Veer Haqiqat Rai
On Feb 16, 1734 CE, 12-year-old Hakikat Rai was falsely accused of blasphemy against Islamic Prophet. Mughal governor Zakariya Khan tells him- “Accept Islam & we will leave you alone” Hakikat Rai-“For Lord Rama, I will happily trade 100 lives” He was stoned to death!
Haqiqat Rai was the son of a Khatri from Sialkot. In those days, there were no Hindu schools (Hindu schools remained close following the Mughal decree). Young Haqiqat was sent to study under a Maulvi. Haqiqat Rai excelled in all the subjects taught. Arabic, Persian, Mathematics. He became the object of ire for other Muslim students.
One day, Maulvi’s son abused Goddess Bhavani in the class. Haqiqat retorted- “Even Fatima, daughter of Prophet, was born due to grace of Bhavani”.In those days, these words amounted to “blasphemy”. Haqiqat was taken prisoner and a Mulla pronounced him guilty of blasphemy. He was asked to convert to save his neck. But Haqiqat refused the offer. When he was stoned, he kept chanting Raam, Raam" until his last breath.
Some Sikhs try to claim he was a Sikh but the historical claims seem to point out otherwise. Ratan Singh Bhangoo’s Guru Panth Prakash written in the 19th century refers to him as a Hindu.