Social:Punjabi Sikhs

From HandWiki
Short description: Ethnic group of the Indian subcontinent
Punjabi Sikhs
A painting of a Sikh family, circa late 19th century.jpg
A painting of a Sikh family, circa late 19th century
Total population
c. 24–29 million approx.
Regions with significant populations
Punjab, India16,004,754 (2011 census)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Haryana1,243,752 (2011)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Rajasthan872,930 (2011)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Uttar Pradesh643,500 (2011)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Delhi570,581 (2011)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Uttarakhand236,340 (2011)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Maharashtra223,247 (2011)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Madhya Pradesh151,412 (2011)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Chandigarh138,329 (2011)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Himachal Pradesh79,896 (2011)[4][lower-alpha 1]
Sacred language
Sant Bhasha

Ethnic language
Punjabi and its dialects
Code language
Khalsa bole

Other languages
Hindi, English
Related ethnic groups
  • Punjabi Hindus
  • Punjabi Muslims
  • Punjabi Christians


Punjabi Sikhs are adherents of Sikhism who identify ethnically, linguistically, culturally, and genealogically as Punjabis. Punjabi Sikhs are the second-largest religious group of the Punjabis, after the Punjabi Muslims. They form the largest religious community in the Indian state of Punjab. Sikhism is an indigenous religion that originated in the Punjab region of South Asia during the 15th century. Almost 97% of the world's Sikh population are Punjabis.[6]

Punjabi Sikhs are primarily inhabit in the Indian state of Punjab, the only Sikh-majority administrative division on Earth. Punjabi Sikhs make up roughly 60 percent of the state’s population.[7] Many have ancestry from the greater Punjab region, an area that was partitioned between India and Pakistan in 1947. In the contemporary era, apart from Indian Punjab, Punjabi Sikhs are found in large numbers across the Indian states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Large numbers are also found in the United States , Canada , Australia , New Zealand and United Kingdom , as various immigration waves over the centuries better prospects and career.[8]


The Sikh religion founder, Guru Nanak (1469–1539), was roughly a contemporary of the founder of Mughal Empire Babur in India. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in a Punjabi Hindu Khatri family, which was initially a community of scribes and traders.[9] In Un-divided Punjab region, the eldest son of every Punjabi Hindu families was nominated and was represented as Sardars and had protected their family and Indic communities from the tyrannies of Mughal rulers and their torture.[10][11][12] A huge number of peasants from Hindu and Muslim backgrounds in Punjab have converted to Sikhism for various motives (such as conviction, fear, or economic) since the starting of new faith.[13]

Martial race

Indian Punjabi Sikh armies during their military training

The militarization of Punjabi Sikhs began after the execution of Guru Arjan Dev (5th Guru in Sikhism). Following his execution, a conflict erupted between the Mughal Empire and Sikhs which led to the last guru, Gobind Singh, establishing a militarized order known as the Khalsa, in 1699.[14] Punjabi Sikhs were regarded as one of the toughest and fiercest warriors by the British during their rule in the Indian subcontinent. Punjabi Sikh soldiers constituted a significant chunk of the British Indian Army due to their distinguished service in action.[15][16] Despite being only around 2% of India's population, Punjabi Sikhs constitute around 20% of the Indian Armed Forces, with the Punjab province being the 2nd largest contributor for manpower after Uttar Pradesh.[17][18]


Punjabi Sikhs speaks the Punjabi language as their mother tongue. Various dialects of Punjabi language such as Bagri, Bilaspuri, Bhateali, Majhi, Doabi, Malwai, and Puadhi etc are spoken by Punjabi Sikhs across India and abroad as their mother tongue. In Indian Punjab, Punjabi is written in Gurmukhi script, While in Pakistan's Punjab, Shahmukhi script is used respectively.[19] Gurmukhi is written from left to right, while Shahmukhi is written from right to left.[20][21] The use of Gurmukhi script generally started and developed during the time of 2nd Sikh guru, Guru Angad Dev (1504–1552) who have standardized it.[22] It is commonly regarded as Sikh Script. While Shahmukhi script have been used by Punjabi Muslims since from the time of the 12th century, when Punjabi Sufi Poets have used it to write Punjabi. Shahmukhi is a Perso-Arabic alphabet script.[23]



