How McLeod Became “one Of The Foremost Scholars” Of Sikh Studies?

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
The first point is that the Gurus had no standing army or force at least until Guru Arjan, there is no evidence for it. Wrestling is a very far fetched link in my opinion.

I am talking about the Martial spirit being infused is SIKHs, not standing Armies. I have nowhere talked about standing armies.

Mcleod states it started with the 6th Guru. Gurudwara Mal Akhrara is clear evidence that the Martial streak was honed by the the 2nd Guru. We are not talking WWE wrestling here (I am sure you are aware of that). In this form of wrestling, bones can be broken, jaws shattered etc. (I say that from my own experience J )

Point two, is that the Jatts dominated the Punjab from the beginning, even before Guru Nanak established himself at Kartarpur. Emperor Babur, the 1st Mughal emperor confirms this in his memoirs, the Baburnama. He emphatically talks about the Jatts and Gujars who used to leading raid parties on his camps in the 1520's for his cattle. He said they were innumerbale in number. This was during his entry into the Punjab before his battles with the Lodhi Sultanate. This is further confirmed in the Dabistan-i-Mazahib where it states the majority of the Sikh community was Jatt and they did not speak 'Hindi' by the time of Guru Hargobind.



Not True

Dominating from the beginning? Beginning of what? Time places dates please? What were they dominating? The Politics? The Economics?

Where does Babur talk about this? He talks about a lot of them, and them being dacoits, but not dominating anything. The description he gives is more akin to a Gypsie or transient (not very flattering)

The dominant Jatts (out of Jatts) were Muslim Jatts. Hindu Jatts had no importance at that time. Only Muslim Jatts received patronage. Jatts came into their own much later, after Bandha Bahadhur.

Where is this confirmed in Dabistan e Mazhib? I have never read this. I have read Jatts helped Bandha Bahadhur with supplies., but even Bandha Bahadhurs troops are described as “Untouchables”. I have also read Jatts swelled the numbers of Sikhs after the demise of Bandha Bahdhur, but never this.

Read this. Some exerpts of Dabistan e Mazhib nd other texts I pasted years ago:

http://www.sikh-history.com/cgi-bin/Ultimate/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=000041

Point 3. I don't agree with Baba Buddha introducing the militancy. So no argument from me.


OK


Point 4. He came from the Khatri's, who often link themselves with the Ksyatria's but there is no real confirmed link between the two. Though the names do sound the same. You have to note that all the Gurus were part of the Khatris. The power shifting between different sub-castes, but ultimately under the umbrella of Khatri.


Guru Gobind Singh ji describing his clan as Kshatriya’s and his Uncle Kirpal as a Kshatriya is enough evidence for me in Dasam Granth in Bachittar Natak.

There is a link between Kshatria and Khatri. Read Manu Smirti, onto what profession is acceptable for a Kshatriya when he has fallen on hard times. Also in Nepal Kshatriya’s are called Chettri too. A colloquialism, just like Khatri is a colloquialism to Punjab (and surrounding areas).

One of the main problems for Kshatriya/Khatri at the time of the Guru’s was that they the Khatri’s were looked down upon by their Kshatriya brothers.

Point 5. The Guru may not have been lead by his followers but he had to fulfil the needs of the community at every stage right upto Guru Gobind Singh that meant adapting and shifting the policy of the community, with hightened threats, and pressures consolidating the leadership as well as many other things. For example the Mughal threat, the corrupt masands, the rival sects Ramrai's etc.


This does not mean Jatts introduced militancy does it though?

All this means is that the 6th Master was willing to use the sword and drew on it when the time was needed.
 

H_Singh

SPNer
Domination population wise. Not military or political.

I've already stated the sources, Emperor Babur's "Baburnama" which is a memoir written by himself, the memoir spans much of his life, including his entry into India, during the 1510's - 1520's which is the same time Guru Nanak Dev established Kartarpur in approximately 1520. The Dabistan-i-Mazahib is dated to the time of Guru Hargobind and the translation I'm sourcing is the "Sikh History from Persian Sources" by J.S. Grewal and Ifran Habib. I do not know the exact page number as I don't have the book on hand. Also when Guru Nanak established Kartarpur the surrounding towns were majority Jatt's, I do not have the maps on hand for those either.

Jatt's by trade were semi-nomadic farmers and labourers, Guru Nanak established a farming community not a trading community at Kartarpur. The Khatri's were traders, I do not see why they would give up trading for hard labour, it makes no sense. The Jatt's on the other hand were labourers and were established in the Punjab, per sources i've cited, they were not Hindu either.

