Tag Archive: Indian culture


Bhishma for me symbolizes purity and eternal wisdom.  Someone who is the guiding force in the family. I came across few line which showed Indian people’s admiration for him. The line are as follows :

  • If there is some sea one needs to bath in-order to be one with his spirit, then one would do so.
  • If there is some Mountain one needs to climb in-order to be one with his spirit ,then one would do so.
  • If there is some pilgrimage one needs to make in-order to be one with his spirit ,then one would do so.
  • If there is some fire one needs to walk through in-order to be one with his spirit,then one would do so
  • If there is some sacrifice one needs to make in-order to be one with his spirit,then one would do so.

To be one with the noble spirit of Bhishma is the desire and dream of every warrior because there is no greater character who sacrificed everything and yet remained true to the rules or as they say to warrior code (kshatriya Dharma) , even when those rules caused him terrible misery and eventually a painful death.

I, like every child growing up in 1990s watched Mahabharata being telecast on India channel (Doordarshan to be exact) . There were usually fights over who the better fighter was in Mahabharata, Arjun or Karna or Bhima. Some even said that Krishna should be also included into list. The story dates back to the time of 4000 B.C (now whether it is real story or not, one would not discuss but it was a story none the less). So when on those Sunday mornings it use to get telecast in Tv channels. Everyone use to be ready. One of our family friend’s son who was couple of years younger than me got so much impressed that he changed his name to Arjun. Much like it happens in childhood, I wanted my name changed too. I suggested Arjun but I was told that it was already taken. In reality my parents never wanted to change the name but were amused and were looking for some entertainment. When I suggested Karna, the reply was one of your uncle is karna, so no.  The whole idea about the name change was associated with the personality of the being or the fact who was greater warrior. Someone who could beat Arjun too (the supposedly the best warrior which we knew or I knew)

Then during one of the episodes I observed a man very old and wearing everything white, but  nobody wants to be old. Fortunately there was a story behind and the whole episode had its video series too.  I though of knowing about him more well,  the elders did narrate that he was Bhishma and he was the grand-father of  kauravas and Pandavas, in short he could spank them all (nice :)). I thought of knowing more about him, so I watched the starting episodes and discussed with others. It came to being that he chose to give always the right to the throne so that his father could marry a fisher-woman. The most notable point being that he was the son of Ganga, the most sacred river for Hindus and Indians. His father shantanu was king of hastinapur ,a powerful kingdom in north India.

The story of his life was such that he  abstained from throne so that his father could marry a fisher-woman since the fisher-woman’s father wanted his to-be (unborn) grandson to sit at the throne of Hastinapur which was certainly not possible when Bhishma (or Devavratha as he was originally known) was there as crown prince. Bhishma then took the vow of not marrying so that his off-spring might not stake a claim on the throne later. This vow at that time was called to be a rare one and a AKHAND Pratigya (unbreakable vow). It was much to the disappointment and frustration of his father , who blamed himself till the end of his time, for doing this to his son.

He took the another vow that anybody who sits on the throne of Hastinapur will be in synonym with his father’s position. Therefore he would do (Bhishma) as the king will commanded and his loyalty will be to the throne alone and none so ever. The second vow that he took became a reason for concern since Dhitrashtra (the blind king and father of Duryodhan) was not able to take right decisions owing to his love to his ever angry, egoistic son Duryodhan who was incited by his shakuni uncle (who was the crown prince of Gandhar or Bactira or Presently known as Afghanistan).

What followed was a war that nearly destroyed the entire India/ Bharat as it was called then and the epic war in India was called “Mahabharata” or “the great Indian war “. In short Bhishma was the epitome of culture and tradition in the ancient India. Though his act to look other way when Draupati (The queen of Pandavas) was been stripped naked by the kauravas is seen with contempt and anger. Here too it is said that it was his two vows that he took that made him incapable of stopping such an act. It was then left to Krishna to stop  kauravas from outraging the modesty of Draupati.

There was another instance when his half-brother was insulted in a marriage ceremony by the brides father (the king of other kingdom) by not inviting in the swamwar ( where a bride can choose their own groom). Apparently the act was done to insult Bhishma and Hastinapur by the king’s family. It was  a revenge act to get even as the king’s father was insulted when he had proposed the marriage of his daughter to Bhishma. Whereas Bhishma’s father Shantanu had laughed off that matter ( showing that there was huge class difference between both the kings). This act of insult to his half-brother did not go down well with Bhishma and he single-handedly went and captured three princess who were to get married in swamwar in order to get them married to his half-brother in the presence of all the princes of India present there and the king himself. (and none were able to do anything)

The three sisters were namely ambika, amballika and Amba. Salwa, the ruler of Saubala, and Amba (the eldest princess) were in love. Upon reaching Hastinapura, Amba confided in Bhishma that she wished to wed Salwa. Bhishma then sent her back to Salwa who turned her down as it was humiliating for a man to accept a woman who had been so long in the company of another man. She then naturally approached Bhishma for marriage who refused her, citing his oath. Amba, humiliated and enraged beyond measure, vowed to avenge herself against Bhishma even if it meant being reborn over and over again.Burning for vengeance all those years ago, Amba had left Hastinapur and gone into the forest, where she sought the shelter of the sages. With their help she worshipped Lord Shiv to gain the boon she wanted: To cause Bhishma’s death.

Years passed and Amba performed the most austere and extreme austerities to please Shiva. Finally, Lord Shiva appeared and asked her what she desired. She requested a body whereby she would be able to destroy Bhishma. Shiva granted her wish. Bowing before him, Amba surrendered her body into the sacred fire so that she may be reborn according to Shiva‘s blessing.

