Martyrs Day in Haryana Date in the current year: September 23, 2024

Martyrs Day in Haryana Martyrs Day (Veer Shahidi Divas) is observed in the Indian state of Haryana on September 23 every year. It was established to honor the memory of all Haryana freedom fighters who gave their lives fighting for the independence of their country.

The date of September 23 was chosen to commemorate the death anniversary of Rao Tularam Singh (also spelled Rao Tula Ram), the chieftain of Rewari and one of the key leaders of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the rule of the British East India Company (which ultimately failed and resulted in transfer of rule from the Company to the British crown).

The uprising began on May 10, 1857 in the garrison town of Meerut. Sepoys (professional Indian infantrymen employed by the East India Company) rebelled because they were given paper cartridges greased with tallow derived from beef and lard derived from pork; since soldiers had to bite the cartridge to release the powder, this was offensive to Hindus and Muslims. However, the cartridges were just the spark needed to ignite the flame, because resentment at the East India Company had been brewing long before that.

The following day, the uprising reached Delhi and then erupted into other mutinies and civil rebellions in the Ganges basin and central India. On May 17, a week after the mutiny in Meerut, Rao Tula Ram and his cousin Rao Gopal Singh with a group of about five hundred people deposed the local tehsildar and took control of Rawari. They proceeded to raise a force of about 5,000 soldiers and set up a workshop to produce guns and ammunition.

Rao Tula Ram’s forces helped the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and other rebel leaders to fight against the British in Delhi. Unfortunately, the siege of Delhi ended on September 21 with the British victory. On November 16, Rao Tula Ram’s troops fought the British forces near Narnaul. The battle of Narnaul was one of the fiercest battles of the rebellion. At first, the rebels had the upper hand, but the British managed to gather their strength, launch a counterattack and defeat Rao Tula Ram, who retreated to Rajasthan.

When the British defeated the rebels in the battle of Sikar, Rao Tula Ram left India to seek help from the Emir of Afghanistan, the Shah of Iran and the Emperor of Russia. All three countries weren’t happy with the expansion of the British colonial empire, so they were eager to help the rebels. Sadly, Rao Tula Ram never returned to India and died in Kabul on September 23, 1863.

Martyrs Day in Haryana is dedicated not only to Rao Tula Ram, but also to all other people who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of their land. This includes not only those who participated in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, but also people involved in the Indian Independence Movement and Indian soldiers who have died in wars and armed conflicts since the declaration of India’s independence.

Martyrs Day is marked with solemn wreath-laying ceremonies at memorials to fallen soldiers, as well as with various cultural and educational events designed to remind the residents Haryana of the glorious past of the state and the people who have left an indelible mark on its history.

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