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Castes of India
Saini or Shoorsaini/Sauraseni)(Šúraséna in Sanskrit) (Sourasenoi in Greek)
Classification Yaduvanshi [4][5][6] (Shoorsaini) [7] Kshatriya/Rajput [8][9][10] (agricultural) [11]
Religions Hinduism and Sikhism
Language Mainly Punjabi and its dialects like Dogri & Pahari ;Hindi and its dialects in Haryana
Populated States Punjab (India) predominantly, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, & Jammu & Kashmir[12][13]

Saini (About this sound pronunciation is a warrior caste of India. Sainis, also known as Shoorsaini in Puranic literature, are now found by their original name only in Punjab and in the neighboring states of Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. They trace their descent from Rajputs [7][8][9][14] of the Yaduvanshi [4][6] Surasena[5] lineage, originating from Yadava King Shurasena, who was the grandfather of both Krishna and the legendary Pandava warriors. Sainis relocated to Punjab from Mathura and surrounding areas over different periods of time.[8][15]

Ancient Greek traveller and ambassdor to India, Megasthenes, also came across this clan in its glory days as the ruling tribe with its capital in Mathura. There is also an academic opinion that the ancient king Porus, the celebrated opponent of Alexander the Great, belonged to this once most dominant Yadava sept.[16][17][18] Megasthenes described this tribe as Sourasenoi.[19]

Like most other Rajput origin tribes of Punjab,[11][20][21][22] Sainis also took up farming during medieval period due to the Turko-Islamic political domination, and have been chiefly engaged in both agriculture and military service since then until the recent times.[10] During British period Sainis were enlisted as a statutory agricultural tribe [11] as well as a martial class.[23][24] [25][26][27]

Sainis have a distinguished record as soldiers in the armies of pre-British princely states, British India and independent India. Sainis fought in both the World Wars and won some of the highest gallantry awards for 'conspicuous bravery'.[28][29][30] Subedar Joginder Singh, who won Param Vir Chakra, Indian Army's highest war time gallantry award, in 1962 India-China War was also a Saini of Sahnan sub clan.[31]

During the British era, several influential Saini landlords were also appointed as Zaildars, or revenue-collectors, in many districts of Punjab and modern Haryana.[32][33][34][35][36]

Sainis also took active part in the freedom movement of India and many insurgents from Saini community were imprisoned, hanged or killed in encounters with colonial police during the days of British Raj.[37][38][39][40][41]

However, since the independence of India, Sainis have diversified into different trades and professions other than military and agriculture. Sainis are now also seen in increasing numbers as businessmen, lawyers, professors, civil servants, engineers, doctors and research scientists, etc.[42] Well known computer scientist, Avtar Saini, who co-led the design and development of Intel's flagship Pentium microprocessor , belongs to this community.[43]

A significant section of Punjabi Sainis now lives in Western countries such as USA, Canada and UK , etc and forms an important component of the global Punjabi diaspora.

Sainis profess in both Hinduism and Sikhism. Several Saini families profess in both the faiths simultaneuosly and inter-marry freely in keeping with the age-old composite Bhakti and Sikh spiritual traditions of Punjab.

Until recent times Sainis were strictly an endogamous kshatriya group and inter-married only within select clans.[44] They also have a national level organization called Saini Rajput Mahasabha located at Delhi which was established in 1920.[45]

Contents

History

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Origin

" Šúraséna was the grandfather of Krishna, and from him Krishna and his descendants, who held Mathura after the death of Kansa, derived their name as Šúrasénas or Shoorsainis."

— Ancient Geography of India, pp 374, Cunningham [46]

Sainis of Punjab and contiguous region trace their origin to the famous Surasena lineage of the Yaduvanshi [4][5][6][9] Rajputs [8][14] of Mathura.[47] This tribe was further a sub division Chandravanshi or Lunar Dynasty kshatriyas. In this sense they also share their with origin with Bhati Rajputs of Rajputana, Jadeja Rajputs of Gujrat and Seuna Yadavas of Devgiri in South India, all of whom claim Yadava origin from Mathura.

Though it may appear strange how such culturally and geographically diverse groups could possibly have common origin, one has to keep in mind that the descendants of Yadu were a huge warrior clan distributed and diversified in many tribes and sub tribes. After a common origin in Mathura, each Yadava tribe set on their own journey meeting varied fortunes as they chalked their unique destinies along a path of history that is at least three thousand years old.

Terminology

Puranic and epical etymology

Shoor(saini) Krishna piloting Pandava Arjuna's chariot in the battle of Mahabharta.

Visnu Purana records the migration of some of the Yadava descendants and kinsmen of Lord Krishna from Mathura to Dwarka and from Dwarka to Punjab with the help of Prince Arjuna.[8][15] These descendants and kinsmen of Lord Krishna are also referred in Puranic literature as Shaursaini or Shoorseni [5][48] after Shoorsen (also spelt Sursena) who was paternal grandfather of Krishna and maternal grandfather of legendary Pandava warriors of Kuru clan. Saini is etymologically derived from this Puranic and Mahabharta term and is an abbreviated version of it. [4]

Shoorsaini (Surasena) kingdom

The area around Mathura was also named "Saurasena"[48] or Šúraséna in ancient time after this prominent Yadu clan chieftain.[47][49] This suggests that Shoorsena , the claimed mythico-historical founder of Saini clan, must have had enough influence to have the entire principality, or Janapada, named after him. Note: A later name of Surasena was also Sinsini.

The etymology and origin of the term can be brokendown as follows:

  • Shoorsen (also spelt in English as Šúraséna) --->Yadava king, the father of Vasudeva and the grandfather of Krishna and Pandavas
  • Shaursen or Saurasen [48] in Prakrit or Shauraseni; Shoorsena in Sanskrit (also spelt in English as Surasena) ---> The kingdom ruled by Shoorsen or Sursen. Also see Surasena Kingdom
  • Shaurseni or Sauraseni [4][48] in Prakrit (also spelt variously in English as Shoorseni and Shaursaini); Surasena [5] in Sanskrit ---> The Yadava clansmen and lineal descendants of Shoorsen or Šúraséna.[50]
  • Saini---> Abbreviated Prakrit version of Shoorsaini [4] or Shoorseni or Sanskrit Šúraséna

Note: The 'chaonsat-khamba' inscription of Kaman contains text in Sanskrit. Therefore, it uses the term "Šúraséna" to describe Saini royal family of Kaman.[51] But Amir Khusro, a Persian and Hindi poet, uses its abbreviated vernacular form "Saini"[52] to describe the martyrdom of Rajput commander Gurdan Saini.

Mahabharta and Puranic references about Surasenas or Sainis

Textual evidence of Saini etymology
  • In the Mahabharta, Sage Vyasa clearly identifies Krishna as Shoorseni:[53]

Foremost among all the Shoorsainis , the powerful one, Krishna, residing at Dwaraka, will rule and protect the whole earth after vanquishing all her lords, conversant as he will be with the science of polity.

It is noteworthy that Ved Vyasa identifies Krishna as Shoorseni even though he was to be in Dvarka which was far away from Shaursena, or Shoorseni Pradesh, the janapada . This signifies that Ved Vyasa is referring to a dynasty and a clan, not merely to a geographical region.[54] It is the migration of some of the members of this very clan to Punjab that Visnu Purana records in section 5.

  • Devi Bhagvat Purana describes Kunti as the princess of Shoorseni Pradesh:[55]

"....while the names of Pandus wives were , Kunti, the princess of Shoorseni Pradesh..."

  • Srimad Bhagvat Purana identifies Shoorsena as the chief of Yadu dynasty:[56]

"...Formerly, Shoorsena (Surasena), the chief of the Yadu dynasty, had gone to live in the city of Mathura. There he enjoyed the places known as Mathura and Shoorsena (Surasena)..."

  • Srimad Bhagvat Purana identifies descendants of Shoorsena as a distinct Yadava clan and Krishna's kinsmen:[57]

"... Assisted by the descendants of Bhoja, Vrsni, Andhaka, Madhu, Shoorsena, Dasarha, Kuru, Srnjaya and Pandu, Lord Krsna performed various activities..."

  • Yudhisthra identifies Shoorsena as his grandfather, and Krishna's father, Vasudeva, as his maternal uncle in Srimad Bhavat Purana:[58]

"...Is my respectable grandfather Shoorsena in a happy mood? And are my maternal uncle Vasudeva and his younger brothers all doing well?..."

Lord Krishna , the ancient Saini patriarch in Dwarka. Sage Vyasa describes Krisna as Shaursaini and identifies him as the "foremost of all the Shaursenis" (Mahabharata, Book 13, Chapter 147)
  • In Mahabharata Bhishma identifies Kunti as daughter of Shoosena,[59] the Yadava king:

"... There are three maidens worthy of being allied to Kuru race. One is the daughter (Kunti) of Shoorsena, of the Yadava race; the other is the daughter (Gandhari) of Suvala; and the third is the princess (Madri) of Madra."

Colonial theories & narratives

Ibbetson's account

Largely uanware of the complex historical and mythological texts of India, colonial ethnographer Denzil Ibbetson theorized that the term Saini was probably of Mali origin,[60] although he did mention that Sainis of Jallandhar claimed Rajput origin who had moved to Jalandhar doab after Gazni's sack of Mathura. Note: Jalandhar division of British Punjab comprised following districts: Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kangra, Ludhiana and Ferozepur. [61] Based on an informant account, whose identity and authenticity he fails to verify or explain in the work, he tried to explain the term 'Saini' as probably derived from 'Rasaini', suggesting that the term Saini is derived from 'Rasai', allegedly meaning 'skill'[62]. Since Sainis of some areas during his time were engaged in horticultural farming in limited manner in addition to (not in place of) ordinary farming he probably thought the term 'Saini' to be related with the horticultural farming in some way. Some other contemporary authors, taking a cue from Ibbetson's confusing and contradictory account have sought to theorize on the same lines.[60][63][64]

Despite this superficial verisimilitude, based purely on a very limited and coincidental occupational commonality, which was also shared by many other Jat and Rajput communities of Punjab, there are clear indications within his text that he regarded Sainis and Malis to be different communities.[60] Ibbetson also did not fail to record that Sainis did not intermarry with Malis.[65] Census of 1881, in which Ibbetson played significant role, also records Sainis and Malis as distinct communities.[66] Ibbetson and other commentators also recorded that other well known tribes were also invloved in horticulture and Sainis did other types of farming, called 'ordinary farming', besides horticulture.[67][68][69] It must also be noted duly that Ibbetson and other colonial ethnographers were not able to make any clear distinctions between Rajputs and non-Rajput agricultural tribes in Punjab in the 1881 census and the mistaken association of Sainis with Malis was in keeping with the general confusion in the census report of 1881. Owing to this prevalent confusion, by 1900 colonial administrators were left with no choice but to list all Rajput tribes of Punjab, without exception, as agricultural.[11][70][71]

Edward Balfour's account: makes clear distinction

However, in 1885 Edward Balfour, another colonial scholar, clearly identified Sainis as a tribe totally distinct from Malis,[72] something Ibbetson also acknowledged later in his report. What is more interesting is that Edward Balfour found Sainis to be largely involved with sugar-cane farming instead of vegetable farming while only Malis to be involved with gardening. Edward Balfour's account thus gives further confirmation, in addition to contradictions implied in Ibbetson's account, that Sainis were understood to be entirely different from Malis even in the colonial times and that the association of the term 'Saini' with market gardening or horticulture was not accurate and was based on a mistaken identity .

Limitations of colonial accounts

Apart from contradicting themselves and each other , colonial theories, and all their later derivatives in the foregoing citations, have severe limitations in the fact that the colonial ethnographical works of Ibbetson et al. are thoroughly devoid of any scholarly citations and references from reliable historical texts. They appear to be generally based on hearsay (often unreliable) and subjective opinions of the contemporary informants, not all of whom could be assumed to have been free from ignorance and malice toward other communities they were giving testimony about. Ibbetson's ethnographical work[73] does not even qualify as a proper secondary source by the accepted standards of historiography as it based largely on ancedotal accounts. It will not be out of the line to be reminded here that Ibbetson , Purser and Rose et al. were were simply civil servants of colonial era and were neither qualified anthropologists nor sociologists,[74] and their ethnographical works, based strictly on crude census techniques of colonial era, lacking the academic rigour needed for peer-reviewed or equivalent academic journals.

Sourasenoi: Greek account of ancient Saini royal clan

A non-Indian account of this ancient royal tribe [18] [75] has also survived. Magasthenes, the Greek ambassdor to India in 4 BCE in the era of Seleucids, identified this tribe as 'Sourasenoi' in Greek and as people of Lord Krishna whom he identified as 'Herakles'. During the period Megesthenes' mission in Chandragupta Maurya's court, after the latter had gained control over all of North India, this tribe still possessed or ruled two major cities on banks of Yamuna.[19] :

"This Herakles is held in special honour by the Sourasenoi, an Indian tribe, who possess two large cities, Methora and Cleisobora"

— James Tod, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, The Foundation of Ancient Cities [19]

"... there is a little doubt that the Sourasenoi refers to the Shurasenas, a branch of the Yadu dynasty to which Krishna belonged; Herakles to Krishna, or Hari-Krishna: Mehtora to Mathura, where Krishna was born; Kleisobora to Krishnapura, meaning the "the city of Krishna"; and the Jobares to the Yamuna, the famous river in the Krishna story. Qunitus Curtius also mentions that when Alexander the Great confronted Porus, Porus's soldiers were carrying an image of Herakles in their vanguard"

— Krishna: a sourcebook, pp 5, Edwin Francis Bryant, Oxford University Press US, 2007 [18]

Legendary Porus as a Shoorsaini king

Porus's legendary bravery and immense physique is mentioned in all Greek accounts. Most scholars now concur with Col. James Tod 's view that Porus belonged the Shoorsaini sept of Yadavas [76] who held the region from Jhelum up to Mathura as part of the greater Surasena Kingdom during the period of Alexander's invasion.[17][18]
"....we have elsewhere assigned to Yadus of the Punjab the honour of furnishing the well known king named Porus"

— James Tod, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan [16]

There were no known Hindu textual sources regarding Porus indicating the tribe or ethnic group he belonged to. Several ethnic groups in the Indian subcontinent have tried to claim him as their own ancestor. However, there is now a well-etablished academic opinion which suggests that he was a Yadava or Yaduvanshi king. Col. Tod was the proponent of this view which was also held by Dr. Ishwari Prashad and Dr. Pritam Saini [75] , both renowned historians.[77][16][78][79]

Col. Tod went on further to specifically point out Shoorsainis as the tribe whose king was called Porus, the legendary Indian adversary of Alexander the Great:

Puru became the patronymic of this branch of the Lunar race. Of this Alexander's historians made Porus. The Suraseni of Methoras (descendants of the Soor Sen of Mathura) were all Purus, the Prasioi of Megasthenes...

— James Tod, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan [76]

More than one notable scholar have opined that king Porus, known for his legendary bravery, belonged to Shoorsaini tribe also based on the fact that his vanguard soldiers carried the image of Lord Krishna (Herakles as per Greeks) on their banners. Lord Krishna was both the ancestor and patron deity of Shoorsainis.[17][18][80][81][82][83]

Saini Rajput kings and general of early medieval history

From Ibbetson's own contradictory account:[60] it is clearly evident that Sainis traced their ancestry to Rajputs from Mathura.[6][8][9][14] This account is corroborated by Chaonsat-khamba inscription and Amir Khusro's accounts which carry more weight. Unlike Ibbetson's works, which are completely anecdotal and based on unsourced informant accounts, these are primary sources of history whose authenticity is above all dispute.

Saini kings of Kaman: chaonsat-khamba inscription

A Sanskrit inscription was discovered on a pillar by one Pandit Bhagvan Lal Indraji in 19th century [51] on one of the well-known Chaonsat-khamba , or " sixty-four pillars ", in Kaman. This inscription was dated by Cunningham to be of around 8th CE[8][51]

The inscription gives following genealogy of the Surasena (or Saini) dynasty extending over seven kings[84]

1. — Phakka, married Deyika.
2. — Kula-abhata (son), married Drangeni.
3. — Ajita (son), married Apsarapriya.
4. — Durgabhata (son), married Vachchhalika.
5. — Durgadaman (son), married Vachchhika.
6. — Devaraja (son), married Yajnika.
7. — Vatsadaman (son).

The old fort of Kaman lies between two low ranges of hills on the high road from Delhi to Bayana. Owing to its position it is conjectured that it must have fallen an early prey to the Muhammadan conquerors.[51] This account in way explains well the native account of Sainis of Punjab that their forefathers were the Rajputs of Mathura and migrated to Punjab after Muslim invasions of Mathura region.[6][8][14][85]

Kaman is situated in the Bharatpur territory, 39 miles (63 km) to the north-west of Mathura, and 14 miles (23 km) to the north of Dig.

Estimating the probable dates of this Surasena or Saini dynasty kings,[7] writes Cunningham:[84]

"If we place Vatsadaman in A.D. 750 to 775, the head of the family, Phakka, will date from A.D. 600, reckoning twenty five years to each generation. As none of the names agree with those of the Yadava princes of Bayana, as recorded by the bards, it seems probable that these chiefs of Kaman, or Kadamba-vana, were only a branch of the famous Surasenas of Mathura."

It is also believed by the archaeologists that the Visnu temple of Kaman was built by Saini queen Vachchhika.[84]

Amir Khusro's Miftah al-Futuh account

"Saini was a great general and had led several expeditions into the country of Malwa and Gujarat."

[86]

Gurdan Saini commanded the Sisodia Rajput force of Raja Hamir Dev against Turks in 14th Century CE.

There is also a well-documented and authenticated evidence from Turk historical annals [86][87][88][89][90] about a Saini General of 14th century who led a Sisodia Rajput force at Ranthanbore against the Khilji army. Amir Khusro, the noted poet-scholar in the court of Allaudin Khilji, records the presence of a very senior Saini General in the Sisodia Rajput army of Rana Hamir.[87] Describing the 14th century battle between Turks and Rajputs, Amir Khusro writes the following about this daring and highly ranked Saini General:

The rai was in affright, and sent for Gurdan Saini, who was the most experienced warrior amongst the 40,000 rawats under the rai, and had seen many fights among the Hindus. "Sometimes he had gone with the advance to Malwa ; sometimes he had gone plundering in Gujarat." The Saini took 10,000 rawats with him from Jhain, and advanced against the Turks, and, after a severe action, he was slain...

This is a textual slam dunk against Ibbetson's speculation about the probable non-Rajput origin of Sainis. This account, which clearly appears to have come from a hostile Turk source , is very significant . First of all it clearly authenticates that Sainis had been a warrior tribe even in the medieval times. Secondly it testifies to the fact that Sainis had a social status same as that of Rajputs of Rajputana . This account fits well with the claim of Rajput or Yaduvanshi origin of Sainis of Punjab , a claim which even Ibbetson reluctantly acknowledges. The present day Mali community of Rajasthan, and elsewhere outside Punjab, started using surname "Saini" much later in 20th century.[1][91] Given the social structure of Rajputana, it would have been impossible for anyone deemed to be of non-Rajput background to gain such elevation in a medieval Rajput force of Sisodia feudals when the caste dogmas were at their peak.

According to Ibbetson's own account, Sainis sometimes owned the entire villages in Punjab.[92] All this evidence indicates that Sainis had a formidable feudal status in Punjab even in the British India and before. The Chaudhary of Saini villages was always a Saini and Sainis were super-ordindate to every other caste and community in these villages.[32][36][93][94]

Ghazni invasion theory

Ibbetson's non-primary and non-secondary source account hints that Sainis migrated to Punjab due to Ghazni's attack on Mathura. But Ibbetson insinuates in the ensuing text that Sainis were probably agriculturists even in Mathura. Apart from its provenance from a non-primary or non-original textual source , this view is rendered untenable by a serious logical and factual contradiction inherent in it.

For Sainis to be targeted by Mahmud of Ghazni, they would have to be a Rajput tribe. Based on strong historical evidence, it would be highly unusual for an invading Turk army to target a Mali tribe which had no history of combat. Quite to the contrary of Ibbetson's theory, there have been recorded instances in Rajputana where Rajputs escaped the Turk and Moghul genocides by claiming to be Malis.[95][96][97] This view confirms the fact that had Sainis been deemed to be a Mali tribe by invading Turks they would have had no cause to flee Mathura as Ibbetson's anecdotal account suggests. For Sainis to be caught in the crosshairs of Ghazni's army, they would necessarily have to be a Rajput tribe which was a threat to Turks in some way.