Amba took rebirth and was a reason for the death of Bhishma in the battle of Mahabharata.Amba was reborn as Shikandi, with full memory of his past life and vendetta against Bhishma. His body was male but his mind was female and thus Shikandi gained notoriety in the kingdom for being not quite male or female but both. During the ninth day of battle it was observed that till Bhishma is there kauravas will never lose but neither will Bhishma defeat Pandavas as he considered them as grandchildren just like kauravas.The war was thus locked in a stalemate. As the Pandavas pondered over this situation, Krishna advised them to visit Bhishma himself and ask him to suggest a way out of this stalemate. Bhishma knew in his heart that the Pandavas were righteous and chaste, and that he stood as the greatest obstacle in their path to victory, so when they visited Bhishma, he told them that if faced by an other gender that is a gender which has both features of a male and female in battle he would stop to fight and not lift weapons against her.

Therefore on tenth day of battle shikhandi accompanied Arjun (The favorite grandson of Bhishma). Upon seeing shikhandi Bhishma knew that he could not shoot him as it was Amba.(she had taken rebirth half man and half woman). Krishna provoked Arjun to shoot Bhishma. So Arjun shot Bhishma reluctantly with arrows and a death-bed was created for Bhishma. Bhishma was given a death wish by his father when he took those vows that he could choose the time of his death. Therefore till the time war was not over Bhishma laid there on the arrows, shot by Arjun. In all this event Bhishma was very proud of Arjun showing his ability (In reality Arjun wouldn’t have stood a second in front of him had he not disarmed himself). None the less this was the personality of Bhishma. Once in a war he deliberately struck Krishna with an arrow so that Krishna could take up arms and break his vow of not fighting for anyone. In a fit of rage Krishna had even ran with a wheel in his hand to kill Bhishma ( Bhishma being more than willing to die by hands of Krishna, but it was Arjun who stopped Krishna from Killing bhishma falling on his feet). There is a pic to depict whole act. The pic stands out for me in whole of Mahabharata.

Therefore back to the debate over choosing what to be. I finally was able to decide and it was Bhishma.  As far as name goes well Bhishma’s real name was Devavratha , so it really doesn’t matters that what the name is. It is the actions and more importantly the personality that matters. It was said his personality was the best that could be, fit for kings. Therefore the best man, but yes the catch being not the one made for marriage.

Bhishma on Mangement :

To be honest Mahabharat  has more to do with understanding the personality of character than  management these characters did. Still however every character had a distinct set of rules of getting things done. In the case of Bhishma it is more in terms of ethics. He was a very ethical man for whom rule and principles were supreme.He was an idealist but it was his vow towards Hastinapur that led him not to act on certain situations causing outrage among masses sometimes.

If one wishes to identity any manager with him, then he would be one who worked hard to create an organization on ideal principles.

Bhishma in today’s world :

Now this was a tricky one though I went around and tried to get a feel of the situation as to what people in India think about that, therefore it was two candidates which were narrowed. Both are from strong political parties in India namely Congress and BJP. The names are Dr. Manmohan Singh from congress and Atal Bihari Vajpayee from BJP. Without doubt both are statesmen and honorable people and I somehow felt they were right in today’s time to be named as Bhishma.

However, about who is the Bhishma of Indian Business world. I sensed that I always knew that answer. It is Ratan Naval Tata.

 ps: One knows that one cannot be an exact replica of bhishma but as far as I am concern, he is the only hero for me in entire Mahabharata and everybody wants to emulate their heroes. Isn’t it… ?

Plus on naming present day people who are close to or might resemble characters well, I doubt that I might have the wisdom to always come out with a name or even write. Now nobody wants to get spanked by naming someone a Duryodhan ( Though wise people will always be able to find such characters 🙂 )

Nusrat Fateh Ali khan

Nusrat fateh ali khan is a name synonym with Sufi music in south-Asia. Many like me were introduced to Sufi philosophy and music via his singing. I remember first listening to him in 1997 , that was time when many of his albums were launched in India and many music channels use to play his music.  I for one loved his remarkable ability to sing in his high pitch and selfless devotion to Allah ( God or Ram or any other name you call it).

The first song if I could remember properly, it was afreen-afreen which became a sensation in India and Lisa Ray, the female model in it became a symbolic beauty. His singing not only brought happiness but I can say it showed that how India-Pakistan are so close culturally inspite of hating each other deeply. The various raags that he use to practice and the qawali could be found in India’s sufi shrines to government functions being enjoyed by all people ranging from different walks of life.

I donot deny the fact, when I was a child  I was also filled with emotions to bomb Pakistan and kill everyone who  would harm my country but it was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s music that amounted for so much dilemma in not able to understand that how can such contradictions lie in one place (But then Osama story did help in sorting out that confusion). The irony being that apart from religion both countries having the same ethnic groups. Sufi music did certainly played its part and so did Nusrat fateh Ali Khan in bringing closer  both nations, even though detractors might remain.

His songs were based on both god and appreciation of god’s creativity. Like a true poet and a musician many were based on women (argued by poets as the best creation of god). His song kina sona tenu rabb ne banaaya ( How beautiful the lord has made you) was another one his many songs on women appreciating them and their beauty. That song was remixed to add it the “modern” touch (which I think would have been fine without that “touch” ). Though his song Tere bin is one of my all time favorites.

The best of his qawalis which have been recorded are in public gathering and still 14 Years after his death he remains to be the face of Sufi singing in sub-continent and outsells many others in this genre of music. His nephew Rahat Nusrat fateh ali Khan is taking the music forward. Many his songs are also good but I had always had a liking for Nusrat fateh ali khan more. His music brings out a selfless devotion (now that devotion could be used for anything). I have also read that his fore-fathers use to sing for Mughals in Mughal courts.

There are many things which bind India and Pakistan , same ethnicity, common heritage, culture and most notably Sufism. A sect within Islam which adheres to peace and plurality and doesn’t enforces anything. There are songs where Allah-Ram are made synonym. Words like “Kafir” or the non-believer are not here as all are considered equal and no religion greater or weaker.

