Reality of 12"o Clock Joke

Discussion in 'Jokes' started by manjumnair, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. manjumnair

    manjumnair Silver IL'ite

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    Indians use the 12 o'clock joke to rib the Sikhs without quite knowing
    what it's about. In turn, the Sikh victims get infuriated without
    quite knowing why. The origins of the joke, now lost in the mists of
    time, were in dead earnest. If the Sikhs knew the real story, they
    would be proud to be alluded to as the `12 o'clock people', and
    Indians would regard them with a new respect.

    To understand the joke, we have to go back to the time of Guru Gobind
    Singh. Then, Delhi was ruled by Aurangzeb, an autocrat who had a firm
    rein on his government and patrolled his borders well. There was
    little chance of an invasion, but the emperor's insistence on
    concentrating all power in his own hands for fear of meeting the same
    fate as he had inflicted upon his father Shah Jehan ultimately ensured
    the downfall of his line.

    Aurangzeb did not allow even his own sons to acquire administrative
    experience for fear that they would get too powerful for him to
    handle. In the absence of compelling authority, the Mughal empire
    crumbled immediately after his death. Under Bahadur Shah, his
    successor, the centre refused to hold and the borders became
    vulnerable. In 1739 Nadir Shah, King of Persia, crossed the frontier
    and swept down towards the capital. He was the first invader who was
    here only to plunder and kill, with no intention of staying on. His
    troops reached Delhi, where they killed 1.5 lakh people, both Hindus,
    Sikhs and Muslims. He headed homewards almost immediately, taking back
    incredible loot gold, jewelry, elephants, horses, camels, skilled
    labourers and, as is usual in war, women.

    The troops had to pass through Punjab and when the Sikhs heard of the
    enormous number of captured women, they decided to intervene. Without
    a strong military leader, they could not afford to make a frontal
    attack. They took to making midnight guerrilla raids on Nadir Shah's
    camp. Every night, small bands of Sikh led regiments would strike with
    the sole intention of freeing as many of the captive women as possible
    and returning them to their homes before daybreak. These attacks
    became something of an institution later, after Nadir Shah had quit
    the country, when an increasing number of invaders began to come down
    into the Indian plains, drawn by its fabled riches.

    Thus was the 12 o'clock joke born. Initially, instead of being
    grateful for their heroism, Indians would say that the Sikhs are in
    their senses only at night. It was apparently futile to expect help
    from them at other times. Then they referred to midnight, for they
    didn't want to credit the Sikhs with sense for the duration of a whole
    night. The Sikhs were naturally annoyed. They were trying to help
    Indian people and were getting only derision in return. They were
    always armed, and did not hesitate to draw steel. To minimise personal
    risk, Hindus and Muslims started referring to the relatively neutral
    12 o'clock, rather than midnight, and even then they often ran for
    their lives.

    The final result was the safe, bald statement, `It is 12 o'clock,'
    shorn of all reference to its very interesting history. When Indians
    crack this joke, they are oblivious to the fact that had the Sikhs not
    intervened, their womenfolk would have been dishonoured and taken into
    exile. The Sikhs should be proud of the 12 o'clock incident. Because
    of them, the dignity of the Indian community was restored after Nadir
    Shah's invasion, the most terrible act of war ever to be perpetrated
    in India.</pre>

  2. arch174

    arch174 Senior IL'ite

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    gud post..very informative...on the other side I have sumthing 2 say..
    I met a lady who was a sardarni & a naturopath..she told me that most sardars wear red colour turbans which is considered the hottest colour on the Vibgyor..becoz of this when they go out in the mid-noon sun their crown really gets heated(no pun intended)...\the remedy wud be to wear light blue/violet which r the coolest..
    does anyone have any experience in this regard?
  3. Vysan

    Vysan Gold IL'ite

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    That was a nice piece of info....

    However to the best of my knowledge the 12 clock joke refers to the midday and not the night......That is what i have heard... May be i am wrong......


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