In India, humor is incomplete without a Sardar joke. Be it dinner table conversations or comedy shows on television, we just don’t seem to get enough of them. And, what’s even worse, we leave no opportunity to reduce any Sikh we know to a mere joke.
It’s time we tell you how the ’12 baje gaye’ phrase got associated with the Sikhs. If you’ve ever cracked Sardar jokes, you’ll feel deeply embarrassed after reading this.
If the legend is to be believed, the story dates back to the 18th Century when India was invaded by Nader Shah, the Shah of Persia. Nader Shah’s army reached Delhi on March 1739 and a massacre followed. Countless Hindus and Muslims were killed and the women were held captives.
When his armies were crossing through Punjab, the Sikhs devised a plan to attack them and free the women. But since Nader Shah’s army was huge as compared to them, they decided to visit his camps only at night and free as many women as they could as stealthily as possible. They even helped those rescued women return home safely because they knew how important a woman’s dignity was.
But over time, the Hindus started referring to this kind gesture in the form of the 12 o’clock joke without even realizing that had it not been for those Sikhs, their women wouldn’t have survived. They went out of their way to help their brothers and what they got in return was an insensitive joke that stereotyped their community on a ridiculous level.
We think it is time to stop joking about this incident. Do you? Tell us what you feel after reading this.