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Akali Baba Hanuman Singh Ji

Jathedar Akali Baba Hanuman Singh Ji

Akali Baba Hanuman Singh Ji Nihang, born in 1756, was raised by his grandmother Mata Seva Kaur after losing his mother, Harnam Kaur, at a young age due to a musket shot. He became a disciple of the renowned Akali Phula Singh Nihang, sharing a similar temperament with his mentor but displaying more reserved qualities in certain aspects. During the visit of Governor General Lord Auckland to Punjab in 1838, Baba Hanuman Singh expressed his displeasure by cursing Maharaja Ranjit Singh for allowing the British to enter the sacred pool of the Sikhs wearing their shoes. When the First Anglo-Sikh war broke out and the Battle of Sobraon commenced, Baba Hanuman Singh rallied the warriors of the Budha Dal to protect Harimandar Sahib and led a force of several thousand towards Lahore. In the face of dire circumstances, with the British army vastly outnumbering the Nihang warriors, the Budha Dal suffered significant losses, depleting its ranks to an unprecedented extent. Baba Hanuman Singh led the surviving warriors towards Patiala in search of refuge. Refusing to surrender to the British, the enemy troops launched a cannonade on the Akali Nihang encampment. During the bombardment, a cannonball explosion caused a mortal wound to Baba Hanuman Singh's thigh by a piece of shrapnel. He passed away in 1846 at the age of 90. H.F. Brooks, a British military observer, documented the events of this battle in a poem included in his book 'The Victories of the Sutlej' (1848):

"See the Akalees fiercely raging in the fight,

See them staining their bright scimitars in red blood,

See them casting the deadly ring from their fingers,

Exceeding the swiftness of the proud eagle's wing.

And behold – but why prolong the mournful tale?

Their valiant efforts were in vain;

Their defenses lost on every side,

Overwhelmed by the relentless tide."

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