I'm putting forward that the Jatts were there from the beginning, not a late entry like McLeod and you yourself have stated. Looking at the geography of Punjab and the historical population demographics kept in the Mughal records you can see this.

You are not wrong saying Jatts backed Banda Bahadur, because by that time the Jatts were dominant within the Sikh community and were leaders of the community. But the majority Jatt's coming in at the time of Banda Bahadur I don't agree with.

I have a question, in using the Dasam Granth do we take the entire Granth as the word of Guru Gobind Singh or just parts?
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
Domination population wise. Not military or political.

I've already stated the sources, Emperor Babur's "Baburnama" which is a memoir written by himself, the memoir spans much of his life, including his entry into India, during the 1510's - 1520's which is the same time Guru Nanak Dev established Kartarpur in approximately 1520. The Dabistan-i-Mazahib is dated to the time of Guru Hargobind and the translation I'm sourcing is the "Sikh History from Persian Sources" by J.S. Grewal and Ifran Habib. I do not know the exact page number as I don't have the book on hand. Also when Guru Nanak established Kartarpur the surrounding towns were majority Jatt's, I do not have the maps on hand for those either.


Ok I have the book.

If you have a look at the link I posted it was from "Sikh History from Persian Sources" by J.S. Grewal and Ifran Habib.

It does not state any dominance of Jatts in Sikhism at all. If anything Sikhs are described under Bandha Bahadhur as that

Pg 143 - Follower of The Bandha

A large number of persons belonging to the class of sweepers and tanners, and the community of banjaras and other base of lowly castes, assembled around him and became his disciple. The persons gace him the title of "Fat'h Shah"

And

pg 163-2 - Bandha Bahadhurs Followers

he (Bandha) in a very short time completed the building of a stone fort of great strength at the foot of the Siwalik Hills near Shahdaura (Sadhaura), of which he had laid the foundations. He made the fort his seat, and sent his officials to administer every city and village far and near.
Strange it was how through God decreed fate, the courage and bravery of the inhabitants of those places had departed. If a lowly sweeper or cobbler (chamar), more impure than whom there is no caste (qaum) in Hindustan, went to attend on that rebel, he would be appointed to govern his own town and would return with an order (sanad) of office of government in his hand. The moment he stepped into the territory, or town, or village, all the gentry and notables went out to recieve him, and after his alightining at his house, stood with folded hands before him. Since that man of low nature would have information about the real condition of all houses, what unprecedented impositions did they not inflict on the better-places persons of that place and what cruelty did they not invent! No Hindu or Muslim could have the power to see, or hear of, such cruelty. He (the official sent by Banda) would demand whatever precious goods were in anyone's house and deposit it in the ill-destined treasury of the Guru. No person could oppose his orders. Such is the power of Almighty that in the twinkling of an eye He can put such a lowly person in authority over a whole world of the high-born in such a manner that so many thousands of persons who had displayed bravery in so many manly contests, became help, became helpless and lost even the courage to speak in front of that single man


This paragraph states the emergence of Jatts and how they helped these Sikhs:


Pp 671-2
quote:
Although from lower castes of Hindu's countless people like ants and locusts had gathered round him (Bandha) and lost no time in getting killed or coming into battle for his sake, yet they did not harm such Hindu's of high status as Khatri's of the Punjab, who were colluding in the plans and designs of that rebel (Bandha) or the Jats, famous for their bravery, who were supporting and joining the army of that doomed one

Here is the composition of Sikhs in 1808:

An Account of the Sikh 1808 - Imadu's Sa'adat by Saiyad Ghulam Ali Khan Naqavi (completed 1808)

page 214 Chapter 19 - Sikh History From Persian Sources

pp 70-71 Short Account of the Genesis of the Sect of Sikhs in Hindustan

Completely moving away from their path of God-worship, the Sikhs began to devote all their courage to conquest of the country, the pillage of the cities and districts (parganas) and highway robbery. Although in the time of Tegh Bahadhur thay had taken to these ways, there was not then this much of tumult. Finally, now (1808 AD) the whole country of the Punjab up to the Attock River (Indus), and this side up to Multan, and from the banks of the Sutlej to Karnal, outside the Punjab, which (i.e. Karnal) is forty seven Kurohs (kurohs or kos = 2.5 miles) distant from Shahjahanabad (Delhi), all of it, is in the possession of this sect. Their leaders of high dignity are mostly from the lower classes, such as carpenters, shoemakers and Jats. They are the enemy to the hookhah-smoker, but take pot after pot of hemp (bang = Bhang)


