It requires great courage to say "No".
Satbir Singh Bedi | 18 Nov 2013

It is always easy to be a sychophant and say "Yes, Sir or Yes, Madam" as the case may be and reach the top of the ladder but it requires courage to say "No" as is clear from the following examples:

Example No.1: Martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev ji:

This is what Emperor Jahangir had written in his diary the "Tuzuk-i-Jahagiri" ( "Memoirs of Jahangir"):

"In Govindwal, which is on the river Biyah (Beas), there was a Hindu named Arjun, in the garments of sainthood and sanctity, so much so that he had captured many of the simple-hearted of the Hindus, and even of the ignorant and foolish followers of Islam, by his ways and manners, and they had loudly sounded the drum of his holiness. They called him Guru, and from all sides stupid people crowded to worship and manifest complete faith in him. For three or four generations (of spiritual successors) they had kept this shop warm. Many times it occurred to me to put a stop to this vain affair or to bring him into the assembly of the people of Islam.
At last when Khusrau passed along this road this insignificant fellow proposed to wait upon him. Khusrau happened to halt at the place where he was, and he came out and did homage to him. He behaved to Khusrau in certain special ways, and made on his forehead a finger-mark in saffron, which the Hinduwan (the people of India) call qashqa, (Tilak) and is considered propitious. When this came to my ears and I clearly understood his folly, I ordered them to produce him and handed over his houses, dwelling-places, and children to Murtaza Khan, and having confiscated his property commanded that he should be put to death."

Guru Arjun Dev ji was martyred by Emperor Jahangir who was a Muslim. In fact, Jahangir asked Guru Arjan Dev Ji  to accept Islam, add praise of Hazrat Muhammad Sahib in the Holy Book (Guru Granth Sahib)being compiled by him and pay a fine of Rupees 2 lacs for helping the rebellious emperor Khusro or be prepared to die.

The Guru replied that choice of religion is a right of an individual. Praise of an individual, whosoever big he may be, cannot be added in Guru Granth Sahib. The house of Guru is open for all. It gives food and shelter to the needy, irrespective of their omissions and commissions. There is no question of paying fine as no crime has been committed  and the money is the offerings of the poor people and not the personal assets of the Guru. The Guru did not accept the conditions of the Emperor Jahangir and stated that death is acceptable.

The Guru was boiled in hot water, asked to sit on a red hot iron plate with fire underneath and sprinkling hot sand over his body and thus he gave away his life in the waters of river Raavi (now in Pakistan) in the year 1606 AD. Thus he was really the immortal.

Example No.2. Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur: In 1675 AD Guru Teg Bagadur was arrested in Agra with few of his followers and brought back to Delhi. He was asked to convert to Islam and in order to prove to be a godly person, show some miracles. or accept death.

His reply was that it is an individual's right to choose religion of his own free will. Showing miracles is going against the Will of God and against the laws of Nature. Rejecting the Emperor Aurangzeb's conditions, he stated that there is no fear of death and he is prepared to die.

The Guru was imprisoned in an iron cage. To give fear of death, three of his followers were killed in his presence. One Sikh was cut longitudinally in two peace with a saw by fixing him in wooden planks, another was boiled in water and the third was burnt in cotton. With their face towards the Guru, the three Sikhs sacrificed themselves without a pinch of remorse or sorrow. Name of God was residing in the heart of Guru and he remained untouched. After this he was beheaded. This occurred in the year 1675 AD. The place of this occurrence is called Gurudwara Sis Ganj at Delhi, very near to the historic Red Fort.