The existence of a Saini general, Gurdan Singh Saini, in the army of Rana Hamir as late as 14th century CE proves the colonial theory entirely baseless. The account of a highly ranked Saini warrior in Turk historical annals[87][98] proves that Turks knew very well that Sainis were a military tribe.

Migration of Saini Rajputs to Punjab [8][9]

Saini migration and settlements in Punjab seemed to have happened in multiple waves extending a vast period of time. During Mahabharata period Punjab region was ruled by kshatriyas of Kuru clan, who were closely related with Yaduvanshis, Surasenas (or Sainis) in particular, through both military and matrimonial alliances. Kurus and Yadavas inter-married and settled in areas ruled by each other, becoming either part of the royalty or nobility.

During Mahabharata period: from Mathura to Dwaraka and from Dwaraka to Punjab

Ancient Migration Route of Sainis or Shoorsani Yadavas

According to Puranic sources, the Yadava kashatriya tribes in the Shaursena principality had to be relocated to the port city of Dwarka in Gujrat due to frequent invasions by Kalyavana and Jarasandha.[99] There they ruled for sometime under the leadership of Lord Krishna and participated in the Mahabharta war from there. But according to the same Puranic legend , the Yadava kshatriyas in Dwaraka became intoxicated with the power and acted in such manner that caused them to be cursed by the by sages.

Visnu Purana records the aftermath of this event as follows:

....As soon as Krishna died, the parijata tree and the assembly hall named Sudharma returned to heaven. The kali era began. And the city of Dvaraka was swallowed up by the sea, with the exception of Krishna's own dwelling.

Arjuna settled some of the Yadavas in Punjab. But when he was taking the Yadava women with him, the party was set upon by a band of dacoits. Arjuna tried to repel the dacoits but found that he had lost all his powers. His strength had left him with Krishna's death..[15]

The above passage from Visnu Purana provides the vital clue about history of Sainis.

During Muhammadan period: from Kaman to Punjab

Chaonsat-khamba, or " sixty-four pillars " inscription of Kaman

A Sanskrit inscription was discovered on a pillar by one Pandit Bhagvan Lal Indraji in 19th century [51] on one of the well-known Chaonsat-khamba pillars in Kaman. This inscription was dated by Cunningham to be of around 8th CE.[51]

Saini Kings of Kaman

The inscription gives following genealogy of the Surasena (or Saini) dynasty extending over seven kings:[84]

1. — Phakka, married Deyika.
2. — Kula-abhata (son), married Drangeni.
3. — Ajita (son), married Apsarapriya.
4. — Durgabhata (son), married Vachchhalika.
5. — Durgadaman (son), married Vachchhika.
6. — Devaraja (son), married Yajnika.
7. — Vatsadaman (son).

The old fort of Kaman lies between two low ranges of hills on the high road from Delhi to Bayana. Owing to its position it is conjectured that it must have fallen an early prey to the Muhammadan conquerors.[51] This account in way explains well the native account of Sainis of Punjab that their forefathers were the Rajputs of Mathura and migrated to Punjab after Muslim invasions of Mathura region.[9][14]

Kaman is situated in the Bharatpur territory, 39 miles (63 km) to the north-west of Mathura, and 14 miles (23 km) to the north of Dig.

Sainis and agriculture

Agriculture had been the major profession of Sainis since the Turko-Islamic conquest of North India. However after militarization of Sikhs Sainis once again joined armed insurrection against Turko-Islamic rule as part of Khalsa armies. Even among Hindu Saini families it was customary to raise at least one son as a Sikh and dedicate him to military service in Sikh militant bands spread all over Punjab, engaged first in armed insurgency and later in a full scale war against the oppresive Turko-Pathan rule. Agriculture and army thus remained main professions of Sainis since Sikh rebellion and conquest of Punjab, and when British civil servant filed the Land Settlement Report of Jalandhar division in 1880s, he found Sainis in increasing numbers in their original profession i.e army , especially in cavalry, in addition to being in agriculture.[23]

Agriculture in Punjab has been practiced by all major forward communities, including Brahmins owing to various circumstances of history.[100][101][102][103]

The earliest Sainis were settled in Punjab by Prince Arjuna as noblemen in self-governing and autonomous villages.[104][105] Prince Arjuna shared maternal bloodline with Yadavas, whose sub tribe Sainis of Punjab are stated to be. His mother Kunti was the daughter of Yadava chieftain Sursena, the founding father of Saini sub tribe of Yaduvanshi kshatriyas.

The later Saini migration to Punjab happened around the time of the earliest Turk invasions when the post-Kanishka Yadava or Surasena kingdoms of Mathura and Bayana were lost to Muslim invaders.[8][85] The Sainis of Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur districts claim to be the descendants of the Rajputs of the Yaduvanshi or Surasena lineage who ruled these kingdoms, who escaped to these areas to avoid forced conversion to Islam.[14][47]

Sainis continued to show their martial instincts whenever opportunities arose. They also actively aided Guru Gobind Singh's army and joined his army in good numbers. Some of the Saini dominated districts in Punjab were (and still are) the most fertile ground for army recruitment during British and Independent India. Sainis can be found among all ranks of Indian Army, from the level of sepoys to generals. Scores of Saini soldiers also fought as part of Indian National Army (INA) under the illustrious freedom fighter Subash Chandra Bose.

Like any other Rajput background tribe, Sainis of Punjab have always been a meat-eating community.[106] Even Hindu Sainis commonly use "Singh" as part of their names. Liquor consumption, another typical Kashatriya trait, had always been prevalent among them. Most non-Kashatriya communities in India tend to be vegetarian. From socio-antrhopological standpoint these traits also give vital clue about their martial origin.

Kshatriyas and agriculture

"A Kshatriya who has fallen into distress, may subsist by all these means..."

— Laws of Manu, X:95 [107]

As per ancient Hindu texts, agriculture is permissible to Kshatriyas under special circumstances [107] in the absence of opportunities in the military and feudal apparatus of a righteous Aryan king. Indeed, the service in the army of an unrighteous, or a 'Yavana', or a 'Maleccha', king was the biggest imaginable anathema for a concentious and observant vedic kshatriya in ancient India.[108][109] A vedic kshatriya was not a mercenary soldier but a defender of faith and righteous order (dharma). All other kshatriya origin Hindu tribes in Punjab, like Minhas, etc, in the absence of opportunities in the armies of observant vedic kings turned to agriculture in some way.

In fact respect for agriculture as a profession in Punjab is best understood from a Punjabi adage that British civil servant WE Purser included in one of his land settlement reports [110] written in 19th century:

"Uttam Kheti; Madh Bopar; Nikhid Chakari; Bheek Nadar!"

"The best is agriculture , trade occupies a middle position; bad is service; begging is wretched!"

Socio-economic revision of Hindu Rajput tribes in Punjab

Describing the tough economic condition for largely Hindu Rajputs of Punjabi plains, colonial administrator, J.A.L. Montgomery wrote:[111]

By the pressure of circumstances, they are overcoming their aversion to agriculture, and even Jaswáls and Dadwáls are now to be found who have taken to the plough, and I have seen a Náru Rajput spade in hand, and drawers tucked up, turning up the soil of his field which had become covered by sand, a laborious process called sirna.

For the full seven hundred years in the history of Punjab, there was no non-Muslim king until Banda Bahadur stormed Sarhind in middle of the 18th century. In this period high feudal positions were only available to Hindu groups who either converted to Islam or had become Turk collaborators.[112] It is not surprising that most of the Rajput tribes that were able to maintain their place in the power structure of the Punjab plains had converted to Islam.[113][114] These included Jaral, Janjua, Salehria, Minhas, etc in large numbers who had predominantly converted to Islam.[115] In the plains of Punjab there were hardly any Hindu Rajputs left,[116][117][118] and those who were still in the Hindu fold had turned largely to agriculture and other occupations to subsist, rather than to curry favor with Muslim rulers who extracted Jezya from the Hindu subjects in order to create financial hardship for them to remain in the faith of their ancestors.[119][120]

Punjabi Rajputs inseparable from agriculture

Apart from Sainis, other Rajput or Rajput origin tribes in Punjab which were returned as agricultural tribes in 1881 census [20] are:

  • Bakhar
  • Badwal (also a Saini sub clan)
  • Baghela
  • Bahali
  • Dayakm
  • Dhodi Bhandah
  • Khatar
  • Khawas
  • Minhas [121]
  • Mihirmama
  • Namonana
  • Wair
  • Dhullu Bhatti
  • Salehria [121] (also a Saini sub clan)[122][123]
  • Gondal (Rajputs in Montgomery, elsewhere Jats)

The Punjabi Rajput identity had become so much diffused with agriculture that Ibbetson prefaced his account in the 1881 Punjab Census Report by observing:[21]

"line separating Jats, Rajputs and certain other castes (tribes) is almost impossible of definition."

He further wrote:[124]

"...and Bhatti, Punwár, Tunwár, all the proudest tribes of Rájpútána are included in the name and have sunk to the level of Jat, for there can be no Rájpúts where there are no Rajas or traditions of Rajas."

By 1900 all of the Rajput tribes in Punjab were identified as farming tribes and most of these tribes were involved in horticulture in some way.[68] Accordingly, as per the The Punjab Alienation of Land Act of 1900, all Rajput tribes in Punjab were notified as agricultural tribes.[11][22]

Impact of Turko-Islamic rule on Rajput clans

"The Muhammadan invasions drove a wedge through the Rajput principalities of the eastern Punjab. Some of the Rajput clans fled to the deserts of Rajputana in the south, others overcame the petty chiefs of Himalayan districts and established themselves there. A few adventurers came to terms with the invaders and obtained from them grants of land. The Sainis trace their origin to a Rajput clan who came from their original home near Muttra [sic] on Jumna, south of Delhi, in defence of the Hindus against the first Muhammadan invasions.."

—Hugh Kennedy Trevaskis, Rajput clan movements- The land of the five rivers..., pp 99-100[9]

The condition of Muslim Rajputs was much superior to Hindu Rajputs in Punjabi plains. By converting to Islam and becoming collaborators of Turkish military and administrative machine in Punjab, they had managed to retain all of their pre-Islamic pomp and glory.[112] They owned most of the land in Punjab while the Hindu Rajputs sank deeper into poverty and turned to agriculture and other occupations to survive with some sense of dignity, rather than converting to Islam or becoming collaborators of Muslim monarchs who were openly hostile to all Hindu interests.[112] Only Pahari Rajputs escaped this economic and cultural degeneration in some way as they were insulated by the rugged terrain of the mountains. Hindu Rajput of Punjabi plains had no where to turn to except farming to retain some semblance of dignity. Rajputs of Rajputana saved their kingdoms by entering unequal matrimonial alliances with Muslim Moghuls.[125][126]

Excommunication of 'contaminated' Rajputs

These alliances were treated with contempt by self-respecting Rajputs like Maharana Pratap of Mewar and a lot of them chose poverty over the more convenient and tempting prospect of collaboration with the non-Hindu expansionist military machine. Maharana Pratap went on to the extent of excommunicating all Rajputs (proscribing all matrimonial alliances with them) who gave their daughters to Muslim rulers to save their states and he himself died in abject poverty in adherence to his kshatriya pride and principles, after a life-long warfare and suffering.[127] This also resulted in the formation of endogamous groups within Rajput fold,[128] i.e., those who would only marry within select clans, eschewing alliances with such 'contaminated' Rajputs even though the latter were now economically and politically much stronger.[127]

Nomadic and agricultural Rajputs

Some other Rajputs groups took to nomadic lifestyle [128] and other trades to avoid being converted to Islam or becoming , in their view, 'morally degraded' [127] by sending their daughters in the harems of Muslim rulers.[125] Two prominent examples of these Rajput groups are Sansi nomads of Punjab and Rajput Malis of Rajasthan. The former were a sept of proud Bhati Rajputs of Jaiselmer, claming descent from one Sans Mal Bhati, who became nomads after the sack of Chittor by Alauddin Khilji.[129] The latter are a composite group of twelve proudest Rajput clans of Rajputana such as Kachwaha, Chauhan, Tanwar, Gahlot, etc who had fought Muhammad Ghori and his successors along with Prithvi Raj Chauhan in the Battle of Tarain and later, and upon being defeated and captured, were spared from certain massacre or conversion to Islam only with the help of a royal gardner who interceded on their behalf and represented them as gardners. The Rajputs who were converted to Islam by force during this episode now go by the name of Ghori Pathans.[96][130] But despite being able to avoid 'moral degradation' and 'contamination' these groups had to pay a price for it and they could not prevent their social and economic degradation. Descendants of Raja Sans Mal Bhati degenerated to such an extent, though strictly in socio-economic sense, that they are currently classifed as a Scheduled Tribe [129] and Rajput Malis, for their principled adherence to Hindu faith in the face of the greatest adversity, find themselves classed under the backward class category. Their current social status cannot take away their proud Rajput ancestry and bloodlines. Rajput Mali were officially recognized as sub-category within Rajputs even in the 1891 census of Marwar.[131]

Rajputs with dual identities and professions

There were still others, however, Sainis of Punjab being one of them (who escaped from Yadava kingdom of Mathura region predominantly), who were able to dodge the foreign invaders and escape to other secure places . They disguised themselves as agriculturists, while maintaining their militant Rajput character at the same time, waiting for right time and leader to strike back.[8][10]

Thus until the British started giving them opportunities once again in army, all Hindu Rajputs of Punjab and some also in Rajputana subsisted mostly by agriculture, and some, like Mair Rajputs and Khatris, by trades such as goldsmithing and shopkeeping respectively. Describing the impoverished state of Hindu Rajputs in Punjab in the late 19th and early 20th century and their dependence on agriculture, writes Mazumdar:[132]

"In the northern part of Shakargarh tahsil in Gurdaspur district, the bulk of the population comprised of Hindu Rajputs trying to make a living on bare and arid land...Access to military income allowed these Rajputs of to cope with the disadvantages of adverse soil and weather conditions."

Saini militancy during Turko-Islamic ascendancy: Guru Har Gobind's call

A mid-nineteenth century miniature of Guru Har Gobind
Khanda
Nihang Singhs

Sainis turned largely to agriculture in preference to serving the Muslim masters, or converting to Islam, until advent of the sixth Sikh Master, Guru Har Gobind.

According to Sikh historical tradition, Guru Hargobind extensively toured the region that now falls in the present day Hoshiarpur and Ropar districts to put together a Sikh army to fight the religiously intolerant Mogul empire.[133]

All of these areas, which had a predominantly Saini population along with Hindu and Sikh Jat, Kamboj , Manhas and Mahta tribes responded with great enthusiasm to Guru's call for soldiers. After this period, all of the rekindled Saini militant prowess was totally allied with and absorbed in the Sikh forces, which were to be formally institutionalized into the Khalsa Order by tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. The impact of Sikh military ideal on Saini villages could be gauged from the fact that one of the volunteers for "Panj Pyaras", Sahab Chand,[134][135] later Sahab Singh, was a barber from the village Nangal Shahidan. The village Nangal Shahidan in Hoshiarpur district was historically always entirely owned by Saini Chaudhries of Mangar got, with a handful other castes in the village. The village was founded by Nanak Saini of Mangar clan whose family and descendants owned all the land in and adjacent to the village for many generations.[136] There is also the view that the village got its name after its founder, a Saini of Mangar clan and the family of Bhai Sahab Singh, who according to another view was from Bidar in Karnataka, was allowed to settle there by the Mangar chaudharies who owned this village.[136][137] Nihang cantonment of Harian Belan is also surrounded by Saini villages (Kotla Nihang being one of them).[138] Significantly, a Saini , named Sardar Gursa Singh Gahunia, from Kotla Nihang, was among the first few devotees to receive baptism from the hallowed sword of Guru Gobind Singh on Basakhi day of 1699 and to be decorated as a Nihang Singh by none other than Guru Gobind Singh himself.[138]

An artist's imagination depicting Guru Gobind Singh sending his eldest son Sahibzada Ajit Singh to battlefield. Sahibzada Ajit Singh achieved martyrdom in this battle along with his brother Sahibzada Jujhar Singh and many other Sikh warriors. A Saini woman Sharan Kaur Pabla of village Raipur performed the last rites of all of these Sikh martyrs. Guru Gobind Singh also escaped to Machchiwara passing through Saini villages, instructing Sharan Kaur Pabla on the way to arrange the funeral of his sons and other Sikh martyrs [139][140]

Battle of Chamkaur and aftermath

The battle of Chamkaur was one of the most monumental battles of Sikh history and constitutes some of its defining moments. This battle had affected Sainis in a signifcant way as Chamkaur is surrounded by either Saini owned or dominated villages. Most of these Sainis were direct disciples of Guru Gobind Singh or deeply loyal to him and his cause. When Guru Gobind Singh escaped the fort of Chamkaur on the night of December 22, 1705 , he escaped through Saini villages as they were the people he could trust completely and were more than willing to provide him a secure passage to safety. One such village was Raipur in present Ropar district which is only 2 miles from the famous Chamkaur fort where he briefly stopped on his way to Machhiwara. Here he asked a Saini lady by the name of Bibi Sharan Kaur Pabla to perform the last rites of the martyred Sikhs, which included two of Guru Gobind Singh's own sons , Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh . Bibi Sharan Kaur Pabla performed the last rites of the two elder Sahibzadas and other Sikh warriors who had laid down their lives in the battle. Bibi Sharan Kaur Pabla was so grief stricken that she herself jumped in the funeral pyre and ended her life. According to another view she did not self-immolate but was slain by Moghul soldiers when she was caught cremating the bodies of Sahibzadas.[140] This Saini village also has the funerary shrines or 'smadhs' of the following Sikh martyrs: Jathedar Naunihal Singh, Mastan Singh, Santokh Singh and Malkiat Singh. In 1945 a Gurudwara was built in village Raipur to commemorate Bibi Sharan Kaur Pabla.[139]

There were further consequences of loyalty to Guru Gobind Singh for these Saini villages. Ranghar Muslims who were bitterly opposed to Guru Gobind Singh declared all Sainis of these villages to be rebels and attacked them. As a result there were violent exchanges between Sainis and Ranghar Muslims leading to loss of life and property on both sides. Nanua Bairagi's village Bhaku Majra in Ropar was also attacked by Ranghars and a taut detente prevailed between them and Sainis of Nanua clan for over a century afterwards. To avoid further persecution from Moghul authorities some Sainis from this and other villages escaped to Ghanauli and Nawanshahr. Some of them moved to an isolated island in river Satluj. Their properties were confiscated by the Moghul authorities. In around 1800 AD there was another pitched battle fought between these Sainis and Ranghar Muslims causing further losses on both sides and resulting in the second or third relocation of village Bhaku Majra. The 'jatheras' of Nanua Sainis can still be found in this village.[139]

Sainis as a 'martial race' during British India

Like most Punjabis, Sainis have a very high regard for Netaji. Saini INA veterans and their families fondly cherish his memory. Mr V.P. Saini is the General Secretary of the All-India Forward Bloc and President of Netaji Subhas Foundation.[141] He is also the founder of All India Netaji Revolutionary Party. Late journalist, Ajit Saini, was a close associate of Netaji who served in INA.[142]
Sikh soldiers during Operation Crusader. Sainis fought in both the world wars and won highest gallantry awards, including a Cross of St. George in World War I.[29] Cross of St. George was Imperial Russia's highest military award equivalent to modern Param Vir Chakra and British Victoria Cross.[28] Saini representation in armed forces escalated dramatically during the IInd World War. Air Gunner and Bombardier, Kartar Singh Taunque, a Saini, who later rose to the rank of Wing Commander, was the first ever personnel of Indian Airforce to be decorated for gallantry. His name features in Limca Book of Records.[143]

The martial race theory[144] propagated by British colonialists has been a very controversial subject and has rightfully been disregarded as an instrument of recruitment policy for armed forces by Government of India since the independence. It was based on the now challenged assumption that there were communities India that were naturally warlike 'races' which possessed qualities such as courage, loyalty, self sufficiency, physical strength, resilience, orderliness and fighting tenacity and were hard-working and skilled in military tactics. Further it was the assumption that these 'martial races' tended to be hunting or agricultural cultures from hilly or mountainous regions with a history of conflict, whether internally or with external groups, who were considered better capable of enduring hardship than the inhabitants of the hot, flat plains of the country who were thought to be unwarlike and unfit for military service.