The Punjabi Sikhs observe historic festivals such as Lohri, Basant and Vaisakhi as seasonal and cultural festivals in Punjab and outside of it. Other seasonal Punjabi festivals in India include Maghi and Teeyan respectively. Teeyan is also known as festival of females, as women enjoy it with their close friends. On the day of maghi, people fly kites and eat their traditional dish Punjabi dish khichdi.[24] Other festivals observed by Punjabi Sikhs includes the festivals of Sikhism like- Gurupurab, Bandi Chhor Divas, etc.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Figure is total Sikh population on census.


  1. "Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?". 5 August 2012. 
  2. "Indianapolis Shootout: The US Has Long Lacked Understanding on Who Sikh People Are". 
  3. "Behind the decline". 16 September 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 "Population by religion community – 2011". The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 
  5. Hardip Singh Syan (2013). Sikh Militancy in the Seventeenth Century: Religious Violence in Mughal and Early Modern India. I.B.Tauris. pp. 52–54. ISBN 978-1-78076-250-0. 
  6. "Sikhism | History, Doctrines, Practice, & Literature | Britannica". 
  7. "Census 2011: %age of Sikhs drops in Punjab; migration to blame?". The Times of India. 27 August 2015. 
  8. George, Usha, and Ferzana Chaze. "Punjabis/Sikhs in Canada." Mobility and Multiple Affiliations (2016): 91-104.
  9. "India - the Sikhs in the Punjab | Britannica". 
  10. "From Guru Hargobind to Guru Gobind Singh: How the Sikh community militarised to take on the Mughals". 
  11. Why was the first son made a Sikh
  12. "Sikhism | History, Doctrines, Practice, & Literature | Britannica". 
  13. Singh, Pritam (2008) (in en). Federalism, Nationalism and Development: India and the Punjab Economy. Routledge. ISBN 9781134049455. "A lot of Hindu and Muslim peasants converted to Sikhism from conviction, fear, economic motives, or a combination of the three (Khushwant Singh 1999: 106; Ganda Singh 1935: 73)." 
  19. "Shahmukhi: The window to Punjabi culture". The Times of India. 
  20. Sharma, Saurabh; Gupta, Vishal (May 2013). "Punjabi Documents Clustering System". Journal of Emerging Technologies in Web Intelligence 5 (2): 174. doi:10.4304/JETWI.5.2.171-187. Retrieved 21 April 2020. 
  21. Handbook of Literacy in Akshara Orthography. Springer. 2019. pp. 142. ISBN 978-3030059774. 
  22. "Guru Angad | Second Sikh Guru, Achievements, & Facts | Britannica". 
  23. "Punjabi language | Britannica". 
  24. Punjab Tourism › ...PDF FESTIVALS IN PUNJAB 2021-22

Further reading

  • Benson, Heather Lené. "In Place/Out of Place: Punjabi-Sikhs in Reno, Nevada" (PhD dissertation, University of Nevada, Reno, 2022) online.
  • Bhachu, Parminder. "Culture, ethnicity and class among Punjabi Sikh women in 1990s Britain." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 17.3 (1991): 401-412.
  • Banerjee, Himadri. "The Other Sikhs: Punjabi-Sikhs of Kolkata." Studies in History 28.2 (2012): 271-300.
  • Grewal, Jagtar Singh. The Sikhs of the Punjab (Cambridge University Press, 1998).
  • Usha, George, and Ferzana Chaze. "Punjabis/Sikhs in Canada." in Mobility and Multiple Affiliations (2016): 91-104.