Though, I also know that it is the north India which is more into it culturally and Delhi is considered its hub, but regions in south-India like aiyappa temple, one can also see sufism present. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s songs talking about various relationships are equally soothing and enlightening. Particularly if I could assess my life till now, listening his song is like a spiritual bath you take,cleansing you soul of all the dirt in this world. Much like in day to day life one has take that bath daily in-order to avoid being sick of some disease and remove the dirt from the body. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is a remarkable voice which one could hear for long hours. The only down side, it is so addicting that you might forget anything else. My advice to all those drunks and “lovers”, move over that self-made experience and listen to him. The ecstasy that you will find, will be beyond anything that you have ever felt.

On 14 Jan of every year the whole of Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra get submerged in celebrating a festival which is one of a kind in the world. All across India 14 Jan is celebrated as “makar-sakranti” which is celebrated the day when the sun starts to travel northwards marking the decline of winter. The days become longer, the skies clearer and the breeze cooler.

Though Gujarat boast of more than 2000 festivals but this festival stands out, trespassing religions and now even borders. It is the day when the skies in Gujarat are filled with colorful kites of all shapes and sizes. People from all the backgrounds irrespective of Geography, caste and creed come together and celebrate it.

International visitors have come from countless countries, including Japan, Italy, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, the USA, Malaysia, Singapore, France, China, and many more.

As Rajul Doshi points out : “This is one day when everybody forgets their worries and other jobs, comes out on their terrace and make the most of the day.”

Historically Uttarayan has had been a part of Gujarat’s identity since centuries and recent efforts by the Gujarat govt in showcasing it is only adding to its charm and glory. The way the festival is being celebrated has also come long way.

Dhawal Shah points it out well “Modernization in terms of the Chinese kites n tread (manjha) seems to have become a norm now.”  The festival has gained so much importance that manufacturing of Kites has become a serious business, additionally since the Gujarat Govts’ initiative to make it International Kite Festival inviting people across the globe, its growth outside the state of Gujarat is rapidly increasing and in future course of time it would be not limited to a region.

Kites at the market at Dilli Diwaraja – in Ahmedabad in the western Indian state of Gujarat – which is open 24 hours a day leading up to the Uttarayan Kite Festival in mid January every year. by Meena Kadri

Dhawal also points out that “it should be made more popular among youth in India for which aggressive marketing is required so that it could be as grand as Christmas itself and as it reflects traditional and cultural aspects of Gujarat. It should be preserved and maintained to sustain Gujarati culture.”

The food is as special as the festival, families have undhayu, jalebi fafda bhajiya dhokla and hot masala milk which are served especially for the day.

The excitement of this festival is not just in the day. The nights see the arrival of the illuminated box kites, often in a series strung on one line, to be launched into the sky. Known as tukkals, these kites add a touch of splendor to the dark sky. It is a festival truly to watch out for those interested in “Incredible India”.

Not many in India know about the the Aghoris, those who know keep a distance from them, since many consider them dangerous and a mirror image of Hindu Lord Shiva. They are suppose to live on the edge having renounced everything which is material and are general known as sadhus.

They are higher than any priest in the ladder of the Hindu varna system but their way of living scares away alot of people but none the less they are respected immensely in India.

The various activities of aghoris have a purpose of embracing pollution through various practices is nothing but the realization of non-duality through transcending social taboos, and seeing the illusory nature of all conventional categories. The Aghoris are not to be confused with the shivnetras, who are also ardent devotees of Shiva but do not indulge in extreme ritual worship practices known to some extent as Tamasic (rituals involving some or all of the following: meat eating, alcohol drinking, consumption of beverages and foods with opiates, hallucinogens and cannabis products as key ingredients, cannibalism, residing in cremation grounds, and Tantric sexual rituals). Although they enjoy close ties with the shivnetras, netras are a complete opposite of the aghoris and are purely Sattvic in nature and worship.

The Cannibalism in aghoris seems to be a major drawing point for many foreigners and researchers all across the globe. In essence, Aghoris base their beliefs on two principles: that Shiva is perfect and that Shiva is responsible for everything. Shiva is thought to be responsible for every rock, tree, animal, and thought. Consequently, everything that exists must be perfect, and to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny the sacredness of all life in its full manifestation, as well as deny God/Goddess and the demigods’ perfection. Aghoris eat any form of food and intoxicants, engage in a variety of sexual practices, ritually and otherwise, and also meditate on dead bodies for some rituals as prescribed in Hindu Tantric holy scriptures.

The Aghori ascetic is himself a symbol of the God Shiva in Shiva’s form as Bhairava. The main symbol which makes him distinct from other sadhus is the skull cup he uses as a begging bowl. He goes naked or wears the shroud of a corpse, covers himself in the ashes of the cremation ground and always has his hair disheveled or in matted dreadlocks. If an aghori uses a corpse as part of his ritual worship, the corpse upon which he meditates, it is a symbol of his own body and the corpse-devouring ritual is a symbol of the transcendence of his lower self and a realization of the greater, all pervading Self that is universal consciousness.

Another symbol of the aghori, which ties him to the affiliation of Bhairava and links aghoris together with other Saiva and Sakta traditions, is the trident.

The three pronged trident staff in Tantric Hinduism, which aghoris follow, is a symbol representing the three constituents of which Shiva and/or Shakti first creates the universe: iccha shakti (power of will/desire/intention), jnana shakti (power of knowledge – the preconceived architectural design of the universe), and kriya shakti (the power of action).