So taking your own source:

Jatts did not disappear all of a sudden when Bandha Bahadhur appeared. There was a gradual shift in power. A recent book I have read (I will cite when I have a chance, I am at work at the moment states), that there was a paradigm shift in power from Khatri’s amongst the Sikh’s to Jatts after Guru Gobind Singh ji introduced Khandhay dha Pahul. Most twice borns refused to take it (i.e. Khatri’s) for fear of being shunned by brethren. That is why you note there are only a select few Sikh surnames from Khatri’s that are Sikh.

The Jatts embraced this, and after the mass slaughter of Sikh’s in Delhi after the Bandha Bahadhur campaign’s they took up the sword.



Jatt's by trade were semi-nomadic farmers and labourers, Guru Nanak established a farming community not a trading community at Kartarpur. The Khatri's were traders, I do not see why they would give up trading for hard labour, it makes no sense. The Jatt's on the other hand were labourers and were established in the Punjab, per sources i've cited, they were not Hindu either.


This was a deliberate two fingers by Guru Nanak to his twice boorn brethren. One of the professions a Kshatriya must not do is touch a plough. Guru Nanak did this. This shows how enlightened he was, and he iused the food he grew for his Community Kitchen. People would today describe this as some sort of Hippy commune, but Guru Nanak was years ahead of his time.

Khatris would not give up trading because 1 – it is hard labour and 2 – it is below their twice born status.


I'm putting forward that the Jatts were there from the beginning, not a late entry like McLeod and you yourself have stated. Looking at the geography of Punjab and the historical population demographics kept in the Mughal records you can see this.


No

Mcleod says exactly what you are saying i.e. Jatts dominated Sikhi from the 6th Master onwards. They introduced the Martial spirit to Sikhi, and they fought by the Guru’s side. There is no evidence for this. In fact there is contradiction to this.

Jatts were in Sikhi from the beginning but were very few in number. They were not there in any large shape or form. Sikhi then was dominated by Khatri’s. I urge you to read Varan Bhai Gurdas. It states categorically by caste and name who were the 6th Masters kleading warriors and Sikhs.


You are not wrong saying Jatts backed Banda Bahadur, because by that time the Jatts were dominant within the Sikh community and were leaders of the community. But the majority Jatt's coming in at the time of Banda Bahadur I don't agree with.


Read my quotes above from Sikh History from Persian Sources. Jatts were NOT dominant in the Sikh Community at that time nor were they leaders. The only leader of consequence came much later in the shape of Nawab Kapur Singh Virk.

Bandha Bahadhurs followers are described as, A large number of persons belonging to the class of sweepers and tanners, and the community of banjaras and other base of lowly castes. As far as I know, Jatts may have a lower caste status than Khatri’s, but they are in no way a low caste or have ever been.

I think H Singh you are mixing up a time frame of some 200 years from when the Guru’s were around (1469 to 1708) to the following 200 odd years when Jatts dominated Sikhism. You are not the first to do it and won’t be the last.

Jatts had a Golden period in Sikhism, but let us not put the Cart before the horse.


I have a question, in using the Dasam Granth do we take the entire Granth as the word of Guru Gobind Singh or just parts?


Yes.

I am from the school that thinks Dasam Granth ji (definitely parts), must be read in context and in the spirit it is written. It is a valuable source of information, especially in the description of Battles.

 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
The Jatt's on the other hand were labourers and were established in the Punjab, per sources i've cited, they were not Hindu either.


So what religion were non-Muslim Jatts? The Hindali's (who had a Jatt leader/prophet), described themselves as Vashnavite. So I am a bit perplexed.:confused:

Please tell me more about the religion.
 

H_Singh

SPNer
I do not have the book on hand and cannot recite the portion exactly by memory. But the Dabistan-i-Mazhib states something along the lines of the Jats being masands, i.e. they were prominent enough to control communities of the Gurus by the time of Guru Hargobind. The masands are akin to leadership of the community effectively having authority of the Guru bestowed upon them by the Guru.

