Q: Why are Sardars sometimes referred to as na´ve and unintelligent?
A: Sardar means a leader. In order to eliminate the caste system Guru Gobind Singh Ji made every Sikh a Sardar, a leader. Sikhs have been fighting against oppression by Muslim Extremists and protecting the Indian borders for centuries. Sardarji jokes are a class of jokes based on stereotypes of Sikhs. Although jokes on several ethnic stereotypes are common in India, the Sardarji jokes are one of the most popular and widely circulated ethnic jokes in India. These jokes are said to have started by the non-Sikh Punjabis because they were jealous of the Sikhs who were brave, strong, extremely intelligent, and enterprising.
Some of the dominant traits of the Sardarji jokes include the Sardarji being shown as na´ve, inept, unintelligent, unclean, or not well-versed with the English language which is far from the truth. Santa Singh and Banta Singh (Santa-Banta) are two popular names used for stereotypical jokes. When no one could find anything bad about Sikhs, the Santa Banta jokes were started to ridicule the Sikhs. This shows the joke maker’s own insecurity as he could not rise up to the occasion and had to find an opportunity to make fun of the one who did.
One of the categories of Sardarji jokes include 12 O’ Clock jokes. The notion originated with Sardar Jassa Singh, a Sikh who fought against Muslim Extremist called Nadir Shah, came up with brilliant tactics to fight against the Muslim army. Since Sikhs were fewer in number, they developed strategic, highly skilled, and intelligent way of fighting with the Muslim Extremists at night in order to use the darkness to their advantage and they did so at 12 o’ clock midnight. More info >>
While most Sikhs have a good sense of humor and do not easily get offended by such jokes, one can however get offended since the jokes refer to the religion and the collection of people. One has to be very careful about making such jokes because not only can you can offend someone, you yourself can be perceived as racial. It is best not to joke about anyone’s religion, race or culture. Any type of racial jokes such as Sardarji jokes, black jokes, Jew jokes or any other type of jokes are sure funny when you are making fun of other but not if the joke is about your race, culture or religion.
Related Information External Links