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Dhai Phat - Hit and run tactics of war

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Dhai Phat


If their armies take to flight, do not take it as an actual flight. It is a war tactic of theirs. Beware, beware of them for a second time. The object of this trick is that when the furious enemy runs after them, he is separated from his main army and from his reinforcements. Then they turn back to face their pursuers and set fire even to water.

- Jangnamah, Qazi Nur Mohammed


Panth Parkash, Shaheed Bhai Rattan Singh Ji Bhangu


ਸਾਖੀ ਘੱਲੂਘਾਰੇ ਪੜੋਲ ਕਠੂਹੇ ਕੀ

Episode About the Massacre at Parol and Kathuha (Chhota Ghallughara)





ਦੇਖ ਸੁ ਲਸ਼ਕਰ ਅਤਿ ਘਣਾ ਸਭ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਲਾਯੋ ਦਿਵਾਨ । ਇਨ ਸੋ ਸਨਮੁਖ ਕਿਮ ਲਰੈਂ ਇਹ ਚਲ ਅਯੋ ਜਹਾਨ । ੬੯ ।

Reckoning the strength of Mughal forces to be large in number, The Khalsa Singhs did assemble in a religious congregation. How should the Khalsa fight with the Mughal troops, As they had launched an invasion in their largest strength. (39)


ਜੇਉ ਸੂਰ ਸਿਰ ਬਾਹਰੇ ਤੇਊ ਕਹੈਂ ਲੜੋ ਆਜ । ਜੋਊ ਸਿਆਨੇ ਸੋ ਕਹੈਂ ਲੜੋ ਸੁ ਮੁੜ ਮੁੜ ਭਾਜ । ੪੦ ।

Those being hot-headed and brave among the Singhs, Did they vote for an instant spat with the Mughals. Those being seasoned and battle-hardened veterans, Did they advise to adopt a hit and run strategy. (40)





ਸਯਾਨਨ ਨੇ ਯੋ ਬਾਤ ਸੁਨਾਈ । ਲੜਾਈ ਕੇ ਫੱਟ ਕਹੈ ਸੁ ਢਾਈ । ਮਿਲਨ ਭਜਨ ਇਹ ਸਾਰ ਦੋਇ । ਲੜ ਮਰ ਮੁੱਕਣ ਆਧਾ ਸੋਇ । ੪੧ ।

Rightly had the elders narrated a war strategy, That hit and run indeed was the best kind of battle. Confrontation and desertion being equally valid strategies, Fight or perish were indeed half as good as hit and run. (41)


ਹਮੇਂ ਗੁਰੂ ਨੇ ਭਜਣ ਬਤਾਯਾ । ਭਜ ਭਜ ਲੜਨੋਂ ਬਡ ਯਹ ਦਾਯਾ । ਭਜ ਭਜ ਲੜਿਓ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਆਪ । ਭਜ ਭਜ ਲੜਨੋ ਨਹਿਂ ਕਛੁ ਪਾਪ । ੪੨ ।

Advantageous desertion being approved by the Guru as a good strategy, Hit and run strategy indeed was the best policy Guru himself having deserted the field while battling, Was there indeed nothing sinful about hitting and running. (42)


ਕਈ ਬਾਰ ਭਜ ਗਯੋ ਭਗਵਾਨ । ਮੱਧ ਸਮੁੰਦਰ ਕੀਨੋ ਥਾਨ । ਪਾਂਡਵ ਭੀ ਥੇ ਭਜ ਕੇ ਬਚੇ । ਮੰਦਰ ਥੇ ਜਹ ਲੱਖੀ ਰਚੇ । ੪੩ ।

Many a time did Lord Krishna desert the field of battle, In the mid-ocean he had to sit for protection. Pandavas: to had to run away to save their lives, Seeking protection inside the Lakhi temple under-construction. (43)





ਜੋਉ ਸਯਾਨਨ ਨੇ ਕਹੀ ਮਨੀ ਸੂਰਨ ਸੋ ਗੱਲ । ਲਰਤ ਭਜਤ ਆਗੇ ਤੁਰੇ ਲਯੋ ਆਸਰੋ ਝੱਲ । ੪੪ ।

As advised by elderly veterans among the Khalsa Panth, The brave Singh warriors did obey their sane advice. Hitting and running did they proceed further, Taking shelter among the wilds (as and when required). (44)



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Fascinating read!! There was so much strategy in every decision during the Guru Sahibaan Jis time, which the singhs understood during the time alluded in the above text.. We are miles behind in our current worldview, almost infantile. For example, Guru Hargobind sahib ji's jeevani is very important to understand for our community at the moment. Starting an armed force from scratch right under the nose of some of the most hostile adversaries. There were strategic moves involved in shifting base from Amritsar to Sri Hargobindpur , to Bhai ki Daroli (in malwa), to Kiratpur. 

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During the battle of lohgarh, bhai bachittar singh got approval from bhai daya singh to attack the Paharis at night in one swipe and leave for the chaos to ensue. When maharaj found out in the morning, they applauded their decision 

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