The Jatts entered Punjab in the 15th century and began moving from a nomadic role to a farming one. The Jatts were not alone in there entry as its also included the Gakhars, Gujjars, Kambos etc

Where Guru Nanak Dev established Kartarpur was an area with a lot of Jats. I cannot recall the two towns nearby which were Jat majority towns as I'm out of the country and don't have access to the data.

quote:
Although from lower castes of Hindu's countless people like ants and locusts had gathered round him (Bandha) and lost no time in getting killed or coming into battle for his sake, yet they did not harm such Hindu's of high status as Khatri's of the Punjab, who were colluding in the plans and designs of that rebel (Bandha) or the Jats, famous for their bravery, who were supporting and joining the army of that doomed one

This only states that the people rallying to Banda Singh Bahadur were low castes, it doesn't negate that Jats were there from the beginning or that they were in the majority from the beginning.

Guru Nanak may have chosen to reject the Khatri caste but I do not believe the Khatris would have left there caste in numerous numbers. I have not seen evidence to conclude that. In rejecting there caste and Hinduism wouldn't the Khatris have suffered the same ridicule from the Brahmans and others? Khande di Pahul would have made little difference in that case. Unless you're saying that Sikhism was accepted by the Hindu fold and khande di pahul was not acceptable?

McLeod states that the Jatts came at the time of the 6th Guru, I contend they were there from the first Guru and they were majority from then. From the beginning.

Bhai Gurdas's Varan contains the names of every member in the Sikh community? As I recall it only contained 100 names. To use that and say the majority of the community was Khatri doesn't sound right to me. In the Dabistan-i-Mazhib it states that Guru Hargobind had a large standing cavalry which was more numerous than 100 people and referring back to the start, the Jatts also made up the majority of the masands.

Many dismiss the Jats as a later entry, when evidence from records lends to the notion that the Jats were the majority from the beginning. Based on location of Kartarpur (and towns located near it), Baburnama, and exerpts from the Dabistan-i-Mazahib.
 

H_Singh

SPNer
So what religion were non-Muslim Jatts? The Hindali's (who had a Jatt leader/prophet), described themselves as Vashnavite. So I am a bit perplexed.:confused:

Please tell me more about the religion.

Some Jatts may have adopted the surrounding religions but during the establishment of Kartarpur they were a relatively new arrival into Punjab and had yet to be converted, not to say some weren't converted but the majority weren't. This again is confirmed by the Dabistan-i-Mazahib which states that the Jats were non-Vedic speaking, by the time of Guru Hargobind. In saying that converting from Muslim-Jatt to Sikh would have ment the imposing of Jizya and other taxes on the person, which would make no sense.

The revenues drawn by the Muslim rulers was not majority from other Muslims but rather non-Muslims, through Jizya and other forms of tax, to have a converted population would lead to a decrease in income for the leadership of the Mugals. To have a converted population would again make no sense. This in confirmed in British data which states that Muslims only made up 25% of the entire population at its peak in the 1800's, leading to the conclusion that mass conversion was not prevalent.

As to what religion the Jats were, I do not have that information with me.
 

dalsingh

SPNer
H Singh

Regarding Jatt conversions to Sikhism: The following is a break up of the Jat population from a 1925 census in India, notice that it is pre-partition.

Religion Jat Population %
Hinduism 47%
Sikhism 2o%
Islam 33%

What we can notice is that almost half of Jats remain Hindu and a significant portion Muslim. Sikhism has the smallest proportion. It is a valid question to ask if this percentage is actually smaller now due to the deaths from WW2, partition and the 1984 onwards in which large numbers perished.


The relationship between Jats and Sikhism is more complex then it might seem on the surface. I don't agree with your analysis that Jats were numerically dominant from Guru Nanak's time. There is nothing to support this other then conjecture. Even anecdotal information point at followers coming from diverse backgrounds. Remember Guru Nanak travelled for long periods out of the Panjab too.


I am however inclined to disagree with Randip on the make up of the panth during Guru Arjan Dev's time. I think at this time Jats had formed a significant portion of the panth as indicated in Dabistan. This is not to say they wee numerically dominant but that their representation was significant. However I don't agree that they were responsible for the miltarisation of the panth and an entry in Dabistan from a "Sikh covert" of convenience gives a very insulting account of Jats as {censored}s. However I believe it was about this time that Jats got their first taste of leadership in the panth as masands (ironically this very institute was outlawed later by Guru Gobind Singh due to corruption).

In my opinion the relationship between Jats and Sikhism has always been fluid . Ganda Singh, in a book written with Teja Singh called A Short History of Sikhs, mentions Jats of a certain area having turned against Guru Gobind Singh.

