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Deg o Tegh o Fateh (Persian: "Charity, Sword, Victory") is commonly considered to be the Sikh national anthem[1]

This slogan celebrates the reign of the Khalsa and its heroic qualities, and dedicates all victories to God. Deg o Tegh o Fateh is to Sikhs as a song such as "Bande Maatram" would be to Hindus, an unofficial but popular composition of praise for their culture[2]. The Sikh warrior Banda Singh Bahadur incorporated this slogan into his seal, and Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia struck it into coins in 1765 after a decisive defeat of the rival Afghans; these traditions continued during Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign[3]. It is also a part of the Ardas prayer.

Usage in Kingdoms

Banda Singh Bahadur introduced an official seal for his Hukamnamas and Furmans or letters and orders. It bore the inscription:

Deg-o-Tegh-o-Fateh Nusrat-i-bedirang,

Kettle (the means to feed the poor), Sword (the power to protect the weak and helpless), Victory and Unhesitating Patronage

Yaft az Nanak Guru Gobind Singh.

(are) obtained from Nanak Guru Gobind Singh.[4]

This inscription was later adopted by the Sikh Misaldar Sardars and rulers on their coins. It was the national anthem of the princely state of Patiala during the Sikh Confederacy. This national anthem had been sung in all the Sikh States until 1948. Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, too, has mentioned it in his magnum opus Mahan Kosh (at page 1165 of the 1999 edition).[5][6]

Lyrics

Degh o tegh o fateh o nusrat bedirang,

Zaafat az Nanak - Guru Gobind Singh.

Raj karega Khalsa aaki rahe na koe,

Khuar hoe sabh milenge bache sharn jo hoey.[4]

References

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