The era of martyrdom for the Sikhs started the day Guru Arjan Dev was martyred. Although there was a variation in excuses with the change of times yet there was only one reason that the teachings of Guru Nanak had taught the Sikhs the way to live and this was not liked by the governments of the time. For the protection of their rights they fought four battles under the leadership of Guru Hargobind in the first phase and thousands of Sikhs attained martyrdom.
After some respite, the second phase of martyrdom started at the time of Aurangzeb when he made a plan to bring whole of India under one religion-Islam. Guru Tegh Bahadur and the Sikhs arrested with him were tortured to martyrdom. For the defence of faith, Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa on the 30th March, 1699 A.D. The Governments of the times had tried hard to finish off that Khalsa. They put a price on the heads of the Sikhs. Sikhs were hounded and killed but could not be finished off. They braved all the adversities but kept up the independence of life. Those Sikhs captured were brought to Lahore in 1765 A.D. where they were tortured to martyrdom.
The third phase of martyrdom started British rule when the Sikhs, besides waging armed as well as non-violent struggle for the freedom of their country, started movement and agitation to free their religious places of the misdeeds being committed there; the Sikhs freed their religious places from the priests and got independence for their country. The purpose of the Khalsa does not end with the attainment of these victories. Much is to be done to propagate the teachings of Guru Nanak to the whole world.
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