KHĀLSĀ BAHĀDUR, by Chūhaṛ Siṅgh, is a 55-page-long poetic composition in the Malvaī dialect of the Punjabi language, describing the unique chivalry and sacrifice of the twenty-one Sikh soldiers of the 36th Sikh Regiment at Sārāgaṛhī in AD 1897. Written in the baint verse-form, the poem was completed on 13 November 1915 at the village, Balliāl, near Bhavānīgaṛh in Paṭiālā district. The author based his text on the information he gathered from the Sikh soldiers on leave. The poem begins with a supplication to God Almighty followed by one to the Gurūs, the Gurū Granth Sāhib and the Dasam Granth. The narrative opens with the raising of the 36th Sikh Regiment, followed by an account of the Paṭhān tribes of the North-West Frontier Province and of the fierce battle between the Indian army and the Paṭhāns. The strong resistance put up by a handful of twenty-one Sikh soldiers, who died to a man defending the Sārāgaṛhī post (12 September 1897) against a horde of thousands of Afrīdī Paṭhāns, has since become a legend. It has been rendered in the poem in most glowing terms. The poem also refers to the memorial monuments raised at Sārāgaṛhī, Amritsar and Fīrozpur in honour of the martyrs. Although the purpose of the poet was to celebrate the gallantry of the Sikh soldier, historical fact is not disregarded.

Gurdev Siṅgh