Madra and Singh's "Siques, Tigers or Thieves" give a rarely used account of a battle between the Khalsa and Jat forces in about 1770 given by Francis Xavier Wendel.

So the position seems to be that Jats who converted to Sikhs had to fight their own Jat brethren under the flag of the Khalsa.

I agree with Randip's assertion that a surge of Jatt converts entered the fold under Banda Singh . I think some of these differed from religious converts in that they saw in Banda's rebellion an opportunity to strike back at an oppressive government and this motivated their conversion rather than deeply felt faith.

In a modern context, Jats within Sikhi themselves seem to have become torn between pro-Indian government Jats (i.e. KPS Gill, General Brar and the bulk of Punjab Police) and those who had a more anti establishment perspective (i.e. Kharkoos).


About the Dasam Granth Question: I think parts are by Dasmesh Pita and others not. It is entirely likely that he sanctioned all of the contents and that some are simply translations of Hindu mythology and other literature by the famous 52 bards. See if I get excommunicated for these comments!
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
I do not have the book on hand and cannot recite the portion exactly by memory. But the Dabistan-i-Mazhib states something along the lines of the Jats being masands, i.e. they were prominent enough to control communities of the Gurus by the time of Guru Hargobind. The masands are akin to leadership of the community effectively having authority of the Guru bestowed upon them by the Guru.

All masands were in effect were revenue collectors, and these Masands came from many different castes. There is NO doubt that at the time of the 6th Guru there were some Jatts within the Sikh fold, but they were not a majority. The Golden era of Jatts and Sikhi came later after the demise of the 10th Master and the demise of Bandha Bahadhur. It was the Jatts who carried the Sikh torch.

The Jatts entered Punjab in the 15th century and began moving from a nomadic role to a farming one. The Jatts were not alone in there entry as its also included the Gakhars, Gujjars, Kambos etc


I am not sure so I cannot comment. I here all sorts of stories from from relatives on how they came to be in Punjab. One claimed that their family was decented from Siva’s locks (Jatta) but I digress.

Where Guru Nanak Dev established Kartarpur was an area with a lot of Jats. I cannot recall the two towns nearby which were Jat majority towns as I'm out of the country and don't have access to the data.


There were a lot of Jatts in the vicinity, no doubt about that, but what I am stating is that the time frame for entry into Sikhi for Jatts en masse was later than Mcleod stated.


This only states that the people rallying to Banda Singh Bahadur were low castes, it doesn't negate that Jats were there from the beginning or that they were in the majority from the beginning.


Let us take all my quotes:

Pg 143 - Follower of The Bandha

A large number of persons belonging to the class of sweepers and tanners, and the community of banjaras and other base of lowly castes, assembled around him and became his disciple. The persons gave him the title of "Fat'h Shah"

This states that that the followers of Bandha were banjaras and low castes. So if the Jatts had been around en-masse in Sikhi since the 6th Master they would have been mentioned here. They are not.

pg 163-2 - Bandha Bahadhurs Followers

he (Bandha) in a very short time completed the building of a stone fort of great strength at the foot of the Siwalik Hills near Shahdaura (Sadhaura), of which he had laid the foundations. He made the fort his seat, and sent his officials to administer every city and village far and near.
Strange it was how through God decreed fate, the courage and bravery of the inhabitants of those places had departed. If a lowly sweeper or cobbler (chamar), more impure than whom there is no caste (qaum) in Hindustan, went to attend on that rebel, he would be appointed to govern his own town and would return with an order (sanad) of office of government in his hand. The moment he stepped into the territory, or town, or village, all the gentry and notables went out to receive him, and after his alightining at his house, stood with folded hands before him. Since that man of low nature would have information about the real condition of all houses, what unprecedented impositions did they not inflict on the better-places persons of that place and what cruelty did they not invent! No Hindu or Muslim could have the power to see, or hear of, such cruelty. He (the official sent by Banda) would demand whatever precious goods were in anyone's house and deposit it in the ill-destined treasury of the Guru. No person could oppose his orders. Such is the power of Almighty that in the twinkling of an eye He can put such a lowly person in authority over a whole world of the high-born in such a manner that so many thousands of persons who had displayed bravery in so many manly contests, became help, became helpless and lost even the courage to speak in front of that single man


Here the author states that Bandha’s administrators were Chamars. If the Jatts were already in Sikhi en-masse the author would have stated Bandha has appointed Jatts. He does not.

