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  • Malkiat Singh Duhra

History of Jats

In the early 21st century, the Jats constituted about 20% of the population of Punjab and Haryana; nearly 10% of the population of Blochisthan, Rajasthan, and Delhi; and 2–5% of the population of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Uttar Pradesh. The Jat population is a traditionally agricultural community in North India and Pakistan. Originally pastoralists in the lower Indus River-valley of Sindh, Jats migrated north into the Punjab region in the late medieval times, and subsequently into the Delhi territory, northeastern Rajputana, and the western Gangetic pain in the 17th and 18th centuries. Before they settled in Punjab and other northern regions, they had little exposure to any religion. Over time, Jats became Muslim in western Punjab, Sikh in eastern Punjab, and Hindu in Delhi, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Rajasthan.

Jats took up arms against the Mughal Empire during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Maharaja Surajmal (1707-1763) Hindu Jats, Sikhs and Muslims like Dula Bhatti revolted against Mughals. Later, Jats played an important role against colonial rule to get freedom. Jats are one of the dominant communities in Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh owing to their land holdings. They form about 20-25% of the population of Punjab. They form about 60-66% of the Sikh population in Punjab. By the 20th century, landowning Jats became an influential group in several parts of North India, including Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and some part of Rajasthan. Over the years several Jats abandoned agriculture in favour of urban jobs and used their dominant economic and political status to claim higher social status.

Origin of Jats: Jats are are commonly considered to be of Indo-Aryan origin in view of the similar ethnological, cultural, physical features, and common practices. They are the pure Aryans and their original home land was Sapta Sindhu. On the basis of the historical facts the Jats are reported be present in India from 3102 B.C. They had to migrate from India for economic, social, and political reasons for some period of time but they returned back to India. While migrating, they did not leave their language and cultural traditions.

The cast census was conducted in 1931 which estimated the Jat population to be 8 million, mostly concentrated in North-West India. Deryck O. Lodrick estimated the Jat population to be over 33 million (around 12 million in India and 21 million in Pakistan) in South Asia in 2009. In India in the 21st century, it was estimated the Jat population is 20-25% in Haryana, 20-30% in Punjab, 9% in Rajasthan, 5% in Delhi, and 1.2% in Uttar Pradesh, of the total population.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the Jat people have dominated as the political class in Punjab and Haryana. Some Jats have become Prime Minister of India such as Chaughary Charn Singh, Deputy Prime Minister of India Chaudhary Devi Lal. Sardar Partap Singh Kairon, Sardar Parkas Singh Badal, and Captain Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister of Punjab. Some Jats were selected as IAS and IPS officers. Mostly the Jats are involved in farming and some join the Army and Police services. Many Jat Sikhs migrated to other countries for a better life. Many Jats served in Indian Army, including Jat Regiment, Sikh Regiment, Rajputana Rifles and the Grenadiers, where they have won many of the highest military rewards for gallantry and bravery. They got high ranks like Air Marshal as Arjan Singh, General Harbaksh Singh, General Gurbaksh Singh, General Sparrow, General Kulvant Singh, etc. Jats have played an important role in the Asian and Olympic Games and won medals for India.

In Pakistan, many Jat Muslims have dominated roles in public life in Pakistani Punjab and Pakistan in general. The Jat community also exists in Sindh, Kachhi region of Blochestan, Kashmir, and the Dera IsmailKhan District of the North- West Frontier province. Jats have become notable political leaders in Pakistan. They are in good positions in the Army, Police and Civil Services. They have played a major role in getting freedom from the British.

List of clans: Ahlawat, Anjana, Athwal, Ahluwalia, Aujla, Aulakh, Babri, Bains, Bajwa, Babbar, Beniwal, Bharwan, Boparai, Brar, Butter, Cheema, Sheena, Dabia, Dahiya, Dharan, Dhaliwal, Dhillon, Duhra, Dulay, Gandam, Gill, Grewal, Hera, Jawanda, Kahlon, Kalair, Khakh, Khangura, Khang, Kharal, Lashari, Kooner, Majithia, Mahli, Mann, Malik, Mirdha, Muley, Naich, Pannu, Parmar, Panwar, Pawar, Poonia, Rahal, Rahar, Rai, Randhawa, Ranjha, Rehvar, Rathor, Sahota, Sandhawalia, Sandhu, Sangha, Sekhon, Sohi, Sial, Sidhu, Teotia, Thaheem, Tomar, Virk, Warraich, and many others

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