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Bandi Chhor Divas

Organized by: Guru Nanak Dwara

Venue: Guru Nanak DwaraDate & Time : Sunday, 27 Oct 2019, 9:00 AM

Contact: Guru Nanak DwaraEmail: gnd@vaiil.comPhone: 602-271-4810

Script submission for Bandi Chhor Divas play
September 22 Deadline!

Bandi Chhor Divas & Diwali will be commemorated and celebrated with various activities all day Sunday, October 27. In the evening the children will perform a play of the story of Bandi Chhor Divas. We invite all children to submit a script for the play by Sunday, September 22. The one that is selected as the basis for the production will receive a cash prize of $25.

All children are also invited to participate in the play. Please stay tuned for the rehearsal schedule. Sangat participation and contributions for props, sets and costumes will be much appreciated. The story of Bandi Chhor Divas is included below for reference. Scripts do not need to be this lengthy, and need only include pertinent details. Participants may be on the younger side so please keep that in mind. Sikhnet has some examples of cartoon productions that may be helpful to watch.

Be creative!


Bandi Chhor Divas – Prisoner Liberation Day – when the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind, was liberated from Gwalior Fort and took 52 prisoners to freedom along with him.

The occasion of Bandi Chhor Divas first took place in autumn of 1619 and is currently celebrated in October or November; the date changes according to the lunar calendar. Guru Hargobind’s father, Guru Arjan Dev, had been martyred almost 13 years before, and the Mughal authorities were carefully watching the young Guru. When he constructed the Akal Takht, the Throne of the Almighty, in Amritsar and concurrently strengthened his army, the Nawab of Lahore, Murtaja Khan, grew alarmed and informed the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The Nawab conveyed his fear that the Guru might be planning to avenge the death of his father. Jahangir at once sent Wazir Khan and Guncha Beg to Amritsar to arrest Guru Hargobind.

Wazir Khan, however, was an admirer of the Guru; instead of arresting him, he persuaded the Guru to accompany them to Delhi to meet the Emperor. Even though Jahangir had ordered the execution of his father, the Guru accepted the invitation and journeyed to the Emperor’s court. When Emperor Jahangir met the young Guru, he was captivated by his charm and purity of spirit. He queried him as to which religion was better, Hindu or Muslim, to which the Guru quoted lines from Kabir proclaiming that the One Lord is within both Hindus and Muslims. The Emperor was entranced by the Guru’s wisdom and prepared a royal reception for him, after which he invited the young Hargobind to accompany him on his shikars or hunting expeditions.

During one of these hunts, the Emperor and his party were tracking a lion which had been terrorizing a village. Without warning, the lion burst from the bushes and charged at Jahangir. Desperately, the other hunters fired their weapons but failed to stop its attack. At the last moment, Guru Hargobind jumped in front of the beast, yelling that it must deal with him first. Raising his shield to deflect its jaws, as it leapt in the air he thrust his sword into it, killing it with one powerful stroke. The animal fell dead at his feet. Guru Hargobind had saved the Emperor’s life.

The Guru and the Emperor became good friends, but this only provoked the jealousy of others who wanted the Emperor’s favor for themselves. One of these was Chandu Shah, a rich banker, with influence in the court. After first rejecting Hargobind as a match for his daughter, he later changed his mind and sought the arrangement. Having learned of his previous remarks, Guru Arjan Dev refused the proposal. Chandu Shah had been influential in arranging Guru Arjan’s death and now focused his wrath on his son, Guru Hargobind.

While in Agra, the Emperor became very ill. It seemed that nothing could cure him. Chandu Shah cornered the court astrologers and convinced them to tell the Emperor that his illness was due to an inauspicious alignment of the stars which could only be cured if a holy man were to go to Gwalior Fort south of Agra and offer prayers for his recovery. Chandu Shah innocently suggested that there was no one more fit for this precious task than Guru Hargobind. Thus, at the Emperor’s request, the Guru agreed and left for the Fort with several companions.

Rather than being a sanctuary of tranquility, Gwalior Fort was really a prison where enemies of the state, including a number of Rajput princes, were detained. True to his nature, the Guru inspired them to join him in daily prayers and did his best to improve their conditions. In time, they came to revere him. The governor of the fort, Hari Dass, was a Sikh of the Guru and turned over to him a letter from Chandu Shah ordering him to poison the Guru.

After the Guru had been in Gwalior Fort for several months, his Sikhs, including the ancient Baba Buddha, made the long journey from Amritsar to tell him how greatly they missed his presence. Although the Emperor had recovered, still the Guru was held captive. At this time, Mian Mir, a noted Sufi saint, traveled to the Emperor’s court and asked him to release the Guru. Upon his persuasion, the Emperor ordered Wazir Khan to free the Guru. Hari Dass informed the Guru of this fortunate turn of events; however, the Guru could not embrace his own fortune