Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Did Sikhs conquer Afghanistan?

This blog post is in response to those excited Sikhs and Indians who are posting 'Loony tunes history' history and are making a claim that Sikhs conquered and ruled Afghanistan including the capital Kabul . Accounts by Sikhs are more or less legends and stories not supported by historical facts.

1- Did Sikhs conquer Kabul?

3- Did Hari Singh really force Pashtuns to wear Shalwar Kameez?

Sikhs and some Pakistani Punjabis claim that Ranjeet Singh conquered Kabul. This is not borne out by facts. In 1836 Sikh general Hari Singh garrisoned the fort at Jamrud, constructed by Mughals, located at the mouth of Khyber Pass ( Jamrud stands on the border between Peshawar District and the Khyber Agency), with his men. The Amir of Kabul sent an army to deal with Hari Singh. Afghans inflicted a defeat on the Sikhs and their capable general got killed in his first major battle with a regular army. Sikhs never ventured into the hills of Pakhtunkhwa to avoid any disaster so only plain areas were under their sway and much of it was nominally part of Sikh kingdom.

2- Did  Hari Singh really force Pashtuns to wear Shalwar Kameez?

Indian Sikhs , the "Looney Tunes", on web are saying that Shalwar Kameez is dress of women. They have created a joke that Hari Singh was so scary that Pashtuns started wearing "woman-ish" dress Shalwar Kameez out of fear (Not withstanding the fact that Hari Singh died while showing his back to the Pashtuns in the thick of battle). By saying that they are claiming that Shalwar Kameez is feminine dress of Sikhs. But the truth is,  the needle and stitched clothes were introduced to India by Muslims. Before advent of Islam, Hindus used to cover their bodies with just one piece of cloth. Males would not cover their upper body and would wear only"Langotia" and "Dhoti" and their women were also barely covered. In deeper parts of India, the women would keep their breasts exposed like those Africans of deep jungles or Aborigines of Australia. The modesty and covering the entire body, are Islamic influences on Hindus. The fact is , Sikh males also wear Shalwar Kameez and are not so eager to always roam around in traditional Dhoti. Their Shalwar Kameez dress is actually called "Pathan suit" in India. It were the Pashtun rulers of Punjab who were associated with Shalwar Kameez in medieval times and Sikhs adopted it from them.  The traditional dress of Sikh women is not actually Shalwar, but Dhoti like their men ;


A family scene of Punjab. A painting by Ustad Allah Bux ( 1895-1978)

                                  Dhoti, the real dress of Punjabi (including Sikh) men and women.