Place to find Aghoris

In order to locate a aghori you need to be at the holiest of the places in India namely varanasi In Uttar Pradesh or on the sides of the Holy river Ganga , you could find them in Uttrakhand ( or Uttranchal as it is also know) , a state in northern India which boasts of the spiritual tourism in India. They reside on the fringes of the the human population, they are out of the limits of the cities but may wander sometimes into it for some amusement or food. Though most of them seem to be hostile but some of them are nice when you approach them. They can tell you alot about their customs and practices but still one would advice caution while talking to them. A certainly a mark of respect needs to be shown to them because you don’t want an angry aghori around you.

They have always mesmerized many people in and out side of India with their behavior and rituals.  As people will keep on looking for  path of uniting with god ,we would certainly find them amongst us for many millennium to come as they have existed since many millenniums.

Jats in general

Jat

ETHNONYMS: Jāṭ, Jaṭ, Jatt

Orientation


Identification and Location.  Jat live predominantly in large parts of northern and northwestern India and in southern and eastern Pakistan, as sedentary farmers and warriors ( with some are pastorals).  Jat is a race much like the Irish, Ossetians, KurdsYakuts, Kazakhs  and the pashtuns.  In India most of these communities are integrated as a caste into the locally prevalent caste system, so that they could be accommodated in Hinduism (as Hinduism is considered a religion by default for all Indians).However, a Jat can be a Sikh, Hindu or a Muslim (Christian and Buddhist too in some case).

Their population is  mostly concentrated in the regions of Jammu, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/ Harit Pradesh, Parts of Madhya Pradesh, kutch in Gujrat and Delhi.In Pakistan, they are in Pakistan Punjab, Baluchistan, Kashmir and sindh region.In the past century increasing population pressure on land has led to large-scale emigration of the peasant Jat, especially from India, to North America, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and more recently the Middle East. Within India many rural Jats had started to look towards Urban settlements in hope for better lifestyle and jobs.

As per some researchers, sedentary farming Jat and the nomadic pastoral Jats (in gujrat as claimed by researchers and documentary makers) are of entirely different origins; few believe that the two groups are of the same stock but that they developed different life-styles over the centuries. Neither the farmers nor the pastoralists are, however, to be confused with other distinct communities of peddlers, artisans, and entertainers designated in Afghanistan by the blanket terms “Jat” or Jaṭ.

The latter terms are considered pejorative, and they are rejected as ethnonyms by these peripatetic communities. In Pakistan also, among the Baluchi- and Pashto-speaking populations, the terms were, and to a certain extent still are, used to indicate contempt and lower social status.

Demography. No reliable figures are available for recent years. In 1931 the population of all sedentary and farming Jat was estimated at 8,377,819; in the early 1960s 8,000,000 was the estimate for Pakistan alone. Today the entire Jat population consists of several million more than that.

Linguistic Affiliation.

Jats speak languages and dialects that are closely connected with local spoken languages of the Indo-Iranian Group.  Arabic-derived Urdu is used by Jat Muslims, while Jat Sikhs and Jat Hindus use the Gurmukhi (Punjabi) and the Devanagari (Hindi) scripts, respectively.

History and Cultural Relations

Little is known about the early history of the Jat, although several theories were advanced by various scholars over the last 200 years. Some authors argue that they are descendants of the first Indo-Aryans, others suggest that they are of Indo-Scythian stock and entered India toward the beginning of the Christian era. These authors also point to some cultural similarities between the Jat and certain other major communities of the area, such as the Gurjar, the Ahir, and the Rajput, about whose origins similar theories have been suggested.

In fact, among both Muslims and Sikhs the Jat and the Rajput castes enjoy almost equal status—partly because of the basic egalitarian ideology enjoined by both religions, but mainly because of the similar political and economic power held by both communities. Hindu Jat consider the Gujar and Ahir as allied castes; except for the rule of caste endogamy, there are no caste restrictions between these three communities.

In other scholarly debates about the origins of the Jat, attempts have been made to identify them with the Jarttikā, referred to in the Hindu epic the Mahābhārata. Some still maintain that the people Arab historians referred to as the ZuṠṠ, and who were taken as prisoners in the eighth century from Sindh in present-day southern Pakistan to southern Iraq, were actually buffalo-herding Jat, or were at least known as such in their place of origin.

Another scholarly view point stating that Jat race is a combination of Indo-greek, Scythians and Indo- Aryan stock (namely Mauryans of the Dynasty of Chandragupta Maurya, Grandfather of Great Ashoka). It was after many years of inter marrying that a new name and identity came into being which was collectively called as Jats.

Indo-Greek

This  view point seems to be more scientific and has a good logic unlike a certain community’s belief that they come from some fire etc. and proclaim themselves to be the ‘authentic‘ warriors from the bloodline of a ‘Brahminical god‘ whose name and existence is mythological (a way to subside their inferiority complex ,propagation of superstitious blind faith and to enslave masses).

With the arrival of Islam (both Salafi and Sufi) in 10 to 12 Century AD  many Jats converted to Islam and it lead to socioeconomic prosperity for them. For rest of Hindu Jats who were mostly peasants and pastorals (as Sikh religion was not born) the fight for empowerment and against exploitative condition was long and brutal in many ways (mainly by Priestly class which are known as Brahmins, from the hands of Ruling elite who claimed warrior status  (but their credentials are doubtful) and finally from Islamist who invaded and ruled India in subsequent centuries too ).

In the seventeenth century a (Hindu) kingdom was established in the area of Bharatpur and Dholpur (Rajasthan) in northern India; it was the outcome of many centuries of rebellion against the Mughal  Empire, and it lasted till 1826, when it was defeated by the forces of the British East India Company.

Farther north, in the Punjab, in the early years of the eighteenth century, Jat (mainly Sikh) organized peasant uprisings against the predominantly Muslim landed gentry; subsequently, with the invasion of the area—first by the Persian King Nadir Shah and then by the Afghan Ahmad Shah Abdali—they controlled a major part of the area through close-knit bands of armed marauders operating under the leadership of the landowning chiefs of well-defined territories.

