"Arey! Saradar Ji, aapke 12 baj gaye kya?"
The most common joke we crack whenever we see a Sikh is the fact that they go crazy after the clock hits 12. Regardless of whatever the event is, humor is incomplete without a Sardar joke, right? But have you ever queried what is the story behind this joke?
I often hear quips on this which influenced me to find the real reason behind it. I looked into and came through some totally unknown facts behind this tale. I am certain if the Sikhs knew the genuine story, they would be pleased to be referred to as the '12 o'clock individuals', and the general population would respect them with deference.
So, let me take you to the time when all it began amid the seventeenth century.
Way back in the 17th century, Nader Shah's army invaded Hindustan. Nader Shah, King of Persia, crossed the frontier and swept down towards New Delhi and the worst affected were the Hindu people, who were humiliated and treated like animals.
He was the first invader who was here only to plunder and kill, with no intention of staying. His troops reached Delhi, where they killed 1,50,000 people, both Hindus and Sikhs. According to Speaking Tree, he looted India and was carrying a lot of Indian treasure and more than 2000 Hindu women along with him.
The Hindu women were exploited as a property of the army. But the worst part was that they were forced to accept Islam or else get slaughtered. Many of the women at that time chose to die.
The news spread like fire and was heard by Sardar Jassa Singh who was the Commander of the Sikh army at that time. Sikhs were very few in numbers while the army of Nader was in hundreds of thousands. So, Sardar Jassa Singh decided to attack the army at midnight.
It was once, when Shah's army along with the captive Hindu women, were crossing a river, they decided to rest for the night. All the Sikhs nearby then made a plan to attack the army at night and free the captive Hindu women.
Despite them being much less in number in comparison to Shah's army, they decided to attack at the peak of the night. They believed that maybe it would give them a chance over the sleeping army.
Though they were successful in rescuing the Hindu women and sending them off running with a few Sikh men to a safe location, the remaining stayed behind to fight the army.
The army mocked those martyrs, calling them fools to make an attempt to attack a huge army with a few men in hand.
Initially, instead of being grateful for their heroism, some people would say that the Sikhs are in their senses only at night.
To all those who didn't know this part of the story, I guess you know now. The Sikhs should be proud of the 12 o'clock incident, because of them, the dignity of India and its women was restored.
I hope you liked the story.
If you have an interesting story to share, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org