Tag Archive: Pashtuns


Safi Pashtuns

Safi Pashtun girl

There is a story which goes about Pashtuns, more importantly about Safi Pashtuns. This story infact became the focal point for Pashtun nationalism and led to the creation of present day Afghanistan (the more appropriate word would be, this story or this event implanted the seeds for independence for Pashtuns).

The story goes as following:

During the time of Aurangzeb (6th Mughal Ruler), Revolt was triggered when soldiers under the orders of the Mughal Governor Amir Khan allegedly attempted to molest women of the Safi tribe in modern day Kunar. The Safi tribemen retaliated and killed the soldiers. This attack provoked a reprisal, which triggered a general revolt of the most of the tribes. When news reached Aurangzeb that his general was killed, he appealed to the tribe to hand over the killers , but the naturally elders refused and challenged the Emperor. This was owing to their stance of Pashtunwali.

To be Noted:  I wonder how he would have reacted if his wife or daughter might have been subjected to such a treatment. Aurangzeb would have subjected such men to inhuman torture, a torture which would have been invented for those men only. Aurangzeb was a hypocrite, this event adds significance to those voices against him.

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Soon Aurangzeb set out with a large force against the Safi and their allies from other Pashtun clans namely Khattak, Afridis, Shinwari, and Mohmands in the command of Khushal Khan Khattak which was at that time the tribal chief of Khattak tribe. Afghan sources claim that Aurangzeb suffered a humiliating defeat, with a reported loss of 40,000 Mughal soldiers who were killed in the battle and with only four men, including the Governor managing to escape. These events occurred during 1672. This story stands out precisely because it shows the culture of Pashtunwali in it, where Honour for a Pashtun is supreme. Violating that Honour means death, especially if violating the honour of Pashtun women (An ideology also incorporated among many north-Indian warrior communities).

khushal Khan Khattak

Now the most interesting factor in all this was that Aurangzeb himself was married to a Pashtun woman named Rabia-ud-Durrani, also known as Dilras Banu Begum, though “official” accounts state that she was a decendant of Safavid dynasty. Pashtuns have Indo-Iranian origination, so things are hazy when the writers are writing what “master” wants. I say this because such reports have been made about other guys also.This is done to show “higher breed” of the person concerned. Thereby validating his/her rule or authority much like an irrepressible power and propelling feudal command. Liaquat Ali Khan is mentioned as descendant of King in Iran well infact he was a muslim Jat, whose forefathers were given enormous land by AurangzebRabia-ud-Durrani died in child birth in 1657; Aurangzeb had married her as a child in 1637. I am sure that she must have told Aurangzeb about Pashtunwali and Pashtun code of conduct. Though what fails me is that Aurangzeb’s insensitive nature towards the Pashtun men who fight for honour of their women (and more importantly those alike Pashtuns whom he butchered). It seems in this case he was more inclined towards making Pashtuns submit rather than hear them out. This nature of his is seen while dealing with Jats, Rajputs, Sikhs and Marathas too, which eventually led to crumbling of his Mughal empire.

Currently the Safi tribe is well known for resistance to the Taliban regime, and many fierce clashes have broken out between the two.

 Ancestry of Safi Pashtuns:

The ancestry of the Safis reaches back to the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, and they are related to the neighboring Nuristanis. Besides Pashto, some clans of the Safis speak a Kohistani Pashayi dialect. More could be found after performing genetic test and DNA analysis but given the current state of Afghanistan it might not be possible. They basically reside in the region of Kunar Province is in the northeastern part of the country. The capital of the province is Asadabad. It is one of the four “N2KL” provinces (Nangarhar Province, Nuristan Province, Kunar Province and Laghman Province).

Kunar province

Pashtuns Genealogy:

There have been constant fights between many scholars who claim Pashtuns as the descendants of their respective races/ communities naturally so given fierce warrior independent nature of Pashtun. Though there might be possibility of mixing of races in Pashtun and formation of new clans which came into being during 5-10 Century AD.

Following are the people who lay claim on Pashtuns:

  1. Indo-Aryans/Indo-Europeans/Indo-Iranians or South Asians of Northern region.
  2. Jews more importantly Israelis
  3. Arabs: This one some Pashtun tribe claims decent from Arabs.
  4. Greeks: The Pashtuns of Peshawar region show genetic similarities with Indo-Greek traits as many claims that they are descendants of Alexander‘s army.

Politics behind Pashtuns Genealogy and Genetics:

Now any sane and logical person can understand that political significance of it.

