(Today "Basant Panchami" is martyrdom day of Veer Haqiqat Rai)
Dr Vivek Arya
Haqiqat Rai was born at Sialkot in 1724 to Mata Durga Devi and Bhag Mal ji. Haqiqat Rai was very sharp in studies as well as in his bravery. In those days of Muslim rule Hindu students used to read Urdu and Persian from Muslim Maulvis. Haqiqat used to go to local school and was the only Hindu in a class while his other classmates were Muslims. He was good in studies and secured top rank and so he was dear to everyone. One day, some of his Muslim classmates who were jealous of his studies ridiculed Hindu goddess Devi Ma. Haqiqat first remained silent but after repeated abuses the brave boy dared his classmates and tried to stop them but as he was alone he was overpowered. They didn't stopped using abusive words for Hindu Goddess and he responded finally by ridiculing Fatima, daughter of Prophet Muhammad.
The Muslim boys complained to the Maulvis about Haqiqat blaspheming the prophet and Islam, which enraged the Maulvis. Maulvis first physically punished Haqiqat and then had him arrested by the local police.
Haqiqat Rai was arrested and sent to Amir Beg, the administrator of Sialkot. Those were the days of Muslim rule, Hindus were frequently targeted by Muslims and they were having inferior status in society. There was no one to listen to this young Hindu boy. Amir who was known for his cruelty immediately ordered killing of innocent Hindu boy. He did not even spare time to hear the pleas of Haqiqat Rai. Haqiqat Rai’s parents started weeping and asked for sparing his life. Amir said Haqiqat Rai had committed a sin and he can be pardoned only if he accepts Islam as punishment for blasphemy. Haqiqat Rai refused conversion to Islam. Haqiqat Rai’s parents tried to change his mind. They said, if he accepts Islam, his life will be saved. The Brave boy Haqiqat accepted death but not Islam. He was then sent to Zakaria Khan, the Governor of Lahore. But Haqiqat Rai did not agree to convert even under further torture. His 10 year old wife Laxmi Devi also arrived and pleaded for his life but no one under the Muslim rule listened to Hindus. Haqiqat Rai was executed by the orders of the Governor on 20 January, 1735 at the tender age of 12.The day of his execution used to be marked by a ‘mela’ (fair) on Vasant Panchami day in Lahore, around his ‘samadhi’ (Baway di marrhi), before India’s partition. It appears his ‘samadhi’ was wrecked during riots in Lahore.
The young Hindu boy died for his Dharma but didn't bowed in front of tyrants. Today he is an role model for us against cruelty and proselytisation. What all we have to do is not just remembering the brave heart but to take a pledge to protect our Dharma and propagate it throughout the world.
शहादत हकीकत की मत भूल जाएँ
हकीकत को फिर ले गए कत्लगाह में,हजारों इकठ्ठे हुए लोग राह में
चले साथ उसके सभी कत्लगाह को, हुयी सख्त तकलीफ शाही सिपाह को
किया कत्लगाह पर सिपाहियों ने डेरा,हुआ सबकी आँखों के आगे अँधेरा
जो जल्लाद ने तेग अपनी उठाई,हकीकत ने खुद अपनी गर्दन झुकाई
फिर एक वार जालिम ने ऐसा लगाया,हकीकत के सर को जुदा कर गिराया
उठा शोर इस कदर आहो फुंगा का,के सदमे से फटा पर्दा आसमां का
मची सख्त लाहौर में फिर दुहाई,हकीकत की जय हिन्दुओं ने बुलाई
बड़े प्रेम और श्रद्दा से उसको उठाया,बड़ी शान से दाह उसका कराया
तो श्रद्दा से उसकी समाधी बनायी,वहां हर वर्ष उसकी बरसी मनाई
वहां मेला हर साल लगता रहा है,दिया उस समाधि में जलता रहा है
मगर मुल्क तकसीम जब से हुआ है,वहां पर बुरा हाल तबसे हुआ है
वहां राज यवनों का फिर आ गया है,अँधेरा नए सर से फिर छा गया है
अगर हिन्दुओं में है कुछ जान बाकी,शहीदों बुजुर्गों की पहचान बाकी
शहादत हकीकत की मत भूल जाएँ,श्रद्दा से फुल उस पर अब भी चढ़ाएं
कोई यादगार उसकी यहाँ पर बनायें,वहां मेला हर साल फिर से लगायें
(डा. गोकुल चाँद नारंग)