A Sikh Jat became King of Entire Punjab for 40 years who was called Maharaja Ranjit Singh , he employed a policy of secularism where Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs lived in harmony from many years before Britishers annexed it in 1850.

Because of their martial traditions, the Jat, together with certain other communities, were classified by British administrators of imperial India as a “martial race,” and this term had certain long-lasting effects. One was their large-scale recruitment into the British-Indian army, and to this day a very large number of Jat are soldiers in the Indian army.

Many Sikh Jats in the Indian part of Punjab were involved in the  movement for the creation of an autonomous Khalistan, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (14th Chief of the Damdami Taksal )  was a Sikh Jat, it has been said that he was neither for and nor against the creation of Khalistan (though many of his followers were in favour for creation of Khalistan and considered him a spiritual leader for the movement) . Those who were Muslims were closely associated with the movement of Pakistan as the 1st prime-minister of Pakistan was Liaquat Ali Khan who was a Muslim Jat. India’s 5th prime-minister was Chaudhary Charan Singh who was a Hindu Jat.

Settlements

The Jat as a whole are predominantly rural. Over the last 400-500 years there has been increasing sedentarization of Jats; this trend increased rapidly in the last decades of the eighteenth century when many pastoralists settled in the central Punjab under the auspices of Sikh rule there owing to the philosophy of Sikhism (since earlier the Mughal rule did not favor them and their rule were draconian towards non-mu slims . Sikh rule brought about massive land reforms ).

This continued over a very large area with the expansion of irrigation in British imperial times. Before that some Jats were peasants but in few regions only.

Most Jat peasants lived in flat-roofed houses made of baked or unbaked bricks in large compact villages, with few open spaces within the inhabited area; all villages have cattle sheds, village commons, and wells or ponds. Depending on the region and the precise community, Jat  peasants used a variety of huts, mostly made of reed mats and wood, that are fairly easy to dismantle. The reed mats are woven by the women.

Kingdoms and Royalty

The royalty among Jat has been in existence for more than 1000 years (records could be found with the respective families) but after 1699 it rose rapidly as more warriors revolted against the Mughals and formed their respective kingdoms. Following is the list of some notable kings and queens among Jats

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Punjab

Madhya Pradesh

Kinship, Marriage, and Family

Kin Groups and Descent.

All Jat are divided into several large, usually dispersed clans. Most clans are de facto maximal lineages, which are further segmented; among Jat peasants this segmentation takes place at four broad levels. The minimal lineage is composed of a group of households, which had formed a single household two or three generations previously; they may still share a common courtyard and have joint rights to a well.

Marriage.

While among Muslim Jat the practice of exchange marriage takes place at various levels of lineage organization, among Hindu and Sikh Jat no such exchange marriages are allowed, and the rule of exogamy is such that a man may not marry a woman who has any of her four grand-parental clans in common with his.

Polygyny was allowed though not common (this was discontinued for Sikh and Hindu Jats, once Hindu Marriage act came into being in 1950s).

Among all Jat, widow remarriage is permitted (unlike certain communities in India who use to enjoy burning widows alive and gave it religious color to give sacrosanctity to this barbarity or consider them a bad omen);

For a widow levirate is required or a she is not allowed to remarry outside the maximal lineage, especially when she has children by her late husband.

The practice of female infanticide, also known among the peasants, has dropped sharply. A woman’s relationship with her husband’s kin is organized according to a basic pattern of avoidance with seniors and of joking with those younger than the husband. Brothers share a common duty toward their sisters and their children.

Sikh-Hindu Marriages

Marriages among Sikh Jats and Hindu Jats are encouraged and are considered a sense of deep pride, since such Sikh-Hindu marriages reinstates the concept of brotherhood among the two distinct communities within the ethnic group, which in turn evokes nostalgic times of when they fought together against tyrannical Mughals.

Definition of Jat Status in Jat Blood Law

The status of being a Jat is defined by the Jat blood (DNA) of the Father and mother of the offspring (Children). The Scythians warriors that invaded the Punjab region and India in general were men (males). Each one of them took native women as wives namely Indo- Greek and Indo-Aryan. The children produced from that joining were the first Jats. The Status of being a Jat in Jat Blood Law is decided by the father’s Jat blood (the DNA Y chromosome of the father being from Central Asia).

If a Jat Man marries a Jat Woman in Jat Blood Law the children from that marriage are given Full Jat status (100% Jat) by Jat Blood Laws and Scythian blood. If a Jat Man marries a Non-Jat Woman in Jat Blood Law the children from that marriage are given Half Jat status (50% Jat) by Jat Tribal Blood Laws. If a Jat Woman marries a Non-Jat Man in Jat Blood Law the children from that marriage are given No Jat status (0% Jat) by Jat Blood Laws.

Father Mother Child Status (%)
Jat Jat Full Jat (100 %)
Jat Non-Jat Half Jat (50 %)
Non-Jat Jat Non-Jat (0 %)
Non-Jat Non-Jat Non-Jat (0 %)

Note: Historically and currently, Pure Jats (Full Jats) are commanded by Jat Law to marry other Pure Jats (Full Jats) to prevent their future offspring (children) losing Full Jat Status and losing (DNA) blood membership of the Jat community i.e. Scythian DNA of their forefathers. Once blood membership of the Jat community is lost by becoming Half Jat (50 % Jat) or Non-Jat (0 % Jat), it is impossible for future descendents (e.g. grandchildren or great grandchildren) to ever become Jat again (100 %). Historically, Half Jats (50 % Jat) have found it very difficult for themselves to be accepted for marriage by Jat families (100 % Jat families). A decision to marry outside of the Jat community is PERMANENT (DNA) blood wise and can NEVER be undone for any potential children of that individual. Therefore, marrying outside of one’s Jat community is almost never done due to the seriousness of the outcome.

