Friday, January 27, 2023


The aura and physical aspects of being a Sardar

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | June 09, 2022 06:30 PM
JD Chadha
JD Chadha

By Jagdip singh Chadha 
If you think that a Sardar is one who wears turban over his head, then you have not the right understanding of this word. To understand what exactly it connotes, read on the succeeding paras.

‘Sardar’ – the term invokes many thoughts and feelings in different people. ‘Sardar’ is a title given to a person who holds his head high, displays leadership qualities, and/or belongs to a respected family.

In India, a Sardar is commonly perceived as a member of the Sikh faith, but few people know that the term has been in use across Arab and Asian regions throughout history. In fact, ancient Persia is said to be where it was first used.

The word Sardar comes from the Persian language. In Persian, “Sardar” means head of a Qabila or a sect. It’s considered a highly respectable word in Persian which becomes evident from the fact that the Iranian Sardars used to wear head gear and this way they stood out in the crowd and looked different, commanding somethings more than others, who were without headgears.

To go little deeper, in Hindustani languages the word “Sardar” gives an understanding of a leader who leads his followers from the front. He is a person with exceptional qualities, commands respect of people, stands by his convictions and always prepared to make sacrifices for the noble causes which he has espouses and represents in his life, and which are for universal good. He is not moved by narrow sectarian interests.

He has no self-interest in life as he lives and dies for the timeless values which he holds and remains steadfastly attached to them till he breathes. Let’s not make the error of treating the word leader same as understood for a Political Leader. The field of a political leader is very limited as compared to the arena of true leaders. The objective of a political leader will be to work according to the philosophy and aims of a political outfit as given out in its manifesto. But the philosophy of a true leader is all encompassing and cannot be confined to a one document. It has no horizon and stands for all universal values and empathies with the sufferers and endeavors to heal the sorrows of the entire mankind.

Thus, a person addressed or seen as a Sardar stands for something much bigger than a commoner. Truly, a Sardar has higher pedestal, responsibilities and is generally judged on the touchstone of the traits and qualities mentioned above. This not only needs to be demonstrated in his day-to-day deeds and conduct but his outer wear also. It will not be wrong to say that a true Sardar feels incomplete and lacking in something if he does not wear an important part of his dress, which is a turban, on his head any time and instead moves out just covering his head with a cloth.

One who has internalized the true qualities of a Sardar automatically feels, deep inside his being, that he is missing some part of his identity, which consequently shakes his confidence and makes him vulnerable. But the very moment he puts turban on his head, there is astonishing change in his personality which immediately takes him to a higher echelon. He turns into a leader in the true sense with the aura of spiritualism. While it may appear to be incredible to some as it cannot manifest itself in a materialistic form, this truth is to be experienced and will be perceptible to a person in possession of these higher qualities. This is the truth about a TURBAN. But it is equally necessary that a wearer of turban cultivates selflessness in his attitude and empathy for all mankind. This is the reason that a turbaned Sikh commands respect of one and all and always addressed as Sardar ji. He is always looked upon as a human being with higher values who will willingly come forward to help the needy.

We find evidence of this in our daily life but sometimes miss out their significance. We watch TV and movies. Do we ever find any Sikh character being shown as a villain or a person practicing cruelty? On the contrary, a Sikh character is always depicted as one showing sympathy for all and coming to the help and rescue of anyone needing them. The reason for this obvious, which is that Indian Society will not support any such characterization as they are aware that a Sikh will never dream of indulging in negativity or causing harm to others for his personal benefit.

In support of what I have mentioned above, I am sharing a personal experience which occurred about 5 years back. The government of Morocco, a country in the South of Spain, facing Atlantic Ocean, invited me as a delegate to attend a World Conference organized in their country. On reaching the conference hallwe found venue was fully packed we were forced to to stand on the sidewalk.

Sitting on the dais was the Prime Minister of Morocco as I was the only one with turban and that too in red colour standing with other delegates. The Prime Minister noticed that I was standing on the sidewalk. He immediately summoned his secretary and said something to him. His secretary thereafter rushed to me and requested to follow him. He then made me sit in first row after requesting the delegate sitting there to vacate the seat for me.

Here the Sardari, in its true form, was before our eyes. There were many delegates standing but I was the one noticed by the Prime Minister of Morocco from the Dais. This had nothing to do with me, but it was the miracle and aura of a turbaned person and a true representation of respect commanded by a turbaned individual.

The true mark of a Sardar is leadership. Someone who can utilise their mind and heart and apply them in the right place at the right time. Someone that brings about positive change and goodwill in the world is undoubtedly a Sardar in every way.

  • Jagdip singh Chadha is Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Korea,  Chandigarh, India
  • Chairman, Sigma Group of Companies New Delhi, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Punjab and Chicago, USA
  • 9810022962 contact the author

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