Nihang Sikh

Who are Nihang Sikhs? What makes them different from other Sikhs? – Know more

On Friday morning, a man was brutally murdered and strung up to a barricade at the Singhu border protest site. After the police found the body at 5 am, the victim was rushed to the nearest hospital but was declared dead. The 35-year-old victim was identified as Lakhbir Singh, a resident of Cheema Kalan village in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district.

The incident was captured in videos which showed that the man was tied to a barricade to overturn the police, his wrist was chopped off and his ankle and leg were broken. Turns out, a group of Nihang Sikhs were responsible for lynching the man who was also a part of the protest. Apparently, the man was accused of disrespecting their holy scripture at the Singhu border protest site.

This incident is not the first, Nihang Sikhs had chopped off the hand of an Assistant Sub Inspector of Punjab Police in Patiala after he asked them for a curfew pass during COVID-19 lockdown last year.

Who are Nihang Sikhs? 

Nihang Sikhs can be differentiated by their blue robes, arms like swords and spears, and decorated turbans surmounted by steel plates. As described by the 19th-century historian Rattan Singh Bhangu, Nihangs are unaffected by pain or comfort and have given themselves to meditation, penance and charity. 

The word ‘Nihang’ stems from the Sanskrit word ‘Nihshank’ which means without fear, unblemished, pure, carefree and indifferent to worldly gains and comfort.

Difference between Nihangs and other Sikh warriors? 

Long before, the Khalsa Sikhs were divided into two groups – One who took on the blue attire that Guru Gobind Singh used to wear at war and others decided not to follow any restrictions of colour or pattern. Though they don’t follow a similar dress code, both groups follow the profession of soldiery and are brave.

Nihangs hoist a blue Nishan Sahib (flag) on their shrines instead of a saffron one and use slogans like ‘chhardi kala’ which means forever in high spirits.

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