Note —  (However, from a scholarly viewpoint if they are marrying into other Scythian or Indo- Greek descendants or that matter even Caucasians, then it should NOT be a problem.)

Domestic Unit.

Most Jat peasant households consist of lineal joint families, with the parents and one married son; many units are nuclear and some are collateral-joint, with two married brothers and their offspring living together. Among  Jat the nuclear family and the lineal joint family are the most common domestic units.

Inheritance.

Among those with land, all sons inherit equal shares in terms of both quantity and quality. Formerly, a man’s wives shared equally on behalf of their sons, irrespective of the number of sons each had. Although in theory inheritance of land follows a strictly agnatic principle and daughters and sisters do not inherit, daughters’ sons have been observed de facto to be among the inheritors in many cases.

Sociopolitical Organization

Social and Political Organization.

All Jat are divided into patricians; among the sedentary communities, each of these has a hereditary headman. By and large, the villages in which Jat farmers live, together with non-Jat, are under the jurisdiction of a clan council, and this council, of which every clan headman is a member, is the decision-making unit at the community level. Traditionally in these villages Jat farmers were integrated as patrons into the patron-client system prevalent in the area. Their clients were members of various service castes; however, this system has largely broken down today.

Wealthy Jat landowners have entered local, regional, and even national politics since the beginning of this century, and in many areas they are still active as influential representatives of farmers and rural folk in general. Among the pastoral and peasant Jats of the Indus Delta, the clans are organized on the hierarchical principle of age, with the oldest man of the oldest lineage being at the head of the pyramid, followed by the eldest men of the younger lineages.

Conflict. A frequent source of conflict within the minimal lineage is land; such conflicts often take place between agnatic collaterals, since their lands usually border each other. Factional conflict is fairly common at a broader level.

Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs and Ceremonies.

A Jat can be Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh, and in 1931 over 50 percent of the entire Sikh population was constituted by Jat. Many ceremonies, especially those accompanying the rites of passage, are common to all Jat, irrespective of religious denomination. Among Hindu Jat there are in addition numerous local or more widely prevalent religious beliefs and observances.

These include knowledge of certain but by no means all major mythological figures (gods and goddesses) of the Sanskritic tradition and the celebration of several festivals, both seasonal and annual, both of the all-Indian Hindu Great Tradition and of the localized Little Tradition.

The Muslim Jat populations have a strong tradition of venerating a large number of local saints (pīr ). Although most are officially Sunni, they have a large number of Shia traditions, and one group of Jat are Ismaelis.

Till recently Sikh Jat, though very conscious of their distinct religious identity, were not very meticulous in their observance of the precepts of Sikhism. Most of them still observe Hindu marriage rites and till recently followed Hindu funeral customs; the majority also employed Brahmans as family priests. In most villages inhabited by Sikh Jat there is the shrine of a Sikh martyr of old that acts as an ancestral focus for the minimal lineage.

Various supernatural beings play a role in Jat life and are common to most Jat irrespective of creed; belief in many of them is widespread in the region as a whole. (This however is not accepted and considered good by many educated Jats )

Bhangra

Bhangra is jat folk dance prominently focused in Punjab and now instilled in the culture of Sikhs, thought this sort of dance is not done by jat of rest of the parts but Pakistan Punjab Jats and Indian punjab Jats practice it more often.

Ghoomar and Gidda

Gidda and ghomer are the regional folk dances performed by the jat women in an festive season. In either of them they narrate a story by dancing on the folk song. Ghoomer is performed more by the Jat women of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Whereas Gidda is more Punjab culture oriented.

Gidda as dance  is derived from the ancient ring dance. One of the girls plays on the drum or ‘dholki’ while others form a circle. Some times even the dholki is dispensed with. While moving in a circle, the girls raise their hands to the level of their shoulders and clap their hands in unison. Then they strike their palms against those of their neighbors. Rhythm is generally provided by clapping of hands.

Giddha is a very vigorous folk dance and like other such dances it is very much an affair of the legs. So quick is the movement of the feet in its faster parts that it is difficult for the spectator even to wink till the tempo falls again. The embroidered ‘duppattas’ and heavy jewelry of the participants whose number is unrestricted further exaggerate the movements.

Armed forces 

Owing to their martial race tag many Jats (Sikh, Muslim and Hindu) have been part of armed forces of many countries namely India, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United States of America .

In India, 25th Chief of Army Staff has been a Hindu Jat (Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag) and 24th was a Sikh Jat (Gen Bikram Singh).

Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh (Aulakh) was 3rd Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force from 1964 to 1969. He is a Sikh Jat. He has been given honorary title of Marshal of the Indian Air Force , highest rank in Indian AirForce.

In Pakistan Army many Muslim Jats have risen to top ranks and a known face is Maj Gen Asim Bajwa.

16th chief of Army for Pakistan is Qamar Javed Bajwa who is a mulsim jat from Bajwa clan in Pakistan Punjab.

Apart from Indian and Pakistani Army, Jats serve in huge number in United States and United Kingdom Army (mostly of the faith of Hindus and Sikhs, especially whose forefathers had migrated to these countries).

Jats have a sizable number in the police forces too of all the above mentioned countries. In India the most notable name is of Kanwar Pal Singh Gill also know as KPS Gill , who was the director-general of Punjab and was instrumental in finishing of the Khalistan terrorist movement.

There have been Jats who rose to become Police commissioners of Delhi and Mumbai. The two most important cities in India.

.

