SIKHISM, a religion of India, whose followers (Sikhs) are principally found in the Punjab, United Provinces, Sind, Jammu and Kashmir.
About two centuries afterwards, in the course of the struggle between the Sikhs and the Mahommedans, Ahmad Shah Durani routed the Sikhs at the great battle of Panipat, and on his homeward march he destroyed the town of Amritsar, blew up the temple with gunpowder, filled in the sacred tank with mud, and defiled the holy place by the slaughter of cows.
But when Ahmad Shah returned to Kabul the Sikhs rose once more and re-established their religion.
It is the headquarters of the Sikh religion, containing 264,329 Sikhs as against 280,985 Hindus and 474,976 Mahommedans.
Arrah is famous for an incident in the Mutiny, when a dozen Englishmen, with 50 Sikhs, defended an ordinary house against 2000 Sepoys and a multitude of armed insurgents, perhaps four times that number.
A detachment of this force, consisting of 200 Yaos and Sikhs under Lieut.-Colonel Plunket, was attacked on the 17th of April and overwhelmed.
The settlement in Flying Fish Cove now numbers some 250 inhabitants, consisting of Europeans, Sikhs, Malays and Chinese, by whom roads have been cut and patches of cleared ground cultivated.
These regiments, consisting of Gurkhas, Sikhs and Pathans, are distributed throughout the Shan States and the northern part of Burma.
The rent was Sikhs 6,596 Jews 685 Parsees 245 Others 28 reduced permanently in 1898 to Rs.2,00,000 a year, but the share of the profits taken by government was increased from 20 to 30%.
The Sikhs of to-day, though they all derive primarily from Nanak, are only recognized as Singhs or real Sikhs when they accept the doctrines and practices of Guru Govind Singh.
Thenceforward the Sikhs believe the spirit of Nanak to have been incarnate in each succeeding guru.
He used to place all his Sikhs and visitors in rows and cause them to eat together, not separately, as is the practice of the Hindus.
It was a maxim of the Sikhs of his time: "If any one treat you ill, bear it.
When Prithi Chand represented that he ought to have received the turban bound on Guru Arjan's head in token of succession to his father, Arjan meekly handed it to him, without, however, bestowing on him the guruship. The Sikhs themselves soon revolted against the exactions of Prithi Chand, and prayed Arjan to assert himself else the seed of the True Name would perish.
It is largely to this practice that the Sikhs owe the superiority of their physique over their surrounding Hindu neighbours.
In the Autobiography of Jahangir it is stated that the guru was imprisoned in the fortress of Gwalior, with a view to the realization of the fine imposed on his father Guru Arjan, but the Sikhs believe that the guru became a voluntary inmate of the fortress with the object of obtaining seclusion there to pray for the emperor who had been advised to that effect by his Hindu astrologers.
After the guru's death the gradual rise of the Sikhs into the ruling power of northern India until they came in collision with the British arms belongs to the secular history of the Punjab (q.v.).
The five K's and the other esoteric observances of the Sikhs mostly had a utilitarian purpose.
This prophecy became the battle-cry of the Sikhs in the assault on Delhi in 18J7.
There may first be mentioned the zealots such as the Akalis, who, though generally quite illiterate, aim at observing the injunctions of Sikhism Guru Govind Singh; secondly, the true Sikhs or Singhs who observe his ordinances, such as the prohibi tions of cutting the hair and the use of tobacco; and, thirdly, those Sikhs who while professing devotion to the tenets of the gurus are almost indistinguishable from ordinary Hindus.
These are largely Nanakpanti Sikhs, or followers only of Guru Nanak.
The Nanakpanti Sikhs do not wear the hair long, nor use any of the outward signs of the Sikhs, though they reverence the Granth Sahib and above all the memory of their guru.
After the British conquest of the Punjab the military spirit of the Sikhs remained for some time in abeyance.
Then came the mutiny, and Sikhs once more were recruited in numbers and saved India for the British crown.
Peace returned, and during the next twenty or twenty-five years Sikhism reached its lowest ebb; but since then the demand for Sikhs in the regiments of the Indian army and farther afield has largely revived the faith.
For authorities see Cunningham, History of the Sikhs; Sir Lepel Griffin, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (" Rulers of India" series, 1892); Falcon, Handbook on Sikhs; and specially M.
Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors (6 vols., 1909), and two lectures before the United Service Institution of India on "The Sikh Religion and its Advantages to the State" and "How the Sikhs became a Militant Race."
There is a police force composed of Europeans, Indian Sikhs and Chinese; and a strong military garrison.
The great bulk of the Indo-Aryan or Hindu population consists of Uriyas, with a residue of immigrant Bengalis, Lala Kayets from Behar and northern India, Telingas from the Madras coast, Mahrattas from central and western India, a few Sikhs from the Punjab and Marwaris from Rajputana.
Here, most brilliant sight of all, were the Imperial Service troops sent by the native princes of India; while the detachments of Sikhs who marched earlier in the procession received their full meed of admiration and applause.
This monarch despatched an embassy to Peking to demand the restitution of the Mahommedan states of Central Asia, but the embassy was not well received, and Ahmed Shah was too much engaged with the Sikhs to attempt to enforce his demands by arms. The Chinese continued to hold Kashgar, with sundry interruptions from Mahommedan revolts - one of the most serious occurring in 1827, when the territory was invaded and the city taken by Jahanghir Khoja; Chang-lung, however, the Chinese general of Ili, recovered possession of Kashgar and the other revolted cities in 1828.
After six years of peace the Sikhs invaded British territory in 1845, but were defeated in four battles, and terms were imposed upon them at Lahore, the capital of the Punjab.
In spite of the valour of the Sikhs, they were utterly routed at Gujarat, and in March 1849 Dhuleep Singh was deposed, a pension of £40,000 a year being granted to him and his dependants.
The constabulary numbers some 600 men and consists of a mixed force of Sikhs, Pathans, Punjabi Mahommedans, Dyaks and Malays, officered by a few Europeans.
The total number of persons belonging to all the other religions - Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsees, Christians, Jews, Aryas and Brahmoswas only 268,930, or less than o.
1784 (in 1811 and 1826); Sketch of the Sikhs (1812); Observations on the Disturbances in the Madras Army in 1809 (1812); Persia, a Poem, anonymous (1814); A Memoir of Central India (2 vols., 1823); and Sketches of Persia, anonymous (1827).
His great ambition was to recover Peshawar from the Sikhs; and when Captain Alexander Burnes arrived on a mission from Lord Auckland, with the ostensible object of opening trade, the Dost was willing to promise everything, if only he could get Peshawar.
It was felt on all sides that a trial of strength between the British and the Sikhs was at hand.
The British loss on each occasion was heavy; but by the last victory the Sikhs were fairly driven into and across the Sutlej, and Lahore surrendered to the British.
Multan had previously fallen; and the Afghan horse under Dost Mahommed, who had forgotten their hereditary antipathy to the Sikhs in their greater hatred of the British name, were chased back with ignominy to their native hills.
The population of India, of which the main divisions are religious, falls naturally into four groups, (I) Mahommedans, (2) Hindus, (3) Sikhs, (4) Parsees.
Some village Sikhs wear a tahband or waistcloth instead of the kach.