Pp 671-2

Although from lower castes of Hindu's countless people like ants and locusts had gathered round him (Bandha) and lost no time in getting killed or coming into battle for his sake, yet they did not harm such Hindu's of high status as Khatri's of the Punjab, who were colluding in the plans and designs of that rebel (Bandha) or the Jats, famous for their bravery, who were supporting and joining the army of that doomed one

Look at the time frame now. Jatts start joining Bandha. The author would have stated that the Jatts were leading and key not colluding and joining.

See my point? What I am saying is that if Jatts were there en-masse from the start by the time of Bandha Bahadhur they would be mentioned as being with Bandha en-masse. They are not.


Guru Nanak may have chosen to reject the Khatri caste but I do not believe the Khatris would have left there caste in numerous numbers. I have not seen evidence to conclude that. In rejecting there caste and Hinduism wouldn't the Khatris have suffered the same ridicule from the Brahmans and others? Khande di Pahul would have made little difference in that case. Unless you're saying that Sikhism was accepted by the Hindu fold and khande di pahul was not acceptable?


You are missing the point. Up until Khandhay dha Pahul, Sikhism was seen by Hindu’s and Hinduism (albeit a sect), when they saw that Khandhay dha Pahul was actually creating a different faith and terms such as “brotherhood” were being used it was unacceptable. Ok, it may have been acceptable and sit next to a low caste in a communual kitchen, but sharing Amrit from the same bowl was too much. So when analysing this point, we must keep things in historical context.



McLeod states that the Jatts came at the time of the 6th Guru, I contend they were there from the first Guru and they were majority from then. From the beginning.


They were there in small numbers. There is NO evidence to state they were there en masse.

Evidence that contradicts this is:

Sikh History From Persian Sources
Varan Bhai Gurdas
Jagjit Singh - http://www.globalsikhstudies.net Jagjit Singh. The Jats and Sikh militarization


Bhai Gurdas's Varan contains the names of every member in the Sikh community? As I recall it only contained 100 names. To use that and say the majority of the community was Khatri doesn't sound right to me. In the Dabistan-i-Mazhib it states that Guru Hargobind had a large standing cavalry which was more numerous than 100 people and referring back to the start, the Jatts also made up the majority of the masands.


The Masand point is erroneous and irrelevant. Jatts made up one portion of the masands. Masands were from many different castes. Many were Khatri’s whom tried to revert back to Hinduism, hence their abolition by the 10th Master.

100 names of leading SIKH’s. You cannot just dismiss this document my friend. This recalls the names of people of importance at that time. If Jatts were a majority they would have been mentioned. They are not.


Many dismiss the Jats as a later entry, when evidence from records lends to the notion that the Jats were the majority from the beginning. Based on location of Kartarpur (and towns located near it), Baburnama, and exerpts from the Dabistan-i-Mazahib.


Dabistan e Mazhib actually does not confirm that Jatts were in a majority in Sikhism. If you speak to any of my relatives they would make people belive that Jatts started Sikhism, and when I present the facts they get a bit upset.

Just because Jatts were surrounding an area, does not mean they took to the religion. Jesus started Christianity with a few Jews in Jerusalem, and was surrounded by Jews, yet most Christian did not come from the Jews. So one point does not follow the other.

Baburnama does not make any comments on Sikhs.

Jatts may have been a majority in the area, but their entry into Sikhi en masse was around the 18th and 19th Century:

An Account of the Sikh 1808 - Imadu's Sa'adat by Saiyad Ghulam Ali Khan Naqavi (completed 1808)

page 214 Chapter 19 - Sikh History From Persian Sources

pp 70-71 Short Account of the Genesis of the Sect of Sikhs in Hindustan

Completely moving away from their path of God-worship, the Sikhs began to devote all their courage to conquest of the country, the pillage of the cities and districts (parganas) and highway robbery. Although in the time of Tegh Bahadhur thay had taken to these ways, there was not then this much of tumult. Finally, now (1808 AD) the whole country of the Punjab up to the Attock River (Indus), and this side up to Multan, and from the banks of the Sutlej to Karnal, outside the Punjab, which (i.e. Karnal) is forty seven Kurohs (kurohs or kos = 2.5 miles) distant from Shahjahanabad (Delhi), all of it, is in the possession of this sect. Their leaders of high dignity are mostly from the lower classes, such as carpenters, shoemakers and Jats. They are the enemy to the hookhah-smoker, but take pot after pot of hemp (bang = Bhang)















Here is the composition of Sikhs in 1808:

