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Sikhism: 12 O Clock Joke at the Railway Station
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12 O’ Clock Joke at the Railway Station

I was standing at the New Delhi railway station when my attention went towards a Sikh youth standing near me wearing a black turban, a long beard, and a Kirpan over his shirt. At the first glance he looked like a terrorist.

After a while, one local train arrived, which was totally packed. The Sikh youth tried to board the train but failed to do so. Just then a voice was heard from the back coach 'Sardar Ji Barah Baj Gaye' (Sir it's 12 o'clock!)

The Sikh youth looked over at the person making the remark and instead of showing any anger, the Sikh smiled. The smile made was so enigmatic that it seemed as if some type of truth lies behind it. Not able to resist my temptation, I walked towards him and asked why he smiled at that person who teased him? The Sikh youth replied, 'He was not teasing me but was asking for my Help'.

I was surprised with these words. He told me that there was a big history behind that which one should know. I was eager to know the History and the Sikh youth narrated: During 17th Century, when India was ruled by Mughals (Muslim Extremists) Emperor, Aurengzeb. Hindus were humiliated and deprived of any right to conduct their religious practices. Mughals treated the Hindu women as there own property and were forcing all Hindus to accept Islam and even used to kill if someone refused to accept Islam.

During that time, our ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji came forward, in response to a request by some Kashmir Pandits (Hindu Priests) to fight against all these cruel activities. Guru Ji 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 to do so, he should stop all of his oppression. The Mughal emperor happily agreed to the challenge and invited Guru Ji to Delhi. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was tortured for five days, he was made to sit on hot iron plates, hot oil was poured on his body. He was boiled in hot water and subjected to many more tortures in the hope that he would cave in and accept Islam. Guru Ji however did not even scream once, he was a true devotee of God and had been meditation on God for decades. After extreme tortures when Aurengzeb failed to convert Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji to Islam, he beheaded the Guru in Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

Thus Guru Ji 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 them came forward to lift his body, fearing that they would also be assassinated.

Seeing this incident our 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji made a resolution that he would convert Sikhs to such human beings who would not only be the devotees of God but in order to protect their religion and the right of worship for others, they would also be warriors as well. Guru Gobind Singh Ji as instructed by God, created Khalsa and fought many battles against Muslim Extremists to protect the freedom of every individual.

In the beginning, Sikhs warriors were very few in numbers and they were fighting against the army of hundreds of thousands headed by Mughal emperor. At that time, Nadir Shah, a Muslim extremist, raided Delhi in the year 1739 and looted India and was carrying lot of Indian treasures and nearly 2200 Hindu women along with him. The news spread like 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 army at midnight.

He did so and rescued all the Hindu women and they were safely sent back to their homes. It didn't happen only once but thereafter whenever any army from Afghanistan or Iran attacked and looted an Indian city and were trying to carry the wealth and women in order to sell them in Arab markets, the Sikh army although fewer in numbers but brave hearted attacked them at midnight,12 O'clock and rescued the women along with the wealth.

Whenever there was a similar incident, people started to contact the Sikh army for their help and Sikhs used to attack the raiders at Midnight, 12 O'clock. Sikhs did so because they were fewer in number and could use the darkness to their advantage. It continued and became a known fact that at midnight, nearly at 12 O'clock, it is very difficult to fight against Sikhs, as the Sikhs mastered the art of fighting at night.

Nowadays, these "smart people" and the people who do not like Sikhs have spread the word that at 12 O'clock, the Sikhs go out of their senses. This historic fact was the reason which made me smile over that person as I thought that his mother or sister would be in trouble and wanted my help. He so reminded me by saying 'Sardar Ji Barah Baj Gaye'.

As he was narrating the incident I was feeling ashamed of myself as I used to click and enjoy the jokes on Sikhs and too made fun of them. But now I have got to know the truth that these Sikhs are born to protect the freedom of others and they are real patriotic to Humanity and Religion. What are we all doing to these great Saints and Soldiers? Instead of thanking them, we all are making fun.

Earlier the Sikh youth appeared as a Terrorist but now I could see the reflection of real patriotic person in him.

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