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Nihang Sikhs

Nihang Sikhs:

Amid the recent standoff between the protesting farmers and the government, Nihang Sikh warriors have joined the protest, extending support to farmers facing off with security forces

  • Nihangs, originally known as Akalis or Akali Nihangs, are a distinct warrior order within the Sikh community, known for their martial traditions, unique attire, and adherence to a specific code of conduct.
  • They have a rich history dating back to the times of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru.
  • They are easily recognizable by their distinctive blue attire, which includes blue robes, and high turbans adorned with steel quoits (chakrams), and they often carry traditional weapons like swords, spears, and daggers.
  • They are highly skilled in Gatka martial arts and have historically served as a dedicated and elite force to protect Sikh shrines and communities.
  • Nihangs had a major role in defending the Sikh Panth after the fall of the first Sikh rule (1710-15) when Mughal governors were killing Sikhs and during the onslaught of Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Durrani (1748-65).
  • Nihangs are today divided into several groups, each with its own “chhaoni” (cantonment), but are loosely organised into two “dals” (forces)—Buddha Dal and Taruna Dal, names initially given to the two sections into which the ‘Khalsa’ army was divided in 1733.