Writes Mazumdar [145] citing Frederick Roberts, British commander- in-chief in India (1885–1893):

" Roberts was one of the main proponents of this new policy.The main argument of the 'martial races theory' was that all natives were not equal in soldierly qualities. Some races were superior to others. 'It is not a question of efficiency' wrote Roberts, ' but of courage and physique: in these essentials sepoys of Lower India are wanting'. As he bluntly put it , ' no comparison can be made between the martial values of a regiment recruited amongst the Gurkhas of Nepal and the warlike races of nothern India, and those recruited from the effeminate peoples of the south."

British colonialists were obviously quite impressed by the physical attributes and fighting instincts of Sainis and accordingly listed them as a martial class along with other tribes such as Dogras, Pashtuns, Gurkhas, etc.[26][27][146]

Sainis fought in both the world wars and won highest gallantry awards, including a Cross of St. George in World War I.[29] Cross of St. George was Imperial Russia's highest military award equivalent to modern Param Vir Chakra and British Victoria Cross.[28] Saini representation in armed forces escalated during the IInd World War. Air Gunner and Bombardier, Kartar Singh Taunque, a Saini, who later rose to the rank of Wing Commander, was the first ever personnel of Indian Airforce to be decorated for gallantry. His name features in Limca Book of Records.[143]

Sainis in Indian National Army (INA)

According to a native account, a village in the now Nawanshahr district of Punjab was composed of almost 80-90% Saini population in 1930s. As per the anecdotal account almost 300 men out of the total population of 1800-2000 were enrolled in the British Indian Army and fought in different theatres of war across Europe, Africa and Asia during the World War II. If true, this would mean that every able bodied Saini man of the village was signed up for services in the armed forces. Some of these Saini volunteers , along with these Saini armymen, some of whom ended up POWs, eventually joined Indian National Army (INA) of Subash Chandra Bose and courted martyrdom and incarceration for the independence of their motherland.[147]

Late Ajit Saini , the emiment Punjabi journalist, was one such INA veteran who was a close lieutinant of Subash Chandra Bose.[142] Mr V.P. Saini is the General Secretary of the All-India Forward Bloc and President of Netaji Subhas Foundation.[141] He is also the founder of All India Netaji Revolutionary Party.

Another well-known Saini INA veteran was Sardar Mehnga Singh who was also the secretary of Bhartiya Janata Party's Amritsar unit.[148] He was imprisoned in France , Belgium and Great Britain before his return to India in 1946. He received commendation from Government of India on August 15, 1972 for his contribution to freedom struggle. He died in 1991. A road was named in Amritsar after this INA veteran. It is called Sardar Mehnga Singh Marg.[148]

Known Saini freedom-fighters and martyrs from Indian National Freedom Movement

  • Gurdan Saini (Rajput General- martyred in Ranthambore) [98]
  • Mayya Singh Saini (imprisoned) [149]
  • Gulab Singh Saini (martyred-hanged on January 9, 1858 ) [41][150]
  • Chaudhary Yograj Saini of Gambhowal (Kuka Movement, 13 years imprisonment) [133]
  • Harnam Singh Saini (Ghadar movement, martyred - hanged on March 16 , 1917 after Lahore Conspiracy Case trial) [38][151]
  • Manohar Singh Saini s/o Lehna Singh of Amritsar - (Sentenced to death for killing a British officer employed by National Bank as a revenge for Jallianwala Bagh massacre . Later death sentence commuted to transporation and life imprisonment, or 'Kalapani'. Spent 18 years and 9 months in prison at Andamans, Lahore and Peshawar) [148]
  • Bhai Bela Singh (martyr of Nankana Sahib)[152][153]
  • Harnam Singh of village Baghpur (Jaito Morcha, martyred, died in Jail) [133]
  • Dasondha Singh Saini s/o Sobha Singh of village Bisala(Jaito Morcha, martyred- died in jail) [37][133]
  • Kehar Singh Saini (martyred- killed in police encounter) [37]
  • Basant Singh s/o Prabhu Saini of Mahilpur (imprisoned) [133][154]
  • Dal Singh (imprisoned) [154]
  • Gurdial Singh of village Urapar (imprisoned, INA veteran) [154]
  • Amar Singh s/o Sant Ram of village Orhpur (INA veteran) [133]
  • Gian Singh of village Bajidpur (imprisoned, INA veteran)[154]
  • Bhan Singh of village Jalowal (imprisoned) [154]
  • Battan Singh of village Haveli (INA veteran, imprisoned)[154]
  • Nama Saini of Fatehgarh (Ghadar movement, martyred - hanged on January 5, 1917 after 3rd Lahore Conspiracy case trial) [133][155][156][157]
  • Pritam Saini (Ghadar movement, imprisoned) [158]
  • Bachan Singh Saini (Ghadar movement, imprisoned) [159]
  • Naik Gurdial Singh Saini (imprisoned, INA veteran)[160]
  • Gonda Singh (Babbar Akali, imprisoned and tortured) [161]
  • Mohinder Singh Saini of Pandori Ganga Singh (Babbar Akali, martyred, killed in Babeli Police encounter)[133][161]
  • Harnam Singh Saini s/o Sunder Singh of Pandori Ganga Singh (National Movement, imprisoned for 1.5 years)[133][161]
  • Harnam Singh Saini s/o Rajmal of Pandori Ganga Singh (imprisoned for 2 years, INA veteran)[133][161]
  • Hazara Singh Saini of Pandori Ganga Singh (Civil Disobedience, Babar Akali, imprisoned for 6 years)[133][161]
  • Inder Singh Saini of Pandori Ganga Singh (Babar Akali, imprisoned for 7 years)[133][161]
  • Kartar Singh Saini of Pandori Ganga Singh (Babar Akali, sentence not known)[133][161]
  • Arjan Singh of village Sujjon, Banga (Ghadar movement activist)[162]
  • Satya Pal Saini s/o Meharchand Saini (originally from Gurdaspur) (Royal Indian Naval Mutiny, tortured and imprisoned) [163]
  • Narain Singh Nanua (INA veteran, imprisoned)[163]
  • Ishar Singh (Babbar Akali, imprisoned and tortured)[161]
  • Labh Singh Saini (Akali leader, martyred)
  • Mahan Singh Gahunia of Philippines (noted INA civilian organizer-donated his entire wealth to INA) [39]
  • Ajit Saini (INA veteran, imprisoned) [40]
  • Sadhu Ram Saini (veteran Gandhian, imprisoned) [164][165]
  • Amar Singh (imprisoned)[164][165]
  • Banwari Lal s/o Sandokha Ram of Hisar (Quit India Movement, Imprisoned) [166]
  • Narain Saini s/o Sanwal (Imprisoned) [166]
  • Ram Lal Saini s/o Palu Ram of village Mohalla Gudsar(Quit India Movement, Imprisoned for 22 months)[133]
  • Hari Singh Saini s/o Ujal Singh of village Kot Khurd (Imprisoned) [166]
  • Jawahir Singh Saini s/o Saini of Mandi State (Life imprisonment & confiscation of property, Mandi Conspiracy Case)[167]
  • Warayam Singh s/o Surjan Singh Saini of Chanthu Brahmana (Imprisoned) [167]
  • Lakha Singh s/o Bhagwan Singh Saini of village Mehatpur (Imprisoned for 2 years) [167]
  • Mata Din Saini s/o Thawaria (Imprisoned) [167]
  • Gurqit Singh Saini s/o Hira Singh of Ropar [167]
  • Rangil Singh s/o Assa Singh Saini of Khadiala (INA veteram) [167]
  • Mehnga Singh Saini s/o Chaudhary Amichand of Nainakot, Gurdaspur (Imprisoned, INA veteran) [148]

Note: This list is not exhaustive.

Inam-holding Saini Zamindars during British era

The following is the list of some of the Saini Zaildars during 1880s:

  • Chaudhari Jawahir Singh of Hoshiarpur [32] had 19 villages under him.
  • Chaudhari Jaimal Singh of Dasuya [32] had 22 villages under him.
  • Chaudhari Mohan Lal of Hissar.[34]
  • Chaudhari Nand Ram Saini s/o Zaildar Ch. Mohan Lal of Hissar. He inherited Zaildari from his father upon his death in 1906. He gave up this rank in 1921 to support freedom movement after which he became member of Congress. He was also head of Hindu Mahasabha for Hissar briefly before rejoining congress again in 1959. He died in in 1973 at the age of 90.[34]
  • Chaudhari Bhola Ram of Bhola Chak 178 , Baria (Punjab-Pakistan) [168]
  • Rai Bahadur Chaudhary Dewan Chand Saini, MBE

Note: This list is not exhaustive. More information is needed for Ropar , Jalandhar, and Gurdaspur districts, and also for Hoshiarpur, over different periods of time before 1947.

Epical Saini warriors

Lord Krishna and Balrama

Foremost among all the Shoor(sainis) , the powerful one, Krishna, residing at Dwaraka, will rule and protect the whole earth after vanquishing all her lords, conversant as he will be with the science of polity.

— Ved Vyasa on Shoorseni Krishna [53]

The story of epical Saini warriors has to begin with the mention of Lord Krishna and his elder brother Balrama. Krishna was warrior-statesman who gave Yadavas leadership at a very critical juncture. Krishna's and his brother Balrama's exploits as warriors, mentioned in various hagiographies, are too numerous and too popular to need any mention here.

Some critics trained in the Western scholastic traditions have doubted the existence of a historical Krishna but such commentaries are now clearly contradicted by archaeological evidence found in the recent underwater excavations in the Arabian sea which have revealed a submerged ancient city[169] as described in Visnu Purana. This evidence along with myriads of sites and clans found all over India claiming association with Krishna indicate toward the distinct possibility of a historical Krishna.

Visnu Purana vividly describes in detail various military expeditions that Krisna led. Incidentally this text also gives clear proof that Shoorsaini Yadavas, whence Sainis of Punjab claim descent, moved to Dwarka and eventually some of them moved to Punjab after submersion of Dwarka into the sea.[15]

Krishna defined the warrior-statesman and saint-soldier ideal not only for his kinsmen and descendants, distributed in diverse clans all over India now, which also include Sainis of Punjab, but also for the entire mankind. His military exploits and warrior spirit are even invoked in an anachronistic way in the Sikh tradition in the Chobis avatar section of Sri Dasam Granth.

In the Shaster Naam Mala section of Sri Dasam Granth, the names of Balrama and Krisna are invoked as follow to instill the warrior spirit.[170]

ਹਲਧਰ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਬਖਾਨਿ ਕੈ ਅਨੁਜ ਉਚਰਿ ਅਰਿ ਭਾਖੁ ॥ ਸਕਲ ਨਾਮ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਬਾਨ ਕੇ ਚੀਨ ਚਤੁਰ ਚਿਤ ਰਾਖੁ ॥੧੪੧॥

हलधर शबद बखानि कै अनुज उचरि अरि भाखु ॥ सकल नाम स्री बान के चीन चतुर चित राखु ॥१४१॥

After speaking the word "Haldhar" (Balrama), then adding "Anuj" (Krishna) and afterwards saying "Ari" (Foe), the wise people know all the names of "Baan" (Arrow).

Satyaki

Rajan Sini

[20] Rajan Saini (Sini), a character in the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Sini is the uncle of Vasudeva, the father of Sri Krishna. When Devaki, the mother of Krishna, was a maiden, many princes competed for her hand in marriage. This led to a dispute. In the end, a great battle ensued between two princes of different families over it: Somadatta and Rajan Sini. In this fierce battle Rajan Sini won, and on behalf of Vasudeva he carried Devaki in his chariot and drove her away. Reference FE pargiter's book Ancient Indian historical traditions, pages 105 to 107 This incident led to a feud between the two clans, the Sini family and that of Somadatta.

The rivalry came to the fore one last time on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, where Sini's grandson, Satyaki, who was a peer and friend of Arjuna and a famed archer, clashed with Bhurisravas, Somadatta's son, who was on the Kaurava side, resulting in the slaying of Bhurisravas by Satyaki.

Medieval Saini warriors

Gurdan Singh Saini

"Saini was a great general and had led several expeditions into the country of Malwa and Gujarat."

[86]

Gurdan Saini commanded the Sisodia Rajput force of Raja Hamir Dev against Turks in 14th Century CE. He is described by poet-scholar Amir Khusro in Miftah al-Futuh as the most feared warrior on the Rajput side on the day of the battle of Ranthambore.

Noted historians Henry Miers Elliot and John Dowson on page 541 of their work "The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period"[87] citing Miftah al-Futuh , a work by Khalji dynasty's royal poet-scholar Amir Khusro, provide the following account of a distinguished Saini general in the Sisodia Rajput army of Rana Hamir that took on Alauddin Khilji's Turk army:

The rai was in affright, and sent for Gurdan Saini, who was the most experienced warrior amongst the 40,000 rawats under the rai, and had seen many fights among the Hindus. "Sometimes he had gone with the advance to Malwa ; sometimes he had gone plundering in Gujarat." The Saini took 10,000 rawats with him from Jhain, and advanced against the Turks, and, after a severe action, he was slain...

The account of this Saini general who commanded a force of 10,000 Rajput fighters [98] and achieved martyrdom almost reads like an unqualified eulogy even from a hostile Turk perspective.

A Saini Commander of a premier Sisodia Rajput force

Gurdan Saini was most likely linked with the famed Yaduvanshi Surasenas of Mathura, some of whom disperesed to Jalandhar doab in Punjab after the Turk invasion of Mathura.[8][14][171] The term 'Surasena' (also spelt Shurasena) is a Sanskrit version of Prakrit 'Shoorsaini'. 'Shoorsaini' further gets abbreviated to just 'Saini' in layman usage.

Jamala Singh Nanua (Nanua Bairagi)

Sardar Nanu Singh Saini (Jagirdar , Phulkian Riyasat)

Gursa Singh Gahunia

Gursa Singh Gahunia was a Saini Sikh from the village Kotla Nihang. He was a close lieutinant and disciple of Guru Gobind Singh and is also remembered as among the select first few disciples who received baptism directly from the sword of 10th Guru on the Baisakhi day in 1699 AD and volunteer themselves as warriors for the Khalsa Army.[138]

Jarnail Sardar Sangat Singh Saini

Sardar Sangat Singh Saini was a distinguished and highly ranked General in Khalsa army under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.[172] Maharaja was so impressed with his contributions in the military campaigns that he granted him a fief. The town Sangatpur in district Gurdaspur is named after this illustrious Saini General.[172]

This intrepid Saini led a dare-devil Khalsa force and snatched the Golden Sword from the Afghan ruler after capturing his post and surrounding terrirory in Pakhtunistan. Sardar Sangat Singh Saini presented the Golden Sword to Maharaja Ranjit Singh representing his victorious return back to Lahore. The Maharaja was so impressed with his gallantry that he him the 300 acre estate now known as Sangatpur and asked the general to keep the Golden Sword.[173]

Incidentally, Gurdaspur is another area of Saini concentration in Punjab.

Mayya Singh Saini

Historical painting of a Sikh Ghorcharra or cavalryman. Mayya Singh Saini participated as a Ghorcharra in the Anglo-Sikh wars. After the defeat of Sikhs he became an insurgent against the English occupation. He was finally arrested and incarcerated.

Mayya Singh Saini , sometimes spelt as Maya Singh Saini,[149][174][175][176][177][178][179] was a Saini cavalryman and a notable freedom-fighter from Naushahra in Amritsar district of the Punjab. Mayya Singh was an ace horseman and fought in the battle of Ramnagar on 22 November 1848 during the second Anglo-Sikh war. Although the battle of Ramnagar was inconclusive , the Sikh cavalry caused heavy damage to the British forces, which proved to be a great morale booster for the Sikhs.

Thereafter he joined volunteer corps of Bhai Maharaj Singh[180] leader of the popular revolt against the British. He participated in the battles of Sa`dullapur and Gujrat. After the defeat of the Sikh forces, Mayya Singh was in Bhai Maharaj Singh`s train at Sujoval near Balala. From the latter place he was sent to Lahore on a mission, and thus escaped arrest when Maharaj Singh and his companions were captured on the night of 28 and 29 December 1849. He, however, fell into the hands of the British soon afterwards.

It is not clear from the account available whether Mayya Singh was a commander or just an ordinary cavalryman. But given the fact that his contributions were significant enough for his account to have survived in the history texts, there is a strong possibility that he held a significant rank in the Khalsa army. However, his major contributions came after the Anglo-Sikh war as armed insurgent against the rule of East India Company.[181]

Senapati Shaheed Gulab Singh Saini

"On May 10, 1857 when English soldiers advanced from Merut and Ambala to attack Delhi, they had to fight a fierce battle with Gulab Singh Saini and his dare-devil native army. Having completely routed the English army and having made them flee for their lives, he thus played significant role in the coronation of Bahadur Shah Zafar once again as the emperor of India."

[150]

Gulab Singh Saini,[182] son of Jodh Singh Saini, was a close companion of Jat chief Nahar Singh of Ballabhgarh and laid down his life fighting the British in 1858. Raja Nahar Singh had also lost his life heroically in the process. Gulab Singh Saini was one of the prominent leaders of the native insurrection against the British during the mutiny in his role as the commander-in-chief [182] of the princely state of Ballabhgarh.

Gulab Singh Saini was hanged , along with Nahar Singh, Khushal Singh and Madho Singh, in the Chandni Chowk of New Delhi on January 9, 1858 after they had been allegedly captured by deception by English forces. Thereupon, all of his property and land was confiscated by the British colonialists and all public records pertaining to him and his companions were burnt down to erase the influence of their martyrdom on the natives [182] but the tales of patriotism , gallantry and sacrifice of these heroes of India's first war of freedom has still managed to endure in the popular memory despite the twin scourge of colonial oppression and time.

Gulab Singh Saini's and Nahar Singhs' ancestors were close associates for many generations and Gulab Singh's forefathers traditionally held the ranks of army chief successively in this Jat principality. Gulab Singh Saini's father, Jodh Singh, was also the 'senapati', or commander-in-chief, of Ballabhgarh's army during the time of Raja Ram Singh, who was Nahar Singh's father. Raja Nahar Singh received all of his military training from Jodh Singh and later Jodh Singh's son, Gulab Singh, was appointed as the 'senapati' or the army chief upon the coronation of Nahar Singh as the Raja of Ballabhgarh.[41] Gulab Singh Saini's led a composite army which consisted of brave and never-say-die Meos, Muslims, Jats , Sainis and a lot of other soldiers of Rajput extractions.[150]

Shaheed Gulab Singh Saini's descendant, Ranjit Singh Saini, is a distinguished scholar of Sanskrit and history who has authored saveral books on Sanskrit grammar and historical manuscripts.

Along with Mayya Singh, Gulab Singh was the second prominent Saini hero of the 1857 mutiny and before who fought the East India Company and faced either incarceration or martyrdom.

Saini , Jat and Ror communities around the area of Kurukshetra are reported to have put up a very brave resistance to the forces of East India Company during the mutiny.

Modern decorated Saini armymen and policemen

Subedar Joginder Singh Sahnan, a Saini Sikh from Mahla Kalan, Moga (originally from Munaka, District Hoshiarpur) won Param Vir Chakra in 1962 Indo-China.[31]
Param Vir Chakra, Indian Army's highest award for war time gallantry

The awards list given below is not exhaustive. Not all Sainis use their clan or sub clan names and go by the last names such as 'Chaudhry', 'Singh', 'Kumar', etc. Since these names are shared by many other groups (some of which overlap Sainis) such as Sikhs, Jats, Dogras and Rajputs etc , it is not possible to isolate Sainis among them just by their last names. The following list pertains only to those decorated armymen and policemen who are confirmed to be Sainis. The actual list of decorated Saini army and police personnel might be much longer. More quality research is needed in this reference.

