Pre-Independence : Sikhs Contribution to Freedom & Promises Made
The Sikhs played a pioneering role in India's struggle for independence from the British. They made sacrifices wholly out of proportion to their demographic strength (the Sikhs make up less than 2% of the Indian population).
(Figures below provided by Maulana Abul Azad, President of the Congress Party at the time of Indepedence.)
The Sikhs, who had thrown themselves, heart and soul, into the Indian independence struggle, were the third party with whom the British negotiated for the transfer of power. However, due to inadaquency of Sikh leadership, misplaced trust and false promises made by Gandhi and Nehru, the Sikhs lost their claim to power.
In 1929, following a huge peaceful Independence rally was held by Sikhs in Lahore; in the words of The Times, the 500,000 strong procession "put the Congress show into shame and shadow," Gandhi and Nehru met the Sikh leaders and put forward the notion of Sikh-Hindu unity, a unified India where all Sikh sentiments (social, economical and religious) would be catered for.
The following solemn assurances were made:
The Sikh homeland Panjab was divided and the Sikhs suffered great loss. Sikh shrines such as Nankana Sahib, Panja Sahib and many more along with the capital city of Lahore was given to Pakistan, over 70% of the most fertile land owned by sikhs was taken by Pakistan and over 500,000 men, women and children lost their lives during the partition.