For all of you who thought 12 O'clock is a joke for Sardars....................
I was standing at Shimla Bus stand to receive a fellow officer when my attention was drawn by a Sikh youth, may be waiting for a bus. Just then a voice was heard from the back 'Sardarji Barah Baj gaye' (Sir it's 12 o'clock!). The Sikh youth gave a cool look to the youngster and instead of showing any anger smiled at him. The smile made me walk towards him and ask him as to why he smiled at the person who teased him?
The Sikh replied, 'He was not teasing me but was asking for my help as there was a big history behind what the Idiot just said. I was eager to know the History and the Sikh narrated:-
During 17th Century, when Hindustan was ruled by Mughals, all the Hindus were humiliated and were treated like animals. Mughals treated the Hindu women as their own property and were forcing all Hindus to accept Islam, killing those who refused to convert. That is when the ninth Guru of Sikhs , Sri Guru Teg Bahadur came forward, in response to a request from some Kashmiri Pandits to fight against the cruelty of mughals.
Guruji told the emperor that if the emperor could succeed in converting him to Islam, all Hindus will accept the same but if the emperor failed the conversions should stop. The Mughal emperor happily agreed but even after immense torture of Guruji and his fellow sikhs the emperor failed to convert them to Islam. Guruji and his four fellow sikhs sacrificed their lives in Chandni Chowk for Justice and dignity of freedom.
Thus Guruji sacrificed his life for the protection of Hindu religion. Can anybody lay down his life and that too for the protection of another religion? This is the reason he is still remembered as 'Hind Ki Chadar'... 'The Shield of India'. And the thankless cowards for whom he had sacrificed his life did not even come forward to lift his body, fearing that they too would be assassinated. It was a brave sikh who came forward, lifted the Guru's mortal remains took them to his cotton godowns and set fire to all his godowns to ensure a honourable cremation for his Master.
Seeing this incident our 10th Guruji, Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji (Son of Guru Teg Bahadar) made a resolution that he would convert his followers to such human beings who would not be able to hide themselves and could be easily located in Millions. That is how he created the Khalsa, the long haired sikhs carrying swords or a dagger at least.
These were the times when Nadir Shah raided Delhi in 1739 and looted Hindustan and was carrying treasures and nearly 2200 Hindu women along with him to be used as sex slaves. The news spread like wildfire and reached Sardar Jassa Singh who was the Commander of the Sikh army at that time. He decided to attack Nadir Shah's caravan on the same midnight at 12 O' clock.
The mission was carried out , the women were rescued. It didn't happen just once but thereafter whenever any Afghan or persian commander attacked and looted Hindustan for treasure and Hindu women to be sold in Abdal markets, the Sikh warriors although fewer in numbers attacked them at midnight,12 O'clock and rescued the women. It had by then become a trend and a kind of a code worded call by hindus ............. whenever their women or cattle and homes were raided they would call a sikh commander through a messenger who would thus deliver the message..... 'Sardar ji Pandit ji ne sneha bheja hai ki Barah baj gaye', and the Sikh commander would raid the invading troops to rescue women and cows.
Soon it became a legendary SOS call ................This historic fact was the reason which made me smile. as I thought that either his Mother or Sister was in trouble and needed my help or he was reminding me of all the sacrifices my ancestors made to save the women, cows, hearth and home of his ancestors. This Call,'Barah Baj Gaye' Is his innocent and unaware way of saying thankyou. Even if he uses 'Barah baj Gaye' as a cat call without knowing the history behind it I smile because I know the history and am reminded of my very brave and good hearted Saint Soldier ancestors who risked their lives and limbs for saving the dignity of this nation.
On further interaction I found that the young sikh was serving in the Indian Army as a commando and was an MA in political science. When I asked him why he did not get some other job his answer was, 'Sir, Army for me is not a job but a passion'. Bravo my brother soldier, I salute you as you taught me something so beautiful.
Some shallow minded countrymen need to put it straight in their heads that Indian Sikhs are not their 'tenants'. but own this land more than they do because they have contributed more than their fair share for India's freedom and growth. Yaani Ghar Vaapisi.......aur Shudhi karan kis kaa ........ Abb merey ghar ka ribbon mujh se katvvao ge................. . Kya Hinduism ghar hai yaa India ghar hai ?................ Decide first.
Just to remind my friends I am sharing some figures here-
A single year's Sacrifices made by Sikhs for India’s Freedom during British Empire:
Type ----------------------Sikhs---Non-Sikhs-----Percentage of Sikhs
Prison One Year -----1,550-------575 ----------------73%
Jalianwala Bagh-------799-------- 501-----------------61%
Indian National Army-12,000----8000------------------- 60%
All this when Sikhs are Just .............. 1.8% of india's population ! . It is worth mentioning here that in the non sikh section there is again a rich contribution of the christians and Muslims as well ;) . One is bound to get angry when fence sitters and those who merely watched the show from corners want to teach the real gladiators the rules of the game or so to say a lesson in patriotism.
People with such mind set are products of poor self image resulting from shallow values and a poor knowledge of their own rich history making them feel unnecessarily insecure and belittled. With this attitude if they think they are doing some great service to their community, they are only mistaken as fundamentalist have always done more disservice to their community rather than doing any service.
Those who truly serve God, Waheguru, Bhagwan or Allah spread love and joy and not hatred and sorrow. Do not forget that the future of this world belongs to those who can say #illridewithyou. I also must state here that all those who think they are more Sikhs than Indians are as prejudiced or misled as those Hindus who think they are more Hindus than Indians or Muslims who think they are more Muslim than Indians. In simple words they are fundamentalist religious bigots who have no place in the vision of modern India. For them my slogan is Love India or Leave India. .
It is also high time for one and all in India to realise that being a Hindu, a Sikh or a Muslim is next to being an Indian. Please rise above your narrow identities if you want India to to grow. I advise as well as request all Indians to have some minimal pride in our nation. Rise above your insecurities. Dont forget the best modern folk hero of Punjab Sardar Bhagat Singh did not give two hoots for any religion but sacrificed his life for INDIA.
...Poet Balwant Gurunay...
...Poet Balwant Gurunay...