The following list only contains only those armymen and policemen who won have major wartime and peacetime awards. The list of Sainis in Indian Army is very large and needs no inclusion here. Army and police have traditionally been major sources of employment for Sainis. British had classified Sainis as a 'martial race'. Purser recorded even in 1892 land settlement report that Sainis joined the military service quite frequently, especially as cavalrymen.[23]

Another fact that needs to be born in mind is comparison of Sainis with Dogras , Pushtuns, Jats and Rajputs is not an apples to apples comparison. Sainis are merely a sub tribe of Yaduvanshi Kshatriyas (or Jadon Rajputs) who took to agriculture in Punjab and spun-off with a distinct identity local predominantly to Punjab and bordering region. Their numbers are relatively very small compared with these groups. For example according to the 1881 census, the entire Saini population in the whole of undivided Punjab- also all of pre-partition India for that matter- was only 132,000 while the population of just a single Jat clan of Sidhus was 208,000. The Saini population was reduced to 106,000 in 1901 census after mistakes of 1881 census were corrected.[13][183] The best way to gauge proportionate Saini contribution to feats of gallantry in armed forces would be by comparing them individually with other Rajput sub tribes such as Bhati, Chauhan, Sisodia, etc rather than Rajputs, Jats , or Dogras as integrated groups which are extremely large and heterogeneous when compared to Sainis.

Known Gallantry Awards

During British India (World War I)[184]

Cross of St. George medallion.This award was Imperial Russia's highest exclusively military honor. Gurmukh Singh, a Saini , from Ropar won this highest military honor in 1916 for his gallantry in battlefield.
Indian Order of Merit. First Class Indian Order of Merit won by Gurmukh Singh Saini

Since Independence

Known Meritorious Service Awards

Decorated Saini armymen and paramilitary personnel

Order of names given below is as per the rank held at the time of retirement or martyrdom of each soldier.

  • Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh Banga (Param Vishisht Seva Medal)[185]
  • Lt Gen Ashok Kumar Saini (Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Visisht Seva Metal, Sena Medal)[186]
  • Maj Gen Balbir Singh Pama (Sena Medal) [187][188]
  • Brigadier Ram Prakash Saini (Vishisht Seva Medal) [189]
  • Brigadier SK Saini (Sena Medal for Gallantry) [190]
  • Brigadier Jaspal Singh Pama (Sena Medal for Gallantry) [191][192]
  • Brigadier JS Saini (Vishisht Seva Medal) [193]
  • Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria (Posthumous Param Vir Chakra,Battles of Congo Crisis)[194]
  • Group Captain S S Banga (Vishisht Seva Medal)[195]
  • Group Captain Girish Saini (Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry)[196]
  • Wing Commander Kartar Singh Taunque -First IAF personnel ever to be decorated for gallantry)[143][197]
Wing Cdr. Kartar Singh Taunque. Saini tradition of military service is very old and distinguished. Wing Cdr. Taunque, a Saini, became the first ever personnel of Indian Air Force (then Royal Indian Air Force) to be decorated for gallantry in battle field.[143] Taunque, as an Air Gunner, conducted devastating precision bombing during 'Operations in Waziristan'. After this military decoration, Taunque also served in Mesopotamia (Iraq) as part of Royal Indian Air Force.
  • Wing Commander Krishan Kant Saini ( 1962 War Hero, Vir Chakra, Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry & Ati Vishist Seva Medal)
  • Wing Commander Satya Pal Daulay ( Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry)[198]
  • Col Satinder Kumar Saini ( Vishisht Seva Medal) [199]
  • Col Vikas Saini ( Vishisht Seva Medal) [200]
  • Squadron Leader Baljeet Singh Saini ( Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry) [201]
  • Squadron Leader Devinder Singh Saini (Shaurya Chakra & Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry) [202][203]
  • Subedar-Major Bahadur Jagindar Singh Saini, OBI (2nd Class Order of Merit and 2nd Class of the Order of British India, Hero of Battle of Loos, Belgium, World War I) [30]

Subedar-Major Jagindar Singh 'Bahadur' , a Saini from Ropar, distinguished himself for conspicuous gallantry and striking leadership in the Battle of Loos in Belgium during World War 1. Lieutinent Governor's citation for his military decoration as 'Bahadur' (or hero) and the twin confering of Order of British India and Indian Order of Merit reads as follows:[30][204]

" ..for his conspicuous gallantry in action on the 17th November 1914 when with a party of Sappers under the command of a British Officer he was always to the fore and led his men with great determination into the enemy's trenches. Subedar-Major Jagindar Singh, Saini Sikh of Kheri Salabatpur in Rupar, gained the 2nd Class Order of Merit at the battle of Loos in Belgium for striking leadership and conspicuous bravery in action after most of his company and all but one British Officer in his regiment had been killed or wounded. This officer was also awarded the 2nd Class of the Order of British India for distinguished conduct in the field."

  • Major Harminderpal Singh Saini (Posthumous Shaurya Chakra) [205][206]

On 13 April 1999, Major Singh fearlessly led his column from upfront, setting a personal example for his command to emulate. He made the supreme sacrifice of his life while fighting the Pakistani ISI sponsored proxy war and safe guarding the integrity of India. His mortal remains, draped in the tri-colour of the Indian flag, were sent to his village in (Mundi Kharar) Ropar (the vicinity of which Anandpur Sahib is located) on 14 April 1999 where he was cremated with honours reserved for the bravest. Major Harminder had been wounded in the left arm but managed to engage three militants armed with Kalashnikovs and grenades in an eyeball-to-eyeball encounter in a remote north Kashmir village on April 13.The 18 Grenadiers Major was shot through the temple by the third militant but not before he had gunned down two of them. Harminder led the commando platoon of his battalion in what has been described as a "dare-devil" operation in a congested locality of Sadurkotbala village in Manasbal.Major Harminder Pal Singh was honoured with the Shaurya Chakra, for his exceptional gallantry and devotion to duty, posthumously.

  • Major S L Saini ( Vishisht Seva Medal) [207]
  • Major P.S. Gahoon ( Shaurya Chakra) [208]
  • Major Rajinder Kumar Saini ( Sena Medal for Gallantry) [209]
  • Major Ravi Kant Saini ( Sena Medal for Gallantry) [210]
  • Captain Jasbir Singh Kaberwal (Shaurya Chakra) [211][212]
  • Sergeant Uday Singh Taunque (Winner of Purple Heart & Bronze Star,[213] US Army)
Sergeant Uday Singh Taunque - KIA Iraq 1st Dec 2003
  • Lt. Ravinder Saini (Sena Medal for Gallantry) [214]
  • Flt. Lt. Somesh Kumar Saini (Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry) [215]
  • Flt Lt S C Sandal (IAF Roll of Honour, Martyr , 1971 war) [216]
  • Sgt. Hira Singh Saini (Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry) [217][218]
  • Naib Subedar Gopal Singh Saini (Sena Medal for Gallantry) [214]
  • Naik Janak Raj Saini (Sena Medal for Gallantry) [219]
  • Sepoy Banta Singh Saini (Battle of Neuve Chapelle War Memorial Commemoration, World War 1) [220]
  • Follower Devi Ditta Saini (Battle of Neuve Chapelle War Memorial Commemoration, World War 1) [221]

Decorated Saini policemen

Gallantry medal is the most prestigious award for any police officer in the country. It is awarded for displaying conspicuous gallantry, courage and devotion to duty of very high order. The police officer keeps the duty before self in completing the task. This award is rare in itself as the action should match the risk involved on the occasion. The senior controlling officer assessing the task performed by the subordinate recommends to the head of the police department for award of gallantry medal.

  • Director General of Police (DGP-Vigilance) Sumedh Singh Saini, IPS ( Gallantry Award ,1987, Punjab Police )[222]
  • Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Dr. Kamal Saini, IPS, (Gallantry Award, Jammu and Kashmir Police) [223][224]
  • Supdt. of Police (SP) Hari Ram Banga, ( Gallantry Award ,1991, Punjab Police)[222]
  • Dy. Supdt. of Police (DSP) Kashmir Singh Pabla (President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service, 2009) [225][226]
  • Sub Inspector Hans Raj Saini (Police Medal For Meritorious Service, 2003, Border Security Force) [227]
  • Sub Inspector Vinod Kumar Saini , (Police Medal For Gallantry, 2008, Border Security Force)[228]

Well-known Saini scholars and scientists

All of the following scientists and scholars either hold doctoral degrees or are otherwise widely published and quoted in peer-reviewed international research publications and newspapers.

  • Avtar Saini (world renowned computer engineer & scientist, designer and developer of Intel Pentium Processor ) India & USA
  • Dr.Pritam Saini (Late) MA Ph.D, (Noted English, Hindi Punjab & Urdu writer , historian & literary critic, Research Fellow- Punjabi University, Member & Contributor- Punjab History Conference and Indian History Congress ) [229]
  • Prof. Emeritus Balwant Singh Saini, PhD, BA, BArch, PRAIA, FRIBA (world renowned architect), Department of Architecture, University of Queensland, Australia[230]
  • Prof. Subhash Saini, PhD-University of Southern California, Senior Computer Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center (He has published over 50 articles in nuclear engineering; quantum scattering; classical mechanics; atomic and molecular physics; and high performance computing), USA [231]
  • Dr. Gurdas Ram Saini, Ph.D ( Former Economic Advisor, UNO & Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture ), India[232]
  • Prof. Krishnan G. Saini MA Ph.D (House Fellow-Vassar College, New York, World Bank economist), USA [233][234]
  • Dr. Gulshan Rai Saini, Ph.D- Ohio State University (renowned soil scientist), Canadian Department of Agriculture, Canada[235]
  • Dr Avtar Paul (Structural Engineer, pioneered friction dampers technology for earthquake resistant building design), Montreal, Canada [236]
  • Er. (retd) Jagat Singh Dhamrait, MS- Civil Eng., Idaho, USA (renowned civil engineer, authored saveral research books on highway engineering), Illinois Dept. of Transportation, United States Federal Highway Administration, USA
  • Prof. Indu Banga, MA Ph.D (renowned historian of Punjab), Department of History, Punjab University, India
  • Prof. B. S. Saini MA Ph.D, (Economic Historian) Punjab University, India
  • Dr. Uma Saini, Ph.D (Vedic scholar) Director Language Teaching Center Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Prof. Debi S. Saini, PhD (Delhi), Chairperson -HRM Area at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, INDIA
  • Prof. Ranjit Singh Saini, MA, LLB, Ph.D (renowned historian and sanskritologist), Delhi University, India
  • Prof. Simranjit Singh Saini, Ph.D - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering- University of Waterloo,Canada
  • Dr. Hargurdeep (Deep) Saini, MSc Ph.D, Dean, Faculty of Environment-University of Waterloo,Canada
  • Dr. Vikas Saini, MD,PhD, Scientist, Department of Surgery, Loyola University Medcal Center, Chicago, USA
  • Dr. Sukhdev Singh Saini Ph.D ( won State Award in Academic Proficiency in the area of Psychology and Economics) , Punjab University, India [237]
  • Dr. Sukhvinder P.S. Badwal, PhD, (Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Energy Technology; and Oreion Energy Australia Pty Ltd)[238]
  • Dr. Riju Saini, Ph.D. (BSc Eng- BHU, MS & Ph.D - Northeastern University, Boston, Vice President of ChemicaLogic Corporation)[239]
  • Dr. Rajwant Singh Chilana, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Library Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), USA [240]
  • Dr. Mulk Raj Chilana, Ph.D (Professor, NCERT, New Delhi)[241]
  • Dr. Arbinder S. Pabla, Ph.D., MBA (Ph.D. - Electronic & Electrical Engineering - University of Sheffield, MBA - London Business School. Published over 25 research publications and patents)[242]
  • Dr.Ravinder Pabla Ph.D. (Department of Cardiology University of Utah), USA[243]
  • Dr. Navjot Pabla, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow-Medical College of Georgia, School of Medicine), USA [244]
  • Prof. BS Pabla, PH.D. ( Professor , Mechanical Engineering at Technical Teachers' Training lnstitute, Chandigarh), India [245]

Geographic distribution and relative population size

According to the census of 1881, which is the most authentic record as it predates the era before all kinds of groups adopted Saini identity, Sainis were not found outside undivided Punjab which in present day's terms mean the following states:

  • Punjab
  • Haryana
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Jammu and Kashmir

Geographical distribution as per A. E. Barstow

According to A. E. Barstow the total population of Sainis as per 1911 census was only 113,000 and their presence was restricted mainly to Delhi, Karnal, Ambala and Lyallpur (modern Faislabad in Pakistan) distrcts, the Jalandhar and Lahore Divisions and the Kalsia, Nahan, Nalagarh, Mandi, Kapurthala and Patiala states. According to him, only 400 of them were Muslims and the rest were Hindu and Sikh.[12] As per 1881 census the largest Saini clans were in Hoshiarpur district of Jalandhar division where they were in quite commanding position in terms of land holdings and influence, holding at least two zails. In Lahore division they were chiefly concentrated in Gurdaspur where the Salahrias (Salariya) were returned as the largest Saini clan. The Sainis of Jammu area were essentially part of Sainis from the bordering Gurdaspur district.[122]

Present day cross-reference of divisions of British Punjab

In British Punjab Jalandhar division comprised of the following districts: Kangra, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Ferozepur. Lahore division comprised of the following districts: Lahore, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Gujranawala and Sheikhupura. The present day Ropar district fell in Ambala district before partition. Hence Ropar Sainis were included in that district in the colonial accounts.[61]

It is clear from Barstow's account that the majority of the Saini population fell in the areas which are now part of present day Punjab, with a smaller population in the areas falling in present Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, and absolutely no Saini population in UP or Rajasthan or beyond. People returning themselves as Saini in Bijnore and Saharanpur in 1881 census were excluded from Saini category in 1901 census after mistakes of the previous census were detected.[13][246]

Relative population size as per 1881 census

The population of Sainis has not been enumerated separately since independence but their relative population is rather small compared to the other groups. As per 1881 total Saini population all over India was no more than 137,380 which was further reduced to 106,011 in the 1901 census .[13][246] In the same census the total population of Khatris as 439,089.[13] while according to 1881 census figures the population of Jats was 2630,994 on an all-India basis. This makes proportionate Saini population to be approximately 1/4 of Khatris and 1/25 of Jats.[247] Acoording to another contemporary authoritative ethnological work written in 1896 [248] , Jat population was 4,625,523 and Saini population was 125,352, making comparative ratio 1:37. Even taking 1881 census result as basis, with 4 Khatris and 25 Jats for every Saini, it is clear that numerically Sainis are among the minority groups when compared to these most significant ethnic groups of present day Indian Punjab and Haryana.

Neo-Saini groups

In 1881 census, a minuscule Saini presence was also recorded in Bijnore and Saharanpur, which now falls in Western UP but in this area some people returning themselves as 'Saini' were said to be inter-marrying with Malis who are not acknowledged to be authentic Sainis by those of submontane Punjab, Haryana and HP, all of whom claim Yaduvanshi Rajput descent from Mathura and have maintained their historical Rajput character to the extent it was possible for any other Hindu Rajput origin tribe in a Muslim ruled Punjab.[8] In the census of 1901 these Malis in Bijnor area, who were included in Saini category by mistake, were excluded from Saini category and the overall Saini population was reduced by over 21% to 106,011.[13][246] So this population group cannot be regarded Saini as authentic Sainis have never had any marital relations with them (a fact acknowledged by Ibbetson).[65] Another noteworthy fact is that in census of 1881 there was absolutely no Saini population recorded in Rajputana (present Rajasthan), although almost all of the Mali groups, who returned their caste as Mali in 1881 census, now claim Saini identity.[1][2] These neo-Saini groups cannot be treated as part of Saini fold and simply need to be treated and studied as part of the group named after their original identity (See Mali caste).

Prominent Saini villages & estates in different parts of British Punjab

As per colonial records of Jalandhar district of 1904 Sainis held a number of villages near the eastern border of Nawashahr and in the south-west of the tahsil.

Following is the list of prominent villages that were fully or partly owned by Sainis in Jalandhar and Nawanshahr Tahsils of British era:[249]

Nawanshahr & Jullundhur Tahsils (British Punjab)Ropar

  • Behron Majra (Near Chamkaur Sahib)
  • Birampur(disstt. Hoshiarpur near Bhogpur) complete village.
  • Ladhana (complete village)
  • Jhika (complete village)
  • Sujjon (complete village)
  • Surapur (complete village)
  • Pali (complete village)
  • Jhiki (complete village)
  • Chak (complete village)
  • Khurde (complete village)
  • Dalli (complete village)
  • Gehlar (complete village )
  • Saini Majra (Complete Village)
  • Desu Majra near mohali (Complete Village)
  • Hawali near Ropar (Complete Village)
  • Laroha (almost complete village)
  • Nangal shahidan ( almost complete village)
  • Bhundian (almost complete village, 5/6)
  • Urapur- (part- 3/4 or 75%)
  • Bajidpur- (part- 3/4 or 75%)
  • Pali Unchi (part- 1/3 or 33%)
  • Naura (part- 1/2 or 50%)
  • Gobindpur (part- 1/4 or 25%)
  • Kama (part- 1/4 or 25%)
  • Dipalpur (part- 1/2 or 50%)
  • Balur Kalan (part- proportion not known)
  • Khurde(part- proportion not known)
  • Dudhala-(part- proportion not known)
  • Dalla (1/2 or 50%)
  • Jandhir (1/2 or 50%)
  • Chulang (1/3 or 33%)
  • Giganwal (1/2 or 50%)
  • Lasara ((1/2 or 50%) Note: this village fell in Phillaur Tahsil.

Apart from the above villages in Jullundhur district of British Punjab, Sainis were also amongst the proprietors or landowners of Phagwara. It needs to be duly noted that the Saini population in Jullundhur district was only 14324 as per 1880 records.[250] So the above list only contains a small fraction of total Saini landownership in Punjab. The largest Saini estates and villages were in Hoshiarpur and Dasuya tahsils of Hoshiarpur district where they were much more influential and numerous. Ambala division (which included Ropar district) also had a large number of Saini owned villages. There were 54 villages that were held by Sainis in Gurdaspur district.

Religion

Hindu Saini

Though the majority of Saini's are Hindu, their religious practices are best described as Sikh as well as eclecticism of Sanatani Vedic and Sikh traditions. Most Sainis are proud of their Vedic past and play willing hosts to learned Brahmin priests. At the same time, there is hardly a Hindu Saini who does not treat the Sikh Gurus with extreme reverence.

Some Hindu Sainis around Hoshiarpur region are also well versed in Vedic astrology.

Unlike other farming and martial communities, converts to Islam amongst Sainis are generally unheard of.

Sikh Saini

With the rise of Sikhism in the fifteenth century, many Saini's adopted Sikhism. So, there is a substantial Sikh Saini population today in Punjab . The boundary lines between Hindu and Sikh Sainis are quite blurred as they freely inter-marry. Within one extended family both Hindus and Sikhs can be found.

Marriage

Strictly endogamous

Sainis were strictly endogamous until a few decades ago but had strict regulations to prevent inbreeding. Generally as a rule the marriage could not take place if:[44]

a) even one of the four gots from boy's side was common with one of the four gots from girl's side . These four gots from each side were the gots of : 1) paternal grandfather 2) paternal grandmother 3) maternal grandfather & 4) maternal grandmother. Needless to say marriage between cousins was an impossibility ;

b) despite none of the above gots being common between both sides, both the families were from same village. In this case as per the ancient honour system, the boy and girl in question were to treat each other mutually as brother and sister.

Prior to 1950s, it was not possible for Saini bride and groom to see each other before the marriage. The marriage decision was strictly taken by elders of the both families. Bride and groom got to see each other only after the marriage. If the groom attempted to see his would-be wife stealthily, it would lead to breaking up of the betrothal by girl's family in most or all cases.

However since 1950s, this is no longer the case even for arranged marriages within the community.

Divorce

Historically

Prior to The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 , it was not possible for a Saini man to divorce his wife.[44] Divorce was non-existent and there was very strong community taboo and stigma against it. Other than the reason of infidelity, it was not possible for a Saini man to desert his wife without facing ostracism and inviting stigma for his whole family.

But if a Saini man repudiated his wife on the basis of infidelity or elopement, reconciliation was not possible again under any circumstances. The consequences were often grave under this condition. The woman thus accused most certainly faced ostracism for the rest of her life. No other man from the community would marry a woman thus repudiated. In great many cases a certain prospect of honor killing loomed over the 'offenders' [251] . However, there was intervention by village elders in all cases to prevent any woman from being wrongfully accused by malicious in-laws. The husband's family in such cases also did not escape some form of stigma. So situations like these would come to fore very rarely , only if there was a genuine grievance.

Present day situation

However, divorce is now a possibility among the present day Sainis and it does not attract the stigma and ostracism that it once did.