  1. If Israel (Jews) justifies their claim, they can inspire Pashtuns to fight Arabs and Iranians. Not to mention pacify them from fighting Jews and turning against Palestine.
  2. If Iran justifies the claim then it is simple that Wahabbi ( Saudi ideology) will be pumped out and Shia Ideology could be brought in or any sunni Ideology which is not anti-Iran.
  3. If Indo-Aryans justify the claim they can stop Pashtuns from being a tool in the hands of Wahabbi and Salafi elements whose main job is get more land and more people in their religion (Not to mention kill infidels and take their women ,violate these women to be precise).
  4. If Arabs justify their claim or as some Pashtun tribes want to claim, then they could become an asset in the hands of Wahabbi or Salafis. The puritan form of Islamist who preach Islamic supremacy (The fundamentalist Arabs then infuse Wahhabi and Salafi ideology in Pashtun youth and brain wash them to perform suicide attacks ).

Whatever may be the outcome of this “political”  struggle, following words hold true for non-Pashtun people in the region who have watched Pashtuns for thousands of years.Sometimes in amazement, sometimes with respect and sometimes in form of an enemy.

The words could be best summed up are:

You will never find more noble, honorable and loyal friend

And neither will you find more honest and fierce enemy.

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The Pashtunwali

Pashtunwali dates back to ancient pre-Islamic times but is still widely in use, especially by the rural tribal society. It is not only practiced by members of the Pashtun diaspora but also by some non-Pashtun Afghans or Pakistanis who live in close proximity with Pashtuns.

Now my interest in this topic dates to the fact that there was quote that one heard during childhood ( pashtun or Pathans as they are called in India are integral part of Indian society pre-dating Islamic origination which goes back to ancient times, so as a group they are talked about often in the Pan-Indian society even though many associate them from Afghanistan which may be a more “modern” source point ).

The quote was :

You will never find a more noble, Honorable and Loyal friend

and Neither you will find a more Honest and fierce enemy.

Obliviously the whole quote got me thinking. I mean is it just the pashtuns who have these features or there is something else ?

Do they follow some type of code or lifestyle which evokes such response ?

Then while browsing over the net I fell upon a word called Pashtunwali.The word holds deep importance to the Pashtun culture and those who lived around them. It is said that a true Pashtun abides by this line of ethics. The great Badshah Khan tried to revive or more importantly tried to reignite it barring the badla ideology (which means revenge) . It was epitomised in the poetry by his son Khan Abdul Ghani khan, the Mad poet as he was called.The Red shirts were very prominent in telling about the pashtunwali culture in british era. One such line of his poetry reflects the deep pride he had of Pashtun culture.

“Pashtun is not merely a race but, in fact, a state of mind; there is a Pashtun lying inside every man, who at times wakes up and overpowers him.”

Imran Khan in this present era by his methods is trying live that great Pathan ideology but his ideology has got more to with moderate Pan-Pakistan (which is drawing hostility from urdu based parties especially PPP and Pakistan Muslim League (N).) He is in one way a by product of Pathan culture but of a Niazi Pashtun Tribe which settled in urdu speaking Punjab region during the Mughal rule. I however guess that his thinking is more in trying to mix both old and new. In order to give a balanced view point of Pakistani Moderates (which is creating a rockstar style status among youth of Pakistan, not that he isn’t already a rockstar. Someone even said that he is Mick Jagger of south Asia)

I therefore compiled a list of the points in Pashtunwali (hope I have covered all).

