Salute the Sikhs: What every Indian must know about them!

Next time when you hear a Sardar Joke (Santa Banta), Remember these Contributions by them. Thereafter, you will never like to hear any jokes made on Sardars. 

Sikhs are one of the most brave and bold people, full of pride and self-esteem, most warm and kind hearted of all, uniquely handsome with their attire, well built; all this makes them unique. The self-esteem and pride are unmatched – you will never find a Sikh beggar on roads. They are the best when you request them for a photograph, no questions asked from photographers and ever-willing to be photographed with a smile on their face. 


We are proud to share about them and glad to show our love & gratitude for what they have done and doing for us.
Indian ArmyThe Brave 21 Sikhs vs 10000 Men

The Battle of Saragarhi is considered one of the greatest battles in Sikh military history. On 12 September 1897 a contingent of twenty-one soldiers from the 36th Sikhs led by Havildar Ishar Singh held off an Afghan attack of 10,000 men for several hours. All 21 Sikh soldiers chose to fight to the death instead of surrendering. In recognition of their sacrifice, the British Parliament paid them respect, and each one of them was awarded the Indian Order of Merit (equivalent to the Victoria Cross)

Rs. 25 of every Sikh Head

Between 1713 and 1801 the Sikhs were homeless and living as Guerillas, demonstrating heroic acts of courage at every possible instance. The tyrant rulers had put a reward of Rs. 25 for every Sikh head and Rs. 100 for every Sikh caught alive. The money is compared to hundred thousand US dollars of today. Those caught alive were cut to pieces. Many new vocabularies originated, such as 12 o’ clock warriors, Sikh who fought at midnight to use the darkness to their advantage.

Battle with Afghans – End of 800 years of Invasion – Redemption of Kohinoor Diamond

Between 1748 & 1765, Ahmad Shah Abdali, the ruler from Afghanistan rampaged India nine times. Again, the Sikhs attacked his returning convoys during the peak summer heat and midnight. Sikhs freed hundreds of women and escorted them back to their homes. These acts of Sikhs aggravated Ahmed Shah Abdali, who swore to take revenge at an appropriate time. During his sixth invasion, he caught the Sikhs by surprise and killed 25,000 Sikhs in a short time. However, the spirit of the Sikhs remained high.

Finally, Sikhs under Ranjit Singh, in 1798 bought an end to the 800 years of foreign invasions into India through Khyber pass, by bringing it under their control. This was the best gift Sikhs gave to the nation which finally allowed the rest of India to breathe in peace. Hari Singh Nalwa, who manned the Khyber pass for years became a name of threat in Afghanistan. Ranjit Singh brought the world famous Kohinoor diamond back to India, which was looted by Nadir Shah earlier.

Kashmir is in India: Say thanks to Sikhs

If it was not for the Sikhs, who brought back Kashmir in 1819, today Kashmir would have been a part of Afghanistan. Ladakh owes its existence on the map of India to Zorawar Singh, who brought the region back to India in 1836.

War with British

With an end to Mughal invasions from Afghanistan, British invasion from the south initiated. Sikhs were the last to surrender to the British in the Indian sub-continent and were the first to raise arms against them.

After two bloody Anglo-Sikh wars did British manage to take over Punjab as the last kingdom on the map of British-India Empire. It is an irony of fate that the Sikhs had to fight against their own countrymen as British forces employed Indians from the south to invade Punjab. It was not due to lack of soldiers’ courage or conviction that the wars against British were lost, but a treachery by Gulab, a minister under Ranjit Singh, who joined hands with the British in exchange for the title of Kashmir upon winning the war.

Jallianwala Bagh massacre

On April 13, 1919, the British conducted Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which consisted of killing 1300 unarmed Indians mostly Sikhs in a single day. Thousand of unarmed, innocent & peaceful Indians had assembled in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar to register a peaceful protest against British colonial rule when General Michael O’ Dwyer came with his troops and opened fire on the unarmed civilians.

Udham Singh in 1940 went to London and shot General Michael O’ Dwyer at a public meeting as a revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Udham Singh did not flee, surrendered himself, and was later executed.

Following is the contribution of Sikhs who are less than 2% of the population of India in the freedom struggle against the British:

 Punished   Total  Sikhs  % of Sikhs
 Hanged by the British  121  93  77%
 Life Imprisonment  2646  2147  81%
 Jallianwala Bagh Massacre  1300  799  62%

Even though Sikhs were 2% of the population of India, out of 42,000 recruits in the Indian National Army under the command of Subhash Chandra Bose, 28,000 soldiers, contributing 67% were Sikhs.

Not only Indians, Even the British Owe to the Sikhs

By the advent of World War I, Sikhs in the British Indian Army totaled over 100,000, i.e., 20% of the British Indian Army. During World War I, Sikh battalions fought in Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli and France. Six battalions of the Sikh Regiment were raised in World War II, and served at El Alamein and in BurmaItaly and Iraq, winning 27 battle honours.

“In the last two world wars 83,005 turban wearing Sikh soldiers were killed and 109,045 were wounded. They all died or were wounded for the freedom of Britain and the world, and during shell fire, with no other protection but the turban, the symbol of their faith.”

— General Sir Frank Messervy

“British people are highly indebted and obliged to Sikhs for a long time. I know that within this century we needed their help twice [in two world wars] and they did help us very well. As a result of their timely help, we are today able to live with honour, dignity, and independence. In the war, they fought and died for us, wearing the turbans.”

— Sir Winston Churchill

Partition of India So as their Mother land Punjab:

Partition of India in 1947 brought innumerable death to Sikhs and was one of the greatest disaster known in the Indian history. Surely the Sikhs paid the heaviest price for the freedom of the country.

Punjab lost its most fertile part to Pakistan during the partition. However, today due to the hard labor of Sikh farmers, the Punjab in India produces much higher quantities of food grain than the fertile Punjab in Pakistan. Punjab contributes 40% of rice and 51% of wheat into the central pool of food grains in India.

War with Pakistan

Sikhs were the first to rise and fight invasions by Pakistan in 1960s and 1970s. Pakistan’s invasion lead to full force wars between Indian and Pakistan. Again Sikh, this time joining hands with Rest of the Army contributed and laid their lives down to protect the borders and freedom of India. Pakistan lost all the wars.

The Contribution of Sikhs towards the Indian Defense Services is the highest with respect to their 2% population size. This community has also won the maximum number of gallantry awards since independence – 5 Param Vir Chakras (PVCs), 40 Maha Vir Chakras (MVCs), 209 Vir Chakras (VrCs).

The Saga of Sikhs continues…

Today, Sikhs are still 2% of the population of Indian but 20% of Indian Military consists of Sikhs. As a part of Indian Military, Sikhs are constantly fighting terrorists on the border of Pakistan and India since last India-Pakistan war.

Nobody wants War: 

Gone the era of men who battled for everything and had only war as a solution. Yet, there are armies and battles going everywhere in the world. Especially in Indian borders. Every soul killed in a border conflict belongs to a family. That soul could be a father, husband or a wife, or a mother to a child, a brother… We want peace, not war, we lost enough souls.

We all pray for the same. A Sardar or a Hindu or  a Muslim or whatever his religion is, he is a human being. Nationalities may differ, but not our blood and flesh.

Oh. My Pakistani Brother, I still remember we were together well, within a century’s distance. We hope, peace replaces our border!

– Din

Note : Please do not shade a religious paint to this article. If you read it complete, you can understand the intended purpose behind this. Which is mutual respect to fellow humans and to make a strong statement against Racial / Communal / Extremist Absuing!

Courtesy: Wikipedia, Source1Sarvatra
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