Widow remarriage

Historically, among Sainis widow remarriage was not a possibility like in any other community of ksyatriya or rajput origin.[252]

Levirate marriages not possible

Generally speaking, levirate marriage, or karewa , was not permisssible among Sainis,[44][252] and the elder brother's wife had the same status as of one's own mother and younger brother's wife had the same status as of one's daughter. This relationship continued even after the death of the brother. After the death of a married male member the responsibility of taking care of his widow was collectively shared by the deceased's brothers or cousins (if there were no brothers who were alive). Owing to close-knit social fabric of Saini owned villages, the widow and her wards were also collectively taken care of by the larger community-based brotherhood (called Sharika in Punjabi) in the village.

Present day situation

Among present day Sainis the taboo against widow remarriage, especially if they are widowed at young age, has now dissolved or almost disappeared even in Punjab.[44] However, in the village based communities there might still be some resistance left.

Marriage rituals

Traditionally, Sainis have been married through vedic ceremonies performed by brahmins of Sanatani tradition . However, in 20th century some Hindu families started opting for Arya Samaj based vedic ceremonies and Sikh Sainis started opting for Anand Karaj ritual.

Saini sub clans

There are many sub clans in the Punjabi Saini community.

The most common are generally: Annhe, Bimb (Bimbh), Badwal, Baloria, Banwait (Banait), Banga, Basuta (Basotra), Baunsar, Bhela, Bola, Bhondi (Bondi), Chera, Chandel, Chilana, Daurka, Dhak, Dhamrait, Dhanota (Dhanotra) , Dheri, Dhoore, Dulku, Dokal, Farad, Maheru, Mundh (Mundhra), Mangar, Masuta (Masotra), Mehindwan, Gehlen (Gehlon/Gill), Gahir (Gihir), Gahunia (Gahoon/Gahun), Girn, Gidda, Japra, Jagait (Jaggi), Jangliya, Kalyani, Kaloti (Kalotia), Kaberwal (Kabadwal), Khargal, Kheru, Khuthe, Longia (Longiye), Sahnan (Shanan), Salaria (Salehri), Suji, Nanua (Nanuan), Naru, Pabla, Pawan, Pama, Pangliya, Partola, Tamber (Tumber/Tanwar/Tomar), Thind, Taunque (Tonk/Taank/Taunk/Tak), Togar (Togad/Taggar), Ugre, Vaid etc.

In Haryana most common are generally: Bawal (Bawla/Bavlia)(बावल), Bharal (भरल), Bhuteral (भुटरल), Kachal (कच्छल), Sandal (सन्डल), Kapoor-Khatri (कपूर-खत्री), Matoya (Matwaye/Mitau) (मटोया), Dhahiya (Dhayia) (दहिया), Tasir (Tassid) (तसीर), Katariya (कटारीया) etc.

Note: Some Saini sub clans overlap with the Dogra and Bagri Rajputs. Some Saini clans names overlapping with Dogras are: Badwal, Baloria, Basuta, Masuta, Dhanota, Salariya, Chandel, Jagait, Vaid etc. Historically regional endogamy and social distinctions also prevailed within the community. For example, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar Sainis would not go beyond these districts for match-making and regarded themselves of higher grade. But such restrictions have somewhat eased up in recent times including increasing instances of inter-caste marriage, especially among the NRI Saini families.

Notable Saini personalities

Order of the British Empire. Dr. Jagjit Singh Taunque, a Saini Sikh in UK, was awarded Membership of this distinguished Order in the year 2000. Earlier, Chaudhari Dewan Chand Saini gained this distinction during colonial era.
  • Rai Bahadur Chaudhari Dewan Chand Saini (Noted Criminal Lawyer and Safedposh of British India)
  • Sardar Labh Singh Saini (Prominent Freedom Fighter & President of Shiromani Akali Dal)[253]
  • Late Giani Sadhu Singh Bhaura (Jathedar of Akal Takth 1964-1980, highest spiritual & temporal authority of Sikhs) [254][255][256]
  • Sadhu Singh Hamdard (Eminent Punjabi Journalist, Founder of Ajit Group, Padam Shri)
  • Late Ajit Saini (Eminent Punjabi Journalist, Freedom Fighter & INA veteran)
  • Dr. Barjinder Singh Hamdard (Editor-in-Chief of newspaper Ajit, Novelist, Ex-Rajya Sabha Member)

Dr. Barjinder Singh Hamdard is an eminent Saini personality of Punjab. He is also a personal associate of late Ajit Saini. He is Editor-in-Chief of The Ajit Group of Publications. He has added new milestones at every step of his illustrious journalistic career. Embodying the subtle and complex narrative of human relationships, his novel Kujh Patre was instant hits, which caught the imagination of vast Punjabi readership, was translated into Gujarati and serialized in eight episodes on Doordarshan, Jalandhar in 1991. This creativity imbued with brilliant imaginative refractions and renderings is spread over half a dozen books including the admirable travelogue Dhartian de Geet and collection of his special editorials. Recognition of brilliant journalistic and creative work has decorated him with many awards: ‘Shiromani Patarkar’ by Punjab Government, ‘Padamshree by the Government of India, ‘Special Award’ by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) and Honorary D.litt by Punjabi University, Patiala. Dr. Barjinder Singh also became M.P. (Rajaya Sabha) in 1998.

Honoured with special privilege of delivering speech as representative of Government of India at the General Council of U.N.O in 1990 and having had visited more than two dozen countries on various assignments, he has contributed immensely to international understanding of which he now an icon.

It is noteworthy that Dr. Barjinder Singh Hamdard is the son of emiment Punjabi journalist Sardar Sadhu Singh Hamdard who was the founder of renonwed Punjabi newspaper 'Ajit', which is the most reputed and the largest Punjabi language newspaper in the world. Hamdard family owns this reputed newsdaily.[257]

  • Nek Chand Saini (Creator of World Famous Rock Garden of Chandigarh)
  • Wing Commander K K Saini, Vr.C., AVSM (World Record holder for the Highest Altitude Landing for a Helicopter)
  • Joginder Singh Saini (1997 Dronacharya Award -Highest National Award in Sports Coaching)[258]

Joginder Singh Saini was the 13th recipient of the coveted award. A respected coach of long standing and chief national coach , Saini was the fourth athletic coach behind O.M. Nambiar (1985), Ilyas Babar (1994) and Karan Singh (1995) to be honoured.

  • Jagjit Singh Taunque, MBE , DL
  • Avatar Saini (World Renowned Microprocessor Designer/Architect)
  • Kulbir Bhaura (Famous British Hockey Player, Gold Medalist- Seoul Olympics 1988)
  • Baljit Singh Saini (Famous Indian Hockey Player & Olympian)
Baljeet Saini playing hockey
  • Avtar Singh Saini (Held the national record for 400 meters ).[citation needed]
  • Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini (Renowned Cardiologist & Philanthropist)[259]
  • Nirmal (Saini) Milkha Singh (Former Indian Women's Volleyball Team Captain)

Born on October 10, 1938 at Shekupura (now in Pakistan), Nirmal Saini had a distinguished career in sports. She was Director of Sports for Women in the State Department. She earned an M.A. in Political Science from Punjab University in 1958, and joined the Government College of Physical Education, Patiala in 1959. She secured 710 out of 1000 marks to gain her diploma, proving that successful athletes can also be successful academicians. Nirmal also played excellent net-ball, badminton and throw-ball. She captained the Punjab volleyball team three times and was a member of the U.P. volleyball team that toured Ceylon in 1955. Four years later she led an Indian team to Ceylon, which won all the matches that they participated in.

Nirmal Saini took time off in the course of her busy Sports career to marry the famous "Flying Sikh" Milkha Singh,[260] the most celebrated athlete of India. She is also the mother of world renowned golf player Jeev Milkha Singh. Note: Milkha Singh is not a Saini but from a Sikh Rathore Rajput family.[261]

  • Dr. Rupa Saini, Ph.D. (Olympian, Arjuna Award Winner)

The erudite hockey Olympian, Rupa Saini belongs to a Faridkot-based family which has a rich tradition in sports, particularly in Indian hockey. At one time, the Saini sisters dominated women's hockey in India and this can be gauged from the fact that three of them- Rupa, Krishna and Prema- turned out for the country in a Test series against Japan in 1970. Rupa, at that time, was a 15-year- old pony tailed girl bristling with youthful exuberance. And it was this young and talented girl who went on to captain the Indian team in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

The list of Rupa Saini's achievement is long and impressive. She has donned the Indian colours in the 1974 France and 1978 Madrid World Cups, apart from earning nearly 200 Test caps both in India and abroad.She also played in the 1979 world championships held in Vancouver.

Taking a drive down the corridors of memory lane, Rupa reveals the crests and troughs she had to undergo in her illustrious career. She opined that one of the most happiest moments of her 19-year-long, effervescent career was when she got a chance to play alongside her two sisters -Krishna and Prema- in a five Test match series against Japan in 1970. These days Rupa, having earned a doctorate degree, is employed as a senior lecturer with the Government College of Physical Education in Patiala. She has also been appointed as a manager of the senior Indian team by the Indian Women Hockey Federation (IWHF).

  • Jessie Singh Saini (Indo-American Industrialist)

Hard work and talent made this non-entity in his homeland rich and famous in foreign soil. Originally known as Jaswinder Singh and re-christened "Jessie Singh the billionaire" is now a big name in Silicon Valley in California, USA. He is the owner of BJS Electronics and deals in trading of computer peripherals. He now has three companies with a turnover of $246 million and is the second richest Punjabi in North America. He has the rare distinction of hosting a dinner attended, among others by the then US president Bill Clinton. He keeps in touch with his roots and occasionally visits Jalandhar where he has a house in Green Park.

  • Tarsame Singh Saini (Taz of Stereo Nation )

Tarsame Singh, aka TAZ, the artist formerly known as Johnny Zee, established himself as a recording artist with the release of his debut album "Hit the Deck". He stormed the UK Asian Pop Charts for 36 weeks at number 1. The album went on to become one of the biggest selling Asian fusion release to date. Then came the album that broke all music barriers, Spirits of Rhythm with the hit track, Don't Break My Heart.

The latter half of 1999 saw TAZ release his first solo album entitled "Nasha" in the UK, causing a major storm on dance floors across Europe and the USA. To date the album has already gone gold... The new millennium sees TAZ as a solo artists, retaining the name of "Stereo Nation" starting to delve into new musical territory with Latin, R&B, Soul, Dance and Bollywood. TAZ's latest album entitled "Slave II Fusion"("Oh Laila'), released in December 2000. achieved sales exceeding 1.5 Million. As a consequence to this success, he was approached to record a track for the movie "TUM BIN" in which TAZ himself performed.

Due to popular demand TAZ returned to the UK to release his single "Laila" into the mainstream charts. The single entered the British Charts at number 44. The follow up album entitled "Taz-Mania" has surpassed the phenomenal success of the previous album. Having already recorded for the Film Industry, TAZ has just finished recording for the latest Hrithik Roshan film "Koi Mil Gaya" which has been deemed by the Indian Film Industry as the Bollywood Blockbuster Movie of the year!

  • Soni Pabla (Punjabi Pop Star)
  • Manj Banwait (Panjabi Bhangra Singer)

Born in Derby, England on the 23rd of October 1987, Manj is becoming the answer to new age Bhangra. His debut album 'Project One' which was sung, written and composed by this youngster was released in 2008 at the early age of 20. The title track 'Piche Hohke' ranked highly in numerous charts including the BBC Asian Network Chart. With such talents under his belt he has worked with numerous music producers already consisting of such names as Taj-E, BEE2, Notorious Jatt, Panjabi By Nature and Bharat Goel. The future looks bright and promising for Manj if he continues to climb on the ladder of rapid success. With only a few Saini singers out there, Manj is showing there is a place out there on the music scene made for him to shine out even further.

  • Sardar Mahan Singh Gahunia (INA Veteran & Social Activist)

A distinguished general of the Saini Army. His contribution in upliftment of Saini Community is being applauded by all. Took active part in the freedom movement launched by the patriots to liberate our country from the British rule. Known for his strong character, honest, simple and ever helpful attitude at his native village Sujjon in Nawansher district. His urge for knowledge and material well-being took him to seas to Philippines. Business acumen and hard work brought him abundant success and laurels. he became a successful, distinguished and respected businessman in Manila. His benevolent instinct prompted him to support his relations and other interested villagers to migrate to the Philippines for improving their sources of livelihood. Arranged moral and material support for Azad Hind Fauz of Netaji during the vital years of the Indian Freedom movement. His efforts to extend a helping hand to the needy widows and poor school going children in the form of aid and scholarships consistent with the financial position of the trust, are praiseworthy.[39]

  • Sunny Dhoor (Indo-American Social Activist)

Sunny Dhoorh migrated to America from Punjab in the year 1988 after graduating in the Law course of Punjab University, Chandigarh. In India he worked as an advocate and when opportunity called Sunny migrated to the U.S. Henceforth there is no looking back for this hardworking and determined stalwart.

The fruits of his labor ripened[citation needed] and now he is the proud[citation needed] owner of a about a dozen convenience stores in Michigan. This put him in the league of one of the most prominent and leading businessman of the state.

He is also a spokesperson for the Indian community in the state. He is a contender in politics and keep company with the Democratic Party, as is evident with his frequent association with the Governor and the former presidential candidate, John Kerry during his campaign. It is during this meetings that Sunny highlights the issues the Indian Community is facing. A regular donor to religious organizations and humanitarian causes. Sunny is proud to belong to the first Saini IAS family (Chaudhary Dasonda Singh) of Punjab.

  • Retd. Brigadier Dilbagh Singh Gahunia Saini (Ex Minister Punjab Government)

S. Dilbagh Singh Gahunia who was a famous personality from Doaba. After a distinguished service in the Indian Army , he retired as a Brigadier and became the Minister for Agriculture and Forest in the Punjab Govt. for some time. As a businessman he is beyond compare running his empire of transport trucks. He helped the community of the Sainis by being their spokesman and his contribution for the upliftment of the community will always be remembered. During his tenure, he initiated a series of measures to take Doaba in the forefront.

  • Swati Mia Saini (Former CNBC, Forbes Anchor/Reporter)
  • Angela Saini (British Science Journalist)
  • Jatinder Singh Girn (Model, Mr. India New Zealand)[262][263]
  • Jathedar Sukhdev Singh Bhaur (General Secretary, SGPC) [264]
  • M S Banga (Notable Corporate Executive, Ex-CEO - Hindustan Lever, Director on Board- Maruti Udyog Limited)
  • Ajay Banga (Notable Corporate Executive, President & COO- Mastercard, Ex CEO- Citi Group- Asia Pacific)
  • Sh. Attar Singh Saini (Irrigation, Power, Public Relation Minister (Haryana Govt )

Saini Tribe Differentiated from other Occupational Castes & Ethnic Tribes

Sainis differentiated from Arains or Raiens

Ibbetson, the colonial ethnographer also confused Sainis with Arain or Raiens. Where Ibbetson's theory becomes problematic is when a comparison is made between gotras (or got in Punjabi) or subcastes of Punjabi Sainis with Arains (and also with Malis). Neither of these communities have common gotras or any other shared cultural traits except perhaps a limited commonality in farming practices.

Gots are an important links that can reveal about the ethnic faultlines as well as shared bloodlines of particular communities. For example, the "Bajwa" got among Jats is found all the way down from Pakistani Punjab to Rajasthan in India, which reveals that Muslim, Hindu and Sikh Jats scattered over such a vast region had common ancestry.

The Arains have only one known common got with Sainis. This appears to be "Gohir" which is similar to Saini got "Gahir" but if this standard is used Sainis have more common gots with other endogamous Rajput tribes than any other community. "Sulehri", "Badwal" , etc Saini gots are shared with communities calling themselves Rajputs. On the other hand, over sixty of Arain gots overlap with those of the Jats, and about twenty with those of other endogamous Rajputs. Some important Arain clans overlapping with the other endogamous Rajputs are Siroha, Janjua, Chauhan, Bhatti, Bhutta (or Bhutto), Chachar, Indrai/Indhar, Joiya, Khokhar etc. This would make Arains also the kinsmen of Jats and other other endogamous Rajput tribes.[citation needed]

With regard to Malis, there is absolutely no commonality between Sainis and Malis where gots are concerned.

Ibbetson appears to have confused ethnic communities with occupational communities. Malis and Arains are occupational communities,[265] while Sainis are a distinct ethnic community with a common origin at a specific geographic location and a specific time, with a unique historical narrative which gives distinctness to their identity.

Further this theory would also make Arains of Pakistan same as converts from the Mali community which is open to further dispute.

Sainis differentiated from Malis (neo-Sainis)

Mali caste , in southern districts of Haryana and beyond in the states of UP , MP, and Rajasthan, also started using the surname "Saini" in 20th century.[1][2][3] However, this is not the same community as Yaduvanshi Sainis of Punjab This is testified by the fact that census of 1881 [266] does not acknowledge of the existence of Saini community outside Punjab and, despite the insinuations of colonial writers like Ibbetson, records Sainis and Malis as separate communities.[66][267] The Marwar State Census Report of 1891 A.D. also did not contain reference to any community called 'Saini' in Rajputana and recorded only two groups as Malis,[268][269] namely, Mahoor Malis and Rajput Malis, among which the latter are also included in Rajput sub-category.[131] It is the former which has predominantly adopted Saini identity in the 20th century.[1][2][3]

Sainis of Punjab historically have never inter-married with the Mali community (a fact accepted even by Ibbetson and duly recorded in 1881 census report itself), or with any community other than Sainis for that matter, and this taboo prevails even today generally. Apart from border districts of Haryana with neighboring UP , Delhi and Rajasthan, there have been little to no cultural or social exchange between Sainis and Malis, as both communities have distinct cultures and histories.

The Sainis of Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ropar and Gurdaspur districts , especially the aristocratic families among them, had historically intermarried only within these districts until recently. Haryanvi speaking Sainis of Haryana generally intermarry within Rohtak, Karnal and Kurukshetra districts only, though it is possible that some poor and less aware Saini families in the border districts of Haryana may have socially bonded with the Mali community in the southern border district of Haryana, neighbouring Rajasthan, Delhi, and UP, a little stronger, and due to the adoption of "Saini" surname by Mali community south of Yamuna in 20th century both may have become further confused with each other.

Owing also to this particular confusion, most Saini families in Punjab prefer to intermarry only within certain districts of Punjab and those of Haryana contiguous to Punjab. Sikh Sainis are even more unlikely to intermarry outside these handful of districts.

Differences acknowledged in the colonial accounts

Differences as per Denzil Ibbetson's account

Even colonial census authorities, somewhat eager to club Sainis with Malis for the sake of getting easier handle on complex Saini history and ethnography, were forced to acknowledge this stark fact with the remark: "...that some of the higher tribes of the same class (Sainis) will not marry with them (Malis) [270] .

The mistake colonial ethnographers seem to have made was to confuse occupational communities with ethnic communities. The engagement of Sainis in horticulture, in addition to wheat and rice farming, gave the 19th century colonial administrators , yet untrained in subcontinent's historical texts and scientific approach to social anthropology, the impression that Sainis were probably related with the Mali community in some way. But it does not appear that the colonial rulers were themselves entirely convinced with this conjecture [60] as well because all of their accounts fall short of emphatically identifying Sainis as Malis. Instead the colonial accounts used diffuse and open-ended phraseology like "it would appear", "probably", etc wherever they attempted to hyphenate Sainis with Malis. But despite this ambivalence the colonial accounts do not fail to record that unlike Malis:

  • Sainis claimed Rajput origin from Mathura.
  • Sainis were enlinsted as a "martial race".
  • Sainis also did ordinary farming in addition to horticultural farming.
  • Sainis were land owners and sometimes owned the entire villages (thus confirming ther feudal status).
  • Sainis did not intermarry with Malis , and that, except perhaps for Bijnore (now in UP), they were regarded as entirely separate from the Malis in North-West Provinces (a fact that made them record Sainis and Malis as distinct communities in 1881 census report). A note needs to be taken of the fact these so-called Sainis of Bijnore were excluded from the Saini category in the 1901 census when the mistakes and mistrepresentations in the 1881 census were discovered by the authorities. [246]
  • Sainis were not found outside Punjab.

Another work of 19th century by Jogendra Nath Bhattachary [248] also treated Saini group to be completely distinct from Malis.