An Account of the Sikh 1808 - Imadu's Sa'adat by Saiyad Ghulam Ali Khan Naqavi (completed 1808)

page 214 Chapter 19 - Sikh History From Persian Sources

pp 70-71 Short Account of the Genesis of the Sect of Sikhs in Hindustan

Completely moving away from their path of God-worship, the Sikhs began to devote all their courage to conquest of the country, the pillage of the cities and districts (parganas) and highway robbery. Although in the time of Tegh Bahadhur thay had taken to these ways, there was not then this much of tumult. Finally, now (1808 AD) the whole country of the Punjab up to the Attock River (Indus), and this side up to Multan, and from the banks of the Sutlej to Karnal, outside the Punjab, which (i.e. Karnal) is forty seven Kurohs (kurohs or kos = 2.5 miles) distant from Shahjahanabad (Delhi), all of it, is in the possession of this sect. Their leaders of high dignity are mostly from the lower classes, such as carpenters, shoemakers and Jats. They are the enemy to the hookhah-smoker, but take pot after pot of hemp (bang = Bhang)
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
H Singh

Regarding Jatt conversions to Sikhism: The following is a break up of the Jat population from a 1925 census in India, notice that it is pre-partition.

Religion Jat Population %
Hinduism 47%
Sikhism 2o%
Islam 33%

What we can notice is that almost half of Jats remain Hindu and a significant portion Muslim. Sikhism has the smallest proportion. It is a valid question to ask if this percentage is actually smaller now due to the deaths from WW2, partition and the 1984 onwards in which large numbers perished.


The relationship between Jats and Sikhism is more complex then it might seem on the surface. I don't agree with your analysis that Jats were numerically dominant from Guru Nanak's time. There is nothing to support this other then conjecture. Even anecdotal information point at followers coming from diverse backgrounds. Remember Guru Nanak travelled for long periods out of the Panjab too.


I am however inclined to disagree with Randip on the make up of the panth during Guru Arjan Dev's time. I think at this time Jats had formed a significant portion of the panth as indicated in Dabistan. This is not to say they wee numerically dominant but that their representation was significant. However I don't agree that they were responsible for the miltarisation of the panth and an entry in Dabistan from a "Sikh covert" of convenience gives a very insulting account of Jats as {censored}s. However I believe it was about this time that Jats got their first taste of leadership in the panth as masands (ironically this very institute was outlawed later by Guru Gobind Singh due to corruption).

In my opinion the relationship between Jats and Sikhism has always been fluid . Ganda Singh, in a book written with Teja Singh called A Short History of Sikhs, mentions Jats of a certain area having turned against Guru Gobind Singh.

Madra and Singh's "Siques, Tigers or Thieves" give a rarely used account of a battle between the Khalsa and Jat forces in about 1770 given by Francis Xavier Wendel.

So the position seems to be that Jats who converted to Sikhs had to fight their own Jat brethren under the flag of the Khalsa.

I agree with Randip's assertion that a surge of Jatt converts entered the fold under Banda Singh . I think some of these differed from religious converts in that they saw in Banda's rebellion an opportunity to strike back at an oppressive government and this motivated their conversion rather than deeply felt faith.

In a modern context, Jats within Sikhi themselves seem to have become torn between pro-Indian government Jats (i.e. KPS Gill, General Brar and the bulk of Punjab Police) and those who had a more anti establishment perspective (i.e. Kharkoos).


About the Dasam Granth Question: I think parts are by Dasmesh Pita and others not. It is entirely likely that he sanctioned all of the contents and that some are simply translations of Hindu mythology and other literature by the famous 52 bards. See if I get excommunicated for these comments!


Hi,

I think the point I am trying to make is that to climb a high mountain it takes a man a bit of time and he has to stop to acclimatise.

With Jatts and Sikhi this was the case. It took them time to acclimatise to Sikhi, first a few, then more, and by the death of Bandha the Jatts were fully acclimatised and saw no difference between their Jatt identity and Sikh identity.

One has to put history into persepective.

You are correct about Dabistan and its rather annoying and insulting portrayal of jatts. Something I had to take in deep breaths when reading. However, in order to win the battle one must study the enemy. The writers of Dabistan certainly were no friends of Sikhs.
 

dalsingh

SPNer
Hi,

I think the point I am trying to make is that to climb a high mountain it takes a man a bit of time and he has to stop to acclimatise.

