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The Multifarious Faces of Sikhism throughout Sikh History
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Hazoori Sikhs cont'd

For a good while, Hazoor Sahib was populated by only a few Akali Nihangs and Udasis Sikhs. In time, during the beginning of 19th century, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Sikander Jah, in order to subdue the rebels in his territory, requested Maharaja Ranjit Singh for help through his ‘Sehajdhari Sikh’ minister, Chandu Lal Malhotra. Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent 12,000 Sikh warriors with twelve ‘Jathedars’ (commanders). The Nizam employed these Sikh warriors to police his state. They were divided into twelve cantonments known as ‘Beras’ and stationed in all the troubled spots of his kingdom.

Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikander Jah Asaf Jah III
The Nizam of Hyderabad from 1803 to 1829 who lost a vast amount of territory to the British Raj

The stern and just hand of the Singhs, many of who were Akali Nihangs, stopped the lawlessness in the state. Such was the awe in which local Marrahatas and Muslims held the Khalsa policemen that it only required one Khalsa to go along with the state tax collectors to ensure the trouble free collecting of taxes. In appreciation of the Khalsa valour the Sikh policeman was given ten rupees in wages. This was in comparison to the local policemen who were paid four rupees, the Arabs who were given five rupees and ‘Ruhela’ (Afghan) who were also given only six rupees. The. On a number of occasions the Nizam tested all his soldiers.

'Shastars' (weapons) and the tip of a 'Nishaan Sahib' (flagpole) belonging to the
army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's men discovered at Sach Khand Hazoor Sahib, Nanded

On one occasion, without prior warning and in the middle of night, he summoned his soldiers to assemble. The Sikhs instantaneously presented themselves to the Nizam fully armed, for Khalsa slept fully armed, the others were left behind still dressing. On another occasion, he pitted twelve hundred of his troops against seven hundred Sikhs. The Sikhs divided themselves in two groups and attacked the Nizam’s other soldiers from front and rear. The Nizam’s soldiers were intimidated by the loud battle cries and furious sight of the charging Khalsa. They were completely routed.

Sach Khand Hazoor Sahib
The inner sanctum where Adi Guru Durbar and Dasam Guru Durbar are kept side by side

Sikander Jah made many concessions to the Khalsa. He allotted twelve villages to Hazoor Sahib. The local Hindu and Muslim populace greatly respected the Hazoori Sikhs for being staunch upholders of law and order. These Sikhs eventually settled in Hazoor Sahib marrying local Hindu Marrahati women. It is their descendants today, who reside at Sach Khand Hazoor Sahib. They refer to themselves as ‘Hazoori Sikhs’. When the Singh Sabha and Gurdwara reform movement swept away Sanatan Sikhism in the Punjab, the Sanatan Khalsa Sikhism remained safe in Hazoor Sahib for it was so far away from the Punjab in the kingdom of Hyderabad outside the British Empire. Though it has to be noted that in 1875, the King of Patiala sent some his British-collaborating Nirmalas to arrest control of Hazoor Sahib. The Nihangs beat them back, killing a number of them in the process.

Maharaja of Patiala
Maharaja Mahendra Singh of Patiala (1852 - 1876), son of Maharaja Narendra Singh

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