Differences as per Edward Balfour's account

In 1885 Edward Balfour, another colonial scholar, clearly identified Sainis as distinct from Malis.[72] What is more interesting is that Edward Balfour found Sainis to be largely involved with sugar-cane farming instead of vegetable farming while only Malis to be involved with gardening. Edward Balfour's account thus gives further confirmation, in addition to self-contradiction implied in Ibbetson's account, that Sainis were understood to be entirely different from Malis in the colonial times.

Differences as per E.A.H Blunt

E.A.H. Blunt who produced a seminal work on caste system of Northern India also placed Sainis as a group completely distinct from Malis , Baghbans, Kacchis and Muraos. He enlisted Sainis a landholding group while describing the latter groups as having mainly gardening, flower and vegetable cultivation as their major occupations.[128] The strength of Blunt's work lies in the fact that he had the advantage of looking at the work of all the prior colonial writers like Ibbetson, Risley, Hunter, etc and revising their inconsistencies.

Differences acknowledged by post-colonial scholars

In Punjab there is no confusion whatsoever about the difference between Mali and Saini community and Sainis are nowhere confused with the Mali community. But in Haryana, a lot of Mali tribes have now adopted 'Saini' last name [3] which has made the Saini identity somewhat confused in the state and southwards of it. Marking out the clear difference between Malis and Sainis of Haryana, an Anthroplogical Survey of India report published in 1994 states the following:[271]

"Many of them are large landowners. Besides during the past, the Malis had served the royal courts and were mainly working as gardners; but the Sainis did not serve others; rather they were independent agriculturists. Arain, Rain, Baghban, the Mali and the Maliar constitute a mixed body of men denoting occupation rather than caste...1) The Malis are not as rigid as the Sainis in accepting food from members of other castes; 2) Mali women were found working as agricultural labourers which is not the case with Saini women; 3) Educationally, occupationally, and economically, the Sainis are far better placed than are the Malis, and 4) Sainis are landownders and own large lands as compared to the Malis."

