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"12 Baj gaye" Jokes on Sikhs the fact check

We've made fun of them, we've laughed at them and we've even bully them on occasion. Sardar jokes have long been a staple of comedy in India. Baarah baje jokes, in fact, form a major chunk.

But how many of us have ever wondered about the origin of these baarah baje jokes? Because if you knew where the 12 o'clock story meets the Sikh tradition, you wouldn't have dared another such joke for the rest of your life and may be go in guilt for doing so.

The real reason behind the Sikh & 12 baj gaye association comes from Nadir Shah's invasion of India. In the 1700s, his troops passed through Punjab after plundering Delhi and massacring thousands of Hindus and Muslims and taking women captive along the way.

The Sikhs strategised to attack Shah's camp and free the captive women. But since they were grossly outnumbered by his huge army, the Sikhs refrained from a frontal attack.

Instead, they used to surprise them with midnight guerrilla raids on their settlements and free as many women as they could, and return them to safety.

Over the years, the Hindus saying for fun that the Sikhs are in their senses only at midnight, gave rise to the now common derogatory brand of Sikh jokes with the baarah baje theme.

But the truth remains that if it weren't for the Sikhs, countless Indian women would've been dishonoured and exiled. And those that make these jokes in ignorance ought to know just how much we owe them.

I sure hope that with this, jokes aside, we as a nation grow more compassion and gratitude towards giving the Sikh community the respect it really deserves.

PS:- One more fact, Sikhs don't beg. Instead lot of Gurudwara's through out the world serve food to needy always.

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