Economy

 

Though traditionally Jat were associated to be farmers and Army men in British Army but over the decades with independence they have started to started to feature in various economic activities such as real estate, hospitality, sports, Doctors , engineers, Teachers, Researchers, Acting etc.Though some population does still practice agriculture as a form of living  but generally the pattern is shifting towards urban jobs and they are employed in large no in government jobs at various levels as it is considered safe bet for children from poor or low middle class families.

In the last 2 decades or so many Jats have turned entrepreneur with the thriving Indian economy and are gaining rich dividends, many Indians have also gone to west and made millions there. Gurbaksh Singh Chahal is another self made millionaire of Jat Sikh descent. KP SINGH of DLF is such name in India. Gaurav Dhillon is the Chairman and CEO of SnapLogic which is an enterprise application and data integration software development company that helps organizations connect business applications and Web services.

Arts.

The women of the nomadic Jat were very skilled in needlework and embroider various textiles using threads of many colors in the delta region but mainly black and red in the north; tiny pieces of mirror are also used to decorate these textiles. Though with Modernization they have started gaining entry into respected schools and colleges there by enhancing their skills. Amrita Shergill is a famous female Jat painter who is well respected for her work. Reena Dhaka and Ranna Gill are  also an example of  female jat fashion designer.

Death and Afterlife. Jat hold conflicting views on life after death. Some believe in the traditional Hindu concept of rebirth, others believe in going to Hell or Heaven, but many believe that there is no existence after death and that there is no form of life besides the present one on Earth.

One has been watching over the years that warrior tribes or some castes in particular have been subjected jokes and insults in audacious manner people speak behind their backs as to why this guy is so aggressive ,buffoon or he should not be employed in our organization….may it be Gukhas of north east India,Pathans of Afghanistan n India n Pakistan ,jats in Pakistan and india or Sikhs all over the world.

it is funny when dying for nation is considered then these very individuals who insult them want them to “protect” them.

Not only talking about these races but those from business community of north india and specially from a traditional administration communities blur out these racial slurs and these slurs are retaliated back with equally vehemental force.

It is but a very disturbing trend , dis-respects are such as

1. Bengali : will run away on the instance of 1st shot from the gun, Hypocrite, self obsessed pseudo intellectual.(Netaji subhash chander bose , a bengali freedom fighter, doubt that u can use those words against him. )
2. Gurkhas : he is suppose to say “uuu shabji ” and he will be a guard standing outside your home or he will be from nepal , he is suppose to carry an axe along all the time. He is always a friend which you want in terms of war standing besides you, but that is all ! Nothing more than that and a sense of alienation always remains.

3. A business community from punjab khatris : (better known as punjabis )
(now they are suppose be extremely shrewd,cunning, will take your money away and will play with your instincts, most notably if your women (warrior people women in particular and those from not their community  ) are pretty they will be lured on the behest of love and taken away ( a phenomenon of beauty drain in this case )
A question in this regard : don`t the AMERICANS do the same capitalist economy, rich men beautiful women and appreciated : why double standards n what about khatri women ?
(but do spare a though for poor guy who cannot express his feeling in warrior clan, because he is conditioned never to express it and if he does then he is not MAN enough, quite the “KAMINEY” story plus he is poor n dumb as per perception )


4.  Pathan : for their simple and straight forward nature are again and again targeted for their simplicity and dialogs like ” hum pathan hai ” and “oye tum kahmiz kya bolta hai ” is used as a derogatory joke !
A perception or Image is formed via media aspects and through influential circles used often to tell that Pathan are buffons and are at peace when at war !!


(what abt shah rukh khan, khan abdul gafar khan, Imran khan , do they fit these stereotypes developed by the individuals who do not wish to get out of their ignorance cocoon.)

5. Sikhs : for one have always been on receiving end, but i guess they don`t give a rat`s ass about what others think till their gurus` honour is challenged.

The most notable insult against a sikh will always be : “12 o clock” without even knowing the whole story behind it plus some have issues that they are not FASHIONABLE………

This following lines  narrated is an answer to the insult :

    During 17th Century, when Hindustan was ruled by Mughals, all the Hindu people were humiliated and were treated like animals. Mughals treated the Hindu women as there own property and were forcing all Hindus to accept Islam and even used to kill the people if they were refusing to accept.That time, our ninth Guru, Sri Guru Teg Bahadarji came forward,in response to a request of some Kashmir Pandits to fight against all these cruel activities. Guruji told the Mughal emperor that if he could succeed in converting him to Islam, all the Hindus would accept the same. But, if he failed, he should stop all those activities. The Mughal emperor happily agreed to that but even after lots of torture to Guruji and his fellow members he failed to convert him to Islam and Guruji along with his other four fellow members, were tortured and sacrificed their lives in Chandni Chowk.

Since the Mughals were unable to convert them to Islam they were assassinated.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 Chaddar”, shield of India . For the sake of whom he had sacrificed his life, none of the them came forward to lift his body, fearing that they would also be assassinated . Seeing this incident our 10th Guruji, Sri Guru Gobind Singhji (Son of Guru Teg Bahadarji) founder of khalsa 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 thousands.

At the start, the Sikhs were very few in numbers as they were fighting against the Mughal emperors. At that time, Nadir Shah raided Delhi in the year 1739 and looted Hindustan and was carrying lot of Hindustan treasures and nearly 2200 Hindu women along with him. The news spread like a fire and was heard by Sardar Jassa Singh who was the Commander of the Sikh army at that time. He decided to attack Nadir Shah’s Kafila on the same midnight . He did so and rescued all the Hindu women and they were safely sent to their homes. It didn’t happen only once but thereafter whenever any Abdaalis or Iranis had attacked and looted Hindustan and were trying to carry the treasures and Hindu women along with them for selling them in Abdal markets, the Sikh army although fewer in numbers but were brave hearted and attacked them at midnight ,12 O’clock and rescued women.

After that time when there occurred a similar incidence, people started to contact the Sikh army for their help and Sikhs used to attack the raider’s at Midnight, 12 O’clock.