Further reading

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Rajasthan , Kumar Suresh Singh, B. K. Lavania, Dipak Kumar Samanta, S. K. Mandal, N. N. Vyas, pp 845, Anthropological Survey of India
  2. ^ a b c d "...the Malis (ie gardners who call themselves Saini now).." A Muslim Sub-Caste of North India: Problems of Cultural Integration Partap C. Aggarwal Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Sep. 10, 1966), pp. 159-161,Published by: Economic and Political Weekly
  3. ^ a b c d "At the time of 1941 Census most of them got registered themselves as Saini (Sainik Kshatriya) Malis." pp 7 , Census of India, 1961, Volume 14, Issue 5 , Office of the Registrar General, India.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "The Sainis believe that their ancestors were Yadavas and that it was the same lineage in which Krishna was born. In the 43rd generation of the Yadavas there was a king known as Shoor or Sur, the son of King Vidaratha....It was in the name of these, father and son, that the community was known as Shoorsaini or Sursaini." People of India: Haryana, pp 430 , Kumar Suresh Singh, Madan Lal Sharma, A. K. Bhatia, Anthropological Survey of India, Published by Published on behalf of Anthropological Survey of India by Manohar Publishers, 1994
  5. ^ a b c d e "Surasena was a Yadava. One of his descendants could, therefore, call himself a Yadava or a Surasena as he liked..." Chauhān Dynasties: A Study of Chauhān Political History, Chauhān Political Institutions, and Life in the Chauhān Dominions, from 800 to 1316 A.D., By Dasharatha Sharma, pp 103, Published by Motilal Banarsidass, 1975
  6. ^ a b c d e "In a four-fold division of the Hindu social order, the Sainis invariably claim a Kshatriya origin. Among different groups of Kshatriya, the Sainis are the ones who consider themselves Rajputs." People of India: Haryana, pp 430 , Kumar Suresh Singh, Madan Lal Sharma, A. K. Bhatia, Anthropological Survey of India, Published by Published on behalf of Anthropological Survey of India by Manohar Publishers, 1994
  7. ^ a b c " Before the formation of Bharatpur state the capital of Sinsinwars was at Sinsini. Sinsini earlier was known as 'Shoor saini' and its inhabitants were known as 'Saur Sen'. The influence of Saur Sen people can be judged from the fact that the dialect of the entire north India at one time was known as 'Saursaini'. Shoor Sain people were Chandra Vanshi kshatriyas. Lord Krishna was also born in vrishni branch of Chandravansh. A group of Yadavas was follower of Shiv and Vedic God in Sindh. Some inscriptions and coins of these people have been found in 'Mohenjo Daro'. ' Shiv Shani Sevi' words have been found engraved on one inscription. Yajur Veda mentions 'Shinay Swah'. 'Sini Isar' was found on one gold coin. Atharva Veda mentions 'Sinwali' for Sini God. The above group of Yadavas came back from Sindh to Brij area and occupied Bayana in Bharatpur district. After some struggle the 'Balai' inhabitants were forced by Shodeo and Saini rulers to move out of Brij land and thus they occupied large areas." Source: http://www.bharatpuronline.com/history.html
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "In the Punjab in the sub- mountainous region the community came to be known as 'Saini'. It maintained its Rajput character despite migration." Castes and Tribes of Rajasthan, pp 108,Sukhvir Singh Gahlot, Banshi Dhar, Jain Brothers, 1989
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "The Sainis trace their origin to a Rajput clan who came from their original home near Muttra [sic] on the Jumna, south of Delhi, in defence of Hindus against the first Muhammadan invasions." The land of the five rivers; an economic history of the Punjab from the earliest times to the year of grace 1890, pp 100, Hugh Kennedy Trevaskis, [London] Oxford University press, 1928
  10. ^ a b c "One of the main explanation for different names Sainis are known has been the emergence of adverse political circumstances in history. While many powerful kings were responsible for naming the community after them, the constant invasions of by the Moghuls of Hindu dominated states, and the consequent need to keep themselves unidentified, compelled the community members to move from one place to others, take up different occupations...and when the need arose they as true Rajputs took up military service also. It is in this perspective that some trace the origin of the word 'Saini' to from Sena or army in need. " People of India: Haryana, pp 430-431 , Kumar Suresh Singh, Madan Lal Sharma, A. K. Bhatia, Anthropological Survey of India, Published by Published on behalf of Anthropological Survey of India by Manohar Publishers, 1994
  11. ^ a b c d e The Punjab Alienation of Land Act. XIII of 1900 (Lahore: Amrit Electric Press, 1924), pp 146-9, Appendix A — Notified Tribes
  12. ^ a b The Sikhs, an Ethnology: An Ethnology, pp 71, By A. E. Barstow Published by B.R. Pub. Corp., 1985, Original from the University of Michigan
  13. ^ a b c d e f Census of India, 1901, pp 50, By India Census Commissioner, Edward Albert Gait, Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India, 1902
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "In Jullundhur the Sainis are said to claim Rajput origin...and lived principally in the Muttra district. When Mahmud of Ghazni invaded India their ancestors came into Jullundur and settled down there...". See pp 346 of Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1990
  15. ^ a b c d Visnu Purana , Section 5
  16. ^ a b c "We have assigned to the Yadus the honour of furnishing King Puru, who opposed Alexander" , History of India: (from the earliest times to the fall of the Mughal Empire) , pp 86, 91-95, Indian Press (1947),Dr. Ishwari Prashad, ASIN: B0007KEPTA
  17. ^ a b c Proceedings, pp 72, Indian History Congress, Published 1957
  18. ^ a b c d e According to Arrian, Diodorus, and Strabo, Megasthenes described an Indian tribe called Sourasenoi, who especially worshiped Herakles in their land, and this land had two cities, Methora and Kleisobora, and a navigable river, the Jobares. As was common in the ancient period, the Greeks sometimes described foreign gods in terms of their own divinities, and there is a little doubt that the Sourasenoi refers to the Shurasenas, a branch of the Yadu dynasty to which Krishna belonged; Herakles to Krishna, or Hari-Krishna: Mehtora to Mathura, where Krishna was born; Kleisobora to Krishnapura, meaning the "the city of Krishna"; and the Jobares to the Yamuna, the famous river in the Krishna story. Qunitus Curtius also mentions that when Alexander the Great confronted Porus, Porus's soldiers were carrying an image of Herakles in their vanguard. Krishna: a sourcebook, pp 5, Edwin Francis Bryant, Oxford University Press US, 2007
  19. ^ a b c "This Herakles is held in special honour by the Sourasenoi, an Indian tribe, who possess two large cities, Methora and Cleisobora" Arrian, Indika, viii, Methora is Mathura ; Growse (Mathura, 3rd ed. 279) suggests Cleisbora is Krisnhapura , 'city of Krishna', ANNALS AND ANTIQUITIES OF RAJASTHAN, James Tod, Vol. 1, pp 36, Oxford University Press, 1920
  20. ^ a b Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, pp 33, pp 39, pp 102, pp 154, pp 233, pp 239, pp 325, pp 240, pp 302, pp 534, H.A. Rose, IBBETSON, Maclagan
  21. ^ a b Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, pp 361, H.A. Rose, IBBETSON, Maclagan
  22. ^ a b The other 'agriculturists' were Rajputs, Mughals and Pathans with some Gujars and Dogars."The Indian Army and the Making of Punjab,pp 149, By Rajit K. Mazumder, Permanent Black
  23. ^ a b c "Men of this tribe not seldom take service especially in cavalry." Final report of the revised settlement of the Jullundur District in the Punjab, pp 84, W.E. Purser, BCS, THE "CIVIL AND MILITARY GAZETTE" PRESS, Contractors to the Punjab Government, Lahore, 1892
  24. ^ Punjab District Gazetteers, Volume XIV A. , Jullundur District with Maps, pp 269, 1904 , Lahore, Printed at the "Civil and Military Gazette" Press
  25. ^ The Indian Army and the Making of Punjab,pp 99, 205, By Rajit K. Mazumder, Permanent Black
  26. ^ a b Annual Class Return, 1919, pp 364-7
  27. ^ a b Annual Class Return,1925, pp 96-99
  28. ^ a b c d e "The Order of St. George, Imperial Russia's highest exclusively military order, was instituted in 1769 and came to be considered among the most prestigious military awards in the world... The order was awarded to officers and generals for special gallantry, such as, personally leading his troops in rout of a superior enemy force, or capturing a fortress, etc. Before membership in the Order could be granted, a candidate's case had to be investigated by a council composed of Knights of the Order." Source: http://www.gwpda.org/medals/russmedl/russia.html
  29. ^ a b c d "I will give you here the names of three of those men who have earned fame by their heroism. Jamadar Gurmukh Singh, a Saini Sikh of Gadram Badi in Rupar, won the 1st Class Order of Merit and the 2nd Class Cross of the Russian Order of St. George for his splendid courage on the night of the 1st March 1916 when he advanced under the greatest difficulties, continually crawling forward and digging himself in." War speeches (1918), pp 128 , Author: O'Dwyer, Michael Francis, (Sir) 1864-, Subject: World War, 1914-1918; World War, 1914-1918 -- Punjab Publisher: Lahore Printed by the Superintendent Government Printing
  30. ^ a b c "his conspicuous gallantry in action on the 17th November 1914 when with a party of Sappers under the command of a British Officer he was always to the fore and led his men with great determination into the enemy's trenches. Subedar-Major Jagindar Singh, Saini Sikh of Kheri Salabatpur in Bupar, gained the 2nd Class Order of Merit at the battle of Loos in Belgium for striking leadership and conspicuous bravery in action after most of his company and all but one British Officer in his regiment had been killed or wounded. This officer was also awarded the 2nd Class of the Order of British India for distinguished conduct in the field."War speeches (1918), pp 129, Author: O'Dwyer, Michael Francis, (Sir) 1864-, Subject: World War, 1914-1918; World War, 1914-1918 -- Punjab Publisher: Lahore Printed by the Superintendent Government Printing
  31. ^ a b c Saini Jagat: Utpati Ate Vikas, pp 121, Prof. Surjit Singh Nanuan, Manjota Publications, Patiala, 2008
  32. ^ a b c d Final Report of Revised Settlement, Hoshiarpur District, pp 58, 59 1879-84 By J. A. L. Montgomery
  33. ^ " Chaudhri Dewan Chand Saini was another lawyer practicing on the criminal side those days. Later on he became Rai Sahib and leader of the Criminal Bar, but unfortunately died of cancer at a comparatively young age." Looking Back: The Autobiography of Mehr Chand Mahajan, Former Chief Justice of India, pp 45,Mehr Chand Mahajan, Published by Asia Pub. House, 1963
  34. ^ a b c History of Hisar: From Inception to Independence, 1935-1947, pp 312, M. M. Juneja, Published by Modern Book Co., 1989
  35. ^ The Punjab Legislative Council Debates. Official Report,pp 1028 & 1047, Published By Legislative Council, Punjab (India), 1936, Item notes: v.27, Original from the University of California, Digitized 7 Feb 2007
  36. ^ a b "Though majority of the Sainis in village I, who are top ranked in the caste hierarchy..." Emerging pattern of rural leadership, Mehta, Shiv Rattan, Wiley Eastern, 1972
  37. ^ a b c Who's who of Indian Martyrs, pp 83, 165, By Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan, India Ministry of Home Affairs, Published by Ministry of Education and Youth Services, Govt. of India, Item notes: v.1, Original from the University of Michigan
  38. ^ a b "..the second martyr of march 16 was Harnam Singh Saini of Fatehgarh, Hoshiarpur. He was arrested from Battavia by the Dutch." A day to remember Lahore's martyrs, 16 Mar 2002, KS Dhaliwal, Time of India[1]
  39. ^ a b c Indian Independence Movement in East Asia: The Most Authentic Account of the I. N. A. and the Azad Hind Government, Compiled from the Original Official Records, pp 102, By Kesar Singh Giani, Published by Singh Bros., 1947, Original from the University of Michigan
  40. ^ a b Senior journalist, Punjabi writer Ajit Saini passes away , Punjab Newsline Network, Monday, 10 December 2007
  41. ^ a b c Raja Nahar Singh Ka Balidan, Dr. Ranjit Singh Saini (MA, LLB, Ph.D),pp 10, New Bhartiya Book Corporation, 2000 Edition, Printers- Amar Jain Printing Press, New Delhi.
  42. ^ "The members of Saini community are employed in business and white-collar jobs and as teachers, administrators, lawyers, doctors and defence personnel." People of India, National Series Volume VI, India's Communities N-Z, pp 3091, KS Singh, Anthropological Survey of India, Oxford University Press, 1998
  43. ^ "Saini had co-led the development of the Pentium processor and was responsible for the first phase development of Intel’s 64-bit architecture – the Itanium processor. Driven by desire to work in India, he moved back in 1999 as director, south Asia." ,Avtar Saini joins eInfochips board, 29 Nov, 2005, 1306 hrs, IST,INDIATIMES NEWS NETWORK
  44. ^ a b c d e Endogamy and village/gotra level exogamy: "The Saini are endogamous community and observe exogamy at village and gotra level." Present day widow marriage & divorce liberalization: "Nowadays, the Saini community allows remarriage of widows and widowers and divorces of both sexes. Reportedly there has been a liberalization of the marriage rules within the community." People of India, National Series Volume VI, India's Communities N-Z, pp 3090, KS Singh, Anthropological Survey of India, Oxford University Press, 1998
  45. ^ People of India: Haryana, pp 437 , Kumar Suresh Singh, Madan Lal Sharma, A. K. Bhatia, Anthropological Survey of India, Published by Published on behalf of Anthropological Survey of India by Manohar Publishers, 1994
  46. ^ The Ancient Geography of India, pp 374 , By Alexander Cunningham, Published by Trübner and co., 1871, Item notes: v.1, Original from the University of Michigan
  47. ^ a b c "Surasena refers to an ancient region named after a Jadu raja who is believed to have lived before Krishna. Bayana (near Mathura) from where the Jadus ruled ..." Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins, pp 54, Shail Mayaram, Published by Permanent Black, 2004
  48. ^ a b c d "As Bhadanaka-desa was almost coterminous with Surasena janapada, we may designate the Apabhramsa of the area as Sauraseni Apabhramsa..." Early Chauhān Dynasties: A Study of Chauhān Political History, Chauhān Political Institutions, and Life in the Chauhān Dominions, from 800 to 1316 A.D., By Dasharatha Sharma, pp 103, Published by Motilal Banarsidass, 1975
  49. ^ "During the Mahabharata age the region around Mathura was ruled by the Surasena dynasty." The Quarterly Review of Historical Studies, By Institute of Historical Studies (Calcutta, India),Published by Institute of Historical, Studies., 1983, Item notes: v.22, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 29 Aug 2008
  50. ^ "The Surasenas were Jadavas, or Jadovansis, to which race belonged both Krishna and his antagonist Kansa, the king of Mathura." Report of a Tour in Eastern Rajputana in 1882-83,By Alexander Cunningham,Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1885, Original from Oxford University
  51. ^ a b c d e f g REPORT OF A TOUR IN EASTERN RAJPUTANA IN 1882-83 , VOLUME XX, A. Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India, pp 57, Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1885 ,Item notes: v.20 1882-1883, Original from the University of Michigan
  52. ^ The history of India, as told by its own historians the Muhammadan period. by H. M. Sir Elliot, John Dowson , pp 541
  53. ^ a b Mahabharata, Book 13, Chapter 147
  54. ^ "...was received with honour by the Surasena Yadavas who were his relatives." Prehistory and Protohistory of India‎, pp 278, by Kailash Chand Jain, Published by Agam, 1979- India 367 pages
  55. ^ Devi Bhagwat Purana, Chapter2, pp 41, Published by Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd.
  56. ^ SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM by Krsna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Translation: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada & others, Cantos 10, Chapter Seventeen - The Supreme Lord Agrees to Become Aditi's Son, verse 27
  57. ^ SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM by Krsna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Translation: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada & others, Cantos 9, Chapter Twenty-four Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead, verse, 63
  58. ^ SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM by Krsna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Translation: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada & others, Chapter Eleven, Lord Krsna's Entrance into Dvaraka, verse 26
  59. ^ Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 110
  60. ^ a b c d e Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1990, Page 58 & 346 Note(s): A) These references on two different pages best hightlight the confusion of colonial census officials and contradiction inherent in their account. On page 58 Sainis are listed as a tribe under Malis but on page 346 a separate category , distinct from Malis, is assigned to them with emphatic statements of page 58 giving way to a mere 'probability'. On page 346 further distinction between Sainis and Malis is reinforced by stating that: 1) Sainis do not intermarry with Malis ; 2) are a "little higher" than them in status; 3) engage in horticulture only in addition to ordinary farming (not in replacement of); 4) sometimes own entire villages; 5) and are less generally "merely market gardners than Malis". Subsequently, a claim of Rajput ancestry and migration from Mathura area is reluctantly acknowledged for Sainis of Jalandhar area. These diffuse and contradictory accounts , without any textual references from history, or any attempt at explaining the research methodology, greatly undermine authenticity , reliability and citable value of this colonial source. B) Also refer to Edward Balfour's 1885 account which reinforces Ibbetson's self-contradiction and states that Sainis were largely sugar-cane farmers (not market gardners) and that they were separate from Malis. Unlike Ibbetson, Balfour does not speculate but confirms the clear distinction between Sainis and Malis : "The most industrious are the Rain, Mali, Saini, Lubana, and Jat...The Mali are chiefly gardeners. The Saini occupy sub-mountain tracts, and grow sugar-cane largely. Their village lands are always in a high state of tillage." The Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, Commercial Industrial, and Scientific: Products of the Mineral, Vegetable, and Animal Kingdoms, Useful Arts and Manufactures, Edward Balfour, pp 118, Published by Bernard Quaritch, 1885, Item notes: v.3,Original from Oxford University
  61. ^ a b The Social & Economic History of Punjab, 1901-1939 (including Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, Administrative Divisions of the Punjab), pp 367, B. S. Saini MA Ph.D, Ess Ess Publications, Delhi, 1975
  62. ^ There is no such word as "Rasai" in Hindi or Punjabi vocabularies , meaning "skill". It simply appears to be a concoction of the colonial informant.
  63. ^ "Structure and change in Indian society:" (conference of the University of Chicago, 1965) by Milton B. Singer, Bernard S. Cohn, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, University of Chicago Committee on Southern Asian Studies,Aldine Pub. Co., 1968, p96
  64. ^ "Urban Sociology in India" M.S.A. Rao, 1979, p493
  65. ^ a b "...that some of the higher tribes of the same class (Sainis) will not marry with them (Malis)." W.Chichele Plowden , ( 1883 ), Census of British India taken on the 17th of February 1881, Volume III , London , Eyre and Spottiswoode , p. 256
  66. ^ a b The Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia: Commercial, Industrial and Scientific, Products of the Mineral, Vegetable, and Animal Kingdoms, Useful Arts and Manufactures, pp 233 & 294, Edward Balfour, Published by B. Quaritch, 1885
  67. ^ "They do more market gardening than the Jats ....". Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1990, Page 346
  68. ^ a b "Brinjals, gourds and sweet patatoes were grown in Gahon village in Hoshiarpur, and a neighbouring village cultivated cauliflowers for sale in the nearest market. Darling came across such 'progressive Rajputs' in Kharar tahsil of Ambala, too, who cultivated their own land and grew vegetables. In Thikranwala, an ex-cavalry officer was growing cauliflowers and another Jat Sikh was cultivating patatoes.", The Indian Army and the Making of Punjab, pp 34, By Rajit K. Mazumder, Permanent Black
  69. ^ "Vegetable farming is almost equally popular among Rajputs". Dimensions of scheduled caste development in India: problems and prospects, R. S. Tripathi, P. D. Tiwari, Published by Uppal Pub. House, 1991
  70. ^ "line separating Jats, Rajputs and certain other castes (tribes) is almost impossible of definition." Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, pp 361, H.A. Rose, IBBETSON, Maclagan
  71. ^ "...and Bhatti, Punwár, Tunwár, all the proudest tribes of Rájpútána are included in the name and have sunk to the level of Jat, for there can be no Rájpúts where there are no Rajas or traditions of Rajas." W.Chichele Plowden, (1883), Census of British India taken on the 17th of February 1881, Volume III, London, Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 243
  72. ^ a b "The most industrious are the Rain, Mali, Saini, Lubana, and Jat...The Mali are chiefly gardeners. The Saini occupy sub-mountain tracts, and grow sugar-cane largely. Their village lands are always in a high state of tillage." The Cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, Commercial Industrial, and Scientific: Products of the Mineral, Vegetable, and Animal Kingdoms, Useful Arts and Manufactures, Edward Balfour, pp 118, Published by Bernard Quaritch, 1885, Item notes: v.3,Original from Oxford University
  73. ^ Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1990
  74. ^ "...this view was held by some English writers who were neither sociologists nor anthropologists. They were simply administrators..." The Sansis of Punjab; a Gypsy and De-notified Tribe of Rajput Origin, Author's Preface, pp xvi, By Sher Singh, 1926-, Published by , 1965, Original from the University of Michigan
  75. ^ a b "It is evident from this that Krishna, Raja Porus , Bhagat Nanua, Bhai Kahnaiya and many other historical personages were related with the Saini brotherhood" Dr. Pritam Saini, Preface to Saini Jagat: Utpati Ate Vikas, 26-04-2002, Professor Surjit Singh Nanuan, Saini Jagat: Utpati Ate Vikas, Manjot Publications, Patiala, 2008
  76. ^ a b "Puru became the patronymic of this branch of the Lunar race. Of this Alexander's historians made Porus. The Suraseni of Methoras (descendants of the Soor Sen of Mathura) were all Purus, the Prasioi of Megasthenes..." Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han, Or, The Central and Western Rajpoot States of India, James Tod, pp 36, Published by Higginbotham and co., 1873, Item notes: v. 1, Original from Oxford University
  77. ^ "Pritam Saini, a noted journalist and author of Punjab commented in the same paper...Punjab, pp 83, Author: Sukhdev Singh Chib Publisher: New Delhi : Light and Life Publishers, 1977.
  78. ^ "To convince the reader I do not build upon nominal resemblance , when localities do not bear me out, he is requested to call to mind, that we have elsewhere assigned to Yadus of the Punjab the honour of furnishing the well known king named Porus; although the Puar, the usual pronunciation of Pramar, would afford a more ready solution." Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, pp 283, By James Tod, Edition: 2, Published by Asian Educational Services, 2001, ISBN 8120612892, 9788120612891
  79. ^ Ghazni to Jaiselmer (Pre-medieval History of the Bhatis), pp 93, Hari Singh Bhati, Publisher: Hari Singh Bhati, 1998, Printers: Sankhala Printers, Bikaner
  80. ^ Chandragupta Maurya: a gem of Indian history‎, pp 76, Purushottam Lal Bhargava, Edition: 2, illustrated, Published by D.K. Printworld, 1996
  81. ^ A Comprehensive History of India: The Mauryas & Satavahanas, pp 383, edited by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri, Bharatiya Itihas Parishad, Published by Orient Longmans, 1992, Original from the University of California
  82. ^ Excavating the eternal: an indigenous archaeological tradition in India. By: Cremo, Michael A.Publication: Antiquity,Date: Saturday, March 1, 2008
  83. ^ The Krsna (Krishna) Cycle in the Puranas (Themes and Motifs in a Heroic Saga), pp 26, Benjamin Preciado - Solis, (Edition: 1984)
  84. ^ a b c d REPORT OF A TOUR IN EASTERN RAJPUTANA IN 1882-83 , VOLUME XX, A. Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India, pp 59, Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1885 ,Item notes: v.20 1882-1883, Original from the University of Michigan
  85. ^ a b " When Muhammad Ghori captured Tahangarh many of the Jadon families disperesed and settled wherever they could find a home." REPORT OF A TOUR IN EASTERN RAJPUTANA IN 1882-83 , VOLUME XX, A. Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India, pp 25, Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1885 ,Item notes: v.20 1882-1883, Original from the University of Michigan
  86. ^ a b c "Saini was a great general and had led several expeditions into the country of Malwa and Gujarat" History of the Khaljis, A.D. 1290-1320: A. D. 1290-1320, pp 28 Kishori Saran Lal, Published by Asia Publising House, 1967
  87. ^ a b c d "see page 541 of the above referenced book by Ellot and Dowson". Books.google.ca. http://books.google.ca/books?id=WN4NAAAAIAAJ&printsec=titlepage&dq=Gurdan+Saini&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  88. ^ A Study of the Cahamana Inscriptions of Rajasthan, Anita Sudan,pp 79, Published by Research Publishers, 1989
  89. ^ A Comprehensive History of India : The Delhi Sultanat, A.D. 1206-1526 / edited by Mohammad Habib and Khaliq Ahmad Nizami, pp 318, Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri, Indian History Congress Published by Orient Longmans, 1957
  90. ^ Studies in Medieval Rajasthan History,pp 20, By Manjit Singh Ahluwalia, Published by [Aligarh?], 1970, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 2 Nov 2006, 56 pages
  91. ^ W.Chichele Plowden , ( 1883 ), The Indian Empire Census of 1881 Statistics of Population Vol. II. , Calcutta , Superintendent of Government Printing India, pp 243-258
  92. ^ Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1990, Page 346
  93. ^ This is also underscored by the fact that in 1880s Sainis were appointed as revenue collectors, or Zaildars, for as many as 41 villages in just Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. Although Sainis were in a dominant position in these villages , there were also other forward communities present in them like many other tribes of Rajput background like Jaswals and Dadwals, Khatris, Baniyas, Brahmins and Jats, etc. Muslim Rajputs were in the most dominant position thoughout Punjab but in these villages they were subordinate to Saini Zaildars in terms of revenue payment. British were very particular about not offending native sensibilities after 1857 mutiny and established these semi-hereditary safedposh titles based on the perception of existing caste hierarchies. Traditionally, Sainis had the titles of Chaudhary as the village heads. Almost all Saini majority villages had Saini Chaudharies.
  94. ^ "A is 65 years old, a Sikh Saini, who is an agriculturist and at the same time acts as Hakim in the village. B is 64 years old, also a Sikh Saini, is an agriculturist and is village headman ." Sociological bulletin, pp 71, Indian Sociological Society, Published by Indian Sociological Society, 1964
  95. ^ The instances of Rajput gotras such as Bhati, Gehlot, Chauhan, etc among Malis of Rajputana is an example of this and points to absurdity of Ibbetson's theory. There is well recorded account about how Rajputs escaped conversion to Islam and genocide by the Turks by claiming to be Malis in the captivity of Sahabuddin Ghori after the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan. See 'Rajasthan', pp 614, by Kumar Suresh Singh, B. K. Lavania, Dipak Kumar Samanta, S. K. Mandal, N. N. Vyas,1998, Anthropological Survey of India
  96. ^ a b " When the Rajput soldiers of his army fell in battle against Shahabuddin Ghori and the empires of Ajmer and Delhi were destroyed , some of the Rajputs became captives and could see no other way of saving themselves except embracing Islam and they came to be known as Ghori Pathans. Some of the Rajputs were let off on the recommendation of a Royal gardner who represented the captured Rajputs as Malis." Castes and Tribes of Rajasthan, pp 107,Sukhvir Singh Gahlot, Banshi Dhar, Jain Brothers, 1989
  97. ^ It is also noteworthy that Agnivanshi and Suryavanshi Rajput gotras found in Malis of Rajasthan are not found among the Sainis of Punjab.
  98. ^ a b c A Comprehensive History of India : The Delhi Sultanat, A.D. 1206-1526, pp 318, Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri, Indian History Congress, 1957
  99. ^ "Krishna, who was the real chief of the Yadava, was attacked in this advanced position by the (Paurava) King of Magadha (Jarasandha), and was forced to fly to Surashstra, where, however, his clan were no strangers, since his brother Balrama was already settled there and had married the local King (Revata's) daughter"." The Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review and Oriental and Colonial Record By Oriental Institute (Woking, England), East India Association (London, England), Published by Oriental Institute, 1898
  100. ^ "...but there are few land owning Brahmins now left to whom the stigma [sic] of halbah (ploughman) cannot be applied." Gazetter of Hoshiarpur District, 1883-4 , Compiled and Published under the authority of the Punjab government, Lahore: The "Civil And Military Gazette" Press
  101. ^ "Brahmins, although far behnd the Jats, stand next in order of importance; and whatever they may be elsewhere, here are very fair cultivators, their women work in fields, and in other points Brahmin zamindars of Palwal have abandoned their traditional customs.Gorwahs are Rajputs, who have adopted the custom of marrying brother's widow. As among Jats and Brahmins, to whom somewhat as agriculturists they are somewhat, but not very, inferior, men and women both work in fields."Punjab gazetteers, pp 145, 1883, bound in 10 vols., without title-leaves, By Punjab, Published 1883, Original from Oxford University
