GURU GOBINDA, by Harnath Bose, first published in 1908, is a play written in colloquial Bengali literary tradition, with Guru Gobind Singh as the hero. There are altogether twenty-two major characters, out of whom at least nine come from the pages of history, i.e. Guru Tegh Bahadur, Guru Gobind Singh and his two sons, Fateh Singh and Ajit Singh (the latter wrongly referred to as Jit Singh), Mata Gujari, Emperor Aurangzib and Emperor Bahadur Shah, Princess Jahan Ara and the Muslim divine, Buddhu Shah. The play opens with a denunciation of the intolerant religious policy of Emperor Aurangzib.

Guru Tegh Bahadur\’s prediction that the unjust and oppressive rule must end is endorsed by a Muslim Sufi as well. Determined to resist the intolerant religious policy of Aurangzib, the Guru took up the cause of Kashmir! Brahmans who were being forced to renounce their faith. The Guru\’s martyrdom brought his successor, Guru Gobind Singh, on the scene. Guru Gobind Singh became the symbol of resistance to bigotry and tyranny. Besides Hindus some liberal minded Muslims also sided with him. Among them are mentioned Aurangzib\’s sister, Jahan Ara, and Buddhu Shah, the famous Muslim faqir.

The drama ends on the optimistic note of uniting Hindus and Muslims for fighting oppression. The author had in this plot a moral for his contemporaries to join hands together to resist the British colonial rule.H.B. GURU GOBINDA is one of Rabindranath Tagore\’s three poems in Bengali on Guru Gobind Singh. The other two poems are “Nishial Uphar” (A Selfless Gift) and “Shesh Shiksha” (The Last Lesson). The three poems were composed by Tagorc sometime between June 1888 and October 1899. “Guru Gobinda” is a poem enunciating the poet\’s ideal of a true national leader. He visualized such a leader the model for him is Guru Gobind Singh as being totally given to the service of the people without any mundane ambition.

For projecting this precept, Tagore employs the device of Guru Gobind Singh making a speech before some of his close disciples who visited him during his period of comparative seclusion on the banks of the River Yamuna when he was engaged in study and contemplation preparatory to launching upon the more active phase of his career. “Nishial Uphar” presents the same moral derived from the life of Guru Gobind Singh. “Shesh Shiksha” makes an ethical point based, however, on McGregor\’s historically unauthenticated account of the last days of Guru Gobind Singh in his History of the Sikhs in which the author says that Guru Gobind Singh had himself suggested it to the Pathan to avenge the death of his father at his, i.e. the Guru\’s, hands.