Kargila, September 17: In Kargilla, on the outskirts of Kargili village, in the north-eastern part of the disputed Indian state of Sikkim, is a makeshift shrine to the late Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
A huge marble pillar has been erected on the ground floor of a nondescript house, which is owned by the Sikh community, to commemorate the martyrdom of the Sikh guru.
The site of the shrine is also a gathering place for those of Sikh origin.
Gurmeet Ram Singh, a former chief minister of Punjab, was the founder of the Sikhs, who claim to have been the first Muslims to settle in India.
After fleeing persecution at the hands of the British, he and his followers settled in Kashmir and later spread their teachings in the Punjab, where they established their own communities.
The Sikh movement has been part of Indian history since the days of the Indus Valley civilisation, which was settled by the Khyber Pass people, who migrated from the Punjab in the 15th century.
The Gurmeet-led movement was not always an ardent supporter of the Indian Independence movement, but was instead a staunch defender of its cause.
In his book, The Truth About India, historian Preeti Narayanan writes that the Sikh movement in India was founded by two men, Bhai Baghwan Singh and Gurmeet Singh, who were in their mid-thirties.
Bhai Baghwa Singh was a leading Sikh nationalist, who became the first Sikh chief minister in British India.
In 1857, after a successful campaign against the British and Indian army, Baghwans Singh was appointed to the post of chief minister.
He also helped to draft the constitution of India, which gave the Sikh religious community the right to vote.
The Sikhs have always been a political minority, with only about half of India’s 1.2 billion population being Sikhs.
Today, about half the Sikhas live in Punjab, and most of them are not even Sikhs themselves.
“The first Sikhs to settle the plains of the subcontinent were Gurmeet and Bhai Bhagwan Singh.
Their journey was a harrowing one,” Narayanani writes.
“Gurmesh Singh was killed by British soldiers on a pilgrimage to India, and he was buried in a tomb of the Gurmesh village, which stood in the vicinity of his own village.
Today, there are only around 400 Sikhs left in the whole of Punjab.”
The second Sikh was Guru Gobind Singh, the founder and leader of the Gurdwara Sarnath in Kuch.
His grandson, Gurda Ram Singh (known as Guru Gobinda), founded the Kuch Gurdwaras in 1955.
The Gurmeet/Gurwaras movement was founded in the early 20th century by a group of Indian nationalists who were inspired by the teachings of Sikhism.
These men, who would go on to form the modern Sikh movement, believed that India should be a Hindu country, and their movement was born.
A decade after the foundation of the Kachin movement in Kochi in 1930, a Sikh boy, Gurmeet Lal Bihari, led a group in a demonstration on the streets of Delhi, in which he said that Hinduism was a religion of peace and love, and that Hindus should take pride in their heritage.
This was not the first time that the Kauravas had faced persecution in the name of their religion.
In 1931, the Punjab government declared that Sikhism was not a religion, and forced them to convert to Islam.
A year later, Sikhs were banned from entering the Punjab for their “anti-national activities”.
In 1963, the government of India banned Sikhs in the entire country for their alleged “anti Hindu” activities.
As part of its attempt to stamp out the movement, the Indian government ordered the establishment of “safe houses” in Punjab for Sikhs who were being forced to leave their homeland.
In 1984, the Sikh gurdwas in Punjab were raided by the Indian police, and Gurminder Singh and his family were arrested.
They were tried in India’s high court, where the sentence was handed down in 1971.
According to Narayanana, the first recorded Sikh martyr was Guru Harjit Singh, one of the four Gurmeet Gurus.
After the death of Guru Harjinder Singh, Gurmendra Singh, an influential leader of Sikh society in the United Kingdom, began campaigning for the return of Sikh-majority areas of India.
Gurmindi’s campaign led to a movement that culminated in the 1967 elections.
The defeat of the Congress-led government led to the establishment in 1969 of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which became the dominant political party in India for the next 30 years.
Narayanani describes the BJP’s