  1. Melmastia (hospitality) – Showing hospitality and profound respect to all visitors, regardless of distinctions of race, religion, national affiliation as well as economic status and doing so without any hope of remuneration or favour. Pashtuns are widely considered to be the most hospitable people in the world and a Pashtun will go to great extents to show his hospitality.
  2. Nanawatai (asylum) – Derived from the verb meaning to go in, this is used for protection given to a person who requests protection against his/her enemies. The people are protected at all costs, in many cases even people running from the law must be given refuge until the situation is clarified.
  3. Badal (justice) – To seek justice or take revenge against the wrongdoer. This applies to injustices committed yesterday or 1000 years ago if the wrongdoer still exists. Justice in Pashtun lore needs elaborating: even a mere taunt (or “Paighor”) is regarded as an insult – which can only usually be redressed by shedding of the taunter’s blood (and if he isn’t available, then his next closest male relation). This in turn leads to a blood feud that can last generations and involve whole tribes with the loss of hundreds of lives. Normally blood feuds in this all male dominated setup are then settled in a number of ways.
  4. Tureh (bravery) – A Pashtun must defend his land/property, family and women from incursions wherever he or she might reside. A Pashtun should always stand brave against tyranny and he should always be able to defend his property, family, women and the honour of his name. Death can follow if anyone mistreats these traits.
  5. Sabat (loyalty) – Loyalty must be paid to one’s family, friends, and tribe members. Loyalty is a must and a Pashtun can never become disloyal as this would be utterly shameful towards themselves and their families.
  6. Imandari (righteousness) – A Pashtun must always strive towards thinking good thoughts, speaking good words and doing other good deeds. Pashtuns must behave respectfully towards all creations including people, animals and the environment around them. Pollution of the environment or its destruction is against the Pashtunwali.
  7. Isteqamat – Trust in God (known as “Allah” in Arabic and “Khudai-ta-Allah” in Pashto). The notion of trusting in the one Creator generally comports to Islamic idea of belief in only one God (tawheed).
  8. Ghayrat (self honour or dignity) – Pashtuns must maintain their human dignity. Honour has great importance in Pashtun society and most other codes of life are aimed towards the preservation of one’s honour or pride. They must respect themselves and others in order to be able to do so, especially those they do not know. Respect begins at home, among family members and relatives.
  9. Namus (Honor of women) – A Pashtun must defend the honor of Pashtun women at all costs and must protect them from vocal and physical harm.
  10. TOR: Pashtuns are sensitive about the honor of their women folk and slight touching of the women is at times considered a serious and an intolerable offence. The cases of adultery and illicit relations are put down with iron hand in and no quarter is given to culprits either male or female. Casting of an evil eye on woman is tantamount to imperil one’s life. Both sexes, therefore, scrupulously avoid indulgence in immoral practices.
  11. TEEGA OR KANRAY: Teega or Kanray is cessation of bloodshed between contending parties. Teega (putting down of a stone) in other words means a temporary truce declared by a Jirga. The word stone is used figuratively as actually no stone is put at the time of the cessation of hostilities. Once the truce is enforced, no party dares violate it for fear of punitive measures.
  12. GHUNDI: Ghundi is a classic case of balance of power in tribal areas. It is derived from Pashto word Ghund, meaning a political party but it is used for an alliance. As modern states enter into bilateral agreements for promotion of trade, cultivation of friendly relations and mutual defense, similarly various sections of a tribe align themselves in blocs or Ghunds to safeguard their common interests. Ghundi is entered into defeat the aggressive and nefarious designs of a hostile neighbor. In tribal fighting the Ghundi members espouse their mutual interests against their common enemy and act as a corporate body with all the resources at their command.

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan tried to eliminate the Badla aspect for which many term him Bachcha Khan too. The revenge culture however of Pashtun is such that it is passed from generation to generation. The term that “ Revenge is dish best served cold” was imbibed from this tradition and the Britishers took that quote and made it famous. Though now the whole world thinks that British invented that “fascinating” sentence. (It is sometimes funny how the world goes round, reminds me of “It’s awataur moron” dialogue by the “high-flys”.)

Ps: It sad to see that the real faces of Pashtun society being marginalized and only Taliban phenomenon is being made the face of Pashtun identity. There was a time when Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan was the spiritual leader (and many in this age have forgotten his name ) and now it is Mullah Omar the spiritual head of Taliban( The hardline Wahhabi ideologue, however poverty and neglect of Pashtuns has got to do alot with it).  Though what is sad more is that these days Militant feminist or Fem-Nazi as they “belovedly” are called in world. Identify anything which is not according to them as a Taliban phenomenon not to mention the entire pashtun race as such and those alike, just so that they could score some brownie points on media channels without even understanding the whole story.( Now does that make me uneducated for raising that question.I Do not know but just don’t shoot the messenger is all I ask. 🙂 )

Regarding the last post and most importantly regarding the ARYANS and SCYTHIAN.  There has been a substantial finding by many scholars, who classify Scythians as a sub-family of  Aryans. As these Scythian were the Eastern European-Indo-Iranian proto people who migrated into north India in 2 century BC. There is always a likelihood of being identified differently from the original Aryan natives in India who have been living there since 4ooo BC. ( atleast of what is known.)

The Pashtuns, Yakuts,OssetiansKazakhs and Jats claim their linage from Scythian WAR-LORDs  which is substantiated, but that may not be true or Rajputs who claim “PURE” Aryan blood ( They might be a product of ancient Aryans who came to Sub continent earlier, they have no connection to Scythians but must be part of larger Aryan family).   Pashtuns for one are part of eastern Iranian bloodline, with Greek DNA added. Jats also are a by product of Eastern-Iranian bloodline.  Jats are a Scythian-Aryan ethnic group with traces of Greek ancestry( Though the historical records showing as Scythians, a sub family of Aryans. They are classified as Indo-Aryan ethnic group by modern day scholars).

As history show that prior to Scythians , Indo-greeks use to rule north-west Indian sub continent.  These kingdoms were defeated by the Scythian warriors, who then married many Indo-greek and Indo-aryan women. The formation of a “new” race in sub-continent took place.

