Situated in the small town of Muktsar, in the memory of the 40 Muktas who died fighting for the 10th Sikh Guru, GURU GOBIND SINGH JI, is Gurudwara Shri Tuti Gandi Sahib. Constituting an important chapter in the glorious history of the Sikhs, ‘Tuti Gandi’s literal translation is ‘broken ties’, which is referred to Guru Gobind Singh Ji nullifying the document, that he was no longer the guru of the 40 Sikhs, in context to the battle of Muktsar. When the 40 Sikhs deserted Guru Sahib in Anandpur Sahib saying “neither you are ours nor we are your Sikhs”, and left for their homes. Their wives’ taunted them about their desertion and forced them to return to rejoin Guru Sahib, and by motivation by MATA BHAG KAUR JI (Mai Bhago ji) they reached Muktsar in search of Guru Sahib. By this time the Muslim army had also reached there, and a fierce battle unused, with Guru Gobind Singh ji also participating shooting arrows from a small hilltop (Tibba).
This battle resulted in the death of almost all the Sikhs, except two, Guru Sahib asked them their last wish. They asked Guruji to tear up the affidavit that they had signed in Anandpur Sahib disowning him as their Guru. Guru Sahib immediately tore up the letter and Bhai Maha Singh Ji breathed his last in Guru Sahib’s lap.
Mai Bhago Ji who was seriously wounded, recovered and devoted her years in Guru Sahib’s seva till her end. In the daily ‘Ardaas’ these Sikhs are remembered all over the world, Guru Sahib tied the knot between his followers and himself hence the name of the Gurudwara Sahib – Tuti Gandi Sahib, and attracts thousands of visitors especially on the occasion of ‘Maghi Mela’ which is celebrated every January.
Write Up Contributed by Opinder Sekhon (The writer is a Chandigarh based history buff)