly beheaded in Chandni Chowk.


Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh,  were the younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, and the brave grandsons of the valiant Guru Teg Bahadur. They displayed extraordinary courage while facing death at the hands of the brutal Mughal rulers.

There is a Subhaashit written by Bhartrihari

सिंहःशिशुरपि निपतति मदमलिनकपोलभित्तिषु गजेषु l
प्रकृतिरियं सत्ववतां न खलु वयस्तेजसो हेतुः ll

Even the cub of a lion (सिंहःशिशुरपि) will leap on (attack without fear) ( निपतति) a mad elephant whose cheeks are wet because of musth (मदमलिनकपोलभित्तिषु गजेषु).

Those who have this inherent quality (of courage)(सत्ववतां) are this way by nature (प्रकृतिरियं ), the maturity of age is not necessary for (their courage) to shine (न खलु वयस्तेजसो हेतुः).

These two sons of Guru Gobind Singh- at the ages of merely six and eight years – were such lion cubs.

 Betrayed by their servant, they were captured and brought before Nawab Wazir Khan in his Court.

Urged to convert to Islam if they wanted to live, they replied, “We are fighting against tyranny and injustice. We are the sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the grand sons of Guru Tegh Bahadur and descendants of Guru Arjan Dev. We shall follow in their footsteps. We are ready for all sacrifices for the protection of our faith”

The Nawab and his advisors feared that the boys would raise a revolt against the Mughal rule when they grew up. So they were sentenced to death. These two boys were bricked alive, but till the end not once did they show fear.

This martyrdom of Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh was to be the beginning of the weakening of the powerful Mughal authority.



  1. It is so sad. Read the news on twitter this afternoon. I was following up with the updates.

    me: Very sad. The Taliban just continues relentlessly with its agenda of killing…


  2. All this talk about “Karachi project”. Interspersing of David Headleys name off and on. Now Kasab’s trial delayed because some 45 new witnesses must be heard or examined. No arrests in the Pune blasts. Now this very cruel act . History might repeat itself on its own (re some downfalls), but all this nonsense of worrying about “talks”, is sure to slow the speed.

    Will we never learn from history ?

    me: I am beginning to think that we we will not.

    No one talks about questioning those who gave Headley guided tours. I think we Indians just block uncomfortable facts from entering our brains. And the nonsense of talks- I cannot even think of an apt comment…


  3. Continuing from Suranga’s comment…are we taught to learn from history ? It’s in our mindset and that’s the toughest change it !

    It’s sad..your post is so informative ! Tnx

    me: Very true, Nu. We are not taught to understand history nor learn from it. Perhaps we Indians are afraid to face our past?


    1. Yes and we are taught not to think about what is past and move ahead but we seldom realize that the past is the base of our being and we need to be intellectual to pick the strings which will help us continue in our future !

      me: Very true- we should not dwell upon the past, but we do have to learn not to repeat the mistakes we have made in the past!


  4. I think much of today’s youth don’t know the story; in fact they don’t even care. Unfortunately, even some Sikhs, thanks to the Khalistani movement, tend to play this down and/or give it new dimension.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    me: I guess vested interests find it convenient to downplay these stories. It is a pity, because they are inspiring, and could also have a unifying influence on our society.


  5. It is so sad to read this type of news in this age…we are pampering Kasab in the jail, knowing that he is a terrorist without a grain of doubt, waiting for more witnesses to confirm it to punish him. The Pakistanis are continuing happily with their plans of different types of terrorism. Forget about past history, even the acts of a few months back are not teaching anything for our leaders.

    me: Very true, Sandhya- we forget even those events which took place a few months ago…


  6. TOI wants Aman Ki Asha with the country behind these men . And does SRK still think they are a great neighbour ?

    me: The Aman ki Asha campaign is a joke- more than a joke. It is a tragedy- similar to Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned.


  7. ma’m .. name of Guru Govind Singh always evokes strongness .. but he and his bravery is downplayed in our books whereas who he fought against has roads named after him ..

    me: Yes, you are right- the bravery of the Sikhs is downplayed while those they fought against have roads named after them. And the tragedy is that Indians see nothing wrong in this…

    I see that your blog has a new address. I will be sure to visit there.