There are a few links which one would like to offer, for those who wish to read about Scythians:

http://listverse.com/2010/01/05/top-10-interesting-facts-about-the-scythians/

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/dragons/esp_sociopol_dragoncourt02_01.htm

http://www.imninalu.net/Eurasians.htm

http://heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/saka/index.htm

http://www.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=52282

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azes_II

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_race

http://www.lost-civilizations.net/scythians.html

Scythian women

They represented the equality as they fought along side their men in battlefields. In the current central Asia one could only find the traces of such equality.The act of war was one in which the Scythian women are said to have participated in equally with the men. Scythian women were tattooed like their mates, and the ancient historian Diordorus commented that Scythian women ‘fight like the men and are nowise inferior to them in bravery’.

It has been recorded that Scythian women had to kill three enemies in battle before marrying, and that a mastectomy of the right breast was performed on female infants so that their pectoral muscle wouldn’t weaken and they would be able to brandish a sword better.

http://www.fscclub.com/history/scyths-e.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazons#Scythians_and_Sarmatians

http://anti-amazon.blogspot.com/2010/11/iranian-peoples-sarmatians-women.html

Indo-European identity part-II

(Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and north Indian genesis)

Some phenotypes of current south Asia seem to keep the track of this ancient migration from Central Asia occurring during bronze age.

Kalasha woman from north pakistan

Young Kalash woman from the Chitral district of north-western Pakistan

The famous Afghan girl with piercing green eyes.

Sharbat Gula, the famous Afghan girl whose photograph was on the cover of the National Geographic.

Little girl from Afghanistan

Afghan father and his son

Afghans from the village of Deh-e Hazara

Wakhi girl (Afghanistan)

Wakhi girl from the extreme east of Afghanistan, a region located between the south of Tajikistan, the west of China and the north of Pakistan

Afghan kids

Afghan kids in Jalalabad (Afghanistan)

Afghan children

Afghan children from Panjshir

Little Afghan girl from the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan

Little Hazara girl (Afghanistan)

North Pakistanese girl (maybe Nuristani)

Young girl from the north of Pakistan

South Asian man from north Pakistan with an Europoid appearance.

Man from the north of Pakistan

Paksitanese little boy

Pashtun boy from Pakistan

Man from Chitral (north of Pakistan)

Man from the Chitral district (North Pakistan)

Young teen from northern Pakistan, south Asia

A teenager from northern Pakistan

The south of Asia was the homeland of bright and famous ancient civilizations, culturally and linguistically Indo-european, especially India (of the Indo-aryan linguistical family) and Iran (formerly known as Persia, of the Iranian linguistical family).

It was at the end of the 18th century, that sir William Jones realized the relation between European languages and south Asian languages such as Sanskrit, inaugurating then the existence of the now famous Indo-european language family theory.

Latin, for instance, has many similarities with Sanskrit. Indeed, how couldn’t we link words such as vox (voc-is), “voice“  in Latin and vac in Sanskrit (also “voice” ; found in many other Indo-european languages, e.g. Tocharian vak/vek or Hittite huek), candor (“bright whiteness” in Latin ) and candra, “moon” in Sanskrit, ignis (“fire” in Latin) and agnis (“fire” in Sanskrit, Agni also being the god of fire – also ugnis in Lithuanian and ogon’ in Russian, all meaning “fire“), Latin jugum (meaning “yoke“, also derived from the same proto-indo-european word) and Sanskrit yugam, giving the word yoga (also in the ancient greek zugon, Tocharian yuk or Hittite yukan, among many examples), Latin nebula and Sanskrit nabhas (but also Hittite nepiš, German nebel and Russian nebo, for instance, meaning all either “cloud“, “mist” or “sky“), or pater (“father” (a word also related) in Latin) and pitar in Sanskrit (also the ancient greek pater or Tocharian pacer, and many others). Likewise, we can find some similarities between the declension suffixes in both languages (examples : -ibus at the plural dative and ablative cases in Latin and -ebhyas in Sanskrit in the same cases).

When it became obvious that most of the languages of Europe and most of the languages of south Asia were related, then started the search for an explanation to such an astonishing geographical extent. Many theories have been erected to try to solve the puzzle of the origin of the extent of this language family and to discover the original population responsible for this situation and their ancestral homeland.

The Kurgan hypothesis explains the repartition of the Indo-european languages in Eurasia by the successive migrations of pastoralist populations living north of the black sea (in what is nowadays east Ukraine and south Russia), whose arrival is visible in the archeology. In this theory, the early Indo-iranians originated in the region between Russia and north-west Kazakhstan between 2,500 BCE and 2,000 BCE (the Abashevo culture of Russia is also considered possibly a good candidate for the origin of the proto-indo-iranian language by some (The fact that it was influential in the origin of the Sintashta site (a site just east of the Ural mountains often considered as having the oldest visible expression of indo-iranian practices) could support this view as well)) and were subsequently found in the Andronovo culture of central Asia. Also, the fact that the Andronovo culture was followed by the Indo-iranian-speaking Scythians/Sakas (who clearly seem spawned from it (there is an archaeological continuity between these cultures)) seem to clearly make this theory the most logical one.