With Jatts and Sikhi this was the case. It took them time to acclimatise to Sikhi, first a few, then more, and by the death of Bandha the Jatts were fully acclimatised and saw no difference between their Jatt identity and Sikh identity.

One has to put history into persepective.

You are correct about Dabistan and its rather annoying and insulting portrayal of jatts. Something I had to take in deep breaths when reading. However, in order to win the battle one must study the enemy. The writers of Dabistan certainly were no friends of Sikhs.

Hi Randip

I disagree, I think the person who wrote Dabistan was a very open minded and scholarly person. The views we are talking about weren't his own but that of a contemporary.

Regarding Jatt/Sikh identity. I think they are at crossroads in many parts of the west. The ideology of caste discrimination and racial superiority which underpins much of "Sikh" Jatt culture, is becoming increasingly unacceptable and undefendable. There are die hards of course, but I just wonder how long this thing will last in an environment where such views are viewed with disdain? In Panjab itself, if the discrimination continues to its logical conclusion, then the ground is likely to be set for some serious movement like the civil rights one in America, one day. I think it is all Sikhs job to condemn this ****.

YouTube - Bant Singh can still sing

YouTube - OUTCASTE
 

pk70

Writer
SPNer
Very good debate and very informatory, I applaud all members to participate in it without losing cool. History is always fascinating and it inspires to dig down from a lot of cover up.
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
Hi Randip

I disagree, I think the person who wrote Dabistan was a very open minded and scholarly person. The views we are talking about weren't his own but that of a contemporary.

Sorry, I meant in "Sikh History from Persian" sources there is some degrading stuff said about Jatts. Not nice. You are right it was not part of Dabistan


Regarding Jatt/Sikh identity. I think they are at crossroads in many parts of the west. The ideology of caste discrimination and racial superiority which underpins much of "Sikh" Jatt culture, is becoming increasingly unacceptable and undefendable. There are die hards of course, but I just wonder how long this thing will last in an environment where such views are viewed with disdain? In Panjab itself, if the discrimination continues to its logical conclusion, then the ground is likely to be set for some serious movement like the civil rights one in America, one day. I think it is all Sikhs job to condemn this ****.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxSdru59NVshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tglRANwmtfQ

From my understanding in History of Sikhs....Sikhism has gone through many schisms........

Example......even in the zenith of Jatt Sikh power, the two many people that held the power within Sikhi were the two Jassa Singh's (a Kalal and a Carpenter), YET who emerged victorious, a person in the shadows in the form of Maaharaja Ranjit Singh of Jatt heritage (I know some argue he was not Jatt, because of the Sansi connection).

Under Bandha, Bajaras and Dalits formed the backbone with Jatts joining up fast.......however, the followers (Banjaras and Dalits especially), were murdered en masse with entire families and generations being obliterated, yet still they had the die hard spirit, like that Dalit you showed in the film had. Remarkable.

In the Gullighara's, no one suffered more than Jatt clans, that were completely obliterated and wiped out.........yet they emerged stronger and victorious. The never say die spirit.

Truly amazing.
 

dalsingh

SPNer
I concur. However I feel that as a community we do not do enough to combat casteism . We need to start addressing it.
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
I concur. However I feel that as a community we do not do enough to combat casteism . We need to start addressing it.


I agree, castism is a masive problem. People blame the Jats, but it is equally prevalent in other groups.

Here is some further reading from the writing od Jagjit Singh:

http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Sikh_Revolution.pdf

He diseminates Mcleod throughout and on the topic we discussed here 263 onwards on Militerisation.
 

dalsingh

SPNer
I agree, castism is a masive problem. People blame the Jats, but it is equally prevalent in other groups.

Here is some further reading from the writing od Jagjit Singh:

http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Sikh_Revolution.pdf

He diseminates Mcleod throughout and on the topic we discussed here 263 onwards on Militerisation.

Thanks for the link.

I don't know about your point though. By far, the most casteist SIkhs I have met have been Jats but maybe I am meeting an unrepresentative section?
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
Thanks for the link.

I don't know about your point though. By far, the most casteist SIkhs I have met have been Jats but maybe I am meeting an unrepresentative section?

I think you are....they are probably the loudest about it, but I have met other groups such as Ramgarhia, Khatri, Labhana, Bhatra etc who are quiet about it, but quietly zelouse in their enforcement of caste. They are more subtle and sinister IMHO (I hope I don't offend anyone).....my family are pretty mixed with Jatts and other groups such and Ramgarhia, Khatri, Rajpoot etc.
 

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