Thursday, November 24, 2011

Guru Teg Bahadur was the first martyr for human rights

JALANDHAR: As the martyrdom day of ninth Sikh master, Guru Teg Bahadur, is being observed on Wednesday, only a few may know that he was the first martyr for human rights, who attained martyrdom for defending the rights of followers of a different faith to practice their faith.

It was around a century before the popular quotation, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", attributed to French writer, deist and philosopher Voltaire, that the ninth master demonstrated it literally.

Ironically, this statement became more popular in the world than its real demonstration, which preceded it a century ago in the Indian subcontinent.

"Guru Teg Bahadur was undisputedly the first martyr for human rights. His martyrdom was unparalleled in world history as never before somebody had laid down life to defend the right of followers of another faith to practice their faith," said former IAS and Sikh scholar, Gurtej Singh.

with thanks : Times of India : link above for detailed news.

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