The Gandhara grave culture of the north of Pakistanis also seen as the advance of Indo-iranian populations in south Asia. The presence of proto-Indo-iranian loanwords in Finno-ugric languages (such as Estonian and Finnish) and in languages from the east of the Caucasus can be seen as supporting this theory of the Indo-iranian ethnogenesis (Interestingly, among the terms that the ancient Finno-ugric language borrowed to the ancient Indo-iranian language seems to be the “arya” word (source)).

A spreading of the Indo-european languages in Eurasia from neolithic agriculturalist populations seems very unlikely as the proto-indo-european language had words for the wheel (examples : Latin rota, Sanskrit rathas, Irish roth and Lithuanian ratas (a root also meaning sometimes “chariot” in a few languages)) and a metal (examples: Latin aes (bronze), Sanskrit ayas (iron), Gothic aiz (brass; coin) and old Norse eir (bronze), among others), which seems to exclude, de facto, the oldest typical neolithic time. The fact that the stem for “horse” (*ekwos ; the satem version of it in Sanskrit is ‘asva) is also present in the original language, the proto-indo-european language (a root visible in these few examples : Latin equus, Mycenian iqo, Gaulish epos, Tokharian B yakwe or old Irish ech), also excludes both south Asia and neolithic as the geographical origin and the time of the proto-indo-europeans, as the horse was apparently absent of south Asia until the last part of bronze age (this animal (as domesticated one) was apparently also absent of south-west Asia and in a big part of Asia minor until the same historical time (informations about the horse domestication)).

The study of ancient Indo-iranian languages also seems to support an origin of this language family from outside of India (source).

Girl from south Asia

An Indo-iranian ethnogenesis in the steppes of central Asia is still currently the most popular theory among the specialists.

The Gandhara grave culture, located in the north of Pakistan in the Swat valley, sees the arrival of the horse in south Asia during bronze age and a few points allows for a (still controversial and hypothetical) link with the early Indo-aryans. The funerary practices, for instance, show several similarities with other supposedly Indo-european practices and there are many similarities with the Andronovo culture traditions. They also could fit quite well with the RigVedic descriptions. These traditions are clearly the mark of a change in this region, at this time.

In the Kurgan theory, the first Indo-iranians supposedly arrived around 1,800 BC-1,600 BC in south Asia from central Asia. These populations were apparently in large part of Europoid type as hinted by several studies (see the central Asia article), which seems confirmed by the admixture estimates of south Asian populations that do have an european component even if in low quantity (examples here or here (or here for a higher resolution of the latter) | source : dienekes.blogspot.com)

Young man from the eastern Afghanistan or the north of Pakistan

Within a geographic continuum going from the south-east of Tajikistan, eastern Afghanistan (especially Nuristan) down to the north of Pakistan, the Europoid phenotypes are more frequent. The area is also apparently the place of a (slightly) higher frequency of the haplogroup Y-DNA R1a1a than in the neighboring areas.

Chitral kid (Pakistan)

Little child from the Chitral district of north Pakistan

Supporting the theory of migrations from central Asia into south Asia, the presence of the very mutation (mutation T-13910 of the lactase phlorizin hydrolase (LCT) gene) providing the lactose tolerance (here more precisely the lactase persistence) among European populations is also found in south Asia, especially in the the north-west of India (source). This clearly shows that south Asians and Europeans share a specific mutation and as such as specific relation of which west Asians are excluded (this allele is obviously only very marginal and residual among west Asians and likely the result of Indo-european migrations of little demographic impact).

The lactase persistence T-13910 alleles frequency in the world

Approximative frequency and spread of the lactase persistence T-13910 allele of the LCT gene. We can see that South Asians and Europeans share a specific mutation for lactase persistence. A correlation of that allele with Y-DNA haplogroups R1a1a, R1b1a2 (ex-R1b1b2), R1b1c (ex-R1b1a) and at least haplogroup mtDNA H (quite visible in north Africa on the map) seems obvious. (click to see bigger)

A 2009 study (Kallur N. Saraswathy et al., Brief communication: Allelic and haplotypic structure at the DRD2 locus among five North Indian caste populations) also emphasized the genetic flow inherited of populations extraneous to India within the upper caste populations of north India.

The dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene, with its known human-specific derived alleles that can facilitate haplotype reconstruction, presents an important locus for anthropological studies. The three sites (TaqIA, TaqIB, and TaqID) of the DRD2 gene are widely studied in various world populations. However, no work has been previously published on DRD2 gene polymorphisms among North Indian populations. Thus, the present study attempts to understand the genetic structure of North Indian upper caste populations using the allele and haplotype frequencies and distribution patterns of the three TaqI sites of the DRD2 gene. Two hundred forty-six blood samples were collected from five upper caste populations of Himachal Pradesh (Brahmin, Rajput and Jat) and Delhi (Aggarwal and Sindhi), and analysis was performed using standard protocols. All three sites were found to be polymorphic in all five of the studied populations. Uniform allele frequency distribution patterns, low heterozygosity values, the sharing of five common haplotypes, and the absence of two of the eight possible haplotypes observed in this study suggest a genetic proximity among the selected populations. The results also indicate a major genetic contribution from Eurasia to North Indian upper castes, apart from the common genetic unity of Indian populations. The study also demonstrates a greater genetic inflow among North Indian caste populations than is observed among South Indian caste and tribal populations.

[pastmists : interestingly, among the populations being the closest of the north Indian upper castes, in this specific study, we find  the Chuvash people (a Turkic-speaking people of Russia whose haplogroups and autosomal profile  reveal they are still largely from the ancient “Europoid” autochthonous non-Turkic substrate) [pastmists: the Finns and even the Russians are close too, seemingly confirming this view] living west of the Ural mountains, where was located the already mentionned Abashevo culture, during bronze age. Is this a sign that the Aryas had come from  populations in this general region (and of this historical culture), or maybe more generally from a region close to the Ural mountains?]

Aishwarya Rai without make-up

Aishwarya Rai, famous Indian actress

Asko Parpola, a Finnish scholar, evokes a few points supporting the migration of Indo-iranian populations in India during bronze age in this excerpt of an interview:

Hindu.com : “Some Indian scholars feel that the Indus Civilisation is Aryan [i.e. Indo-iranian] and connected with the Rig Veda. You are a Vedic scholar and you specialise in the Indus script too. So what is your reaction to this standpoint?”

 

Asko Parpola : “Rigvedic hymns often speak of horses and horse-drawn chariots, and the horse sacrifice, ashvamedha, is among the most prestigious Vedic rites. The only wild equid native to the Indian subcontinent is the wild ass, which is known from the bone finds of the Indus Civilisation and depicted (though rarely) in its art and script. The domesticated horse is absent from South Asia until the second millennium BCE. Finds from Pirak and Swat from 1600 BCE show it was introduced from Central Asia after the Indus Civilisation. The earliest archaeological finds of horse-drawn chariot come from graves dated to around 2000 BCE in the Eurasian steppes, the natural habitat of the horse. There are also ancient Aryan loanwords in Finno-Ugric languages spoken in northeastern Europe (for example, the word for ‘hundred‘ in my own language Finnish is ‘sata’ [i.e. the same word than in Indo-iranian]). Some of these Aryan loanwords represent a more archaic stage of development (that is, are phonetically closer to the older Proto-Indo-European language) than Rigvedic Sanskrit. It is very likely that these words came to Finno-Ugric languages from Proto-Aryan spoken in the Volga steppes [i.e. in Russia].”

(Source)

Indian man fom the north of India

Indian man from Haryana (north of India)

North Indian woman

Woman from North india

Indian woman from Rajathan

Woman from Rajathan (north-west of India)

Although often contested, some sentences from the RigVeda, the oldest holy book of Hinduism, are interpretable through an ethnic lense. In this text, the enemies of the Arya, the Dasa, are often associated with the darkness and blackness and sometimes the literal words of black (or dark) skin are written.

Example from the Mandala IX, hymn 73 :

5. “Blowing away with supernatural might from earth and from the heavens the swarthy skin which Indra hates.”

which can be opposed to the following sentence from the Mandala I, hymn 100 :

18. “The mighty Thunderer [i.e. Indra] with his fair-complexioned friends won the land, the sunlight, and the waters.”

[From the Ralph T.H. Griffith translation]

A few of such instances can be found in the RigVeda.

Young Indian boy

Young Indian boy from Rajasthan

Young orphan girl from Northewest India

Young orphan girl from rajasthan

Young Indian girl from Rajasthan

Young orphan girl from Rajasthan, a region of north-west India, whos the sister of the girl above

Young Indian girl from Kashmir, northwest of India

Young Indian girl from Kashmir, northwest of India

Although rare, blue or green eyes are findable in India. The Buddha, a prince of the north of India living in the 6th century BC and  whose real name was Siddhartha Gautama, is said, in the oldest written source of Buddhism, the Pali canon, to have had very blue eyes (“abhi nila netto” literally meaning “very blue eyes“). Similarly, Bodhidharma, an Indian monk of the 6th century AD, founder of the Zen Buddhism, also credited with the martial arts tradition of the Shaolin temple, was nicknamed “the blue-eyed barbarian” by the Chinese.