  8. it is so heart wrenching to read such news..and none raises a voice even, celebrity none…I hate this Aman ki asha and those hyperbolic statements by bollywood praising Pakistanis and all that.

    me: I think celebrities may be scared to talk against such incidents…


  9. I cannot believe we are bothered about 3 Sikhs being beheaded… when we cannot be bothered about a few gun men coming on one November evening and gunning down several people in our own country… how the heck can we even bat an eyelid about those 3 Sikhs… !

    We are one thick skinned nation !

    me: If we spoke out against the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks, we might have to speak out against those Indians who helped them. And that would be politically incorrect…


    1. We are thick skinned only when it doesn’t harm our own family ! And that’s where the loophole is..we lack in feeling of oneness !


  10. This is really serious… And it need to be condemned… But i dont know what those no-brain goons think about a life… Pak govt is so ineffective that they are not able control the taliban and i dont see any benefit in peace talks with such ineffective govt…
    I dont Hate the country pak due to some loonies actions and i wish that country gets some sensible and fearless leaders… Lets see…

    me: There is no need to hate Pakistan, Kanagu. But their military and the ISI at least tacitly support the Taliban. As you say- of what use are talks with this govt?


  11. It is very unfortunate when one reads of such incidents.
    Common man is feeling helpless and the govt is on a heavy dose of sleeping pills.
    If the govt had the will, they would have never deployed 600 policemen in Pune for the release of mnik while terror found a loop hole.Soon enough we might even hear of Hindu terror.
    Govt has not and will not learn from any incidents like beheading of Sikhs.
    Let the Pakis touch one American or one Israeli and then watch the TANDAV.
    But, we are almost like the door mats of the Americans dictates.


    1. Chowlaji, the problem seems to be, that even if we Indians feel anguish at this news, it is still Pakistan’s internal business.
      Yesterday BJP leader S S Ahluwalia suggested that we can urge Pakistan to grant safe passage, to those of the Sikh community who wish to migrate to India.


  12. Circumstances in the past were different. And it is sad to think that in present times, the educated have not progressed. Sad that violence is the rule of the day. And senseless that innocent lives are lost.


    1. Radha, yes, the circumstances in the past were different. Maybe these sort of atrocities in the name of religion were considered acceptable then.

      Sad to think that this is still happening in order to convert people of a different faith.


  13. Those times were very different. Its wonderful that you have dug through those times and writtwen about them in the present context.

    The present day is very different from the past. And yet similar. There is a lot of geo-politik thats on now, that may escape the regular eye.


    1. Kavi, actually I wrote this post simply to give an example of courage by young boys in the face of extreme cruelty. To illustrate what is said in the Subhaashit.

      I was horrified to read the news of the beheadings the next morning- The present day is very different- and yet these same things happen still….

      BTW- I did not have to dig for this story- my generation grew up hearing these stories of valour. 🙂


  14. From the look of it, we prefer to not learn from history and insist on making the same mistakes again and again.

    But then what can we expect, when watching a movie has become an act of patriotism. I wonder when we would reach a state where our country learns to stand strong and refuse to bow down to bullies – both internal and external…


  15. Thank you for a very informative article Manju. I was unaware of many facts given here.

    Every time I pass the gurudwara in old Delhi(Chandni Chowk) I think of all the blood that has been shed . The sacrifice of the Sikh leader. And of a tyrannical emperor.

    PS:-I think Aman ki Asha is crap and nothing more.
    The aww inducing ad for many fails to stir anything in me.
    About SRK ?The less said , the better.


  16. Somehow missed this thought provoking post of yours…

    Yes. .history will repeat if forgotten and Pakistan is spiralling downwards… and world continues to fall for it’s “even I am a victim” story just like India… It is a victim of it’s own making and the best for India was to stay firm and let the international community twist it’s arms to at least bring the Mumbai master minds under the law.. now the Pakistan govt. continues to flaunt while US continues to arm them. Just today I read the news ..
    The United States will transfer sophisticated laser-guided-bomb kits to Pakistan as part of a recent push to better arm Islamabad for its military campaign against Islamic militants, the Wall Street Journal reported..


    1. Yes, you’re right- Pakistan is a victim of it’s own making. And as long as it continues to openly or covertly support the Taliban, history will continue to repeat itself.

      Yes, I read this news- we would be justified in saying that some of these arms are likely to be forwarded to the Taliban.


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