Congress senior leader Tharoor says- “The Mughals observed Diwali”.
Read to know how Mughals REALLY observed Diwali. Since they disbelieve Sanghis and Hindus, I would not peruse Sanghi sources or Hindu sources. Instead, I would rather refer to Pre-Colonial Pre -Modern Sikh primary sources!
Date: Diwali of 1737.Location: Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab.Bhai Mani Singh was the chief manager(Sarbrah) and head priest of Harimandir Sahib. He sought the permission of Mughal Nawab of Punjab, Zakaria Khan, to celebrate Diwali in Harimandir Sahib!
The Mughal Nawab granted Sikhs the permission to celebrate Diwali in Harimandir Sahib on condition that he pay a religious tax of 10000 rupees.Mani Singh thought he could manage to pay this amount as a large number of pilgrims would be expected along with donations.
The Mughal Nawab had other plans. 30,000 Mughal troops were secretly deployed around the Harimandir sahib with insidious intentions. Bhai Mani Singh discovered this devious plan and immediately issued a Hukumnamah asking pilgrims not to attend Diwali celebrations at Amritsar
Those pilgrims who already arrived saw that Mughal army had been stationed to butcher them on Diwali. They immediately rushed back.Since the pilgrims had not turned up, the amount could not be realised. Mani Singh was unable to pay the amount he promised to Mughal Nawab.
Bhai Mani Singh was taken to Mughal prison of Lahore.The Mughal Nawab asked Mani Singh to convert to Islαm if his life were to be spared. Mani Singh flatly refused this offer.
Outraged, the Mughal Nawab consulted Mullahs to determine the punishment due for Mani Singh.The Mullahs looked up the holy book of Quran and declared that Mani Singh’s entire body had to be cut into pieces, limb by limb for his refusal to accept the holy faith!
The Mughals then began dismembering Mani Singh into pieces starting with his fingers. After his limbs, arms and internal organs were dismembered he was thrown into a mill and torn into pieces.
His infant children were killed and their bodies were appended to spears. Their bodies were then put up for public display in front of Badshahi Masjid of Lahore
The Mughal emperor during this time was NOT Aurangzeb. It was Muhammad Shah Rangila. He is hailed today as a great secularist who celebrated Diwali.This was the reality of Mughal rule.
Such was the independence Hindus had to celebrate Diwali under the benevolent Mughal rule!PS: Just putting it up for those who would love to nitpick. While some sources say Mani Singh was thrown in a mill after he was dismembered limb by limb, other sources say one of the executioners took pity (fearing curse) & behεaded Mani Singh to spare him from further torture
NOTE: In this article, I have used the case of Mani Singh only as an example. Almost every region has recorded such local histories and traditions regarding Mughal persecution during festivals, especially Diwali.
Twitter thread by Bharadwaj
Disclaimer: The opinions/facts expressed within this article are the personal opinions/facts of the author