Little Indian schoolgirl

Little Indian schoolgirl from Uttaranchal, a region of the north of India

Young men from Heam, in the north of India

Young men from the north of India

Indian Girl from the north of India

Girl from the north of India

Indian girl

Indian girl

Sikh girl from Bangalore (India)

Sikh girl from Bangalore (India)

Indian woman from the Madhya Pradesh

Indian woman from the Madhya Pradesh (India)

Little Indian toddler

                  Pakistan

Little Kalasha girl from the North pakistan

Little Kalash girl from the Hindu-kush (North pakistan)

Little Kalash girl of the chitral district

Little Kalasha girl of the chitral district of North Pakistan

Little Kalasha girl from Chitral (North-west Pakistan)

Little Kalash girl from Chitral (North Pakistan)

Kalash children (Chitral, North Pakistan)

Kalasha children (North Pakistan)

Young Kalash girl (Chitral)

Young Kalash woman (North pakistan)

Young Kalash man

Young Kalash man (Chitral, north-west of Pakistan)

Kalash baby from Romboor, Chitral district in North Pakistan

Kalash baby from Romboor, Chitral district

Kalasha kids, Chitral

Kalash kids, Chitral

 

 

 

Kalasha child, Chitral, North Pakistan

Kalash woman from Chitral (Pakistan)

Kalash woman from the north of Pakistan

Kalash woman and her baby (Chitral)

Kalasha woman and her baby (Pakistan)

Little Kalasha girl with red hair from north Pakistan

Little Kalash girl with red hair from Chitral, Pakistan

In the north of Pakistan, some individuals also frequently show a strikingly europoid appearance. The most well-known of these populations where theses characteristics are visible are the Burushos of the Hunza valley (speaking a non-indo-european language, Burushaski) and the Kalash (or Kalashas, like the former name of the Nuristanis of eastern Afghanistan) a population of the Hindu-kush speaking an Indo-iranian language. The Kalash, the Burusho and the Nuristani claim to be descendants of the Alexander‘s army (another legend of the Kalash also claim a link with the Kushan) but so far the genetic tests have not seen any link with Greek or Macedonian populations (Very few tracks have been found among the Pathans (a.k.a. Pashtun) of Pakistan though). It is quite possible that these south Asian populations are actually partly the visible remains of the ancient Indo-iranian populations that probably came from central Asia during bronze age and mixed with the local populations, as the DNA tests have revealed that populations of bronze age south Siberia, strongly supposed to have been early Indo-europeans, had such characteristics.

Pakistanese children from the Hunza valley

Pakistani children of Karimabad, Hunza Valley (Pakistan)

Burusho girl of Hunza, Pakistan

Young Burusho girl (left) of the Hunza Valley (north Pakistan)

Young Hunza girl (north Pakistan)

Young girl from Hunza (north Pakistan)

Isolated people of the Hindu Kush mountains in the north of Pakistan (in the Chitral district), the Kalash are a polytheistic ethnic group speaking the Kalash language, a Dardic language (a language group considered as a subgroup of the Indo-aryan language family) of the Indo-iranian language family. Their traditions are said to be close to the ancient pre-Zoroastrian Iranian and ancient Indian Vedic traditions.

source : http://pastmists.wordpress.com/

Afghanistan :

Afghan child from the Uzbek community

Afghan child from the Uzbek community

Little girl from Herat, Afghanistan, not far from the Iranian border

Little girl from Herat, Afghanistan, not too far from the Iranian border

Little child from Afghanistan

Little child from Afghanistan

Afghan man with very blue eyes

Blue-eyed Afghan man from Herat, a city not far from the north-east Iran border

Young Afghan from a refugee camp in Iran

Young Afghan from a refugee camp in Iran

Little Afghan girl

Little Afghan girl

Picture of an Afghan boy from a refugee camp in Semnan, Iran

Picture of an Afghan boy from a refugee camp in Semnan, Iran

Hazara girl from Central Afghanistan

Hazara girl from Central Afghanistan

Hazara children, Afghanistan

Hazara children, Afghanistan

Young Hazara boy

Young Hazara boy (Afghanistan)

Young Afghans

Young Afghans

The words of Zoroaster (a.k.a. Zarathustra), the famous Persian sage, described the place of origin of the Aryans (Aryanam Vaejah) in terms that led some historians to believe he was maybe referring to a place in central Asia (excerpt from “The Cambridge ancient history by John Boardman)

Individuals with Europoids features, though rather rare, are findable in these regions as well, like in all the regions where Indo-european languages have been spoken or are currently spoken. It can probably be seen as a legacy of bronze age migrations from central Asia, (and originally from the north-east of the black sea, according to the Kurgan theory).

