Equality . Social . History . Sikh Women in Mir Manoo's Prison

Mir Manoo's (spelled Manu, Mannu, Manoo, Mannoo) Prison/Jail, Lahore
As narrated to Gurpreet Kaur by her Grandma

This model of Gurudwara Shahid Ganj is made by Inderpreet Singh
Picture (c) Inderpreet Singh, Used with permission

Bounty on a Sikh Head

March 1748:  Mir Manoo took possession, and assumed his position as the governor of the Punjab, the estate of the Sikhs.  Ten Indian Rupees in reward was designated for a person who brought a Singh's head.   Informants of Sikh's whereabouts and their families were also rewarded.  He deployed army patrols to bring Sikhs to the prison in Lahore where they were beheaded and their families jailed. 

It is believed that two and a half lakh (250,000) Sikh women & men, young, old and children were killed here.

Women forced to work in prison labor camps

Sikh Women suffered untold oppression.  Given the option of either converting to Islam or they were forced to work in the prison labor camps.   In the prison basement, the women were given forty pounds of grain to mill each day.  But they were hardly provided with any food or water.  They were starved, given a mere quarter of bread and a bowl of water to sustain them for the entire day. 

Their children hung on spears... 

Women witnessed their own children savagely cut into pieces and garlands of those pieces were put around their mother's necks as garlands.

Faith Unshaken

These honorable women did not succumb to Mir Manoo and did not abandon their religion.  They accepted this as God's will and strived to let their faith be affirmed.  They were raped, they were beaten but they did refused to submit to Manoo's tyranny.  November 4th, 1753: Mir Mannu died.   The Sikhs fought to death, and freed the remaining women and children.

Brave Deed Remembered

The brave women are remembered in the daily Sikh Ardaas.  On account of their heroic deeds, the prison was named Gurudwara Shahid Ganj Singhnian.

Gurudwara Shahid Ganj Sighnian Lahore 

Situated opposite Shahid Ganj Bhai Taru Singh.  According to some historians, about two and a half lakh Singhs-Sikh women folk, young and old Singhs and Children were martyred here.  On account of their heroic deeds of women, it was named Gurudwara Shahid Ganj Singhnian.

The Sikhs started reciting Sri Guru Granth Sahib at this place and a Gurudwara was constructed. It gained importance when the sardars of the Bhangi Misl captured Lahore. Shere-i-Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh also used to visit this shrine twice or thrice a week to pay his homage. The Maharaja granted a Jagir to this Gurudwara but the management remained with the Mahants. On 1st December A.D. 1934, Shiromani Committee got the management of this historic holy place. But after partition, this place was abandoned. At present, the management of this place is with the Waqf board.  Although the building is in a good condition, Guru Granth Sahib is not placed.

Acknowledgements and References: 

  1. Narrated by: Grandma (Biji), Written by: Gurpreet Kaur, Pictures and graphics are copyright of the respective artists.

  2. Gurdware Gurdham Jihna ton Panthnu Vichhoria Giya Hai (Illust.), By SGPC - Amritsar

  3.  http://www.sgpc.net/historical-gurdwaras/gurdwaras_in_pakistan_SHAHID_GANJ_&_BHAI_MANI_SINGH.htm 

  4. Inderpreet Singh Khalsa (designed the model for the Shaid Ganj Sighnian Gurudwara).


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