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Article for Diwali nite magazine


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Following is my article for this year's Diwali nite at my university. Please tell me if anything can be done to make it better.

Sardarjee! Bara bajj gaye! Think again!

Red is the color in which the history of the Sikhs has been written. Yes

you guessed it right. It has been written in blood. The martyrdom of

the fifth and the ninth Guru, the martyrdom of the young sons of the

tenth Guru who were seven and nine years of age and countless other

Sikhs who were killed in the most brutal and inhuman ways makes Sikh

history a saga of sacrifice. Yet we have done injustice to them by

making them the laughing stock in our country. That is exactly what I am

going to talk about.

It was the year 1739. India was still under the rule of the Mughals. It

was during this year that the Persian invader Nadir Shah invaded Delhi

wrecking havoc on the inhabitants. Around 150,000 people were killed

mercilessly and a large number of women taken as captives. Nadir Shah

had to pass through Punjab on his way back to Persia. The Sikhs in

Punjab during this period were facing a lot of persecution at the hands

of the tyrant government. A price was put on the head of every Sikh.

Each head brought would be rewarded with Rs. 25 and each Sikh caught

alive and brought was rewarded Rs. 100. The ones brought alive were cut

to pieces.

What these brave Sikh warriors did was that they started attacking Nadir

Shah’s convoy at 12 noon as well as 12 midnight and managed to free the

women whom they escorted back to Delhi. Ahmad Shah Abdali, the Afghan

invader raided India nine times between 1748 and 1765 AD. He captured

2200 women who were again rescued by the brave Sikh warriors and

escorted back to their homes. This heroic act also occurred at 12 noon

or 12 midnight. (Source : The Sardarji Joke by Preetinder Singh). Thus

the belief started that Sikhs would lose their mind at 12 o clock.

Instead of being grateful, people started poking fun at Sikhs by calling

them as the people who lost their senses at 12 o clock. They forget the

fact that if it were not for the Sikhs, the womenfolk of these very

same people would have been taken away and raped or sold as slaves in

foreign lands. It was in 1798 under the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

that eight centuries of repeated foreign invasions into northern India

ended. This was a result of the Sikhs gaining control of Khyber pass,

thereby shutting out any possible invasion from central Asia and/or the

middle east.

I do not intend to end this article without talking about other

contributions by Sikhs, especially in the Indian freedom struggle.

Perhaps most of the readers may never have come across these facts.

The boycott of English goods was done by the very first time by Baba Ram

Singh in 1863. The British tied eighty two Sikhs to canons and blew

them apart and Baba Ram Singh was exiled to Burma. Mahatma Gandhi issued

the call for a similar satyagraha fifty six years later in 1919.

When Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose started the Indian National Army (Azad

Hind Fauj), sixty seven percent of those forty two thousand recruits

were Sikhs, ie twenty eight thousand.

Out of the one hundred and twenty one hanged, ninety three were Sikhs,

ie seventy seven percent. Eighty one percent of those imprisoned for

life and sixty two percent of those who were killed at the Jallianwala

Bagh massacre were also Sikhs. (Source : History of Indian National


Five Param Vir Chakras, forty Maha Vir Chakras and two hundred and nine

Vir Chakras have been won by Sikhs serving in the Indian army.

After the partition of 1947, most of the fertile land of western Punjab

was lost. Thanks to the hard work on part of the Sikh farmers, today

eastern Punjab is more productive and contributes forty percent of rice

and fifty one percent of wheat to India’s central pool of foodgrains.

Not only this, but the Sikhs who settled in Terai in UP have also made

the area as fertile as Punjab.

Having read about their extraordinary accomplishments, here is the

kicker : Sikhs form only two percent of India's population!

Every possible injury has been inflicted on Sikhs. Not once but

repeatedly. Yet they are the ones who have learnt to fight back and

succeed, and also possess their unique sense of humor. It is just

unfortunate that we have Hindi movies today portraying them as clowns on

one hand and as macho fighters on the other, whatever brings in the

money. This article has been written with the hope that things change

for the better in future and we refrain from poking fun at the ones who

have time and again stood up to fight for not only us, but also the self

respect and honor of our motherland.

WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa

WaheGuru Ji Ki Fateh

Rochak Sharma

Electrical Engineering Technology

email : rochak1979@yahoo.com

references :

http://jatt.com/sikhism/empty.pitcher.asp : An Empty Pitcher Makes Noise

http://jatt.com/sikhism/sardar.joke.asp : The Sardarji Joke by

Preetender Singh

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