GURŪ GOBINDA, by Harnāth Bose, first published in 1908, is a play written in colloquial Bengali literary tradition, with Gurū Gobind Siṅgh as the hero. There are altogether twenty-two major characters, out of whom at least nine come from the pages of history, i.e. Gurū Tegh Bahādur, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh and his two sons, Fateh Siṅgh and Ajīt Siṅgh (the latter wrongly referred to as Jīt Siṅgh), Mātā Gujarī, Emperor Auraṅgzīb and Emperor Bahādur Shāh, Princess Jahān Ārā and the Muslim divine, Buddhū Shāh. The play opens with a denunciation of the intolerant religious policy of Emperor Auraṅgzīb. Gurū Tegh Bahādur's prediction that the unjust and oppressive rule must end is endorsed by a Muslim Sūfī as well. Determined to resist the intolerant religious policy of Auraṅgzīb, the Gurū took up the cause of Kashmīrī Brāhmaṇs who were being forced to renounce their faith. The Gurū's martyrdom brought his successor, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, on the scene. Gurū Gobind Siṅgh became the symbol of resistance to bigotry and tyranny. Besides Hindus some liberal-minded Muslims also sided with him. Among them are mentioned Auraṅgzīb's sister, Jahān Ārā, and Buddhū Shāh, the famous Muslim faqīr. The drama ends on the optimistic note of uniting Hindus and Muslims for fighting oppression. The author had in this plot a moral for his contemporaries to join hands together to resist the British colonial rule.

Himādrī Banerjee