Should jokes on Sardars be banned for good?
Should jokes on Sardars be banned for good?Introduction:
Since long people have entertained and allowed to be entertained by “sardar jokes”, which according to a recent petition portrays Sikhs as “unintelligent, foolish, and naïve. The jokes are racist in nature and puts them at a risk of ridicule in a not so funny manner.
The SC has decided to look into the matter with due seriousness. What followed was a series of responses from the Sikh community. While some Sikhs believe that they laugh the loudest at the jokes, others are offended and support the ban.
There have been protests against these jokes ever since their origin but it seems that the matter was never considered with as much seriousness before. Now that the matter is in SC, it would soon be decided whether or not these jokes are offensive. Meanwhile, we can look at this from both the perspectives.
1. The fact that Sardarji jokes are meant to be offensive can be understood if we look at it from the point of view of its origin. According to a researcher, it is merely “the success story” of the Sikh community that made the non-Sikh majority envious of them. Sikhs are successful people, in strength and prosperity, which made others insecure and resulted in the making of these jokes to hurt their pride. When the origin itself was intended to hurt the sentiments of a community, it would be better if these racial jokes could be gone for good.
2. The very popular “12 o’ clock” jokes associated with the alleged reasoning that Sardars are their senses only at this time of the day. The origin of this joke dates back to the invasion of India by Nadir Shah, who was taking women from India as captives. The Sikh fought him and freed many women, saving the dignity of women. The high class majority community saw this as a threat of their growing strength and popularity and hence started the stereotype of the “12 o’ clock” joke. This act of immense courage with good intention behind it should never have been the reason for the origin of an offensive stereotype.
3. It is false to say that the Sikh community enjoys the jokes made on them. Not everyone does. In fact a large number of people of the Sikh community are offended but their jovial nature makes them pretend to enjoy the joke with a laughter. School going children are sometimes bullied by others and their innocent minds cannot decipher why their clan is compared to such idiocy and foolishness. Even when they grow up, there will always be someone in their peer group who would look at them and raise a Sardarji joke. Who can really enjoy this kind of discrimination all their life?
4. In movies and daily soaps too, poking fun at Sardars is nothing new. In a group of different characters, the Sikh guy is mostly shown as the foolish and not so educated one of them all. He would poke fun at himself and never be offended when others make fun of him racially. The famous movie “Singh is King” which has the lead protagonist as a Sardar is also seen doing the same until the very end. This is absolute discrimination. There are so much more to Sikh people than just their jovial nature and poking fun is definitely not acceptable.
5. We Indians are not and should never be allowed to hurt religious sentiments of other people. When you live in a democracy with the largest diversity, only respect for each other can make your country peaceful and devoid of worthless havocs. Pointing to a particular community and cracking jokes on everything they do is not funny when it passes on from decades. It is bound to hurt the sentiments of people. We can surely do away with this stereotype.
6. As many as 5000 websites are dedicated to Sardarji jokes. Everyone has the right to live with dignity and this trend of labeling them low is definitely derogatory of their self-respect. There are reportedly too many instances when Sardars face ridicule even in foreign countries about their lack of knowledge in English. These websites spread it all across the borders and the Sikh community has to live with it.
1. Some of best Sardarji jokes have been made by Sardars themselves. They are fun loving people with a great sense of humor. Khushwant Singh’s collections of Santa Banta jokes are amongst the most popular ones. It is a sign of greatness when a person is able to poke fun at himself without feeling offended. These are meant totally in good humor and these amazing writers would not like the idea of banning sardar jokes.
2. There is no doubt that sardars are successful and courageous people and that is the very reason most of them are not offended by these jokes. Our army is dominated by them and we are proud of the good work they have been doing ever since independence. When you are happy and satisfied with your life and work, there is no reason why you would pay heed to what others think of you. These are jokes and they are meant for fun.
3. While Sardar jokes might be the most popular of the lot, it cannot be denied that there are jokes on all communities, popular or not so popular. If jokes on Sardars are banned, what follows will be a parade of all community seeking to ban jokes on them. There are jokes on every community and every culture. There are jokes on Italians, Polish, Romans, English, Greeks but they do not take it upon them to stop everyone from a good laughter at their expense.
4. What would happen to freedom of speech if jokes are asked to be banned? India is much more ahead of this and we are not supposed to be sitting in courtrooms to discuss banning of jokes when they are completely harmless and there are other important matters where court should be sparing time. What on earth would happen to those numerous books, mostly by Sikh writers like Khushwant Singh, dedicated to Sardar jokes? Someone should consider the view of these writers before resorting to bans.
Making jokes for good humor is one thing and humiliating or bullying someone for it is another. Actions should be taken to protect the people of the community from this and the solution is not a ban on jokes. Even if the jokes are banned online and the sites containing them are removed, people have it in their minds to poke fun of Sardars and they would continue doing so unless they are advised against it by apex laws.
When a country loses its sense of humor and people resort to bans every other day, it is definitely headed towards strict intolerance and people are becoming more easily offended. We could only hope that people grow up and stop being offended every time someone takes the name of their community for a reason not seen appropriate by them.
- RE: Should jokes on Sardars be banned for good? -Deepa Kaushik (11/18/15)
- The question is not all that simple as it seems. The jokes on Sardars, when it comes to specifically hurting the sentiments of a community is definitely bad. We are living in a nation where we shout aloud the slogan of 'Unity in Diversity'. We should be conscious of the sentiments of our co-brotherens who should be treated with the same dignity and prestige as anyone else.
Passing a comment on sardars or any other person is unacceptable. But when it comes to sardars, we find practically find people more inclined towards passing sarcastic comments. This gesture of common man need to be controlled which often hurts the person. It is definitely the sportive spirit of the Sikh community which makes them tolerate and bear all these comments in a light temper.
Very correctly said, the kids from the Sikh community who are hardly aware of the external world also are tortured by similar comments and projections which makes makes them emotionally insecure when interacting with others in the society. This trauma inflicted into these kids is definitely an unacceptable stigma imposed on to the Sikh community.
Posing a ban on the jokes is not going against the freedom of speech or expression. our freedom never allows us to make mockery of others. it is clearly stated that we should use our freedom in a way that should not affect others.
It is understandable that a ban imposed on the jokes would be very strict action enforced. But we need to realize that for a very long period we have been unjust towards the Sikhs in the form of sarcastic jokes. This strictness in the form of ban should be accepted as a punishment against the sarcasm driven all through.
As far as the writers and the books are concerned, good authors have many other books other than their joke books. If a ban on the book could do some good to a community, then the authors should themselves welcome the move for the betterment of the nation.
- RE: Should jokes on Sardars be banned for good? -vinod (11/17/15)
- Jokes are for making people laugh as laughfter is good for health. So Jokes on Sirdar should be assumed as not being racist discrimination or abasement. There are lot of jokes on every community but only Sikh community become famous why because of there strengh and past deeds. So any brethren from that community should not feel low whenever anyone cracking jokes on Sirdar.