Little Pashtun girl from the Tribal area

Little Pashtun girl from the Tribal area

Pashtun man from Afghanistan

Pashtun man from Afghanistan. It seems that the term “Pakhta” in the RigVeda is a reference to the ancestors of the Pashtuns (a.k.a. Pakhtuns or Pathans), hinting to the ancient existence of this ethnical group in this region.

In the eastern part of Afghanistan, in a region named Nuristan (formerly known as Kafiristan), Europoid phenotypes are not that rare. The Nuristani (previously known as Kalasha before their conversion to Islam in 1895) are a people living in a very remote and isolated mountainous region of east Afghanistan, in the Hindu-Kush mountains. They maintained their very old pre-islamic traditions, believed to be derived from the antique Indo-iranian traditions of yore, and were polytheistic before being conquered and islamized in the end of the 19th century. They are speaking in a specific branch of Indo-iranian language family (sometimes perceived as having evolved from an archaic branch of the family (i.e. spawned from a different branch than proto-iranian or proto-indo-aryan within the indo-iranian family)).

Little Kalasha girl (Afghanistan)

Little Nuristani girl (Afghanistan)

Kalasha boy from eastern Afghanistan

Nuristani boy from eastern Afghanistan

Little Nuristani girl (Afghanistan)

Little Nuristani girl (1971)

Nursitani girl (notice the tattoo reminding of the Hindu Tilak/bindi)

Nuristani girl (notice the tattoo reminescent of the Hindu Tilak/bindi)

Nuristani schoolgirl (Afghanistan)

Nuristani Girl of Afghanistan

Nuristani Girl of Afghanistan (the tattoo resembles the Hindu bindi (or tilaka))

Little girls from Nuristan

Little girls from Nuristan

It is interesting to note that the regions where the Europoid phenotypes are the most frequent are also the most isolated places where population movements and mixing was much rarer.

Some people believe these Europoid phenotypes are actually the results of rapes by the USSR army during the invasion of Afghanistan that took place from 1979 to 1989. Though, it is very unlikely for several reasons :

  1. It’s already difficult to imagine the Russian army changing the face of Nuristan (especially such an isolated and difficult to access mountainous region), in 10 years – especially since it was a region it didn’t control.
  2. There are photographs of Nuristani from before the Russian invasion such as this one from 1971 (8 years before the invasion) .
  3. Europoid phenotypes are found way further in Asia (north-west China, India, north Pakistan, etc…) that in the area the USSR troopers operated, even though they are not frequent.
  4.  We know by archeological findings and ancient DNA that individuals with such characteristics existed deep into Asia (and it seems confirmed by a few Mummies as well) not so far from these regions (more will be said about this in the next articles).
  5. We have ancient writings that confirms that such features are found in these regions from a long time. For instance, a Chinese buddhist monk from the 7th century describes the population of a kingdom in what is nowadays either south Tajikistan or north-eastern Afghanistan where most of the people had blue eyes (source : Si-Yu-Ki: Buddhist Records of the Western World | the page before the excerpt can be found there in searching “Ta-mo-si-tie-ti“)

Kurdistan :

The Kurds are a people located partly in Turkey, north Syria, north of Iraq and north-western Iran and speaking an Iranian language. They are generally associated with the antique Medes, an ancient “Persian” people having likely brought the ancestor of the Kurdish language in this region. Haplogroup Y-DNA R1a1a is found at a low frequency in west Asia, except among the Kurds where this male lineage reaches about 20% of the local male population.

Here are a few examples of europoid phenotypes found among the Kurdish population :

Kurdish boys from northern Syria

Two Kurdish boys from northern Syria

Little Kurdish boy

Little Kurdish boy

Little Kurdish child

Little Kurdish child

Kurds

Kurds

 

Peshmerga Kurd with Daughter

Peshmerga warrior Kurd with his Daughter

 

               IRAN:

Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Mayor of Tehran

Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf (Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf), Mayor of Tehran

Ayatollah Yazdi (Iran)

Ayatollah Yazdi, former minister of justice of Iran

Ali Larijani, chairman of the Iranian parliament

Ali Larijani, chairman of the Iranian parliament

Mohammad Reza Golzar, Iranian actor and musician

Mohammad Reza Golzar, Iranian actor and musician

Iranian woman

Iranian woman

Old Iranian man

Old Iranian man

Little iranian girl

Little Iranian girl

Little peasant girl from Khorasan (Iran)

Little peasant girl from Khorasan (Iran)

Little Qashaqii girl from Iran

Little Qashaqii girl from Iran

Young Iranian girl from Ar-panah

Young Iranian girl from Ar-panah

Young Iranian schoolgirl

Young Iranian schoolgirl

 

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.

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