Nowadays, these “smart people” and some Sikh enemies who are afraid of Sikhs, have spread these words that at 12 O’clock, the Sikhs go out of their senses.

6. Dogras :

The Dogras, numbering nearly one million are concentrated north of the River Sutlej (in Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Punjab) and have carved out India`s northern frontier along the Karakotam.

According to one tradition, the word Dogra is derived from `duggar`, which is ascribed to dvigarta, implying a land of two lakes, the Mansar and Saruinsar. The historical tradition rests on two Chamba copper plates of the eleventh century that have been found which mention Durgareshwar, the lord of Durgar. It is said that Durgareshwar, once attempted to conquer the Chamba Kingdom so the name may well be derived from durgaradesha (the difficult terrain). In any case, the word `Dogra` does not denote a caste but is a term embracing Hindus of all castes as well as Muslims and Sikhs living in the Dogra region and speaking Dogri.
The Dogras excel in martial arts. However, in addition to their joining the defence forces in large numbers, they have also entered other spheres of economic and political activity. Dr. Karan Singh, the youngest person ever to become a member of the union cabinet, and at one time the ambassador to the United States, is a Dogra.
kashmir was under Dogra from 1846 to 1947: Dogra Rule

It troubles one that after the so-called FREEDOM we are still not able to respect each other, is this the cool , modern, liberated India.. ? Where jokes are used as a weapon to tell that though you might be good at war or whatever but we are in command here and will use you and throw you as per own will or constraint in those domains in which you are not good traditionally…….

and those who don`t care and are truly in place to make difference, well they are too educated, too liberated and interested in “get a life” phrase ,that only way to make them think is to bring out a movie on the lines of “RANG DE BASANTI “.

Dogras of Kashmir !

The Dogras, numbering nearly one million are concentrated north of the River Sutlej (in Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Punjab) and have carved out India`s northern frontier along the Karakotam.

According to one tradition, the word Dogra is derived from `duggar`, which is ascribed to dvigarta, implying a land of two lakes, the Mansar and Saruinsar. The historical tradition rests on two Chamba copper plates of the eleventh century that have been found which mention Durgareshwar, the lord of Durgar. It is said that Durgareshwar, once attempted to conquer the Chamba Kingdom so the name may well be derived from durgaradesha (the difficult terrain). In any case, the word `Dogra` does not denote a caste but is a term embracing Hindus of all castes as well as Muslims and Sikhs living in the Dogra region and speaking Dogri.

The Dogra region is famed for its miniature paintings. The Pahari School, which included the Poonch, Jammu, Basohli, Guler and Kangta styles, created beautiful and highly stylized combinations of colour and line, expressing delicate and sensuous feeling and intense passion. Many of these paintings depict the moods of lovers in a romantic setting.

The Dogras excel in martial arts. However, in addition to their joining the defence forces in large numbers, they have also entered other spheres of economic and political activity.

Dr. Karan Singh, the youngest person ever to become a member of the union cabinet, and at one time the ambassador to the United States, is a Dogra.

kashmir was under them from 1846 to 1947: Dogra Rule

Dogra regiment

Dr Karan Singh ( A dogra )
ANGIE & JAMES DO STUFF

the quintessential food & travel blog for the modern soul

Nineteen. Forty. Seven

Jis Khaak Ke Zameer Main Ho Aatish-E-Chinar, Mumkin Nahin Ke Sard Ho Wo Khaak-E-Arjumand

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany

Nota Bene

NOTES, COMMENT AND BUZZ FROM EUGENE KASPERSKY – OFFICIAL BLOG

Blueberry Submarine

Nicole da Rosa

Organized Scenery

Organized Scenery

Traveler's Log

Photos and Stories about traveling in South Africa and other great spots around the globe

MarLa Sink Druzgal

Writer. Photographer. Literary Traveler.

Recovery Thru My Lens

a Photographic Journey by Meryl

Lilly Sue's Bites and Brews

~Discovery of Food and Beer

traveleum

#travel #photo #blog

Where's my backpack?

Romancing the planet; a love affair with travel.

draw and shoot

Shooting photographs, drawing lines...

Suitcase Sweethearts

American girl meets Bulgarian boy; adventures ensue.

thepoliblog

A blog on politics and society

THIS is political

Politics. It's everywhere.

a little something.

Stephanie Weinhappel

Musings on Arab Culture

Reflections of A Western Woman

strassenfotojournal

Straßenfotografie - Street Photography By Cornelia Lohs

boy with a hat

writing as a way of life

Sounds • Pictures • Words

views from the other side of here

Seriously?!

declarations and deliberations

toemail

Pictures of toes, pictures of feet, making the world a better place, one foot at a time.

yesterdaywasdramatictodayisokay

tomorrow will be different again

Barcelona Blonde

A Barcelona blog and travel blog

Marking Time

The Afghan and Iraqi Wars as Seen by Those Who Live Them

bibicrau

o multime de lucruri si trairi..

Moments

snapping by

natycalinescu (NATY ELA)

Smile! Tomorrow will be better than today!

Serene and Sweet

Where Inspiration Overflows for Every Human Soul

Iza's photoblog

Photos from the places I've visited

LensTHERAPY

Passions of art, camera and travel

Jolene's Life in Focus

Dare to dream beyond the borders of your hometown

Memorabillion

The Visual Journey of Billion Memories

Sue Ann's Balcony

Looking at the bigger picture

Manipal's Photo Blog

Because a picture paints a thousand words

Nature & Travel Pix

A Photo Blog of an amateur photographer.

C. A. Husted

A jumbled mess of creativity.

the new normal.

Redefining what it means to be a successful adult

Grit & Honey

Women clothed in strength. Your story isn't over yet.

%d bloggers like this: