Artist: Fathima Hakkim, UK
Title: Mai Bhago
Medium: Digital Art
Commissioner: Sanjiv Kumar
In 1704, Mughal Hill Chiefs surrounded the Guru in Anandpur Sahib; stating any man could leave on the condition that they declared themselves as no longer being a Sikh of the Guru. 40 Sikhs agreed to this and were made to sign a document by Guru Gobind Singh Ji declaring themselves as no longer his Sikhs.
Mai Bhago was enraged when she heard of their desertion and confronted them upon their arrival at their home village. Her ferocious taunts led them to realise their shame, and they eagerly agreed to return to the battlefield, seeking forgiveness.
On their journey they intercepted a Mughal army pursuing the Guru. Mai Bhago and the 40 men fought the Mughals on horseback with spear in hand and forced them into retreat. All of the men had attained Shaheedi except for the seriously injured Mai Bhago. Guru Gobind Singh Ji forgave the 40 martyred men and proclaimed them as his Sikhs once again.
Mai Bhago was taken under the care of the Guru and went on to spend the rest of her life as a Nihangani, serving within the Guru’s army. She was one of the rare few, to be appointed as a personal guard for Guru Ji.
Fathima Hakkim, UK
Fathima Hakkim is an Indian illustrator based in London. She talks through paintings that pens emotions through the style of magical surrealism and She uses light as a talking point in her works and guides the viewers eye with dramatic colours.