  102. ^ "The Brahmans engage for the most part in agriculture or trade, but some are extensive landholders." The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Hoshiarpur, pp 454, William Wilson Hunter, Edition: 2, Published by Trübner & co., 1885
  103. ^ "The Rajput tribes, after a vain resistance, succumbed to superior force, and had to starve or become tillers of the soil." Musalmans and money-lenders in the Punjab.Septimus Smet Thorburn, Published by W. Blackwood, 1886, Original from Harvard University
  104. ^ "...Arjuna settled some of the Yadavas in Punjab." (Visnu Purana , Section 5)
  105. ^ "...had migrated along with and at the same time as Yadavas from Mathura (Surasena) and its neighbourhood and settled in Panjab." Nagas, the Ancient Rulers of India: Their Origin and History, By Naval Viyogi, pp 147, Published by Originals, 2002
  106. ^ "Both men and women are non-vegetarian." People of India, National Series Volume VI, India's Communities N-Z, pp 3090, KS Singh, Anthropological Survey of India, Oxford University Press, 1998
  107. ^ a b Laws of Manu, Chapter X, Verses 90, 95, 116
  108. ^ "But in consequence of the omission of the sacred rites, and of their not consulting Brahmanas, the following tribes of Kshatriyas have gradually sunk in this world to the condition of Sudras;(Viz.) the Paundrakas, the Kodas, the Dravidas, the Kambogas, the Yavanas, the Sakas, the Paradas, the Pahlavas, the Kinas, the Kiratas, and the Daradas.All those tribes in this world, which are excluded from (the community of) those born from the mouth, the arms, the thighs, and the feet (of Brahman), are called Dasyus, whether they speak the language of the Mlekkhas (barbarians) or that of the Aryans" Manusamriti, Chapter- X, 43-45
  109. ^ "They call them mlechha, i.e , impure, and forbid having any connection with them, be it by marriage or any other kind of relationship, or by sitting , eating, drinking with them , because thereby, they think they would be polluted." Albureni (1964 reprint, pp 19-20, 185), From Al-Beruni to Jinnah: Idiom, Ritual and Ideology of the Hindu-Muslim Confrontation in South Asia, Author(s): Marc Gaborieau Source: Anthropology Today, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Jun., 1985), pp. 7-14, Published by: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
  110. ^ Final report of the revised settlement of the Jullundur District in the Punjab, Appendix XIII, pp xxxvi, W.E. Purser, BCS, THE "CIVIL AND MILITARY GAZETTE" PRESS, Contractors to the Punjab Government, Lahore, 1892
  111. ^ Final Report of Revised Settlement, Hoshiarpur District, pp 53, 1879-84, J. A. L. Montgomery
  112. ^ a b c "No Hindus were allowed to serve the Moghul government in any capacity, unless they turned Muhammadans; and stories are told are told of Brahmans, who renounced worship of idols and accepted the religion of Koran, being specially appointed to high posts and commands." Tales from Indian History: Being the Annals of India Retold in Narratives, pp 109, By James Talboys Wheeler Published by W. Thacker & Co., 1881
  113. ^ "Mahmud followed them up, and succeeded in capturing Raja Mal himself. The Raja was released on condition that he and his tribe embrace Islam." A report of the second regular settlement of the land revenue of the Jehlam district in ... the Punjab. [With] Maps, By R G Thomson, Published by Printed at the "Arya Press", 1883, Original from Oxford University, Digitized 17 Apr 2006, 290 pages
  114. ^ "According to popular legend, the Meos were converted by force. But they soon realized that it was of some advantage to be Muslim...Their conversion to Islam provided shield against ruthless decimation whenever the Muslim rulers raided Mewat." A Muslim Sub-Caste of North India: Problems of Cultural Integration ,Partap C. Aggarwal , Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Sep. 10, 1966), pp. 159-161 (article consists of 3 pages) , Published by: Economic and Political Weekly
  115. ^ "...Manhas and Salehria Rajput became Muslims in large numbers on the borders of Jammu in the region called Salahr-tappa and Manhas-tappa of Baramanga. The communities like Jaral, Salehria and Manhas have a considerable number of converts." Jammu & Kashmir, pp xxiii, By K. N. Pandita, Kumar Suresh Singh, Sukh Dev Singh Charak, Baqr Raza Rizvi, Anthropological Survey of India Published by Anthropological Survey of India, 2003, ISBN 8173041180, 9788173041181, 761 pages
  116. ^ "...Rajput tribes of the plains having for most part accepted Islam." Social and Economic History of the Panjab (1849-1901): (1849-1901), pp 118, By G. S. Chhabra, Published by S. Nagin, 1962, Original from the University of Michigan
  117. ^ "The Muhammadan Rajputs are the next most important race of agriculturists in this district. They own some 118 villages... There are no Hindu Rajputs in this district." Report on the Revised Land Revenue Settlement of the Lahore District in the Lahore Division of the Panjab, 1865-69, By Leslie S. Saunders, Published by Central Jail Press, 1873
  118. ^ "The Siwalik chain makes a line of demarcation between the two great creeds; the Rajputs of the hills and the Jaswan Dun retain the faith of their ancestors, those of the plain have generally adopted Islam." The Imperial Gazetteer of India, pp 454, William Wilson Hunter, Edition: 2, Published by Trübner & co., 1885
  119. ^ "From the days of the early Caliphs it had been a fundamental law of Islam that if a people were brought under Muhammadan dominion, but refused to embrace the Muhammadan religion, they must pay a poll tax known as Jezya, or otherwise forfeit their lives and property. Under this rule the Hindus had paid Jezya to the early Muhammadan conquerors of Hindustan; but the tax was abolished by Akbar, a contrary to the principles of toleration laid down by Chenghiz Khan, and no such tax had been levied by Jehangir or Shah Jehan. Aurangzeb reversed the policy of his predecessors, and ordered Jezya to be levied from all who refused to become Muhammadans." Tales from Indian History: Being the Annals of India Retold in Narratives, pp 110, By James Talboys Wheeler Published by W. Thacker & Co., 1881
  120. ^ "One formidable rising broke out in the city of Delhi. A vast mob of Hindus blocked up the way to the mosque, and there were no means for dispersing them. At last Aurangzeb ordered the elephants to charge, and numbers were trampled to death. The massacre had its effect. The Hindus yielded to their destiny and paid the Jezya, although they did not cease to complain of the heaviness of the burden. But Aurangzeb was mad enough to attempt to compel the princes and people of Rajputana to pay the Jezya; and it is a marvel how nearly he succeeded in carrying out his object." Tales from Indian History: Being the Annals of India Retold in Narratives, pp 110-111, By James Talboys Wheeler Published by W. Thacker & Co., 1881
  121. ^ a b "In due course of time their numerous offspring took to agriculture. Hence whole of their tribe came to be called, Manhas. The Manhas intermarry with Salahria and other second class Rajputs." Gazette[e]r of the Gujrat District, 1921, By Punjab (Pakistan), Published by Sang-e-Meel Publications, 1990
  122. ^ a b "The Saini do not appear to have returned any large clans except in Hushyárpur, of which district some of the largest clans are shown in the margin, and in Gurdáspur where 1,541 Saini showed their clans as Salahria." W.Chichele Plowden , ( 1883 ), Census of British India taken on the 17th of February 1881, Volume III , London , Eyre and Spottiswoode , p. 257
  123. ^ "The Saini have a Salahri got." Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, pp 848, H. A. Rose, IBBETSON, Maclagan, Published by Asian Educational Services, 1990 2076 pages
  124. ^ W.Chichele Plowden, (1883), Census of British India taken on the 17th of February 1881, Volume III, London, Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 243
  125. ^ a b "Hindu women of Rajput families were a consistent and conspicuous presence in the predominantly Muslim harem from the days of Sultnate period onward." Nur Jahan, empress of Mughal India: Empress of Mughal India, pp 44, Ellison Banks Findly, Edition: illustrated, Published by Oxford University Press US, 1993. Also see: Rajput Ladies in Mughal Harem , C.M. Agrawal, Indian Publishers Distributors (2005) ISBN 8173413746
  126. ^ "In histories that focus on Akbar's ostentations religious tolerance and pragmatic politics is often forgotten that he stablized the Mughal state only after decades of fighting. His most important conquests were that of the Rajput states in Rajasthan desert west of Agra, for these Hindu warrior clams commanded the best armies in northern India. Mughal generals erected towers of skulls - Timurid terror tactics - from thousands of slain Rajput troops who resisted Akbar's early campaigns. Their draconian practice persuaded other Rajput dynasties to submit, saveral offering their daughters ot Mughal haram''. The Cambridge illustrated history of the Islamic world, Francis Robinson, Ira M. Lapidus, Cambridge University Press, 1998
  127. ^ a b c James Tod, Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han or the Central and Western Rajpoot States of India, 2 vols. London, Smith, Elder (1829, 1832); New Delhi, Munshiram Publishers, (2001), pp. 83-4. ISBN 8170691281
  128. ^ a b c The Caste System of Northern India, pp 25, pp 166, pp, 174 pp, 247, E.A.H. Blunt, CIE, OBE, S. Chand & Co. , 1969
  129. ^ a b The Sansis of Punjab; a Gypsy and De-notified Tribe of Rajput Origin, Maharaja Ranjit Singh- The Most Glorious Sansi, pp 13, By Sher Singh, 1926-, Published by , 1965, Original from the University of Michigan
  130. ^ The Indian Journal of Social Work,pp 172, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Published by Department of Publications, Tata Institute of Social Sciences [etc.], 1956
  131. ^ a b "One sub-category recognized among Rajputs is that of the minor agricultural castes which comprises among others, Sirvis, Mali and Kallu or Patel." The Castes of Marwar, Being Census Report of 1891, pp vi, Hardyal Singh, Edition: 2, Published by Books Treasure, Original from the University of Michigan
  132. ^ The Indian Army and the Making of Punjab, pp 25, Rajit K. Mazumder, Orient Blackswan, 2003
  133. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Flame of Freedom and Hoshiarpur District, pp 6, pp 157, pp 168, pp 175, pp 211, pp 224, pp 228, pp 232, pp 233, O. P. Ralhan, Research India Publications, 1992
  134. ^ "The Guru initiated five Sikhs, among them one Sahib Singh, barber of village Nangal Shahidan belonged to Hoshiarpur District"[2].
  135. ^ According to some accounts, Sahab Chand, belonged to Bidar in Karnataka. However, according to another account, he was from Nangal Shahidan. See http://hoshiarpur.nic.in/. If the former view is held to be valid, it simply means that there were other significant martyrs from this Saini village.
  136. ^ a b "Because the village was founded by Nanak, the forefather of caste Saini Mangar, as such it was named after him." Footnote 31: "Eight generations ago Nanak Saini migrated from village Tikhani and settled at the place, now known as Nangal Shahidan and with the permission of the then ruler he founded the village." Journal of Sikh Studies, pp 53, By Guru Nanak Dev University Dept. of Guru Nanak Studies, Published by Dept. of Guru Nanak Studies, Guru Nanak Dev, University., 1977, Item notes: v.4 (1977), Original from the University of California
  137. ^ Tak, Rahgubir Singh, Did Bhai Sahib Singh, one of the Panj Pyaras hail from Nangal Shahidan? Journal of Sikh Studies , 4(2) , Aug 1977, 49-56. Also in Sikh Review, 28 (313), Jan 1980, 19-25
  138. ^ a b c The Sikh Reference Book, pp 277 , 410, 535, By Harajindara Siṅgha Dilagīra, Published by Sikh Educational Trust for Sikh University Centre, Denmark, 1997, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 29 Aug 2008
  139. ^ a b c Saini jagata utapati ate wikasa , pp 50, pp 72 , pp 101, Surajita Singha Nanua, Patiala : Manajota Prakashana, ਪਟਿਆਲਾ : ਮਨਜੋਤ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ਨ, 2008, DK Agencies DKPAN-5413 ( HBD
  140. ^ a b The Battle of Chamkaur (22 December 1705), The Panjab past and present, Volume 20, pp 276, Devinder Kumar Varma, Punjabi University. Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, 1986
  141. ^ a b Netaji's followers float new party, to contest elections , Indian Express, Wednesday, July 28, 1999 [3]
  142. ^ a b See http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/7055/38
  143. ^ a b c d Limca Book of Records, pp 343, Published by Bisleri Beverages Ltd., 1998
  144. ^ Rand, Gavin (March 2006). "Martial Races and Imperial Subjects: Violence and Governance in Colonial India 1857–1914". European Review of History 13 (1): 1-20. Routledge. doi:10.1080/13507480600586726.
  145. ^ The Indian Army and the Making of Punjab, pp 15, Rajit K. Mazumder, Orient Blackswan, 2003
  146. ^ The Indian Army and the Making of Punjab, By Rajit K. Mazumder, pp 99, 205
  147. ^ Forgotten Warriors of Indian War of Independence, 1941-1946: Indian National Army, pp 658, by S. S. Yadava, All India INA Committee
  148. ^ a b c d Saini Jagat: Utpati Ate Vikas, pp 119-120, Prof. Surjit Singh Nanuan, Manjota Publications, Patiala, 2008
  149. ^ a b Freedom Struggle of India by Sikhs and Sikhs in India: The Facts World Must Know, pp87, By Gurdial Singh Grewal,Published by Sant Isher Singh Rarewala Education Trust, 1991, Item notes: v.1, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 2 Sep 2008
  150. ^ a b c Shaheed Gulab Singh Saini, by B.P. Dheeraj (Correspondent), Punjab Kesari, March 12, 1997 Edition
  151. ^ Agrarian Scene in British Punjab, pp 71, By Hari Singh, Published by People's Pub. House, 1983, Item notes: v.2, Original from the University of Michigan
  152. ^ "Bela Singh, Bhai | Gateway to Sikhism". Allaboutsikhs.com. 1921-02-20. http://www.allaboutsikhs.com/1800/bela-singh-bhai.html. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  153. ^ Sikh Encyclopedia
  154. ^ a b c d e f Who's Who: Punjab Freedom Fighters: Punjab Freedom Fighters, pp 152,156, 205, 304, 430, 476, By Fauja Singh, Chaman Lal Datta, Bakhshish Singh, Punjabi University, Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Published by Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University, 1991, Original from the University of Michigan
  155. ^ Post-independence India, pp 203, Om Prakash Ralhan, Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 2002
  156. ^ Agrarian scene in British Punjab, pp 71-72 , Author: Hari Singh, Master , Publisher: New Delhi : People's Pub. House, 1983-©1984.
  157. ^ Struggle for free Hindustan (Ghadr movement), pp 177, Nahar Singh, Kirpal Singh, New Delhi : Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 1986
  158. ^ A Guide to Sources, Ghadar Movement, pp 79, By Darshan Singh Tatla, Published by Guru Nanak Dev University, 2003
  159. ^ The Political Memoirs of an Indian Revolutionary,pp 82, By Naina Singh Dhoot, Surinder Singh, Published by Manohar Publishers & Distributors, 2005, Original from the University of Michigan
  160. ^ Forgotten warriors of Indian war of independence, 1941-1946: Indian National Army, S. S. Yadava, All India INA Committee, Hope India Publications, 2005
  161. ^ a b c d e f g h History of the Babar Akalis, pp 494, 606, Bakhshish Singh Nijjar, Published by ABS Publications, 1987, Original from the University of Michigan. Note: According to this author the village Pandori Ganga Singh was entirely Saini owned.
  162. ^ THE GHADR DIRECTORY, COMPILED BY The Director, Intelligence Bureau, Home Department Government of India,1934 [4]
  163. ^ a b Who's who of Delhi Freedom Fighters, pp 224, 278, By Prabha Chopra, Uma Prasad Thapliyal, Published by Gazetteer Unit, Delhi Administration, 1985, Original from the University of Michigan
  164. ^ a b Farmers protest against non-payment of dues, 10 Sep 2002, The Tribune, Chandigarh, India[5]
  165. ^ a b Rebels Against the Raj: Who is who of Freedom Fighters in Haryana, 1885-1947, pp 59, 116, By Kripal Chandra Yadav, Rāmeśvara Dāsa, Published by Mounto Pub. House, 1994
  166. ^ a b c Rebels against the raj: who is who of freedom fighters in Haryana, 1885-1947, pp 123 , pp 153, pp 213, Kripal Chandra Yadav, Rāmeśvara Dāsa, Mounto Pub. House, 1994
  167. ^ a b c d e f Who's who: Punjab freedom fighters, Volume 2, pp 35, pp 182, pp 263, pp 546, pp 600, pp 876, Fauja Singh, Chaman Lal Datta, Bakhshish Singh, Punjabi University. Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies
  168. ^ Saini Jagat: Utpati Ate Vikas, pp 14, Prof. Surjit Singh Nanuan, Manjota Publications, Patiala, 2008
  169. ^ Archaeology of Bet Dwarka Island : An Excavation Report/A.S. Gaur, Sundaresh and K.H. Vora. New Delhi, Aryan Books International, 2005
  170. ^ Sri Dasam Granth, pp 1368, verse 141
  171. ^ This account tallies with Cunningham's account of the ruling Surasena (Saini) Yadavas of Mathura region prior to the Turk invasion. See pp 57, REPORT OF A TOUR IN EASTERN RAJPUTANA IN 1882-83 , VOLUME XX, A. Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India, Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1885 ,Item notes: v.20 1882-1883, Original from the University of Michigan
  172. ^ a b Gurdashan Singh Dhillon, "The Sikh Rule and Ranjit Singh", A Gateway to Sikhism
  173. ^ "Harmat Singh Gehlon(Saini) Great Great Great Grandson of Sardar Sangat Singh Saini"
  174. ^ Ahluwalia, M.L., Bhai Maharaj Singh. Patiala, 1992
  175. ^ Kirpal Singh, Bhdl Maharaj Singh : Panjab de Modhi Swatantarta Sangramie. Amritsar, 1966.
  176. ^ ^ Harbans Singh, "The Sikh Encyclopedia",
  177. ^ Documents Relating to Bhai Maharaj Singh, Died as State Prisoner on 5th July 1856 at Singapur, pp 228, By Nahar Singh, Published by Sikh History Source Material Search Association, 1968, Original from the University of Michigan , Digitized 3 Aug 2007 389 pages
  178. ^ Sant Nihal Singh, Alias Bhai Maharaj Singh: A Saint-revolutionary of the 19th Century Punjab, pp 105 & 114, By M. L. Ahluwalia, Published by Punjabi University, 1972, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 31 Oct 2006, 117 pages
  179. ^ Rebels against the British rule, pp 190, Author: Nahar Singh; Kirpal Singh , Publisher: New Delhi : Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 1989-[1990]
  180. ^ [6]
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  182. ^ a b c Post-Pāinian Systems of Sanskrit Grammar,Dedication page, Ranjit Singh Saini , Published by Parimal Publications, 1999
  183. ^ "In the 1881 Census, there were only 132,000 Sainis in Punjab, but Sidhus, a Jat tribe, numbered 208,000." Peasant Communities of Punjab ,By Kulwant Singh Virk [7]
  184. ^ Note: In addition to these Wing Commander Kartar Singh Taunque was the first personnel of Indian Airforce to win a gallantry award as part of Royal Indian Airforce. The Chakra class of gallantry awards did not yet exist as Taunque won this award in 1938 during World War II before the independence of India. More information is required for the gallantry awards won by Sainis during both the World Wars.
  185. ^ Asian Recorder,pp 16492 Published by K. K. Thomas at Recorder Press, 1982, Item notes: 1982, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 26 Aug 2008
  186. ^ http://demotemp92.nic.in/writereaddata/2007/english/may01-07/h5.htm
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  190. ^ Forefront for Ever: The History of the Mahar Regiment, By V. Longer, pp 271, Published by Mahar Regimental Centre, 1981
  191. ^ IC-37328 COL JASPAL SINGH PAMA, 2/3 GR
  192. ^ "2/Lt ( now Brig, ) Jaspal Pama of 2/3rd; ..."
  193. ^ MJAFI, Medical Journal Armed Forces India, Vol 57, pp 47, Januar 2001
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  195. ^ Indian Air Force VSM List Award Date 26 Jan 91, Announced 26 Jan 91[11]
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  200. ^ "IC-47701". Indianarmy.nic.in. http://indianarmy.nic.in/rday2009/gall.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  201. ^ Gazette of India : No.108 - Pres/72 dated 23rd September 1972
  202. ^ Gazette of India , 16th April 1977 - No.38 - Pres/77 dated 26th January 1977
  203. ^ "Service Record for Squadron Leader Devinder Singh Saini 8157 F(P)". [www.bharat-rakshak.com]. http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Database/Record/view.php?srnum=8157. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  204. ^ The Punjab and the war , pp 254, Maxwell Studdy Leigh, Lahore, Printed by the Superintendent, Government Printing, Punjab, 1922
  205. ^ "Shaheed Major Harminder Pal Singh-A True Soldier Of Khalsa". Kashmir-information.com. http://www.kashmir-information.com/Heroes/harminder.html. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  206. ^ "Major H.P. Singh does Kharar proud with Shaurya Chakra". Expressindia.com. 1999-08-18. http://www.expressindia.com/news/ie/daily/19990818/ige18127.html. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
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  208. ^ SC-00364 , http://indianarmy.nic.in/award/shaurya_chakra1.html
  209. ^ IEC-3037
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  211. ^ Where Gallantry is Tradition: Saga of Rashtriya Indian Military College : Plantinum Jubilee Volume, 1997, By Bikram Singh, Sidharth Mishra, Rashtriya Indian Military College, Contributor Rashtriya Indian Military College, Edition: illustrated, Published by Allied Publishers, 1997
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  213. ^ http://www.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=1&RecNum=2812
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  220. ^ Date of marytyrdom: 25th September 1915. Son of Gurditt Singh, of Bhagpur, Hoshiarpur, Punjab. Panel 10 - NEUVE-CHAPELLE MEMORIAL - Pas de Calais Commonwealth War Dead 1914-1918 , NEUVE-CHAPELLE MEMORIAL REGISTER: Note Bhagpur (district Hoshiarpur) is 100% Saini owned village.
  221. ^ Date of marytyrdom: 2nd September 1915. Follower, 85. 69th Punjabis. Son of Rura, of Jhika Ladhana, Nawanshahr, Jullundur, Punjab. Panel 10 - NEUVE-CHAPELLE MEMORIAL - Pas de Calais Commonwealth War Dead 1914-1918 Note: Ladhana(district Nawanshahr) is 100% Saini owned village
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  225. ^ "KS Pabla & Chittranjan Garu of A&N Police Chosen for President’s Medal". Andamanchronicle.com. 2009-01-26. http://andamanchronicle.com/content/view/326/27/. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  226. ^ http://www.mha.gov.in/writereaddata/12328936951_ppm-rd09.pdf
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  229. ^ Punjabi author Pritam Saini dead, Tribune News Service, Monday, November 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India/ http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20031110/punjab1.htm
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  231. ^ "Subhash Saini". Zyvex.com. http://www.zyvex.com/nanotech/nano4/saini.html. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  232. ^ Development of fertilisers in India: FAI silver jubilee, 1955-1980, commemorative volume, pp 3, T. M. Alexander, Fertiliser Association of India, Published by Fertiliser Association of India, 1980, Original from Cornell University
  233. ^ See Capital Market Innovations and Financial Flows to Developing Countries/Wp0784 (World Bank Staff Working Paper) by Krishnan G. Saini (Paperback - Mar 1986)
  234. ^ India and World War 1, pp 6, DeWitt C. Ellinwood, S. D. Pradhan, Published by Manohar, 1978
  235. ^ "Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage". Vmacch.ca. http://www.vmacch.ca/Science&Technology/Saini,%20Gulshan/saini.html. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  236. ^ Do dampers minimise quake damage?, The Tribune , April 7 , 2001. Note: Dr. Avtar Paul and Dr. Gulshan Rai Saini both belong to village Bohon Patti in Hoshiarpur.
  237. ^ Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology: JIAAP., pp 70, Volume 21 By Indian Academy of Applied Psychology
  238. ^ http://www.allconferences.com/conferences/2008/20080116124340/
  239. ^ http://www.chemicalogic.com/services/rsaini.htm
  240. ^ http://www.library.illinois.edu/people/bios/rchilana/
  241. ^ Periodicals of Asia and the Pacific‎ , pp 81, Unesco. Regional Office for Education in Asia and the Pacific - Education
  242. ^ http://www.sixtron.com/main+en+01_100+company.html?ss=1
  243. ^ Pharmacologie intégrée By Clive P. Page, Michael J. Curtis, Morley C. Sutter, Michael J. Walker, Brian B. Hoffman, Paris ; Bruxelles : De Boeck Université, 1999
  244. ^ http://www.mcg.edu/SOM/cba/faculty/Dong.html
  245. ^ CNC Machines By B. S. Pabla, M. Adithan, New Delhi : Wiley Eastern
  246. ^ a b c d "The decrease of nearly 21 per cent is chiefly found in Bijnor district where the figures indicate that at last census Malis were included in Saini." Census of India, 1901, pp 227, By India Census Commissioner, Edward Albert Gait, Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India, 1902
  247. ^ W.Chichele Plowden , ( 1883 ), The Indian Empire Census of 1881 Statistics of Population Vol. II. , Calcutta , Superintendent of Government Printing India , p. 30
  248. ^ a b Hindu castes and sects : an exposition of the origin of the Hindu caste system and the bearing of the sects towards each other and towards other religious systems, pp285, Jogendra Nath Bhattachary, Publisher: Calcutta : Thacker, Spink, 1896
  249. ^ PUNJAB DISTRICT GAZETTEERS,VOLUME XIV, JULLUNDUR DISTRICT, 1904, pp 93, Lahore, PRINTED AT THE "CIVIL AND MILITARY GAZETTE" PRESS, 1908
  250. ^ Final report of the revised settlement of the Jullundur District in the Punjab, Appendix XIII, pp 50, W.E. Purser, BCS, THE "CIVIL AND MILITARY GAZETTE" PRESS, Contractors to the Punjab Government, Lahore, 1892
  251. ^ In as late as 1994, a Saini girl who had eloped with non-Saini boy, was lynched by her family along with the boy in Nayagaon village in Haryana. See the article Silence of the lambs, Sep 2 , 2001 Times of India edition[16]
  252. ^ a b "As regards re-marriage of widows, the only classes that re-marry are Jats, Lohars, Jhinwars, Tarkhans, Mahatams, who are allowed by their custom to go through the ceremony of Karewa." PUNJAB DISTRICT GAZETTEERS,VOLUME XIV, JULLUNDUR DISTRICT, 1904, pp 59, Lahore, PRINTED AT THE "CIVIL AND MILITARY GAZETTE" PRESS, 1908
  253. ^ "The memory of Babu Labh Singh Saini of Jullundur, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal in the pre-Independence days, is being perpetuated by a trust headed by Sardar Swaran Singh." Peasant Communities of Punjab, Kulwant Singh Virk [17]
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  255. ^ "World Sikh Council denouces Badal". Panthkhalsa.org. http://www.panthkhalsa.org/panth/vsc_na_press8_30_2001.php. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  256. ^ The Tribune, 26 Jan 2000 : www.tribuneindia.com/2000/20000126/main4.htm
  257. ^ "From among the Sikh newspaper owners, one is a Jat and the other a Saini. There is no low caste newspaper proprietor." The Indian journal of public administration: quarterly journal of the Indian Institute of Public Administration, pp 39, By Indian Institute of Public Administration, Published by The Institute, 1982
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  259. ^ "UC Riverside: The Dr. Jasbir Singh Endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies". Religiousstudies.ucr.edu. http://www.religiousstudies.ucr.edu/SPS/index.html. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
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  261. ^ "I was born in 1935 in Govindpura village in Muzaffargarh district in West Pakistan in a Rajput Rathore family", Interview with Flying Sikh Milkha Singh, Sify Sports, August 8, Friday, 2008 [18]
  262. ^ Priya Gill (2008-07-23). "India calling: India Today - Latest Breaking News from India, World, Business, Cricket, Sports, Bollywood". Indiatoday.intoday.in. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11805&Itemid=1&issueid=64&sectionid=20&secid=33&limit=1&limitstart=1. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  263. ^ India Today, India calling , Priya Gill , July 23, 2008
  264. ^ Punjab Newsline, SGPC fumes over Pak not granting it permission to visit Taliban victim Sikhs, SAMEER KAURA , Tuesday, 30 June 2009, http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/17484/38/
  265. ^ Arain, Rain, Baghban, the Mali and the Maliar constitute a mixed body of men denoting occupation rather than caste. People of India: Haryana, pp 433 , Author: T.M. Dak, Editors: Kumar Suresh Singh, Madan Lal Sharma, A. K. Bhatia, Anthropological Survey of India, Published by Published on behalf of Anthropological Survey of India by Manohar Publishers, 1994
  266. ^ W.Chichele Plowden , ( 1883 ), The Indian Empire Census of 1881 Statistics of Population Vol. II. , Calcutta , Superintendent of Government Printing India, pp 243-258, 294
  267. ^ "The Mali were reported from Gurgaon, Karnal, Hissar, Rohtak, Sirsa and Jind. The Sainis lived in Ambala. " The Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, pp 20, By Anthropological Survey of India, Published by The Survey, 1993
  268. ^ Castes and Tribes of Rajasthan, pp 107, Sukhvir Singh Gahlot, Banshi Dhar, Jain Brothers, 1989
  269. ^ In 1881 census Saini presence was not recorded outside the undivided Punjab (even beyond south of Ghaggar river within undivided Punjab). The present day non-Punjabi Sainis found outside Punjab, even for most part south of Yamuna river in Haryana, are better classified as pseudo-Sainis or neo-Sainis. In 20th century, the Mali community also adopted 'Saini' as a general name as part of Sanskritization just like another prominent caste adopted 'Yadava' last name enmass even though the original Yadavas were Rajputs. Sainis of Punjab do not intermarry with these neo-Sainis. Sainis of present Punjab are regarded as a forward community. See the list of 68 OBCs in Punjab [19]
  270. ^ W.Chichele Plowden , ( 1883 ), Census of British India taken on the 17th of February 1881, Volume III , London , Eyre and Spottiswoode , p. 256
  271. ^ People of India: Haryana, pp 432, 433 , Author: T.M. Dak, Editors: Kumar Suresh Singh, Madan Lal Sharma, A. K. Bhatia, Anthropological Survey of India, Published by Published on behalf of Anthropological Survey of India by Manohar Publishers, 1994

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