Anandpur sahib, earlier known as Makhowal, the town was founded by Ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji. The foundation was laid on June 19, 1665. On the occasion of Baisakhi in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh baptised “Panj Piare” at this place, marking the inauguration of the Kalsa. The town, deeply revered by Sikhs as the ‘city of bliss’, gives a special identity to Sikhs.
Gurur Gobind Singh ji felt that the Sikhs were very limited in number to take on the Herculean task of wrecking the tyranny of the Mohammedan rulers and put an end to the evil. He felt the necessity of building the Psyche of Indians and Hindus in particular as Hindu mind had lost its manly character and had become submissive and the very sight of the sword terrified them. The Indian people had been reduced to servile and spineless people as Hindustan was completely enslaved by the Mohammedans, so much so that even Rajputs had started offering their daughters to Mughal rulers. Something spectacular and miraculous was needed to revolutionize the thought and will of the people of Hindustan. Guru ji decided to wake up their conscious and make them brave and fearless by baptizing the people with “Amrit” i.e. the water of immortality and give a unique identity to this small nation of The Sikhs.
He called a congregation at Anandpur on Baisakhi day i.e. March 30, 1699 AD. When all were seated, He drew out His sword and said loudly, “Is there anyone here, who would lay down his head for Dharma”?. At this the whole assembly was thrown into commotion, but THE GURU went on repeating His demand. At the third call, Daya Ram, a Khatri of Lahore, volunteered. GURU took him into an enclosure. He came out with the sword dripping in blood and asked for another head. At this instance Dharam Chand, a jat of Delhi, came forward and was taken into the enclosure. In a similar fashion, three more men offered themselves for the sacrifice. The GURU after dressing these five in handsome attire with flowing beards and ‘KES’ (hairs) maintained; submitting to Laws of nature/ Will of GOD and tying handsome turban to preserve them nicely and brandishing four other ‘KAKARS’ i.e. ‘KARHA’, ‘KASHEHRA’, ‘KANGHA’, ‘KIRPAN’, Symbolizing holiness, spirituality, masculinity, self-restraint, sovereignty and destroyer of darkness and brought them before the assembly. He baptized them with “khande da Pahul” i.e. “Amrit” ( water of immortality), which was prepared by stirring water in an iron bowl with His double edged sword called “Khanda” and reciting the divine ‘baanis’ of ‘Japji’, ‘JAAP’, ‘Tav Prasad Savaiye’, ‘Kabio Bach Benti Chaupai’ and ‘Anand Sahib’ Himself and which was sweetened with sugar crystals added by Mata Sahib kaur ji. He baptized them by making them drink the water of immortality i.e. “Amrit”, pouring “Amrit” into their eyes and head. He also asked them to drink it from the same iron bowl, although four of them were from low castes and one was from high caste. Thus with this revolutionary deed, The Guru turned ‘jackals’ to “lions” and emboldened ‘sparrows’ to face “Eagles” and simultaneously took a great step for abolishing caste system in India and created a caste less universal brotherhood. Thus He made religious fervor the backbone of His warlike doctrines and created the practical skill with mystical meditation, the subsequent results of which speak for themselves.
It was at a meeting in Anandpur Sahib in October 1973 that the Akalis passed the ‘Anandpur Sahib Resolution’ which called for transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, merger of Punjabi-speaking areas of neighbouring states to the state and greater autonomy for Punjab (except for the Centre’s control over defence, foreign relations, currency and communications). Over the years, SAD has toned down some of these demands, but Chief Minister Badal continues to press for a “true federal structure” in the country and transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab.
With Assembly elections due in February 2017, the 351st anniversary celebration has become a powerful platform for the party to kick off its election campaign.