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Heritage Who are the Jatts ਜੱਟ ? History, Culture and Controversy

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    The photo is of a button from the uniform of an officer in the famed 9th Jatt Regiment.

    This thread was inspired by the growing number of questions about the Jatt people in relationships threads where a non-Jatt or even a non-Sikh was in a relationship with a Jatt. Usually the stated problems revolve around the looming possibility that a Jatt family will not accept the non-Jatt, or non-Jatt Sikh. The relationship looks doomed from the outset. A great sense of personal suffering is shared. Often the male/female who is Jatt admits to being unable to defy the Jatt family, and may even accept an arranged marriage leaving the non-Jatt in the dust.

    This is not going to be an easy thread for several reasons. Here is my take in the admin/moderation role:

    1. Arranged marriages, which is an ancient cultural practice (adhered to by about 92 percent of the population of India), persists in the diaspora as cultural reality. The fact of arranged marriage may overlap with matters of caste, and thus with being a Jatt. The non-Sikh does not understand the implications of a "love-marriage."

    2. The history and identity of the Jatt people is controversial. The topic cannot be mentioned without controversy heating up. The burden falls on the non-Jatt to educate himself/herself about the Jatt people. But frustration comes from not having clear-cut information to absorb.

    3. Intercaste and interfaith relationships are problems, but not only for Jatts. Let's be fair.

    4. In Sikhism, caste should not be a factor in any decision or social interaction. Caste is forbidden by rehat, and criticized by our Gurus in the ShabadGuru. But caste persists in spite of that.

    It may very well be that scholars trained in sociology and anthropology with time can untangle these problems. It remains that "identity" is shaped by many variables: family and family history, culture, geography and geographical history, nation and ethnicity, language, and social customs. The only thing that is clear is that in the case of Sikhs, religion should not be one of the variables that shapes Jatt identity.

    Let's start with a simple definition from the Encyclopedia online, and let the discussion go from there. Even this definition may spark some concern.

    Jat, peasant caste of northern India and Pakistan. In the early 21st century the Jat constituted about 20 percent of the population of Punjab, nearly 10 percent of the population of Balochistan, Rajasthan, and Delhi, and from 2 to 5 percent of the populations of Sindh, Northwest Frontier, and Uttar Pradesh. The four million Jat of Pakistan are mainly Muslim by faith; the nearly six million Jat of India are mostly divided into two large castes of about equal strength: one Sikh, concentrated in Punjab, the other Hindu.


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  3. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    May 25, 2005
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    THe whole issue about Jatts is fascinating.

    Muslims Jatts claim and Arab descent linked to the Prophet Muhammed.

    Hindu Jatts claim an Indo Aryan origin Kshatriya descent linked to Mahabharta.

    Sikh Jatts claim that they are the original Sikhs and have an Scythian lineage.
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